NI minister tempers Cameron’s shale gas enthusiasm

Exploration in Northern Ireland will have to await further scientific evidence says its environment minister, despite the coalition government’s policy

Northern Ireland environment minister Mark Durkan has broken ranks with the Westminster government to speak out against fracking for shale gas.

“Agreeing to fracking at present would be reckless and irresponsible,” he said in a statement on 13 August.

The announcement was in response to a letter in the Daily Telegraph by the prime minister David Cameron the day before speaking in favour of fracking, which would “cut energy bills and create wealth”.

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