The Government has faced fresh criticism over its moves to fast-track fracking. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has said the Government could take over decisions on fracking planning bids if councils take too long. Today Blackpool South’s Labour MP Gordon Marsden accused the Government of abuse of process over the move.
The first appeal by Cuadrilla against refusal of planning permission for shale gas exploration in the Fylde area of Lancashire is now underway.
The Planning Inspectorate has validated the company’s appeal over the application for a seismic and groundwater monitoring array around the proposed fracking site at Preston New Road.
The Secretaries of State for Energy and Climate Change and for Communities and Local Government wish to set out the Government’s view that there is a national need to explore and develop our shale gas and oil resources in a safe, sustainable and timely way, and the steps it is taking to support this. This statement should be taken into account in planning decisions and plan-making.
Views sought on further amendments to permitted development rights for petroleum development and duration of groundwater monitoring boreholes.
Responding to news that the Government is attempting to fast-track fracking applications through the planning system, Friends of the Earth planning adviser Naomi Luhde-Thompson said:
“Bulldozing fracking applications through the planning system, against the wishes of local people and councils, will simply fan the flames of mistrust and opposition.
“Local authorities have been following the rules. These changes are being made because the Government doesn’t agree with the democratic decisions councils have been making.
“It’s no wonder fracking’s unpopular when even the frackers admit that it is unlikely to cut energy prices. It also threatens house prices and the environment of local communities and will cause more climate change.
“Rather than riding roughshod over local democracy to suit the interests of a dirty industry, ministers should champion real solutions to the energy challenges we face, such as boosting the UK’s huge renewable power potential and cutting energy waste.”
I beg to move, that this House has considered shale gas.
Contributions from Seema Kennedy MP (new – South Ribble), Mark Menzies MP (Fylde), Cat Smith MP(new – Lancaster & Fleetwood) and Graham Stringer MP (Blackley & Broughton).
Just a few days ago, on July 24, the Government apparently dismissed a call by the United Nations to look again at its shale-related legislation.
Latest research revelations from Stanford reinforce Energy’s conviction that the UK Government is either sleepwalking or plain doesn’t want to know
When Cuadrilla Resources opened an office in Poland in 2009, it had a reason to be optimistic: the shale boom was transforming the U.S. into the world’s largest producer of natural gas. To the companies rushing to imitate that success in Europe, Poland looked like the next Texas.
Six years later, the U.K. explorer has yet to drill its first Polish well — and that’s in the country that’s most eager to allow hydraulic fracturing in Europe. The so-called super-majors like Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell have packed up and moved on.