Fracking: anti-frackers slam PM over “dangerous” decision to overturn ban

Anti-fracking campaigners in Lancashire have slammed the Prime Minister's decision to overturn a ban for it's "shocking lack of detail".
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They claim there is no community support for fracking, that no new scientific data has been offered, and timeframes suggested are unrealistic.

The move was made in Liz Truss' Energy Package today (Thursday, September 8) as the Government pushes for an increase in domestic energy production in the face of soaring bills.

>>>Click here for more on what the package means

The former Preston New Road fracking site in Little Plumpton. Pictured is Tina Rothery.The former Preston New Road fracking site in Little Plumpton. Pictured is Tina Rothery.
The former Preston New Road fracking site in Little Plumpton. Pictured is Tina Rothery.

What's the history?

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A moratorium to ban fracking was imposed in 2019 after tremors caused by fracking in Blackpool.

And at the start of this year, energy company Cuadrilla announced that the country’s only two shale wells in Preston New Road were to be abandoned.

But now Liz Truss has overturned the ban with immediate effect, paving the way for developers to begin extraction in as little as six months in areas “where there is local support”.

Frack Free Lancashire campaignersFrack Free Lancashire campaigners
Frack Free Lancashire campaigners

>>>Cuadrilla “look forward to getting started”: read more here

“Dangerous and regressive"

Frack Free Lancashire said: "We’re in the midst of a climate crisis. There can be no mitigation of this fact, and to allow fracking to restart is both dangerous and regressive.

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“The shocking lack of details in this decision will need to be considered within a legal context.

Protesters Tracey Booker (left) and Pauline Jones with dog Lizzie at the fracking site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, near Blackpool. 
Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA WireProtesters Tracey Booker (left) and Pauline Jones with dog Lizzie at the fracking site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, near Blackpool. 
Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Protesters Tracey Booker (left) and Pauline Jones with dog Lizzie at the fracking site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, near Blackpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

"There has been a desktop review done by the British Geological Survey, in respect of the safety aspect of fracking and the unmitigable earthquakes that Cuadrilla previously caused.

"Where is this report? What fresh science is there to support this reckless reneging on the moratorium?

“Communities do not support fracking”

The group continued: “Communities do not support fracking.

"We have been here before. This is not a new experience for residents in Lancashire and beyond. We’ve dealt with this nightmare for over 10 years now.

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“Communities want renewable energy sources. 100 constituencies of Conservative voters surveyed in a poll this week, support wind and solar farms for energy production. Seventy six per cent of people surveyed supported offshore wind, 81 per cent supported solar and 74 per cent of people were in favour of onshore wind.

"Fracking had just 34 per cent support of Conservative voters, who preferred onshore wind to fracking by a majority of two to one.

“As we’ve previously stated, after 10-plus years of fracking attempts in Lancashire, there has been absolutely no progress other than communities being torn apart, mass uncontrollable methane emissions, structural damage from earthquakes and most notable of all: zero commercial gas produced.

“We stand strongly opposed to fracking anywhere and will fiercely challenge any attempt to restart this dirty technology.”

Timeframe

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Tina Rothery, an anti-fracking 'Lancashire Nana' who has previously been arrested for protesting at the fracking site in Preston New Road, tweeted:

"She did it – @TrussLiz lifted moratorium on fracking & promises it 'will flow in less than 6 months'!

"It won't flow of course in that time. She hasn't explained how this is permitted considering @conservatives manifesto pledge! Has OT said how fracking has been somehow made safe?”

Friends of the Earth campaigner Danny Gross said: "Anyone who thinks that bringing back fracking will solve the energy crisis is living in cloud cuckoo land. Fracking is a failed industry that’s unpopular and unfeasible.

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“In the decade before it was banned, the industry only managed to frack two sites, and both were aborted due to earthquakes.

“Fracking is a false solution to the cost-of-living crisis The most effective way to bring down our bills and boost energy security for good is to invest in cheap, clean renewables and a nationwide home insulation and energy efficiency programme.

“By breaking its manifesto promise on fracking, the government is showing that it’s completely out of touch with communities across the country. They have already defeated fracking once and they’re ready to do so again.”