Companies covered by the UK’s apparent moratorium of fracking operations haven’t exactly sent all their staff home for the rest of the year and put a pallet board over the holes they made, as any site works they can declare merely “exploratory” may continue apace – a loophole some MPs are now asking to have closed.
In response to a question from MPs, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng pointed out that the UK’s specific definition of fracking is what’s being used here, and that piece of legislation only covers the injection of water. Any exploratory work, drilling, or controversial use of acids may continue, leading opposition MPs – and the fracking haters across all parties – to call for the government’s soft fracking suspension to be firmed up and made legally final, lest Cuadrilla start pumping thousands of gallons of tea into Lancashire rock.
Joe Corré from campaigner Talk Fracking said: “The fracking moratorium is and has always been an electioneering lie. The moratorium does not even consider the other associated fracking techniques like acidisation where they pump huge volumes of hydrochloric acid into the ground to dissolve the limestone and release the gas or oil.”