It was also announced that the industry will further consult on how it plans to reward local communities. Last year, it was suggested that local communities would receive £100,000 when a test well is explored plus 1 per cent of revenues if shale gas is discovered. Options on how to use these funds are said to include direct cash payments to people living near the site, plus the setting up of local funds directly managed by local communities. The announcements sparked tension at a shale gas site in Barton Moss, near Salford, Manchester, where protesters confronted lorries entering the plant, then handcuffed themselves to the vehicles. The scene was reminiscent of a long series of protests that took place in the village of Balcombe (West Sussex) last summer, which became a national focal point for the campaign against fracking. Environmental groups have already come out condemning the announcements as nothing short of an attempt at bribery. These responses are not particularly surprising in light of research evidence on the nature of opposition to the siting of infrastructure facilities. First, a message that emerges fairly consistently from that literature is that financial compensation alone is not enough to overcome opposition. This […]

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