The risk of contaminating water supplies just makes the whole concept of fracking seem absolutely fucking mental to me.
With the amount of energy produced by the Gulf Stream the UK should be investing in clean technology.
That's the point really. We don't need fracking - we're being force-fed it on the back of a huge propaganda campaign because the Tories love Big Energy and are ideologically-aligned with corporate entities like Cuadrilla who are happy to rape the planet for short-term financial gain.
I wrote a piece about the state of fracking in the US - certainly over there the companies involved actively withhold as much information as possible about the chemicals they use, so that scientists monitoring changes in the water table cannot say with certainty where the chemicals are coming from. Horrific animal deformities are commonplace. I have no reason to think it will be any different in the UK - the government may have the power to demand full disclosure, but it won't, because it doesn't want to know. It'll do what it always does and lie and dissemble its way through the various resultant eco/PR disasters until people get bored of protesting and grudgingly integrate fracking into the growing collective framework of "Depressing Things We Have To Tolerate As Long As Money Is King".
More generally, let's remember that the people who run Big Energy are not in it as magnanimous, conscientious humanitarians who spent their formative years desperately concerned about the prevention of blackouts and resolved to go into the energy business lest the species die out through not being able to keep the lights on; if the oil/gas money suddenly dried up they'd all be investment bankers.
If you believe in global warming/climate change, and understand that 95% of the world's scientists agree that going above 2degreesC warming will be really very catastrophic, then fracking is at best useless, and at worst contributing to a major fucking disaster. And that's without taking into consideration the earthquakes and water contamination.
Total existing oil, gas & coal reserves, that have already been accessed or extracted, (that's the carbon fuels we already have access to for burning, without looking for any more by fracking or other exploratory drilling) already far exceed the amount that we are able to burn before taking us over that 2degreesC temperature rise limit.
[In order to remain with 2degreesC global warming...]"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's carbon-budget model, widely considered the most reliable, puts the budget for 2012-2100 at between 886 and 1119 gigatons of CO2. Total known fossil fuel reserves in the world, if burned, would add 2860 gigatons of CO2 to the atmosphere. Thus, simple math indicates that almost two-thirds of all known fossil fuel reserves must remain unburned if global temperatures are to remain habitable"
Therefore all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction projects are entirely pointless.