by Leon Duveen on 13 January, 2014
Today’s visit to Bassetlaw by David Cameron[i] was an excuse for the Prime Minister to announce the latest attempt to force local councils into accepting the extraction of gas from shale by hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.
Bassetlaw & Sherwood Liberal Democrats oppose any fracking in our area. This opposition is on two ground:
1) Fracking technology has not yet been shown to be safe and by pushing down this path, the Conservatives in Government are riding roughshod over the safety and wishes of local people. It has been associated with many environmental problems and has been linked to pollution in local water sources.
2) Further investment in fracking does not help make the UK become energy independent. We are blessed in this country with abundant natural energy resources that, if the investment now being put into fracking and other hydrocarbon sources was target at these resources, could be made more efficient & cheaper.
Fracking is at best a short term stop gap solution at the cost of local pollution and environmental damage. We accept that the District Council has it hands tied by the planning rules and that even if it rejects any associated planning application, this is likely to be overturned by the Secretary of State for Communities (Eric Pickles), also the extra money from the inducement that Cameron has offered for allowing fracking in the District area will plug some holes in the Councils budget. However this should not stop local people organising to make clear their opposition to any fracking in Bassetlaw & the surrounding area.