Friends of the Earth has a new little reportette out insisting that fracking will take up so much of our green and pleasant land that we’d better not do it. In order for domestic production to cover 50% of imports we’ll have to drill 6,000 wells from whatever number of wellpads. Which will just take up so much room!
However, analysis for Friends of the Earth by the Cardiff Business School found that at least one well would need to be drilled and fracked daily between 2021 and 2035 to replace 50% of gas imports.
Rose Dickinson, at Friends of the Earth, said: “This would mean an industrialisation of our countryside at a rate that nobody has yet fully appreciated and would put many more communities in the firing line of this dirty and unwanted industry.”
Of course this is all rather let down by the usual innumeracy of the environmentalists. How large actually is the land area? And what is it in proportion to something useful?
The FoE research found 6,100 wells on 1,000 well pads would take up around 3,560 hectares of land (around 13 square miles), based on analysis of government figures, National Grid forecasts and other data.
13 square miles in a 94,0606 square mile country is some 0.01382% of that nation. Or, perhaps, one third of the area of Liverpool and there’s absolutely no one – not even a Liverpudlian – who wouldn’t give up one third of that ‘burb to stay warm in winter. Heck, it’s half of Bradford and haven’t they been having some depopulation issues already? It’s also a little less than a half, a little more than a third, of Brighton which might be the right place to put all the wells. Would piss off Caroline Lucas nicely which would be a job well done.
The truth being, of course, that the land area required to frack is entirely piddling.
Most especially it’s piddling in contrast to what we’d have to do without fracking. We’d either have to grow wood to burn or build windmills, place solar cells, to get electricity. And what would be the land area requirements of that to replace 50% of current gas imports? Anyone? Answers on a – rather large – postcard to FoE please for they do seem to have overlooked this vital point.