Government in regular contact with Lancashire County Council over Cuadrilla fracking applications
The government had regular contact over a period of five months with Lancashire County Council about Cuadrilla’s applications to frack in the Fylde, according to a parliamentary answer published this week.
Why We Should Keep Lancashire Frack Free
At the end of January Lancashire County Council will decide whether Cuadrilla can resume its controversial fracking operations for shale gas. Fracking was suspended across the UK back in 2011 after the company’s attempts to frack in Lancashire triggered several earthquakes.
A lot has changed in the four years since the attempts to frack Lancashire. The UK Government has gone “all out for shale”, with the Department for Energy and Climate Change making up to 60% of the UK potentially available for fracking. And George Osborne has shown that he is determined to see fracking happen under UK soil. He has set about creating a tax regime he’s described as “the most generous in the world” and is planning to offer local communities financial incentives to ’embrace’ fracking.
While the Government’s gone into fracking hype overdrive Friends of the Earth has found that much has also changed on the ground in areas threatened by fracking. In Lancashire the local community has rallied against the fracking proposals. Residents have formed groups like Frack Free Lancashire and Residents Action on Fylde Fracking. And we have worked with them to inform residents about the dangers fracking would bring to their community.
These groups have sprung up because they recognise that fracking is a risky technique that threatens water supplies and all that people love about their local environment. Fracking also produces climate-wrecking dirty fossil fuels when experts are telling us that we need to shift to clean energy. Despite the Government’s best attempts to convince people otherwise, fracking won’t help lower our energy bills or create nearly as many long term jobs as renewables.
Lancashire Council now has an opportunity to say ‘no’ to the dinosaur age of fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy, which offers genuine solutions to the UK’s energy crisis. The Council can turn its back on controversial fracking and kickstart a renewable energy revolution in Lancashire that would create sustainable jobs and tackle climate change – without the need to trespass beneath residents’ homes and businesses.
If the Council finds itself dazzled by Cuadrilla’s heavy lobbying efforts and the short term financial incentives being touted by the Government and grants permission, it risks causing long-lasting environmental, economic and social damage. Last month New York State imposed a ban on fracking – Lancashire should do similar.
Earlier this week Friends of the Earth released a new film giving an insight into what ordinary people in Lancashire really think about fracking. The film demonstrates the utter contempt that local residents and businesses hold for the idea of fracking in Lancashire.
These people are on the frontline and these planning decisions represent a significant moment in the battle to stop fracking across the UK. If the Council refuses the application it will raise serious doubts on whether any community in the UK would have to accept an extreme form of fossil fuel extraction on their doorsteps and under their property.
You can help to protect these despairing residents and stand up to the might of the fossil fuel industry and government by signing this petition. By standing beside these normal people whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by the fracking proposals you will be saying no to fracking and protecting Lancashire communities both present and future.
Last Thursday’s RAG meeting at Elswick was well received and well attended. Highlights were filmed by the BBC and Blackpool Gazette report is available here.
Roseacre Awareness Group are holding a Public Meeting at Elswick Village Hall between 7:00 and 9:00pm prior to determination by Lancashire County Council of Cuadrilla’s planning application for ‘Exploratory’ Shale Gas drilling and fracking.
Our main concerns are
- Traffic and Road Safety
- Noise and Light
- Air and Water Pollution
- Impact on Property Prices
- Impact on People’s Health and our Wildlife
Environment Agency investing pension fund in industries it regulates is ‘clear conflict of interest’
The fund is investing in two companies financially intertwined with fracking giant Cuadrilla, the company that has been the subject of fierce protests in Lancashire and West Sussex. The first is Centrica, which is investing £60m in Cuadrilla’s Lancashire operations and the second is Riverstone Energy, which owns 44 per cent of Cuadrilla.
COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL, AND MEDIA FINDINGS DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING (UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION)
December 11, 2014
“I am not going to put the health at risk for jobs”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo today defended the state’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing, saying the state can’t jeopardize the public’s health for the jobs the drilling could create.
He called the presentation at a cabinet meeting Wednesday by acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker “powerful” as Zucker laid out the case against fracking and warned that he wouldn’t let his kids near fracking wells.
“When the public health commissioner says, ‘I wouldn’t let my family live in an area that is doing high-volume fracking,’ that is very sobering, and frankly, that is enough for me,” Cuomo told reporters today. “Because if the state health commissioner doesn’t want his kids living there, I don’t want my kids living there, and I don’t want any New Yorkers’ kids living there. “So that really took my breath away that comment, and I thought it was very powerful,”
He added that, “I am not going to put the health at risk for jobs. I’m not going to make that choice. I believe we can have jobs, and they can be in healthy communities, and we don’t have to run the risk of hurting our children or creating health hazards to create jobs. That’s a false choice.”
“I don’t want to choose between jobs and health, nobody wants to make that choice.”
Speaking at the regular meeting of the Liaison Committee, Prime Minister David Cameron said that the government was not offering subsidies to shale operations, but merely providing tax-based incentives to encourage the industry to develop.
Mr Cameron has previously stated that the coalition would go “all out” for shale gas as reserves are estimated to potentially supply the UK for thirty years.
He advocated carbon cuts but only in the cheapest ways possible, as to not pass heavy increases in energy onto consumers and views shale gas as a key element of diversifying the UK energy sector.