New petition: Government must respect Lancashire council's decision to say no to fracking

Posted by Richard Casson — 27 November 2015 at 7:27pm - Comments
by. Credit: John Cobb / Greenpeace
'Frack Free Zone' signs along Blackpool Promenade, Lancashire

You might have heard today that the government has announced it will 'call in' the decision over fracking in Lancashire. What this means is that, depsite Lancashire county council voting against the shale gas industry back in June, the government now intends to have the final say.

Even though public support for fracking continues to drop, it looks like minister are now moving to approve Cuadrilla's application to drill. Greg Clark, the minister who oversees our councils, will now make the final call. In the past he's called on council leaders to "take power" back from central government. Is this a principle he'll now stick to and apply to fracking? We've launched an urgent petition telling Greg Clark to stick to his words and respect Lancashire council's decision to say no to shale gas.

Here's the email I just sent to Greenpeace's email list to announce the news.

Hi there,

We're being silenced. Earlier this year, our movement to stop fracking won a huge victory when Lancashire council said a resounding NO to fracking. But now, in an unprecedented move that makes a mockery out of local democracy, Westminster politicians announced that they’ll have the final say [1].

The news was confirmed last night -- Greg Clark, the minister responsible for overseeing local government, will make the call on fracking in Lancashire.

As the man in charge of local democracy, in the past Greg Clark has called on council leaders to "take power" back from central government [2]. It would be really embarrassing for him to ignore his own advice. So let's show him that thousands of us are watching, and that we won't let him get away with it if he now overrules the council:

In case you’ve not heard of it before, fracking - short for hydraulic fracturing - is the process of blasting water, sand and a cocktail of chemicals deep underground in order to pump out gas or oil. If we're going to avoid dangerous levels of climate change, now's the time for us to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, not explore for new gas and oil to burn.

But shale gas and oil isn't just a bad idea for our climate, it's hugely unpopular too. Contaminated water from fracking could spread into the environment, polluting ecosystems. So it's no surprise that, even based on the government's own data, public support for the industry is at an all time low [3].

Government minister Greg Clark could hold up Lancashire’s decision to block fracking, or he could undo local democracy with the stroke of a pen. In a speech earlier on this year, he told council leaders that they should be “masters of their own destiny.” Let’s hold him to his words. Please sign:

Rebecca, who lives in Lancashire and is part of the group Nanas Against Fracking, summed it up this morning when she told us: "I'm feeling furious about the government's latest blow, but I'm also feeling defiant. If they think we are going away now they are hugely mistaken."

For Rebecca, and everyone who's worked so hard to keep fossil fuel industry at bay, let’s show David Cameron’s government that we’re never giving up.

Greenpeace UK


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