Campaigners rally for fracking debate

A test fracking site at Barton Moss near Salford
A test fracking site at Barton Moss near Salford

WIGAN MP Lisa Nandy has backed calls for a full House of Commons debate on proposed changes to fracking regulations.

Anti-fracking campaigners have accused the Government of attempting to “sneak through” changes that would allow hydraulic fracturing under national parks, areas of outstanding national beauty and world heritage sites.

There areas are all covered by safeguards under current regulations.

Ms Nandy, the shadow energy secretary, has asked the leader of the house to grant a full debate in the near future.

Last week she said: “This Government needs to listen to people’s worries and not railroad through changes to the legislation which may well have damaging and long lasting effects on our natural environment.”

Anti-fracking campaigners have urged MPs to ready themselves for a full scale debate. Hannah Martin, Greenpeace campaigner said: “The government is sneaking these regulations through the back door, not keeping its promise of a ban on fracking in protected areas and not allowing a Commons debate. This is disgraceful given that these are highly controversial proposals that could bring air, light, water and noise pollution.

“Fracked gas is not necessary to power the UK. Even though the government is using every trick in the book to usher fracking in as quickly as possible, it would only deliver gas in a decade and is enormously expensive, requiring huge tax breaks for the industry.

“We need to be sourcing most of power from renewable energy by then.

“Fracking won’t cut bills for people. it won’t bring many new jobs for local residents. “But it will likely knock down the value of families’ homes, damage tourism and contribute to climate change.”