Fracking and Gas Imports

Can't we just carry on importing gas rather than extracting shale gas?

A:

We could, but that puts us at the mercy of those countries from whom we buy our gas. Since 2004, Britain has been a net importer of gas as North Sea supplies have begun to diminish. In 2016, around 60% of the gas we used was imported, with a fifth of that coming in ships as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar. If diplomatic ties between the UK and the countries it buys gas from should end, or if a pipe carrying gas ruptures or a cargo of LNG is diverted, we may find ourselves with substantially less gas than we need. Producing our own gas, from shale, means we're less vulnerable to sudden shortages no matter what the cause. Not only that, but domestically produced gas will raise new taxes for government to spend on public services - imported gas contributes nothing to the public purse.