Thank you to everyone that has emailed me regarding fracking and the earthquakes it can cause. I agree that this is a very significant issue, and one which I am happy to set out my thoughts and feelings on.
As you will know, the Government says it has no plans to review its “traffic light” system rules for earthquakes caused by fracking. However, it has also said it is within the remit of the Oil and Gas Authority to review the science on this issue and that it should be a technical decision. I therefore appreciate your concerns that the Government could back away from previous statements on this issue.
I also agree that fracking can have a damaging effect on local communities in both the long term and the short term. Despite this, the Government has consistently tried to push fracking on communities, for example, when they overturned the decision of Lancashire County Council to reject fracking company Cuadrilla’s application to drill in Lancashire. As you may recall, it also withheld the publication of a report which found that fracking increases air pollution until after it had approved Cuadrilla’s permit.
In 2017 I stood on a manifesto which promised to ban fracking, and this is still a belief that my labour colleagues and I hold very strongly. We will continue to press the Government on this issue at every opportunity and oppose any attempts to water down the rules on earthquakes in our fracking regime. Fracking is bad for local democracy, bad for the environment and bad for our climate.
Thank you once again to everyone who has contacted me regarding this issue.