Green Criminology and Fracking in the UK: An Application of Utilitarian Ethics

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Abstract

Fracking is a controversial hydrocarbon extraction technique with the UK public, but the passing of the Infrastructure Act 2015 has made fracking in the UK imminent. This paper attempts to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the potential social and environmental risks and benefits of fracking in order to provide a lens through which to guide public policy on the issue. The classic philosophical theory of utilitarianism is outlined and then re-applied to the assessment of the risks and benefits of fracking. This re-application comes to the conclusion that fracking should not be instigated by the UK government under the principle of utility based on the equal consideration of all people’s interests. Instead, the paper calls for the increased use of renewable forms of energy as a solution to the utilitarian outlook on the UK’s energy policy, in line with the UK publics energy generation preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)20
Number of pages37
JournalPapers from the British Criminology Conference
Volume16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

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