I recently sent this letter to Madeleine Moon:
Dear Mrs Madeleine Moon MP,
I am writing to urge you to vote against the government’s Draft Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing (Protected Areas) Regulations 2015, when they come to Parliament in the next few weeks.
These regulations will expose some of the UK’s finest and most environmentally sensitive landscapes to the impacts of shale gas & oil exploration and extraction.
According to documents uncovered via Greenpeace FOI requests, the shale gas & oil industry has been directly lobbying to prevent proper safeguards for protected areas:
This is clear evidence that the loophole in the regulations – which allows firms to drill horizontally under protected zones – will be exploited, resulting in sensitive nature and wildlife sites being circled by fracking rigs trying to access gas or oil beneath.
The substantial risk of noise, air and light pollution to our national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), and sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) is further supported in the RSPB and National Trust report ‘Are we fit to frack?’ here:
This research found that when fracking was permitted on the outskirts of a National Park in the US, the park was exposed to substantial noise pollution – damaging the tranquility of the area and threatening local wildlife.
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd committed to an outright ban on fracking in protected areas in January this year. I urge you to do all you can to make sure this ban is upheld.
The reply I received simply flagged up that the new devolution powers will give responsibility for future licensing to NRW, but also contains the interesting statement, and I quote:
“I have also received assurances from Natural Resources Wales that Fracking will not be taking place in Bridgend.”
As regards the the request to vote against the regulations that could allow fracking in places like National Parks, she makes the following reasonable enough point, without saying how she would vote:
“As the English votes for English laws bill was passed in Parliament just last week it is not clear yet whether I will have any say in the house over this issue as it is now an England only issue.”