• fracking

    Fracking is bad for local democracy, bad for the environment and bad for our climate. We should ban it.

    On local democracy,  The permitted development system and the nationally significant infrastructure project process are not appropriate for dealing with the complexities of fracking. Both processes ignore the voice of local people. Fracking has already begun in Lancashire through the Government’s overriding of both Lancashire County Council’s rejection of the fracking site and the opposition of local people. We should not be making changes that will further undermine local decision-making.

    On climate change, the leading international body of climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recently published a report setting out the huge task we face to avoid dangerous climate change. I believe fracking flies in the face of the evidence set out in this report. Shale gas is only a low-carbon option if it replaces coal. However, we are already replacing coal in our energy mix. Shale gas coming online now would displace genuinely low-carbon energy, not coal.

    Finally, on local environmental quality, a Government report from 2015 concluded that fracking increases air pollution, with substantially higher local impacts where activities are clustered. Researchers have also expressed concern about the large quantities of waste water generated by fracking. There are also legitimate concerns about earth tremors. Indeed, Cuadrilla has already had to pause fracking in Lancashire several times following seismic activity in the area.

    Fracking is unpopular with local communities. It will lock the UK into high-carbon energy infrastructure, increase local air pollution, create large volumes of waste water and do little for the UK’s energy security. The Government should not be promoting it at any cost. Instead, we should join France, Germany and other countries in banning it.