Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss ends national ban on fracking amid energy crisis

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U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss ended England’s ban on fracking Thursday, opening the door to domestic shale gas production amid a European energy crisis.

The return of fracking is just one piece of a larger energy and economy plan Truss is pursuing in her first weeks since gaining office. Her administration also announced a national freeze on household energy prices, a plan that will cost the government tens of billions.

Under Truss’s plan, household energy costs will be limited to $2,900 per year after ballooning to $4,100 in 2022.

The U.K. and other European countries have faced a worsening energy crisis due to heavy dependence on oil and gas imports from Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin limited exports to Europe after NATO countries imposed severe economic sanctions on the county for its invasion of Ukraine.

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Liz Truss meets supporters at a Conservative Party leadership election hustings in Birmingham, England, Aug. 23, 2022.

Liz Truss meets supporters at a Conservative Party leadership election hustings in Birmingham, England, Aug. 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has severely limited energy exports to Europe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has severely limited energy exports to Europe.
(Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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The U.K. originally banned fracking in 2019 but could restart domestic production as early as March 2023.

The energy crisis has pushed the U.K. and several of its European neighbors to reconsider their shutdown of nuclear power. Germany made loopholes in its plan to shut down its last plants last week, allowing for two to be re-opened if necessary.

Belgium, meanwhile, was planning to close two reactors by 2025 but will now keep them open through 2036. France is looking to build an additional 14 reactors over the next several decades.

The U.K., Czech Republic, Poland and others are also planning for entirely new reactors.

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Nuclear energy is the cleanest and most efficient energy source currently available, though disasters at some plants have caused some to fear the method. The most problematic part of nuclear energy production is the safe disposal of spent fuel rods, which remain highly radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.



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