US states are considering whether to restrict fracking in their states following an international coalition of governments that called for a moratorium on the controversial technology.
The group of countries The International Energy Agency (IEA) said it was concerned about the risk of earthquakes, droughts and other problems caused by the use of fracking fluids in the developing world.The group said the use in developing countries was of limited scope and the technology was used primarily for extraction of gas and oil from shale formations in the United States and Canada.
“In order to avoid further contamination, we recommend that all developed countries refrain from the use and/or use of this unconventional natural gas (UG) extraction method,” the agency said in a statement.US shale production rose by a record 11.5% last year, according to the Energy Information Administration.
But the US has been reluctant to move on its fracking moratorium and its president, Donald Trump, has criticised the practice.
“We have had a lot of gas going into our country.
It’s a very, very difficult thing for us to do,” Mr Trump told ABC television.”
But we have to figure out how to make sure it’s used responsibly, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
The IEA said in its latest report that there was little scientific evidence to suggest fracking posed a health risk to humans or the environment.
But it said there was evidence of possible harm from the drilling process and that fracking fluids could contaminate groundwater supplies and the air.
“The use of hydraulic fracturing is associated with a number of adverse health impacts, including an increased risk of drinking water contamination and increased risks of groundwater contamination, according with studies that have been published,” the report said.
It also noted that fracking in some regions could also lead to a rise in the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
“There are many uncertainties, and many potential risks, associated with fracking,” the IEA wrote.
“These risks include the impact on groundwater supplies, air quality, methane emissions, and the impacts on water supplies and on local communities and local ecosystems.”
“Given the current climate, and its potential impacts on the health of the world’s people, the United Kingdom and other developed countries must now take this information seriously and consider a moratorium,” it added.
In February, the US announced a new plan to restrict oil and gas production from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country’s most populous, by 2020, in a bid to avoid damaging the environment and its economy.
It said that while the oil and natural gas industry had been a boon to the US economy, the move would not reduce global carbon emissions because of the industry’s use of methane gas and the waste generated by its operations.
The US government has said it is reviewing the impact of the moratorium on its energy policy.