Government announces plans to speed up fracking decisions in England + detailed reaction

fracking KM Eddie Thornton

Fracking equipment at Third Energy’s KM8 site at Kirby Misperton. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Ministers are considering taking fracking decisions in England out of local control and allowing shale gas exploration wells to be drilled without the need for planning applications.

A written ministerial statement issued this morning said the government would consult during the summer on whether non-fracking shale gas exploration should be treated as permitted development. This would mean operators would avoid the need to go through the normal local planning system.

The statement, issued by the Energy and Local Government Secretaries, also said there would be a consultation on treating fracking applications as National Significant Infrastructure Projects. This would mean planning applications for fracking schemes would be decided by a government-appointed inspector, rather than local planning authorities.

Greg Clark speaking

Energy Secretary, Greg Clark

In another development, the ministers, Greg Clark and James Brokenshire, said the government was setting up a single shale gas environmental regulator. This would bring together the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and Oil and Gas Authority, they said.

The statement was welcomed by the shale gas industry. Opponents said it would pervert the planning process and represented an assault on the ability of communities to influence decisions. See Reaction in the second half of this post.

This is the second ministerial statement which has aimed to smooth the way for shale gas through the planning system. A statement in 2015 gave ministers the chance to intervene in planning appeals and to monitor the performance of local authorities in dealing with onshore oil and gas applications.

Today’s statements extended these measures for another two years and repeated the government’s view that shale gas development was of national importance. The ministers said:

“We believe that it is right to utilise our domestic gas resources to the maximum extent and exploring further the potential for onshore gas production from shale rock formations in the UK, where it is economically efficient, and where environment impacts are robustly regulated.”

They said

“We also see an opportunity to work with industry on innovation to create a “UK Model” – the world’s most environmentally robust onshore shale gas sector – and to explore export opportunities from this model, a core theme of our modern industrial strategy.”

They said mineral planning authorities – usually county councils or unitary authorities – should give great weight to the benefits of shale gas extraction. The authorities should take the statement into account when considering shale gas planning applications.

The ministers said the proposed changes would “facilitate timely decisions” on shale gas developments. This was needed because:

“recent decisions on shale exploration planning applications remain disappointingly slow against a statutory time frame of 16 weeks where an Environmental Impact Assessment is required.”

They added that the changes would “support a decision-making regime that meets the future needs of the sector.” The proposals would implement commitments made in the Conservative general election manifesto. They would apply only to England, they said.

On the single regulator, the statement said it would act as “one coherent single face for the public, mineral planning authorities and industry”. The regulator would be established during the summer, it added.

The statement said the government would establish a £1.6 million shale support fund over the next two years to build capacity and capability in local authorities dealing with shale applications.

The government would also “strengthen community engagement by consulting in due course on the potential to make pre-application consultation a statutory requirement”.

It would additionally work with the shale gas industry to improve the offer to local communities that host shale gas sites.

The shale gas industry complained to a committee of MPs last week that decisions on exploration wells were taking too long (DrillOrDrop report). But one local authority planners told the same committee on Monday that it was incorrect to say that councils were dragging their feet (DrillOrDrop report).

Based on evidence to the committee’s inquiry, there does not appear to be much support for the idea of national decision-making on fracking applications. The vast majority of responses had rejected the idea of taking fracking decisions out of local control.

The government has also been consulting on proposed changes to the guidance for how planning applications should be decided.

The ministers said in today’s statement that a revised National Planning Policy Framework would have new guidance on cumulative impact, local plan making and confirmation that planners can rely on the advice of other regulators.


Campaign groups

Campaign to Protect Rural England
Senior Infrastructure Campaigner, Daniel Carey-Dawes

“This announcement signals an outright assault on local communities’ ability to exercise their democratic rights in influencing fracking applications. It reads like a wish list from the fracking companies themselves. The government may want to provide ‘sweeteners’ for communities affected, but nothing will change the fact that this will be a bitter pill to swallow.

“Simplifying the shale gas application and exploration process will have disastrous effects for the health and tranquillity of our countryside, landscapes and environment. Our countryside is the breathing space for us all – it must not become an industrial testing ground for a fracking industry that has no environmental, economic or social licence.”

Caroline Lucas, Co-leader of the Green Party

“Britain’s fracking experiment was on life support and now the Government is trying its best to shock it back into life.

The truth is that fracking is a redundant technology that would lock us into climate breakdown, carve up our countryside and put the economy on the wrong track.

“If we’re serious about building an economy fit for the future we need to reprogramme our energy system to one which harnesses the power of the sun, sea and wind – rather than throwing resources at this failed fracking technology.

“These latest measures utterly undermine the government’s green rhetoric – and show that the Tories simply can’t shake their support for fossil fuel firms.”

Frack Free Lancashire

“This ministerial statement shows that the government is prepared to ride roughshod over local democracy. It is hopelessly conflicted over its climate change obligations and is relying on magical thinking about non-existent Carbon Capture and Storage to justify its capitulation to the shale gas lobby.

“Dr Frackenstein’s sickly monster is lying on the operating table and the government is trying to jolt some life into it in spite of huge national opposition and a growing body of scientific evidence against fracking. 79% of the UK public supports renewable energy, whereas only a measly 18% support fracking.

“It can only end badly; either for us or for them.”

Friends of the Earth

“Planned changes to the planning process, including allowing drilling for gas as ‘permitted development’, would mean that fracking companies could drill straight away, minus the need for a planning application, environmental impact assessment or proper local democratic participation.

“This could put 17,820 km² of England’s countryside, which already has shale licences, at immediate risk of drilling – an area nearly the size of Wales.

“Permission to frack would also be the remit of a central government agency and not local councils; the representatives of local people.

“The government initially introduced the concept of permitted development so that home-owners could make modest improvements or extensions to their property without the need for a planning application.”

Friends of the Earth campaigner, Rose Dickinson, added:

“The government’s plans pervert the planning process and could make England’s landscape a wild west for whatever cowboy wants to start drilling and digging up our countryside.

“Permitted development was meant to help people build a fence or a conservatory, not drill for gas.

“With all the inherent risks of fracking anyone would think that the government would at least want the process done properly and fairly, rather than wrestling what modest power local people have to object away from them.

“If there was a referendum on fracking, it would be banished to the dustbin of history – and that’s where these proposals belong. Instead, the Conservatives are planning to railroad it through against the wishes of local people and the wider public.”

Greenpeace UK
Rebecca Newsome, Head of politics

“After seven years of fracking doing less than nothing to help our economy, the government’s still going all out for shale, and still trampling over democracy to prop up this collapsing industry. “Communities and their local councils across the UK have said no in every way they can, but the government have turned a deaf ear to everyone who doesn’t own fossil fuel company. “In their commitment to extract more gas than we can afford to burn, they are trying to remove planning control from everyone who understands their local area and make exploratory drilling as easy as building a garden wall or conservatory.”


Cuadrilla Resources
Chief Executive, Francis Egan

“We very much welcome the Government’s announcement today highlighting the national importance that shale gas development has in delivering a safe and secure energy source, whilst meeting the country’s Climate Change obligations.

“We are pleased it is also recognised, as we ourselves are proving in Lancashire, that shale gas can and does deliver important economic benefits. In the last two years our exploration operations are responsible for driving almost £9m into the Lancashire local economy and creating 60 local jobs.

“In particular we welcome the measures the Government has introduced on making the planning process “faster and fairer” and providing additional resources to help local authorities. Our planning permission to drill and test just four shale gas exploratory wells in Lancashire was granted after a lengthy and costly three year process. These timelines must improve if the country is to benefit from its own, much needed, indigenous source of gas.”


“IGas welcomes the Government’s support and commitment to our industry as laid out in the Written Ministerial Statement (“WMS”) from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government today.

“The statement itself constitutes a material consideration in planning decisions and reiterates that shale gas development is of national importance. Government will publish revised planning practice guidance on shale development in the summer alongside the launch of a consultation that will consider allowing exploration wells to be drilled under permitted development (i.e. without the requirement of a planning application) and consult on the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.”

Ineos Shale

“We have been discussing these issues with the government, and we appreciate they have taken our concerns seriously and moved quickly to begin to address the issues preventing the UK accessing its own gas.

“The government’s announcement today that they will review the planning processes regarding shale is a step in the right direction and there is much more that needs to be done. We will work with government to try and help them put in place a regulatory environment that makes a UK on-shore gas industry both safe and commercially sustainable.”

“The UK planning system has been targeted by environmental activists, leaving local planning authorities reluctant to allow any shale-related activities.  The vast majority of applications are turned down, even where council officers have recommended they should be approved. In other words, such decisions are political, not evidence-based.

“Every application defeated by anti-shale activists simply means more imported gas from foreign countries. By 2030 the UK is forecast to be importing up to 72% of its gas, with much of this coming from Russia and the Middle East.

“Environmentalists believe that UK shale gas is bad for the environment, but such thinking is misconceived.  The Mackay and Stone report showed that UK shale gas wells drilled over the next 20 years could save 117 million tonnes of CO2 compared to the UK being reliant on LNG imports.

“Environmentalists want us to abandon fossil fuels altogether, but that simply won’t be possible for several decades. Renewable energy from wind and solar is easily and regularly disrupted by ‘acts of god’ – basically the wrong kind of weather. Wind farms are notoriously unreliable, typically only operating at 30% capacity.  The UK also has an extremely limited ability to store energy. If the UK wants to continue to have electricity, lighting and heating available 100% of the time, it simply cannot rely on renewables.”

Commercial director, Lynn Calder, added:

“Some environmentalists inhabit a la-la-land where renewable energy is a magical force that is always available. In the real world that simply isn’t the case.  We’ll need fossil fuels to generate energy for years to come. Environmentalists who really care about our planet should be championing low-emission UK shale gas, which is lower in emissions than coal, oil or LNG.”

“The UK potentially has enough home-grown gas to be self-sufficient for years to come. But labyrinthine planning rules make it next-to-impossible to access the energy right beneath our feet. As a result, the UK is becoming ever more dependent on Russian and Middle Eastern gas, with British money funding foreign powers at the rate of £500m a month instead of generating jobs and tax revenues in this country.”

Lancashire for Shale
Chairman, Lee Petts

“I think it is very welcome news that the Government is still committed to developing a UK shale gas industry.

“The reality is that we’re going to continue using lots of gas, for decades more, and that being the case, it’s better if that’s our own gas that we extract here in the UK rather than being so heavily reliant on imports.

“Lancashire businesses that are eager to play a role in a developing shale gas supply chain will be particularly pleased to hear that this industry still benefits from central Government support.”

Third Energy
Chief Executive, Rasik Valand

“We welcome the Government’s strong support and commitment to the onshore gas industry, as set out in the joint ministerial statement.

Making the already rigorous regulatory framework clearer and removing uncertainties and potential inconsistencies around planning will be beneficial to both local communities as well as operators.

Domestic shale gas production can secure the UK’s energy supply by reversing the increasing reliance on gas imports and ensure that the public has the means to heat and power their homes.”

UK Onshore Oil and Gas

“We welcome the Government’s support and commitment to our industry as laid out in the Written Ministerial Statement today.

“The gas supply disruptions the country experienced this winter highlight the need to increase our home-grown sources of energy. Britain’s physical energy production has decreased significantly over the last 18 years and is set to decline even further – this means ever higher imports, which will result in fewer jobs and tax revenues, are worse for the environment than our own production, and will weaken the UK’s energy security. We can reverse this trend.

“Onshore shale gas production will contribute to energy security, create jobs, pay local and national taxes, support our manufacturing industry and make a significant contribution to local communities.

“A recent study commissioned by the UK Government stated that the UK has access to a diverse supply of gas and should be secure against most potential disruptions, but it warned this would only be the case ‘if GB consumers are willing to pay for it’.

“The Government’s own security of supply document stated: ‘Additional domestic sources (such as shale) would be beneficial to GB. They could reduce reliance on imports, have the potential to bring economic benefits by rebalancing the economy, and would increase the diversity of supply available to the GB market.’”

Chief Executive, Ken Cronin, added:

“This country needs a diverse supply of energy which protects and secures UK jobs and UK taxes. Imported gas currently costs over £13 million a day – money that is not generating jobs or tax revenues in this country.

“To achieve greater homegrown energy production, Britain also needs a policy framework and a planning and permitting system that allows industries like ours to be able to get decisions within timescales that work for all concerned including the local communities we work in. Today’s announcement goes some way to ensuring that our energy security is protected and the benefits we have already seen flowing into communities become much more widespread.”

Union Jack Oil
Executive chairman, David Bramhill

“Being at the forefront of the UK onshore hydrocarbon industry, Union Jack is well positioned to benefit from this revised strategy and look forward to the exciting opportunities that await all of our stakeholders.

“The future remains very bright.”

“The statement not only highlights the importance of securing stable domestic gas supplies while minimising harmful environmental impacts but also the substantial economic benefits that the development of onshore gas production can bring to local communities and the UK as a whole.”


Barry Gardiner, Shadow Energy Secretary

“TYPICAL! Tories make it easier to frack. They can drill test sites WITHOUT planning permission. Your community will have ZERO right to object. It makes a mockery of everything @claireperrymp says about tackling climate change?”

Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, the seat including Third Energy’s KM8 site

“Have serious concerns about potential new measures on shale gas, particularly permitted development and transfer to national planning system. Have spoken to ministers and will be submitting evidence to consultation and urge others to do same

Caroline Lucas, Co-leader of the Green Party

“Britain’s fracking experiment was on life support and now the Government is trying its best to shock it back into life.

The truth is that fracking is a redundant technology that would lock us into climate breakdown, carve up our countryside and put the economy on the wrong track.

“If we’re serious about building an economy fit for the future we need to reprogramme our energy system to one which harnesses the power of the sun, sea and wind – rather than throwing resources at this failed fracking technology.

“These latest measures utterly undermine the government’s green rhetoric – and show that the Tories simply can’t shake their support for fossil fuel firms.”

Lee Rowley, Conservative MP for North East Derbyshire, which includes proposed Ineos shale gas site

“The Govt is proposing to consult on changes to the planning rules on fracking. Afraid I don’t agree with these proposals and will say so when the consultation opens. Have spoken to Minister briefly this morning and am seeking a fuller meeting with them.”

Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for South East England

“This process has been a sham; the Government can’t claim with any credibility that it has assessed even a handful of the responses to the hefty consultation on these anti-democratic plans that it closed only last week.”

“Ultimately, the Conservative government, for all its empty green promises has proven determined to defy the evidence and local communities and hasten the climate breakdown by fast-tracking a fracking enterprise for which it has been unable to demonstrate either an economic or energy security case. It is with absolute certainty that experts and climate campaigners say: there is no possibility that the UK will meet its legally-binding climate targets if fracking is rolled out across England.”

“The proposals are pure ideology, seeking to blindly promote fracking despite the evidence. The Government has not even made a cursory attempt to balance the contested benefits of a risky industry against the all too real and established disadvantages of environmental degradation and the climate breakdown. The Tories continue to cement their disregard for evidence-based policymaking.”

“The predictable consequences of this anti-democratic move, which seeks to cut local authorities out of the decision-making process, is that the firms that are already failing to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of their activities will continue unabated and without local scrutiny.”

“There is no doubt that our democracy, our communities, our environment, and our planet will suffer.”

91 replies »

  1. One part of the statement which seems to have been missed by most is the reference to Carbon Capture.

    “As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, innovations in technologies such as Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) have the potential to decarbonise this energy supply still further and prolong its role “

    I was under the impression that the govt had turned their face against carbon capture, I wonder if the mention (each sentence is always deliberate) presages a rethink.

    • This approach was used in the first literature to support shale, begging the question, is this guy up to speed?

      Being cynical I would say they prefer to go now and fix later; offer a possible [but not very likely] offset and hold their hands up in the future and feign ignorance.

      It’s a real shame it has come to this; the repercussions are immense. There is still time to rethink this approach; it would be political suicide.

    • The wording by Greg Clarke

      ‘shale exploration development should be treated as permitted development, and in particular on the circumstances in which this might be appropriate’

      All permitted developments have limitations and conditions.

      Many permitted developments are excluded from National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads and World Heritage Sites, land within the curtail age of listed buildings, or in sites of Special Scientific Interest.

      The list where exploratory sites would not be appropriate would be substantial.

      in many cases permitted development rights are subject to “prior approval” from the local planning authority in relation to certain specified matters.

      This would be the case for fracking sites as many will have issues which will need careful consideration by the planners. Fracking sites have to be strategically placed and many areas will be out of bounds for permitted development.

      Making fracking a NSIP is what the Government has been trying desperately to avoid. They don’t want the responsibilities that would bring.
      They also didn’t want it because they were hoping the North would accept it through local planning decisions and the wealthy areas down South could avoid it through local planning. That would not be the case with NSIP. It could appear anywhere in the Country, allowable on a UK wide ruling.

      More opposition from wealthy property and land owners.

      The biggest ‘worst move yet’ by the pressurised Government.

    • The problems with this drakonian attempt to over turn and bypass local planning, is that the very wording of the PEDL’s requires planning permission as part of the process.
      When I queried this, whether it is local or central planning permission that is required, it is local planning permission that is a condition of a PEDL.

      See the long weekend read on PEDL regulation and conditions.
      Refer to the answer to my query.

      In other words, the PEDL’s would become illegal and unenforceable if only central government permission was allowed to over turn the local planning process.

      • This is nothing less than a massive own goal by this compromised government and the corporate lobbyists.
        All claims of a social licence, physics, science, method, hearts and minds, consultation and democratic process are now null and void.
        They have all come to nought because none of that ever had any relevance, this is corporate greed, and government complicit railroading of issues that never had one iota of validity.
        Well if this government and their corporate owners want escalation, then so be it.
        Just remember, it wasn’t the people who wanted this, the invasion of this dirty pollution industry was foisted upon us right from the start

        A civilisation is never defeated from without, they always destroy themselves by decay and corruption and collapse from the inside out.

        The worst enemy is not outside the city gates, the worst enemies always come from inside the city gates.

        The enemies within are greed corruption self interest and lies, and we see all those in abundance squatting and plotting inside our own government institutions as to how to carve up the sleeping city into bite sized chunks.
        The final fall, is the government itself, nothing less than corrupted treason against the citizenry.
        only a suicidal fool invites the fracking Trojan horse into the city walls. And the result is always the same.
        Sheer bloody murder.

        A dead fish always rots from the head downwards, and this entire government stink of rotten fish.

  2. Finally the Conservative government is beginning to make strides toward fulfilling its commitment to the 12 million plus voters that elected it. It’s time for democracy to take action.

  3. Well, that was all very predictable!

    So, Jack, when/if you start paying taxes you will have no interest in how your money is spent? Reminds me of another lad who received his first weekly pay cheque and moaned to his Dad about all the deductions, who had to try and explain what they were for. The next Friday the lad slams into the house and shouts, “Dad, they’ve done it again!”

    Maybe that’s one of the main reasons why we have regular elections in this country? So the voter, old enough to pay taxes to support society, can have a part in deciding what that society looks like, and where their money is spent? (Maybe Brexit was about the same?) Oddly, the UK society voted to support a party (just) that indicated it would support the testing of fracking in the UK. So, no conspiracy, no change of direction, simply doing what they promised. Perhaps they are learning from the Donald?

    At the same time, perhaps there may be a nice organic herd of Jersey cows able to continue to help produce superb Cornish ice-cream and local property prices will not be decimated? No, I won’t explain that. If you have done some research it will be obvious.

    • The UK won’t exist Martin if you apply the same Brexit logic of self-determination for the devolved administrations i.e. the four Countries with their own voting age populations (e.g. Scotland). Funnily enough people voted for Brexit not known what it really meant for the Union – they still don’t, and the government can’t really tell them. Same with fracking and the countryside.

  4. As expected PhilipP-back to your fallback. The people are just not bright enough! It is the excuse for the two thirds, the excuse for Brexit, the excuse for the Scottish people to reject independence, the climate change “deniers”. Not sure the approach is that worthwhile. Being patronised is not the way that elicits a positive response with the UK population.

    Maybe some use the common sense test rather than the “experts” opinion? GDP to decline 9% after Brexit? Well, as only 12% of UK GDP is related to the EU, I will go along with common sense.

    The majority see a red bus with a slogan on the side, but do recognise that slogan is put there by people who are unlikely to control the action of it going forward, so they see it as an example? Nah, not bright enough.

    Interesting how it is always a minority who make the “decision” as to what others do, or don’t know. There’s a guy in N.Korea who has taken it to a whole new level.

  5. In answer to your question, PhilipP-perhaps he’s on the same time zone as Sherwulfe?

    Maybe you should also avoid the US spelling of certain words as well PhilipP, as that could make your comments invalid?

    An interesting approach to try and whittle away at the two thirds but it will take a long time with that approach, because as soon as you remove one from the two thirds, hey presto, one is found in the one third!

    The theme is common though.

    • There you go again with your imagined two thirds ‘silent majority’. Far be it from me to deny your fantasies Martin but I’m sure you’ll find there are more realists out there that would choose to disturb your comforting daydream than you’d dare to imagine.

      You clearly don’t know the answer to my EKT query by the way. Why not let him answer? When a ‘3am’ post appears after a 9am post you can practically work it out.

    • Ahh another tedious comment from MC.
      The spelling of a word does not make a comment invalid; the highlighting of this false logic, however, does.

      For the avoidance of doubt::
      Spelling may be influenced by the spellchecker on your computer; most are set to US English by default.
      Using US words can be a result of exposure to US culture e.g. US made TV or films.

      Those practiced in linguistics, however, can spot an anomaly a mile off 🙂

      Must be about your bedtime now?

  6. Why would I want to work it out, PhilipP???

    It happens all the time on DOD. But, if conspiracy floats your boat, good luck. Personally, I enjoy (mostly) some diversity to the posts on DOD. Goodness, if there is actually someone out there from an area where fracking is ongoing I would be interested in their views/experiences rather than constant Pennsylvania Giggles. Are you really suggesting that fracking information from USA should be excluded? If so, what are the antis left with?

    Shame for the wedding to be cancelled tomorrow to maintain an anti USA agenda. Probably more than two thirds who would object to that.

    • What is your preferred spelling of Texas by the way Martin? Or are you going to make a meal out of my ‘practice’ instead of ‘practise’ (for the next several months at least).

      Yes please – we should mention Texas more often. It’s where the horizontal fracturing of shale got it’s first successful gas production in the field, in 2008, with Mitchell energy drilling in the Barnett shale formation. Meanwhile Ingraffea and co. were studying the mechanics of how that worked – in labs (at Cornell). Today both Texan O&G pioneer and Ingrafea denounce how the practice has been commercialised and effectively taken over and exploited, cowboy fashion, with the risks downplayed and suppressed.

      One day you and Ken Wilkinson, and EKT and GBK, may catch up with the necessary homework, but that would take effort on your part.

  7. Excellent stuff and a no brainer. Why should councils refuse and delay perfectly valid permissions based on ill informed BS scaremongering?
    ‘It will poison the water’. No it will not. Not a shred of evidence for that anywhere.
    Space cadet ideas that we can live without fossil fuels are well described by the company’s statements. Councils have to follow science and evidence.

      • Perhaps Ken means space cadet ideas like free energy produced for billions of years from a star 93 million miles away? A gigantic ball of incandescent gas burning hydrogen and helium by nuclear fusion and creating a gravitational field that stretches 2.5 light years into space? That star enables ALL life and energy on planet earth.

        Or don’t frack cadets believe in that giant ball of light in the sky? Too fantastic perhaps? Not gassy enough?

        If the frack cadets looked up once in a yellow sun, they might notice something that caused their precious 500 million years old Fossil fuel to exist by that very same ball of free fusion power and is still doing so?

        Or is that too far out a concept for their blinkered little frack cadet minds?

    • Well said Ken the antis on here are few in numbers and very repetitive with the same BS arguments that they back up with crack pot websites. This industry will get the U.K back on it’s feet and a better future for all in the U.K. Great news…

      • So Kisheny, this explains your comment perfectly:
        ‘“There’s a huge amount that seems to be hardwired into us and predetermined. You are born with a particular brain and that shapes your perception, shapes what you are hardwired to find rewarding. You are brought up in a particular environment and that reinforces what you are born with.” What does that mean for decision-making? “If your perception of the world is based on prior experiences and hardwiring, then that shapes your reality, which goes on to affect your decision-making. A large amount of your decision-making taps into your reward system in your brain. Although there is scope to change certain behaviours, you have to make a real conscious effort in order to break habits and change how your reward system affects your motivation.’
        Hannah Critchlow Neuroscientist

        • Sher don’t bother replying to my comments you are off topic as usual trying to put down common sense. Pack up your laptop in that Russian warehouse and go home. The U.K will enjoy the rewards of a safe, steady, economically viable supply of energy for decades to come… Great Britain the next chapter, can’t wait…

      • “few in numbers and very repetitive with the same BS arguments that they back up with crack pot websites.”

        Who does that remind me of?

        Oh hello Kish! Those mirrors are a bi(!)ch aren’t they?

    • Ken Wilkinson.I think you will find Local Councils and County Councils don’t refuse planning permission for exploration or fracking on the grounds ” It will poison the water.” because that is not part of their remit. They have to decide strictly on planning reasons and have to leave matters of safety, water etc to the designated regulators such as the Environment Agency and the HSE. The Councils are expected to trust that the regulators have got it right when they submit their reports. Planners and elected Councillors decide on issues which affect the people in their locality such as noise, traffic, light pollution and cumulative effects which may be detrimental to that area and it’s population. They also have a legal duty to consider the effects of a decision on climate change. That is why it is so important that these decisions are made locally by the people who are accountable to locals and who know and understand the area and it’s residents.
      I think you will find that local authorities’ judgement can be said to be far more correct, democratic and objective than those in central government who have already made their mind up to bulldoze fracking onto us regardless.

  8. This ministerial statement is a loser’s statement: lost public support for fracking, losing at DEMOCRATIC planning committee stage, and there has been no fracking since 2011, a combination of its fundamental unviability and huge public opposition and highly organised and widespread campaign whose reach is far wider than the government care to admit (or are wilfully ignorant of). Fingers in ears “la la la…you will have fracking, no matter how many of you say no, INEOS says boo and we jump.” The emporer has no clothes. We are many…

    • I remember an article from a few weeks ago on this site stating Support for shale gas in the U.K is on the rise. We have democratically voted in this Government to make the big decisions, National security of energy supply is one of them. Way above both yours and my pay grade. Obviously you do not have gas central heating or use much electricity… To be honest Ian I live near the PNR Cuadrilla site and there aren’t many protesters there most of the time…

    • Must we keep hearing these Russian scaremongering tactics Kishenny (your previous response)? … and about the wet dream of plentiful shale gas providing energy security for the UK? It’s such nonsense. It will be a costly and risky form of energy insecurity.

      • I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this announcement is made on the royal wedding week.
        A good diversion is never wasted while the media floods the public with self generated royal blood and sycophantic media circuses portraying joy and abandon whilst the government frack burglars quietly sneak in under the radar and totally thieve our rights to public consultation and local planning restrictions.

        From a wedding made in Holywood, to a wedding made in hell for the people of this country?

        I give it a week.

        Divorce proceedings from the abused public will not be far behind?

  9. HAHA ELECTIONS…… MARTIN , KISHENY thanks for the morning laugh .

    Now I’m going to let you both of the hook on this one, if you finally admit to us, that you’re promoting the fossil fuel industry from a parallel universe , far , far away from mother earth.

    For the people living in the real world here on mother earth , the reality will be quite different…..

    Martin, Kisheby , haven’t you noticed this trend throughout your lifetime, that what you vote for, isn’t always what you get .

    Now let’s randomly take this Conservative party manifesto pledge for instance …. Local Decisions Being Made By Local Communities ….. What’s happened to that one Martin, Kisheny ??

    Now it may be that you are somewhat naive, or that you think that the rest of us are , but there is a trend here, regarding pledges made by all the mainstream parties and what they actually deliver on once in power .

    Put in a nutshell ,the voter doesn’t always get what they were promised , this makes your argument for the people having a real choice as to how society is shaped a little weak.

    • Martin , with reference as to whether or not I pay tax.

      From the moment I made my very first purchase of a much loved, Black Jack , one penny sweet , I was paying UK taxes.

      • MARTIN

        AGAIN with reference to the above post you sent me.

        Now I’m a little bit disappointed in you here, because I know you’re more smarter than this ….

        DO YOU HONESTLY THINK that people of the UK vote for a party on ONE SINGLE issue , really ????

        The fact that people voted for the Conservative party , DOES NOT GIVE A GREEN LIGHT of unanimous support for the fracking industry, as well you know.

        People make their choices on a wide range of manifesto pledges ..

        I CAN AND DO vote for a party which I feel is best prepared to manage the country. My choice is made after collectively considering all, of EACH parties policies.

        NO ONE PARTY is 100% in tune with my opinions , therefore like all other people in the UK, we vote for a party and then individually pick out and oppose the parts we feel are misguided , unfair or unjust ..

  10. So much anxiety within so few!

    The only bit that surprises me is how unprepared the antis are for each, and every development. Remember injunctions, and now this. Both totally predictable and always going to be a result from what was happening, yet we see a reaction like chickens with a fox in their run, dashing around in a panic. At the end of the day, that’s what the chickens do and that’s what foxes do. Chickens will hurl insults at the foxes, but it will not change the outcome.

    Footsie at a record high. Why? Because the Footsie is STILL heavily weighted to fossil fuel companies and oil has now reached $80/barrel. Ebola back into DRC-doesn’t look too good for cobalt supplies. Musk being forced by his investors to restructure his management team. Other alternative energy under scrutiny this week.

    This move was overdue.

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