In January the Government told MPs: “We have agreed an outright ban on fracking in national parks and sites of special scientific interest (SSSI)”. In mid-July the pledge on SSSIs was quietly scrapped, opening the way for test drilling for shale oil and gas in environmentally sensitive areas. The Government hoped no one would notice but Green MP Caroline Lucas raised the alarm. There are 4,000 sites of special scientific interest in England.
Conservation groups and opponents of fracking need to fight this Government U-turn. The Peak District National Park Authority must be alert to the danger of losing its own protection as election pledges are swept aside in the Government’s drive for fossil fuel extraction.
Shale oil and gas are not needed to meet our energy needs. We don’t need to run the risk of environmental pollution from fracking. Pound for pound investment in energy conservation would save far more energy and deliver significant environmental, employment, and social benefits.
Ecclesall ward Green Party