Final chance for Government to ensure fracking regime is safe and sustainable – Flint and Greatrex
Labour has tabled an amendment to prevent fracking in the UK unless 13 outstanding loopholes in the regulation are closed. Labour first set out its conditions for fracking to take place in March 2012, but the Government has repeatedly sidelined genuine and legitimate concerns, ignoring gaps in the regulatory framework.
Caroline Flint MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, commenting after the publication of Labour’s new amendment to the Infrastructure Bill, said:
“David Cameron has repeatedly ignored people’s genuine and legitimate environmental concerns over shale gas. Despite clear evidence that existing regulations for shale gas are not fit for purpose, the Government seems prepared to push ahead with fracking at any cost.
“While eight out of 10 homes still rely on gas for heating, shale gas may have a role to play in displacing some of the gas we currently import and improving our energy security. But that potential benefit cannot come at the expense of robust environmental protections or our climate change commitments.”
Tom Greatrex MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister, said:
“Labour have always said that shale gas extraction cannot go ahead unless there is a system of robust regulation and comprehensive inspection. The Tories have belatedly acknowledged that the current regulations are inadequate, conceding to Labour pressure for reform on a small number of issues. But these piecemeal concessions cannot overturn a Tory mindset which is zealously opposed to any further regulation of shale gas in the UK, despite clear evidence that this is necessary.
“There are significant concerns about independent inspection of well-integrity, fugitive emissions and protections for national parks. Labour will force a vote on Monday to prevent shale gas developments in the UK unless these loopholes are closed.”