The government must let people in Lancashire decide whether they want fracking to take place in their local community, says Friends of the Earth ahead of a public hearing on the issue in Blackpool later today [Tuesday 9 February].
The public hearing is part of a wider Public Inquiry into Lancashire County Council’s decision last year to reject two planning applications by Cuadrilla to frack in the county.
The government has now called the decision in – meaning that the government, and not local people, will make the final decision on whether fracking goes ahead in the county.
Yesterday Hollywood movie star Mark Ruffalo, who is nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA for his role in the film Spotlight, sent a passionate plea to British Prime Minister David Cameron to stop fracking in the UK in an exclusive interview with Friends of the Earth.
Last week it was reported that the leader of Lancashire County Council has written to government ministers urging them to let Lancashire decide its own fracking future.
At the same time a government survey showed that opposition to fracking continues to outstrip support – particularly among those who know about the controversial process.
Friends of the Earth chief executive Craig Bennett said:
“The government mustn’t bulldoze its way through the democratic process and force fracking on the people of Lancashire.
“Fracking isn’t needed and poses a significant threat to local communities and their environment. It’s no wonder it’s so unpopular.
“The government should be building a clean and affordable energy system fit for the future. That means investing in energy efficiency and renewable power, which the public support, and ending its fixation with climate-wrecking fossil fuels.”