Anti-fracking to reach fever pitch

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The anti-fracking (hydraulic fracturing) movement has gone global. From the U.S. to the EU, protests are increasing in momentum. Hydraulic fracturing has existed for decades, with much success in some instances, but protestors have managed to succeed with moratoriums, delays, suspensions and bans on further drilling -- in just two years.

Conversely, independent global risk consultants says the industry has been caught napping and is now at a disadvantage as it plays catch up. 2012 could be the year when the bar for the anti-fracking movement is set very high.

According to Control Risks' research:

"Regulatory reviews have been concluded in key battlegrounds, including New York, Bulgaria, South Africa and New South Wales, setting the tone for stricter long-term management of the unconventional gas industry. Technological innovations are reducing the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing by, among other things, increasing the efficiency of wastewater recycling and storage, reducing the likelihood of seismic events, and changing the mix of fracturing fluids to reduce water usage and fracturing pressure. The anti-fracking movement itself – though far from exhausted – is grappling with the consequences of its successes, struggling to maintain momentum after winning tighter regulation, moratoriums and bans."

These dynamics point to three trends that could guide the future of the anti-fracking movement, according to the research: expansion into new jurisdictions; incorporation into broader issue advocacy; and radicalization of direct action against the unconventional gas industry.

For more:
- see the report

Related Article:
Vermont to ban hydraulic fracking