Let’s not get carried away that fracking has been ‘banned’! We’re a long way from that just yet. As we’re all too aware, the Conservative Party would only see fit to halt fracking ventures just as much as they would announce new nurses/police/money for schools in the build up to an election. We wait with baited breath for the outcome of the general election and for what lies ahead for this campaign.


Here is our letter in full:


Dear Editor,


Further to the letter from David Larder published on 5/11/19, we would like to inform your readers of other aspects of the decision to halt fracking for shale gas in England which may not have been clear from general media reports. Some people may have deduced that fracking has been banned, but like Mr Larder, we believe that this is fake news.

The context of the Government’s recent announcement is the occurrence of significant earthquakes at a Lancashire site where fracking was suspended. However, it is clear from its statement that:

i) only a temporary moratorium is envisaged until there is “compelling new scientific evidence” that the problem of seismic activity can be overcome;

ii) it is based on a misleadingly narrow definition of what constitutes hydraulic fracking, and excludes well stimulation by other unconventional methods;

iii) the fracking companies still intend to carry out exploratory drilling, eg. it appears that the moratorium will not preclude INEOS, which has interests in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, to explore with a view to extracting ethane for the manufacture of plastics.

It is surely no coincidence that this decision has been taken just before a general election given that there are marginal seats in all northern and midland areas subject to fracking proposals. So we would like to urge your readers to check with party manifestos, candidates and canvassers on this topic before voting. Please ask whether each party supports our goal of a permanent ban on all new shale gas development.

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