Lancashire anti-fracking campaigners anger over legal threat over current ban

Lancashire opponents of fracking have told gas industry bosses to stop wasting time and money, after a letter was sent to the Government threatening legal action over the current moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for gas.

By Tim Gavell
Saturday, 8th January 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Saturday, 8th January 2022, 7:32 am

The indefinite halt on fracking was announced by the Government in November 2019 following a series of earth tremors associated with Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site which had two wells drilled.

The government at the time said no further fracking would be allowed onshore in the UK until tremors could be better predicted.

But lawyers representing firms in the fracking industry have since issued a “letter before action” - the first formal stage in a legal challenge to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Preston New Road fracking site

BEIS has confirmed that it had received this legal letter and a spokesman today said: “We maintain our position that fracking will not be allowed to proceed in England unless compelling new scientific evidence is provided.”

Today campaigners who fought for many years against fracking in Lancashire said the use of fossil fuel gas was not compatible in the long term with efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

A spokesman for Frack Free Lancashire said: “Fracking is over in the UK. It is not safe enough to be acceptable and it has no place in the global heating mitigation policies which the government is now committed to.

“The industry can scream and stamp their feet as much as they like. Unless they have compelling new evidence which addresses the concerns around the prediction and management of induced seismicity (and they clearly have not) they are just wasting still more of their own time and money.

“Even if they did manage to have new evidence, they would still have to surmount massive public resistance with more than twice as many people opposing fracking than supporting it according to the latest government research. It is time they packed up and went home.”

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