The full quote from the Green Party in response was:
“As evidence mounts of the potentially negative effects of shale gas extraction both here in the UK and abroad, the need for a thorough and fully independent investigation into the environmental and health impacts of fracking becomes ever more urgent.
The proposed changes to the UK’s planning laws could make it far easier for companies such as Cuadrilla to gain permission for shale gas operations, while at the same time Ministers are failing to address the weaknesses in the regulatory framework which should protect local communities. Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas MP recently quizzed Defra Secretary Caroline Spelman about the fact that, according to the European Commission, the chemicals used in fracking are not registered for this purpose under the REACH regulation, which could make it illegal. Almost one month on, we are still waiting for a response.
Given these concerns, and the fact that any significant investment in shale gas will seriously undermine the UK’s transition towards genuinely clean energy, the Government should halt operations and impose a moratorium on new shale gas exploration – at least until a more detailed and independent assessment is forthcoming.”
I can also reveal that I am involved in the early stages of planning a high profile national fracking meeting that will hopefully launch a national consortium of anti-fracking interests and raise the profile of the issue among the general public. We are provisionally planning it for mid-March, which could be ideal timing as I have a hunch we could be fighting a General Election campaign in May. (Remember you heard that here first!)