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Lord MacGregor

A British House of Lords committee has recommended changes in the law to keep property owners from delaying drilling and fracking under their land.

The Economic Affairs Committee (EAC) said in a report released Thursday that the advantages of a potential shale boom hugely outweigh the disadvantages, the Guardian said.

Lord MacGregor, chair of the EAC, said developing a successful shale gas and oil industry should be a national priority.

The EAC said it was deeply concerned that since 2012 the Environment Agency has not received a single permit application for hydraulic fracturing.

The EAC spent months investigating concerns around water use, methane leakage and other issues but concluded that none of them creates a serious risk if operations are carefully managed, the Guardian said.

A YouGov poll revealed 74% of Britons oppose plans to allow fracking firms to drill under people’s homes without their permission, Greenpeace said.

The UK government has said it may propose changes to the trespass laws to allow shale operators to exploit gas reserves under privately owned land even if the owners object.

The EAC report recommends changing legislation to ensure “subsurface drilling for oil and gas can go ahead without undue delay or cost,” the Guardian said.

The EAC report was titled The Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil.

Ken Cronin, chief executive of the UK Onshore Operators Group, said: “The onshore oil and gas industry is ready and willing to step up to the challenge set by the Lords of developing a shale gas industry that can be of great benefit to the UK economy.”