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UK needs a rational debate about shale-gas development

The UK is coming round the idea of shale-gas development. But what we need now is for the media to steer a calm, rational debate about the fuel's benefits and drawbacks

This morning the UK-based newspaper The Independent said British homes could be supplied with fuel derived from domestic shale gas production within three years. The story was based on an interview the newspaper did with Cuadrilla Resources chief executive Francis Egan. Egan told the paper that UK policymakers must “get a sense of proportion” over any potential environmental risks involved with shale-gas production and also urged the media to report facts rather than “horror stories” abotu hydraulic fracturing (fracking). It struck me that the Independent’s piece signalled a real departure. In April last year, the newspaper published a story about shale gas which took a very different tone

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