The Infrastructure Bill is a new piece of legislation that is currently going through Parliament. The bill has huge consequences for fracking. These are:
- Removing the permission rights for landowners to object to drilling underneath their land
- Allowing any substance (toxic or radioactive) to be left underneath the land
- Maximising economic gain from the extraction of fossil fuels
The Queens Speech in June stated the government’s plans:
“My government will introduce a Bill to bolster investment in infrastructure and reform planning law to improve economic competitiveness. The Bill will enhance the United Kingdom’s energy independence and security by opening up access to shale and geothermal sites and maximising North Sea resources.”
Back in July/August, the government launched a consultation asking for thoughts about it’s idea to remove permission rights for landowners for drilling underneath their land. 99% opposed this, but the government didn’t think that the views were strong enough to not go ahead with this. The Times reported that Cuadrilla has threatened to pull out of Britain unless the law is changed to allow it to drill under people’s homes without permission. So thus, this law has now been added into the Infrastructure Bill.
The Infrastructure Bill sneaked it’s way through the House of Commons late in 2014 and has now passed to the House of Commons where a number of MPs have spoken out against it, such as Bassetlaw MP John Mann. It is now currently at committee stage where 16 MPs across the country go through the bill line by line. The newly elected Conservative MP for Newark, Robert Jenrick, is one of these 16 MPs.
And now two MPs have proposed amendments to this bill which will remove fracking from it:
Please write to your MP and ask them to support these amendments. Friends of the Earth have produced an excellent report on the Infrastructure Bill that you should also send to your MPs. The deadline for this is the 15th January.
Frack Free Notts will be in Newark outside Robert Jenrick’s office on Sunday 4th January at 10.45am lobbying him to listen to Nottinghamshire residents and do the right thing and remove fracking from this bill.