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Britain Confronts Gas Mother Lode With Fracking by Browne

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An icy rain is pelting about 30 protesters who’ve converged at the gate of a natural gas drilling site near Manchester, England. On the other side of a fence topped with razor wire, a 10-story-high rig is boring into shale to determine if it’s suitable for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The demonstrators unfurl a banner: “Fracking will poison our children.”

As a phalanx of police officers pushes the protesters back, a convoy of supply trucks inches out of the gate and past an encampment of tents and trailers sporting placards decrying the drilling practice, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its May issue. “Fracking will not lower gas prices, Lord Browne,” one reads on this January morning.