The rush to restart Fracking

The head of a government watchdog is warning. The return of fracking will not ease the UK’s energy crisis and could cause serious  environmental damage,  Lord Deben, chair of the independent Climate Change Committee urged Liz Truss to “look at the facts” – just days before she is expected to give the go-ahead to drilling for shale gas in England.

CAMPAIGNERS slammed as “alarming” plans by new Prime Minister Liz Truss to break a Tory Party manifesto commitment and lift the nationwide ban on fracking. Councillors across Gloucestershire said the controversial practice, which can cause earthquakes, is “not welcome” in the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean. Amid fears about spiralling energy bills, Ms Truss announced earlier this month that she would “end [England’s] moratorium on extracting our huge reserves of shale,” with the first drilling licences expected this week.

County councillor Paul Hodgkinson the Lib Dem representative for Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach said that the remarks from Boris Johnson’s successor are a “concern.”  He said: “I’m quite alarmed to see the new PM talking about and promoting fracking now.“ If the government decides to railroad this through, what will we be left with? “Will it be a free-for-all for companies to just apply for licences? The risks of fracking have not gone away — we should be promoting renewable energy even more so.”

As the war in Ukraine and Putin’s supply cuts to have triggered alarming price rises in Europe, calls for the UK to ramp up its domestic supplies to avoid importing expensive foreign gas have grown. Liz Truss has responded by pledging to lift the ban on fracking that was slapped down in 2019 to boost Britain’s homegrown energy as bills soar. She claims this could get the gas flowing “within six months”.

But the Prime Minister has reportedly been warned over the practice, which was banned by the Conservatives in 2019 following a report by the Oil and Gas Authority that it is not possible to accurately predict the probability of tremors associated with fracking, as little progress has been made in this regard.