Environmental campaigners in Preston have reacted angrily to the suggestion from the government that fracking applications should be fast-tracked.Advertisement
Energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd has drawn criticism after writing in The Sunday Times about the issue.
She writes: “Britain is currently on course to be importing about 75 per cent of its oil and gas resources by 2030 – we need more home-grown energy supplies and shale gas must play a part in that. The choice is not gas or no gas. The choice is how much we rely on gas from abroad or whether we extract more in the UK.”
Communities Minister Greg Clark is due to write to local authorities setting out new guidance for how planning officers should consider onshore oila nd gas related to planning applications.
Dot Kelk, a volunteer with the Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth group, said the government appeared to be ignoring the wishes of local people.
She said: “If Amber Rudd really wants to help the North West of England she should not be seeking to promote shale gas by over-ruling local democracy, but should be closely examining the economic benefits, already in place, of renewable energy to the local community.
“Furthermore, the Government appears to be unconcerned by the contribution that burning additional fossil fuels will make to increased levels of Co2 and global warming. But then, two years ago, the Chancellor George Osborne was saying, he wanted to make Britain the “leader of the shale gas revolution”, adding that “(the) new tax regime, which I want to make the most generous for shale in the world, will contribute to that.”
“Perhaps given the Government’s record so far we should not be surprised by Amber Rudd’s words.”
Two applications to frack near Preston were rejected by Lancashire County Council.
Cuadrilla, the firm behind the plans, has announced it will appeal the decision by the county council’s development control committee.
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