More and more companies have been jumping on board the fracking ship (or rig) in recent years, but in this time we have not yet seen production commence at any of the proposed sites in the UK. This is largely due to the incredible efforts of communities across the country who have been exercising their democratic right to oppose fracking at every stage of the process, from committee hearings to gate lock-ons.
After several decisive victories this year for the anti-fracking movement, the new frontline has shifted back to Preston New Road (PNR) in Lancashire, where fracking company Cuadrilla has finished drilling one of their wells and have stated that they are ready to begin production.
Hope is not yet lost. Fracking company Third Energy have recently withdrawn their equipment from another site, Kirby Misperton, following government checks into their financial stability, and Ineos – a huge player in the shale gas industry – are currently held up in a whole range of legal inquiries after being objected to almost everywhere they seem to want to frack.
The final step in the fracking process at PNR is for the operator to apply for permission from the UK Energy Minister to begin production. This means that we can still pile the pressure on Greg Clark to refuse consent when Cuadrilla applies for permission to frack, on the grounds that fracking is not a bridge fuel and neither will it contribute to our energy security. Above all, with public support for fracking at record lows, the onus is on the government to listen to the people they are supposed to represent.
A recent decision to refuse planning permission for a new opencast coal mine in Northumberland on climate change grounds shows that the right decisions can be made on behalf of people and the climate. For the last two weeks UKYCC have been in Bonn for the climate change intersessional talks (SB48), and the consensus is clear – there is a huge emissions gap between the reductions we need and what is currently pledged, and states such as the UK need to step up their ambitions immediately.
We call on Greg Clark to follow the Paris Agreement and the Government’s own environmental credentials to refuse fracking and bring this dash for gas to an end, once and for all.
Tell Greg Clark to refuse fracking here: https://act.friendsoftheearth.uk/act/put-stop-fracking
By Annie, Mark and Fran