Cuadrilla Resources Group has been carrying out exploratory drilling for shale gas at two sites in the region.

The Co-operative Group want a halt to the plans to extract the gas until further assessments of the potential risks have been carried out.

The Caudrilla Resources Group insists there are no safety dangers, despite shale gas drilling being very controversial in the US. In the past there are reports of the water supply has been contaminated.

In December last year the New York State Governor issued an Executive Order requiring a further review and analysis of high-volume hydraulic fracturing and cessation of fracturing until 1 July 2011 at the earliest.

The Co-operative Group funded a report by the Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester, which investigated the environmental and climate change impacts of shale gas.

The report concludes that shale gas risks seriously contaminating ground and surface waters. It calls for a moratorium on shale gas development until there is a much more thorough understanding of the extraction process.

The researchers also say that shale gas exploration would delay the introduction of renewable energy alternatives.

University of Manchester’s professor, Kevin Anderson, said: “Consequently, if we are serious in our commitment to avoid dangerous climate change, the only safe place for shale gas remains in the ground.”

You can read the Tyndall Centre’s report here.

Alison Brown

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