October 30, 2019 / 12:37 PM / 16 days ago

Johnson says government will make fracking announcement shortly

FILE PHOTO: Cuadrilla's Preston Road fracking site is seen near Blackpool, Britain, October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government will shortly make an announcement about fracking, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday, citing concerns about earth tremors which have been caused by such gas extraction in the past.

The government has signalled support for the shale gas industry and is keen to cut the country’s reliance on imports of natural gas, used to heat around 80% of Britain’s homes.

However fracking, which involves extracting gas from rocks by breaking them up with water and chemicals at high pressure, is fiercely opposed by environmentalists who say it is at odds with Britain’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We will shortly be making an announcement about fracking in this country in view of the very considerable anxieties that are legitimately being raised about the earthquakes that have followed various fracking attempts in the UK,” Johnson told parliament.

“We will certainly be following up on those findings.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and William James; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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