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.