UK households could soon receive cash payouts for allowing fracking in their neighborhoods, media reported on Monday.
The UK may have lifted its long-running ban on fracking last month, but its fracking industry still has one big hurdle that it must overcome: local opposition.
Fracking has been criticized for its reported ties to earthquakes and other environmental damage, and has fallen out of favor. The practice’s sullied reputation has led to its ban in several countries, including France, Germany, Spain, and until recently, the UK.
Despite its pariah status, fracking managed to make its way into the hearts and minds of Texans to eventually become the backing behind the United States’ rise to stardom within the global oil and gas industry. Fracking was able to make inroads in the U.S. shale patch precisely because locals benefited from the fracking activity by way of receiving money from the oil and gas taxes that the states collected, which then flowed into the areas that allowed it.
That those areas benefited greatly from the fracking dollars cannot be denied. Now Britain, too, is taking a page from the U.S. shale handbook: paying households £1,000 for allowing fracking in their areas. But the money will come directly from drillers rather than from industry tax revenue.
Drilling companies could soon go door to door in Britain, according to media reports on Monday, offering money in exchange for fracking support.
When the UK’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss removed the fracking ban last month, she did so with one caveat: it would only be allowed in communities that showed at least 50% support. Drillers must now gain half the residents over to the controversial practice in order to commence drilling.