Britain: Forced Fracking.

An anti-fracking protestor stands on the top of a vehicle attempting to enter an exploratory drill site in Manchester, England in 2014. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jon Super.

An anti-fracking protestor stands on the top of a vehicle attempting to enter an exploratory drill site in Manchester, England in 2014. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jon Super.

Overriding the local decision, Britain’s Secretary of State sided with a natural gas developer on Thursday, granting the company’s appeal and allowing natural gas exploration in Lancashire to proceed.

The decision, following a local decision to deny the permit application, allows fracking exploration to begin in one location and directs the company to provide further highway safety information for a second location. In its letter announcing the decision, the Department of Communities and Development cited a national interest in gas, as well as a lack of health and environmental concerns.


The British government has determined that domestic natural gas should be a key fuel source, and, to that end, has engaged in a slow, steady march towards fracking. In 2014, the government opened up nearly half the country’s total land area for fracking exploration — provided companies get the appropriate permits. The government has also told local councils that applications must be considered in “swift process.”


The letter outlining Thursday’s decision says, “The Secretary of State has considered the weight that should be attached to the need for shale gas exploration” and the written ministerial statement on fracking from last year. That statement announced “the Government’s view that there is a need to explore and develop our shale gas and oil resources in a safe, sustainable and timely way.”

Fracking is not safe or sustainable, it’s incredibly destructive and has been linked to water contamination, earthquakes, and air quality issues. It seems oil companies everywhere, in their last gasp of rapacious greed, have managed to buy just about every government. I hope Frack Free Lancashire wins their fight, and I hope the rest of Britain gets roused to stop this now, before the loss of so much land.

Full story at Think Progress.


  1. Dunc says

    Of course, even the extraction of our existing oil and gas reserves would be incompatible with both the Paris agreement and our existing climate change legislation… Unfortunately, despite all the fine talk, the truth is that we have no real plan to replace our current oil and gas usage with anything else. We don’t even have a plan to replace gas in electricity generation, never mind heating (where it makes up the majority of the market).

  2. says

    Well, how’s taking back control from Brussels working for Lancashire?
    Oh, right, what they meant was “let’s turn the Tory government into a petty fascist dictatorship”. Suddenly, whatever the population wants is pretty irrelevant.

  3. kestrel says

    OK. It does not matter to me in the slightest whether fracking is “safe” or not. What matters is this: we don’t have enough water to deliberately poison millions of gallons of it and then pump it underground.

    I live in a desert and have most of my life. I live in places where people have been shot over the use of water. (In fact I know someone who was shot TWICE for that but luckily survived.) To me it is **unimaginable** to take something so incredibly precious and deliberately poison it.

    This is a seriously crazy thing to do. I imagine if this ever starts up in my area I’ll be the one on the top of the fracking vehicle. We just can not do this.

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