This is unlikely to convince those who don't wish to be convinced, but a report on an upcoming Polish Geological Institute report on shale is significant in that it gives us an up to date and most importantly, a European perspective on the impact shale is having underneath our feet.

The UT study will be dismissed out of hand by the hard core antis, but the battleground for public acceptance is in the middle, not with ultra antis who never wish to hear actual facts. On the other hand seeking support from those who already support you on the right strikes me as being a waste of money.

But the middle, who have been in a muddle until now with conflicting claims over shale will sometimes be receptive to a simplistic 'They would say that wouldn't they' school who will dismiss the University of Texas study simply because it comes from Texas. Having a study from Europe based on what is happening in Europe will be a positive step forward to engaging with the European middle. The hardcore antis will dismiss it for the similar reasons, convincing themselves that Poland is in the grip of shale money fever, but Poland has a very positive (and IMHO well deserved) image among most people in Europe.  This report when it comes out will be a valuable addition to the debate:

 The process of extracting shale gas does not lead to contamination of the water table or release excessive levels of polluting gas into the atmosphere, indicates a study conducted for Poland's Ministry of Environment by experts from the Polish Geological Institute (PIG).

The analysis, which bases its findings on a study of hydraulic fracturing performed on a borehole near the Polish village of Łebień, is the first comprehensive report conducted on behalf of the Polish government into the environmental effects of shale-gas extraction.

Although the report is confidential, newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna managed to get hold of some of its findings.

The study says that the use of the controversial hydraulic fracturing method of shale-gas extraction, which is banned in some countries including France, does not lead to the contamination of ground waters, or seismic shocks or an excessive emission of gas into the atmosphere.

These findings stand in opposition to other reports which suggest that hydraulic fracturing is harmful for the environment.

I'm trying to learn when the report is actually coming out and if there will be an English language version. The fact that it will  cover methane emissions and seismic shocks could make it even more significant.

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  • Simon C Striebig

    I've spent two holidays in Austin Texas , the home of UT , taking in the live music and the atmosphere .<br /><br />The town is liberal to the point of being hippified and if I ever make any money out of shale investing I will try and spend as much time over there as I can .<br /><br />Even the average Texan is more sophisticated than most educated Britons and Austin attracts the exceptional .<br /><br />It upsets me that I can't find much positive to say about Briton and a large proportion of our population here but it's like living in a museum .

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  • I've always heard great things about Austin, sounds kind of like a Texan California. Texas is strange: the people, from all over the world and from Texas are great. But let's face it, to a European Houston makes LA look like Florence in comparison....

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