Snouts in the trough: Martin Rowson's Guardian cartoon goes straight to the heart of the matter - fracking isn't about ending the energy crisis, or even extracting shale gas in a reasonable way; it is about GREED.

Snouts in the trough: Martin Rowson’s Guardian cartoon goes straight to the heart of the matter – fracking isn’t about ending the energy crisis, or even extracting shale gas in a reasonable way; it is about GREED.

Hundreds of government-funded boreholes are set to be drilled across Britain to try to persuade the public that a looming shale gas boom can be developed safely, according to the Observer.

Sensors in the boreholes would detect possible water pollution or earthquakes caused by fracking and the information would be made public.

“We will be taking the pulse of the sub-surface environment and will reveal if things are going wrong, but also if they are going right,” said Professor Mike Stephenson, director of science and technology at the British Geological Survey, which would drill the boreholes. “The aim is to reassure people that we can manage the sub-surface safely.”

The plan, called the energy security and innovation observing system, will cost taxpayers £60m-£80m. It is awaiting final approval from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where energy minister Matthew Hancock, a fracking enthusiast, holds another ministerial post.

However, the Green party MP Caroline Lucas accused the government of subsidising “dirty” energy firms. “There’s no justification for using public money to help the fracking industry pull the wool over people’s eyes. It’s another desperate attempt to quell legitimate public concern and may further undermine public trust,” said Lucas, who in April was found not guilty of public order offences after an anti-fracking protest in Sussex.

Learn more by reading the Observer article.

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