British Think Tank Says UK should Hasten Fracking to Reduce Moscow’s Leverage

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British Think Tank Says UK should Hasten Fracking to Reduce Moscow’s LeverageA U.K. think tank warned that Britain may be held economically hostage by Russia if it doesn’t employ fracking to wean it off its reliance on the growing foreign energy imports.

The Centre for Policy Studies advocates for the development of local sources of indigenous fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas for the sake of future prosperity, reported the Telegraph. It further claims that the risks of any possible damage to the countryside are much lower than the benefits that will result from freeing the country from Russian imports.

“Given the fall in domestic energy production, the rise in the UK’s energy import dependence and our particular reliance on Russia for coal imports, it is vital that the Government finds ways to secure future supplies of energy.”

The organization quoted statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change that showed that Britain’s fuel import bill rose 47 percent and North Sea’s oil production fell by 6.5 percent. The data also showed that UK used 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2013 yet it produced only 1.24 trillion cubic feet, with most of the deficit being met by imports from Europe, Norway and Qatar.

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Coal, which was the bedrock of the UK’s steam-driven industrial revolution in centuries past, has also seen its mining decline over the years, though it is still used to generate power. U.K, despite having billions of tonnes of the fuel under its soil, still relies on Russia for most of its coal imports.

However, the think tank warned that the current political tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine crisis should spur Britain to develop its shale resources in order to reduce Kremlin’s leverage over the UK.

The British government has been actively pushing for fracking in the country, going as far as trying to amend the trespass law to allow fracking under private land without having to seek the owner’s permission. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com