Sep 10 2015

To frack or not to frack? Let the debate begin, 18th Sept


Fracking. Is energy from shale the answer to economic problems and energy security issues in the north east of England, or a toxic threat to the environment? Could the two sides be closer than we think?

These are the questions that will be debated on 18 September at an event held by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Darlington.

This follows the recent announcement by The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) that a number of locations across England have been identified as potential sites for fracking – including two in Middlesbrough.

Allen Creedy, honorary Chair of the Energy, Water and Environment Policy Unit for the FSB, said: “We fully understand that fracking could have potential economic benefits both locally and nationally. However, against these needs to be balanced the potential for adverse environmental impacts. Therefore, the FSB’s stance is that any exploitation needs to be decided locally, and on clear agreed evidence, undertaken with full environmental safeguards and the benefits should be kept local.”

The event will provide those who attend the chance to ask questions of eminent speakers and participate in a Hustings style debate that we expect to focus on planning application issues, the local and national economic impact of fracking and the opportunities available for small business in the supply chain.

Mr Creedy, who is chairing the event, said: “This is the first debate for small businesses in the north east on fracking – it’s their chance to learn more about the potential economic benefits of unconventional gas, debate the environmental issues, and hopefully at the end dispel the myths.”

Confirmed speakers so far include:

  • Ken Cronin, Chief Executive at UK Onshore Oil & Gas
  • Chris Simpson from UKTI.

It will take place on 18 September from 12pm until 5:30pm in Darlington and is one of a series of events being held across the country on this subject.

Interested parties can register to attend via