The Green Party has labelled government plans to ‘fast-track’ fracking in the UK as “reckless”. The proposed plans would see test drilling go ahead without the need to consult with local residents.
Fracking remains a controversial subject, with the practice being linked to water contamination, methane leaks, environmental degradation and negative impacts on human health. Those that support fracking in the UK argue that with stringent measures in place the method will be safe and can act as a bridge between fossil fuels and renewables.
The current Conservative government has supported fracking, with Prime Minister David Cameron backing a House of Lords report urging the UK to “go all out for shale”.
Despite this, public perception of fracking remains relatively low. A poll, published in September last year, found that one in five members of the public approve of shale gas.
An Environment Agency consultation, which will close this evening, has been looking for responses to proposals that would ‘fast-track’ shale gas exploration. The changes would mean that prior to test drilling fracking companies would not have to consult with local residents or conduct a full environmental audit.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said these plans are evidence that the government is prioritising corporations rather than people.
She commented, “These proposals would see the government endanger our environment and disregard the people who would be affected.
“Going ahead with fracking will always have its dangers, but to begin drilling without a proper environmental audit is simply reckless, and shows what little regard ministers have for the natural environment of this country.”
Bennett continued, “The government knows full well the level of opposition to fracking in the UK. Its refusal to listen to the public shows where its priorities lie – squarely with corporations, rather than people.”
Photo: UKBERRI_net via Flickr
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