Green Party calls for a halt to fracking
The Green Party called today for a ban on the controversial and often risky gas extraction technique of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. (1)
In an emergency motion (2) passed by the partys spring conference, the Greens are calling for more analysis of the effects of fracking before it is considered for development in the UK.
Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party, said after the motion passed that she was very worried about the potentially disastrous consequences of fracking to peoples health and the environment. She went on to say that it would be entirely foolish to allow a potentially dangerous form of extraction to be developed in the UK without further studies being carried out. The motion at conference is the culmination of vociferous campaigning by Blackpool and Fylde Green Party, who have been fighting plans to bring fracking to England; while Bridgend and Swansea Green Parties have been doing likewise in South Wales (3) .
James Abbott, Green Party spokesperson for Science and Technology, pointed out that fracking has consequences beyond its impact on local communities:
As well as the local impacts, including potential groundwater contamination, shale gas exploration is part of the ever more desperate hunt for fossil fuels as conventional supplies are set to fail to meet demand.
(1) The recently released film Gasland highlights the many negative effects of fracking in the USA.
(2) Text of the emergency motion:
‘The oil and gas industry is seeking to exploit UKonshore gas reserves trapped in shale rock and coal beds requiring environmentally damaging and risky techniques, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking). This conference condemns the coalition government for refusing to impose a ban, demanded by environmental groups, on shale gas, and on the related coal bed methane extraction industry, at least until the results of studies here and in the US have been considered.
This conference expresses concern at the historicfirst UK use of this technology at a site of an important groundwater aquifer and notes that over 80 further applications have been applied for around the UK.’
Conference instructs GPEX to publicise the issues to enable the Green Party at every level to take a firm line to protect communities, drinking water and the environment.
(3) See coverage of the issue that includes comments by Andy Chyba in today’s editions of the Western Mail and South Wales Echo