Nearly two million homes in the United Kingdom will be heated with natural gas from the United States within five years, according to a report in The Guardian.
"The U.S. government has kept a tight rein on exports since the shale gas boom started more than five years ago," The Guardian reported. "But the deal struck by energy company Centrica marks the start of a new era in gas use in the UK, because it opens up the market to cheap supplies from the US, as North Sea gas fields run out and pipelines to Europe remain expensive."
The article notes that natural gas drilling "has been blamed for environmental problems in the US, including water, ground and air pollution and leaks of methane."
The deal is seen as critical for the UK, because Britain has faced severe natural gas supply problems, according to the Guardian. "Last week, it emerged that there were only two days' worth of gas left in storage."
The decision to heat homes abroad with natural gas produced in the U.S. is raising some concerns, according to an article by Inter Press Service. "Critics warn that the industry in the U.S. remains too unregulated and that exports will cause a spike in domestic gas prices," the article states.
"We cannot guarantee that drilling occurs safely in the United States, because there is neither the science to justify nor do states enforce what regulations do exist," Alan Septoff, the Washington-based director of communications for Earthworks, an advocacy group, told IPS. "Increasing demand via exports for a dirty, dangerous process is not something we think is a good idea."
To read the Guardian article, click here.
To read the Inter Press Service article, click here.