Introduction to UCG
In addition to fracking for shale gas, the other unconventional gas extraction methods we face here in the UK are drilling for Coal Bed Methane (aka CSG - Coal Seam Gas - in Australia) - which can include fracking (even without fracking it produces much toxic water), and the most risky of the lot: UCG - Underground Coal Gasification - which involves setting fire to coal underground to release burnable gaseous products (like "coal gas" - the municipal "town gas" of old - except produced underground and less controllably [<here even a pro-fracker is anti-UCG])[+ see Avaaz petition]. These are all types of extreme energy - which differ from conventional fossil fuel energy in requiring much more energy expenditure and carbon emissions per unit of energy produced, and much higher environmental and/or health risks. What could be more opposite to what we need now in the face of increasing climate change! But blinkered greed for short-term profit has no concern for future harm to people, wildlife or environment.
MAP (thumbprint here needs updating) from Frack Off (click to get
full UK map on Frack Off website)
The UCG licence blocks are shown as dark blackish grey.
(orange skull & cross-bones show CBM Coal-Bed Methane sites)
(yellow skull & cross-bones show fracking sites for shale gas - none shown for Cumbria yet)
Cumbria's main unconventional gas threat is UCG near Whitehaven and Workington (and Solway), and CBM in 'Solway basin' area.
The proposals for UCG near Whitehaven are insanity - doubly so as it's not far from Sellafield.
Mel Kelly of Irvine Scotland is writing an article on this and I'll link to it when the link is available.