The government has halted fracking in England with immediate effect in a watershed moment for environmentalists and community activists. Ministers also warned shale gas companies it would not support future fracking projects, in a crushing blow to companies that had been hoping to capitalise on one of the new frontiers of growth in the fossil fuel industry . The decision draws a line under years of bitter opposition to the controversial extraction process in a major victory for green groups and local communities. The decision was taken after a new scientific study warned it was not possible to rule out “unacceptable” consequences for those living near fracking sites. The report, undertaken by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), also warned it was not possible to predict the magnitude of earthquakes fracking might trigger. Fracking , also known as hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping water, chemicals and sand underground at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release trapped oil and gas. The government said it would not agree to any future fracking “until compelling new evidence is provided” that proves fracking could be safe. The UK’s only active fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire was brought to an […]

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