Colonists in America once bristled at the authoritarian decrees of the King of England. Taxed without recourse, conscripted, yoked to dictates from a man who’d never set foot on this continent, they rebelled. After a years-long war, America won its independence. Only a few decades later, though, England wanted to reclaim what it had lost, invading the still-young United States, all but burning its capital to the ground.
Today, proud Americans, two centuries after those acts, we have our ultimate revenge. The United Kingdom has just reapproved fracking.
Britain’s government lifted its ban on a controversial mining process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, Thursday, allowing companies to continue their exploration of shale gas reserves.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey said the decision was subject to new controls to limit the risks of seismic activity.
A halt was called to fracking last year after two small earthquakes in Lancashire, northwestern England, where Cuadrilla Resources was exploring for shale gas.
That taste in your mouth is the sweet taste of victory, fellow patriots, unless you live near a fracking site in which case it might be benzene that has seeped into the local water system.
But in a desperate attempt to retain some veneer of autonomy, the Brits are insisting on something called “regulation.” Like how the Beatles stole all of our music and added British city names so it seemed like their own.
As for concerns about how the liquids used in fracking will affect water supplies, [Cuadrilla Resources chief executive Francis] Egan said the company uses only one friction-reducing chemical, in small quantities. He said it is not hazardous and the government oversees its use.
The strong regulatory environment in the United Kingdom “will stand us in good stead,” Egan said, although he acknowledged it would mean the pace of exploration may be slower than in the United States.
I mean, it’s like these guys aren’t even capitalists. They’ll never compete with our runaway output if they are constantly working to make sure that it’s not spoiling the rest of the environment! Next thing you know, they’re going to assure universal health-care coverage!
There are only two areas in which our dominance might be threatened. The first is protest slogans. There’s basically no way to combine “frack” and “U.K.” that doesn’t sound impressively obscene.
The second is if the U.S. runs out of potable water.
Get Grist in your inbox