Anti-fracking campaigners in England have been responding this afternoon to the announcement that the Scottish Government is extending indefinitely the moratorium on unconventional oil and gas. We’ll update this post as more comment comes in.
Steve Mason, Ryedale resident and founder member of Frack Free United
“England and the Tory government are becoming increasing isolated in their support for the hydraulic fracturing industry. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and numerous European nations have listened to the experts warning of the dangers of fracking and the voices of the many thousands of people who do not want to see this industry take hold.”
Frack Free South Yorkshire
“The people of Scotland have spoken and Scottish Parliament has listened. A victory for democracy. I guess there must be something wrong with fracking!
“Opposition to fracking is equally intense in England, as evidenced by UK government’s quarterly Wave Tracker survey on energy. The sensible course of action now is for UK government to put a hold on all exploration and appraisal shale gas wells – and, therefore, unnecessary seismic surveying.”
Di Keal, member of Ryeale District Council and Frack Free United
“It is becoming clear that to stop this hugely damaging industry in its tracks we have to change the minds of those in power – which is what Frack Free United is all about. More and more people are waking up to the health risks of the fracking process and the potential damage to our economy it will bring.
“In rural North Yorkshire, currently at the forefront of the campaign against fracking, our agricultural and tourism industries face devastation if this industry takes hold and the countryside is littered with drilling rigs.
“The Tory government really needs to listen to public opposition to this industry, realise that communities are rallying against them and saying loud and clear that it is just unacceptable to frack our countryside.”
“It is time Theresa May also started to listen – the Tories are now the only political party who support fracking. If they are truly a party for all – as they keep telling us they are – they need to halt this misguided dash for gas and invest in growing the renewables industry.”
Rose Dickinson, campaigner, Friends of the Earth
“Today the Scottish Government have made the right decision for the climate, the environment, for people in Scotland and around the world.
“With all our nearest neighbours having banned or halted fracking, our Government is increasingly out on a limb in pursuing it in England.
“Will Secretary of State Greg Clark now listen to the overwhelming evidence of the risks and refuse the final consent for fracking in Lancashire and Ryedale?”
Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrats Energy and Climate Spokesperson
“This is a welcome move from the Scottish government. Fracking is economically questionable, deeply unpopular in local communities up and down the country, not to mention a disaster for our environment.
“Yet again, Theresa May is finding herself on the wrong side of the argument. Fracking is simply a fig leaf for her government’s failures on decarbonising heating.
“May should follow the Scottish government’s lead and bring a ban on fracking below the border into effect immediately.”
Frack Free Lancashire
“We’re delighted that the long-awaited news following the Scottish consultation on fracking is leaning towards a full ban on this unnecessary and unwanted industry.
“The UK government faces yet another country recognising the inherently risky business of fracking and taking steps to protect their people. We hope that the UK government now performs a volte-face on their energy policy, instead of their current regressive view on fossil fuels.”
“We are pleased to see the Scottish Government respecting the precautionary principle, which means that threats to health or the environment are taken into account, even in the absence of full scientific certainty. It is a vital part of our armoury in the fight to protect nature, and crucial that it remains at the centre of environmental decision making. The precautionary principle is one of the key foundations of environmental law and is embedded in EU treaties and the UN Rio Declaration. The RSPB is very concerned however that, at present, this fundamental principle is not “carried over” into domestic law by the Withdrawal Bill, which needs to be urgently addressed.
“With moratoriums in place in Wales and Northern Ireland, England is the only UK country where this industry can now progress. The RSPB in England is continuing to call for regulations to be improved to safeguard both wildlife and the climate. Nonetheless, wells are already being drilled under an insufficient regulatory regime. As an energy strategy, there are much cleaner, renewable energy alternatives to fracking that can deliver meaningful emissions cuts, and we know from our ‘RSPB’s 2050 Energy Vision’ that through careful spatial planning a high renewable energy future can be achieved at low risk to wildlife.
“We hope the UK government will take note of this decision by the Scottish Government, and reassess its strategy to move towards a low carbon future, in harmony with nature.”