The Lib Dems became the second party in two days to publish a manifesto with an anti-fracking pledge.
The party launched its manifesto this morning with a commitment to:
“Oppose fracking because of its adverse impact on climate change, the energy mix, and the local environment”
It also promised to double green electricity generation to 60% by 2030.
Yesterday, DrillOrDrop reported on Labour’s commitment to ban fracking. The Green Party has already said it will replace fracking with renewable energy technologies.
Frack Free United, a group which aims to put fracking on the election agenda, said:
“Today marks a huge day in the fracking campaign. We have confirmed that the three main opposition parties have pledged to ban fracking. Labour, Lib Dems and Greens are all on board with our campaign. Well done all involved.
“Don’t underestimate this moment. The industry is reliant on government support and investors. Whatever the result in the UK on June 8th, it means the industry has a limited life span. Investors take note. Governments come and go and this moment is key. Fracking will be banned at some point. These parties will be in power eventually. Use your vote wisely in your area.”
But the industry group, UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said it was disappointed that the Lib Dems had reversed its position on fracking, which it had supported during the coalition government. The organisation’s chief executive, Ken Cronin, said:
“A ban on ‘fracking’ seriously inhibits the industry’s ability to access the gas resource beneath our feet. Policy makers should remember that as well as producing nearly half of the UK’s electricity and being a feedstock for industry, gas is used by 84% of our homes for heating. Within the next two decades 75% of that gas is forecast to be supplied from outside the UK with serious economic and environmental [consequences].”
Yesterday, we looked at Labour’s candidates competing for seats in key fracking areas. Today we report on their Lib Dem rivals.
Di Keal, Thirsk and Malton
Di Keal campaigned against Third Energy’s successful planning application to frack its well at Kirby Misperton in the constituency.
She faces the Conservative, Kevin Hollinrake, for a second time. In 2015, he held the seat with more than 52% of the vote. Ms Keal came fourth in a field of seven candidates, taking 4,703 votes.
She is a member of Malton Town Council and Ryedale District Council, both of which voted against Third Energy’s plans.
Last year, she told the Yorkshire Post:
“Groups like Frack Free Ryedale have been going out and giving talks and letting people know what the true picture is. It’s been huge; I think the powers that be have been taken aback by the strength of feeling.
“It is not the usual people you would associate with protest – there are farmers, businessmen big landowners, people right across the board.
“It’s a broad church of protest and I think that is why we have been successful.”
David Lomax, North East Derbyshire
David Lomax, the former head of a special needs school, is standing against Labour’s Natascha Engel in North East Derbyshire.
Fracking is a major issue in the constituency, where INEOS is applying for planning permission for a vertical shale gas well.
Mr Lomax said:
“I am appalled that anyone would want to consider fracking as a solution. The world needs to move away from fossil fuels and, even in a completely regulated environment, Fracking offers no sustainable solution. Even INEOS acknowledge that the output will have negligible, if any, impact on energy consumption.
“It is a literal and figurative scar on our environment and has no place in the 21st century.”
A former county councillor, he intervened in a dispute between Derbyshire and local residents about the removal of anti-fracking signs.
“By simply removing all protest signs, it gives the impression that the county is Pro-Fracking. I am asking for a bit of common sense at a time of great worry for residents.”
At the last election, the Lib Dems came fourth in the constituency with 4.2% of the vote. Labour had a majority of 1,883 over the Conservatives.
Leon Duveen, Bassetlaw
In Bassetlaw, where IGas is negotiating over final permissions to drill three shale gas wells across two sites, the Lib Dems have chosen health consultant, Leon Duveen.
Earlier this month, he repeated his “total opposition to allowing any fracking her n the North Midlands or anywhere else”.
“From when I helped set up “Bassetlaw Against Fracking” back in early 2014 until now I have been firmly opposed to allowing Fracking in our community.
“My opposition is not simply on environmental grounds, strong and compelling though they are, it is that we simply do not need to extract oil or gas from shale rock to meet our energy needs.”
Freddie Van Mierlo, Fylde
On 6 October 2016, when Cuadrilla received planning permission for its shale gas site at Preston New Road, Freddie van Mierlo tweeted:
“It is clear that if you don’t want fracking in Fylde, don’t vote Tory. Lib Dems are anti-fracking, pro-local party.”
A public affairs consultant, he is standing for a second time in his home constituency. Last time he came fifth in a field of seven, with 3.2% of the vote behind Independent, Mike Hill, the engineer and campaigner on fracking regulation, who took 11.9%.
Links to DrillOrDrop posts on the other party manifestos and candidates.