The UK government is blundering ahead with it’s plans to frack the countryside. Like some oaf who insists on dancing with a reluctant partner and constantly treads on their toes, they are going ahead with their plans blinded by greed in the naive belief that most people, like them, are more interested in cash than in health, or the beauty of the countryside.
From The Telegraph a few days ago:
Britain must press on with fracking to reduce the country’s reliance on imports, the chairman of the Government’s climate change advisory board has said. Lord Deben, who served as Environment Secretary when John Major was Prime Minister, dismissed claims from Britain’s green lobby that hydraulic fracturing – known as “fracking” – could cause considerable damage….“I’m in favour of it. The carbon budgets have already assumed that we are going to use gas well on through the 2020s and into the 30s. There will be a need for gas [and] much better to have it from us and as soon as we can because I do genuinely think people ought to be worried about the security of our energy supplies,” he said.
However, shale gas will not bring down the price of energy bills because the natural resource is in difficult to reach places, he added. “God has managed to put it in the places where it’s going to be most difficult for people to get planning permission to do this”….Lord Deben declined to say whether he would be in favour of fracking within a few hundred yards of his home in Suffolk.
He came under fire in the 1990s after feeding his four-year-old daughter a beefburger during the height of the mad cow disease scare. He was Agriculture Minister at the time. The Treasury published draft legislation this week introducing tax breaks for shale gas companies in a bid to entice international gas companies to drill in Britain.
As an example of how the government is pushing ahead, they have changed the planning laws. Again from The Telegraph:
Fracking could take place under peoples’ homes without their being directly informed, campaigners claimed on Wednesday, after ministers scrapped planning rules requiring every homeowner to be individually notified of drilling plans. Fracking, the process used to extract shale gas, can involve drilling a well horizontally for more than two miles underground, potentially passing under hundreds of homes.
Existing planning laws required every individual homeowner to be directly notified of a planning application. But planning minister Nick Boles said that that required notification of a “disproportionately large number of individuals and businesses” that would be “unnecessarily excessive”. Instead, shale gas companies would be “required to publish a notice in a local newspaper and put up site displays in local parishes”.
What can we do? Look at the latest Friends of the Earth campaign and take heart from Leo Sayer and his friends in Australia, where opposition is building: