Shale gas from the U.S. arrived on the shores of the U.K. for the first time Tuesday, sparking a wider debate about the impacts of the industry on the environment and the global economy.
Amid much fanfare, a Scottish bagpiper greeted a ship called the Ineos Insight on the banks of Grangemouth in east Scotland. Its cargo was 27,500 cubic meters of ethane from U.S. shale fields. However, disgruntled campaigners used the boat's arrival to dismiss the benefits of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
Scotland currently has a ban on the technology, which unlocks underground oil and shale gas resources using high-pressure steam and chemicals, while in England it's still at the exploratory stage with the ruling Conservative backing the industry and extolling its virtues.