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Fracking Opponents Find Lawyers Beat Superglue in Slowing Shale

Campaigners desperate to prevent the birth of a U.K. shale-gas industry have glued themselves to walls, barricaded country lanes and climbed drill rigs. Yet their most potent weapon is more prosaic: lawyers.

Anti-shale groups including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are using environmental and property law to challenge drilling at every turn, and it’s working. Production is now likely to start in 2018, two years later than envisaged, partly because getting permission to explore has been so slow, said John Williams, senior principal at energy consultants Poyry Plc.