DCSIMG

Campaigners in fracking warning

Campaign: Members of RAFF protesting at Cuadrillas Annas Road rig as part of a day of action against climate change

Campaign: Members of RAFF protesting at Cuadrillas Annas Road rig as part of a day of action against climate change

The future of fracking in Lancashire could be decided today as Chancellor George Osborne announces his ‘gas strategy’.

As part of his Autumn Statement, Mr Osborne is expected to encourage investment in gas through possible tax breaks and a new regulatory body for fracking.

Campaigners and environmentalists have warned they are braced for D-Day and have warned caution.

Drilling was suspended 18 months ago after two earthquakes on the Fylde coast.

Tina Rothery, a spokesman for campaign group Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF), said: “It is a really tense time for us at the moment, but more than anything, it’s really disappointing.

“We have been striving so hard to get some honest truth that this is a real blow.

“It means that we have to step everything up again. Fighting this is a real challenge and unfortunately now we will have to change tactics.”

Cuadrilla currently has exploratory sites in Singleton, Weeton and Westby, as well as a licence for a site near Kirkham.

Fracking is a process which sees gallons of water and a chemical fire into shale rock under the countryside to release trapped gas.

George Osborne is expected to announce the creation of a new Office for Shale Gas as well as approving the construction of up to 30 gas-fired power stations.

Supporters of the scheme say gas is the route to cheap energy bills for consumers, but environmentalists say they would rather see efforts directed at wind and solar power.

It comes after the boss of the Caudrilla Resources warned it will walk away if its plans are not backed by the Government.

Chief executive Francis Egan said the company would have “little alternative” than to quit the United Kingdom if it is not allowed to resume its work shortly.

Anti-fracking campaigners staged protests up and down the country including at Cuadrilla’s site at Anna’s Road, near Lytham on Sunday.

 

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