Shale gas extraction in UK likely to increase carbon emissions.

Guardian: “David Cameron has lauded the economic benefits that he says shale gas promises for Europe and claimed that it has environmental benefits too. He said in Davos: “Governments need to reassure people that nothing would go ahead if there were environmental dangers. But if this is done properly, shale gas can actually have lower emissions than imported gas.” Is that true?”
“A report in September by David Mackay, the chief scientific adviser at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, looked in detail at the impact of shale gas on greenhouse gas emissions. It found that shale gas – obtained by fracking, a process that involves fracturing dense shale rock by blasting it with high-pressure water and chemicals to release trapped bubbles of gas – could indeed have a lower carbon impact than imports of gas from abroad, for instance in the form of liquefied natural gas.
….But overall, extracting shale gas in the UK is likely to lead to more CO2 being produced. “The production of shale gas could increase global cumulative [greehouse gas] emissions if the fossil fuels displaced by shale gas are used elsewhere,” the report states.
….To date, shale gas use in the US has brought down emissions there (though there was a bounce in carbon output last year) but has resulted in an increase in emissions in Europe and elsewhere. That is because coal that would have been used to fire power plants in the US has been exported instead, flooding the world market with cheap coal and encouraging far higher coal-fired power generation. So extracting shale gas may lead to slightly lower emissions than imported liquid natural gas, but a European shale gas rush might mean higher emissions in the long run.”