THE GOVERNMENT has overturned local council objections to a fracking scheme in Lancashire, providing Britain’s shale gas industry with a big win, and signalling the government’s clear support for fracking.
Communities minister Sajid Javid’s decision provoked a furious response from opponents of the scheme who accused the government of ignoring local democracy.
Cuadrilla Resources will be allowed to drill four horizontal wells at its Preston New Road site near Blackpool, following Javid’s decision to accept Cuadrilla’s appeal.
Javid said: “Shale gas has the potential to power economic growth, support 64,000 jobs, and provide a new domestic energy source, making us less reliant on imports. We will take the big decisions that matter to the future of our country as we build an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.”
But Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, said Britain should be leaving fossil fuels in the ground, particularly if we are to meet the terms of the Paris Accord. Last month prime minister Theresa May said the UK would ratify the Paris climate change accords this year.
Javid deferred a decision on a second fracking site at Roseacre Wood in order to give Cuadrilla more time to provide evidence on road traffic issues and to allow other parties to make further representations.
In the wake of Javid’s decision, many are questioning May’s promise on Wednesday for the state to be a “force for good” to help working people.
In her speech in Birmingham, May said her vision was of a country “where everyone plays by the same rules and where every single person, regardless of their background or that of their parents, is given the chance to be all they want to be”.
An overwhelming majority of local people in Lancashire opposed the fracking scheme.