The shadow climate secretary, Ed Miliband, on a visit to the shale gas village of Misson in Nottinghamshire today, promised that a Labour government would ban fracking.
Speaking in a village pub, Mr Miliband said Labour would stand with shale gas communities like Misson and ban fracking for good.
The Liz Truss government lifted the moratorium on fracking in England last month after almost three years.
Mr Miliband said Labour planned to introduce a motion in parliament seeking to ban fracking for shale gas “once and for all”.
One of the leading shale gas companies, IGas, drilled a well near Misson in 2019.
Residents had voted 87% against the plans. A petition opposing the well was signed by 70% of the village.
Mr Miliband, who represents nearby Doncaster, said:
“Labour will stand with communities in opposing the Conservatives’ dodgy plans to impose expensive, dirty and dangerous fracking on the British people.
“Fracking would make no difference to energy prices and could risk the health of local communities, nature and water supplies.
“Labour will stand up to Liz Truss’ unjust charter for earthquakes, including her plans to outsource decisions about local consent to fracking companies.”
The shale gas industry has hinted that communities that agree to fracking could get some reduction on their gas bills. But Misson is not on the gas network so residents would not benefit from this sort of deal.
Mr Miliband described as “insulting” the suggestions that residents would be offered cash for consent. He said the government could not be trusted.
Fracking would industrialise the local landscape and would ruin local businesses, leading to a loss of local employment, he said. There were cheaper, quicker, renewable alternatives to tackle the energy crisis, he added.
IGas has no planning permission at Misson and Nottinghamshire County Council has said it expects work to begin shortly on site restoration.
But in recent correspondence with local campaigners, the company said it wold not be bringing forward “concrete proposals” until it had “further clarity from government”.
In interim accounts last month, IGas said it had the potential to establish five production well pads in the East Midlands, each with up to 16 wells, within 12-18 months.
Frack Free Misson, which has campaigned against the Springs Road site, said today:
“It was reassuring to see that the resolve of Misson residents to oppose fracking is as strong as ever.
“Especially welcome at today’s gathering was the woman who stated that previously she was a ‘fence sitter’ on the issue, but was now firmly in favour of green energy over the expansion of fossil fuels.
“Ed Miliband’s message that a Labour government would be committed to such policies, including a ban on fracking, was well received by locals who had been genuinely concerned and anxious about what the Tories’ lifting of the moratorium would mean for their community.”