Law and Policy for Sustainability
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by John C. Dernbach and James R. May
Chapter 7: Sustainability and stakeholder participation: shale gas extraction in the United Kingdom
The UK Government takes the view that shale gas can provide greater energy security, stimulate economic growth and lead to lower gas prices. Having considered general principles of stakeholder participation in environmental decision-making, this chapter explores recent legislative developments in the UK aimed at facilitating shale gas exploration, focusing on the introduction of underground access rights for shale gas operators and changes regarding notification of planning applications for certain underground operations. It concludes that the Government’s recent reforms – and the manner in which they have been presented - have reduced rather than fostered opportunities for stakeholder participation and may well have made it more difficult for shale gas industry to gain public acceptance. Given the direct effect of shale gas activities on many people’s lives, it recommends greater partnership in decision- and policy-making.
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