Although the recent revelation of a huge gas field could provide over 5,000 jobs and improve the economy on a number of levels, environmentalists are raising issues involving safety. Even so, with the economy on a downward swing, the discovery of such a massive gas field is raising hopes of jobs and some amount of prosperity.

Environmentalists are none too pleased because of the ways in which the gas is to be extracted. The gas field which lies under north-west England is said to contain at least 200 trillion cubic feet which is huge and is perhaps as big as some of the fields in countries exporting energy. In fact, Cuadrilla Resources claims that there may be as many as 800 more wells which could be drilled in the vicinity.

A similar finding in the US caused energy prices to rapidly drop and the finding in north-west England could be a repeat of that event. However, environmentalists raised an alarm because of circumstances surrounding the sale gas revolution in the US.

Their cause for concern appears to be a documentary which aired in the US in 2010 that filmed tap water being burned as homeowners lit a match to it after turning on the faucet. The reason for this was extremely high levels of methane in the water.

Another cause for concern is the fact that natural gas companies do not need to disclose chemicals used in fracturing (a method of extraction) natural gasses but some are highly volatile and they have been identified as ethylbenzene, toluene, benzene and xylene. Benzene is also known to be carcinogenic.

Amidst all this controversy there is a great deal of optimism because of the financial benefits a field of this magnitude could provide. With the fears of a double dip recession on the horizon, news like this is going to be seen in a positive light. Those facing hard economic times will hold onto even the dimmest glimmer of light, even water being set afire if it means a stronger economy.

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