Reacting to the news that huge swathes of England have been opened up to fracking companies, Ms Flick Monk, Unconventional Gas Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland said:

“Many Conservative MPs must be feeling pretty uncomfortable at seeing their constituencies opened up to the exploratory fracking that has proved so unpopular across the UK.

“With the Westminster Government hell-bent on overriding popular opinion to support the fracking industry, it is surely time for a cross-party alliance between those parties who reject the dash for gas. A stronger position from Labour could see them joining the SNP and disaffected Conservative MPs to stand for the health and wellbeing of their constituents.

“Scotland currently has a moratorium on fracking and other unconventional gas techniques until the public health and environmental impacts have been adequately assessed and the Scottish people have been thoroughly consulted. The fracking industry is deeply unpopular across the rest of the UK too, highlighted by the recent decision in Lancashire that rejected a fracking proposal by Cuadrilla after local communities organised in opposition.

Ms Monk concluded
“The people of England deserve the same precautionary approach and level of consultation as in Scotland. Parties across the political spectrum in Westminster must unite and call for a moratorium across the whole of the UK to stop this dirty and polluting industry from advancing into dozens of communities across the country.”

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) – the UK’s oil and gas regulator – today announced that 27 onshore blocks from the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round will be formally offered to companies. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-onshore-oil-and-gas-blocks-to-be-…

Last week the UK Government announced new policies that will see fracking applications fast-tracked into the planning system even if local communities oppose the developments: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/fracking-planning

The Scottish Government announced a moratorium on Shale Gas and Coal Bed Methane extraction, including fracking, on 28 January 2015 pending a health impact assessment report, a public consultation, regulatory reform and planning reform: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/fracking-moratorium-scotland

Opposition for fracking remains at 43%, according to a YouGov poll: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/19/public-opposition-to-…

Lancashire County Council rejected planning permission for a shale gas fracking at two sites in at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road in June 2015 http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/lancashire-no-fracking

Fracking operations in Lancashire were suspended for two years when Cuadrilla’s operations caused earthquakes in 2011.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk