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GAZ DE SCHISTE : LE PRAGMATISME DES ANGLAIS

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Contrastant totalement avec les prises de positions idéologiques de nos gouvernants qui se laissent mener par le bout du nez par une minorité qui prend l'écologie en otage, le Premier ministre anglais David Cameron explique à ses concitoyens tout l'intérêt et le bénéfice que le pays peut tirer de l'exploitation du gaz de schiste.

Comment ne pas mettre en parallèle cet entretien au Daily Telegraph avec les inepties dont notre Président s'est fait l'écho lors de son intervention télévisée du 14 juillet.

David Cameron balaye les réticences et réaffirme son soutien à l’exploitation par fracturation

Le premier ministre britannique a souligné que cette technique d’extraction des gaz de schiste était aujourd’hui sans danger, promettant un respect scrupuleux des normes internationales et « des paysages » ruraux. « Les plates-formes d’exploitation sont relativement petites, à peu près la taille d’un terrain de cricket ».

David Cameron a également déclaré : « Nous ne pouvons nous permettre de passer à côté de la fracturation hydraulique (…) Si nous ne soutenons pas cette technologie, nous perdons une formidable occasion d’aider des familles à payer leurs factures et de rendre notre pays plus compétitif ».

Le premier ministre a également souligné que l’exploitation de ces gaz de schiste représenterait 51 ans de consommation et créerait 74.000 emplois. Il a rappelé, en outre, que les compagnies qui souhaitent exploiter les sous-sols de Grande-Bretagne sont prêtes à débourser 10 millions de livres (11,6 millions d’euros) de dédommagements pour les collectivités locales.

Pendant ce temps, la France continue de rejeter toute exploration et tout exploitation des gaz de schistes, alors qu’elle disposerait de l’une des plus importantes réserves au monde.

Ci-dessous, en anglais, un commentaire plus détaillée de cette interview :

UK Prime Minister David Cameron gave his unequivocal support for shale gas fracking in the country in a newspaper article Monday, amid an ongoing protest in the south of England where Cuadrilla Resources has begun exploration drilling in preparation for possible unconventional oil production.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper Cameron said that if the UK did not backing hydraulic fracturing of shale rocks to produce gas "we will miss a massive opportunity to help families with their bills and make our country more competitive. Without it, we could lose ground in the tough global race."

Cameron's intervention comes as a protest involving both local residents and professional anti-fracking demonstrators continues in Balcombe, West Sussex. There have been several dozen arrests of protestors since Cuadrilla Resources began preparations for exploration drilling at Balcombe a few weeks ago. Cuadrilla started drilling a 3,000-foot vertical well at the Balcombe site on August 2.

Cameron noted that "a lot of myths" have sprung up around fracking activities that he is seeking to dispel. Among these are that shale gas exploration will be confined to certain parts of Britain.

"This is wrong. I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits," he said.

Cameron also pointed out that there would be proper public consultation among local communities regarding fracking activities going on in their areas.

"Local people will not be cut out and ignored. We are issuing very firm guidance: firms looking to frack should make people aware of their plans well before they apply for a permit. Dialogue is important and if residents express specific concerns, then companies should take them on board," Cameron added.

"Equally, we must make the case that fracking is safe. International evidence shows there is no reason why the process should cause contamination of water supplies or other environmental damage, if properly regulated. And the regulatory system in this country is one of the most stringent in the world. If any shale gas well were to pose a risk of pollution, then we have all the powers we need to close it down."

Cameron was quick to point out that the idea that the British countryside would be blighted by unconventional oil and gas activities was also a myth.

"Shale gas pads are relatively small – about the size of a cricket pitch. But more than that, similar types of drilling have been taking place for decades in this country without any real protest. The South Downs National Park remains one of the most beautiful parts of Britain, yet it has been home to conventional oil and gas drilling since the Eighties. The huge benefits of shale gas outweigh any very minor change to the landscape," Cameron said.

In addition, Cameron was keen to highlight the benefits of shale gas fracking to the British population.

"Latest estimates suggest that there's about 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas lying underneath Britain at the moment – and that study only covers 11 counties. To put that in context, even if we extract just a tenth of that figure, that is still the equivalent of 51 years' gas supply," he said.

"Fracking will create jobs in Britain. In fact, one recent study predicted that 74,000 posts could be supported by a thriving shale-gas industry in this country. It’s not just those involved in the drilling. Just as with North Sea oil and gas, there would be a whole supply chain of new businesses, more investment and fresh expertise."

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