Shale Gas and the Future of Energy
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Shale Gas and the Future of Energy

Law and Policy for Sustainability

Edited by John C. Dernbach and James R. May

The rapid growth of shale gas development has led to an intense and polarizing debate about its merit. At the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, countries around the world concluded that the transition to sustainability must be accelerated. This book asks and suggests answers to the question that has not yet been systematically analysed: what laws and policies are needed to ensure that shale gas development helps to accelerate the transition to sustainability?
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Chapter 7: Sustainability and stakeholder participation: shale gas extraction in the United Kingdom

Jill Morgan


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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