Fracking should be allowed to take place in national parks because its visual intrusion is minimal and the environmental risks have been “exaggerated,” according to the outgoing chairman of the UK’s Environment Agency.
Chris Smith, also known as Lord Smith of Finsbury, told the Times that if hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – is properly regulated, then it could be safe and “useful” in minimizing the UK’s reliance on climate polluting coal-fired power stations and imported gas. Smith is scheduled to step down from his post next month.
The controversial process of extracting gas trapped in rocks deep underground has been criticized by environmental campaigners and local residents who don’t want to see the British countryside ruined by fracking, as its impact on the environment and human health is still not completely understood.
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