Today, the High Court has been asked to form a decision, in a rolled-up hearing, on whether the Kirby Misperton (Yorkshire) council’s decision to allow fracking is legal.
Friends of the Earth and Frack Free Ryedale will argue that the decision was unlawful because councillors did not properly consider the climate change impact of burning gas at Third Energy’s nearby ageing power station. It will further be argued that the council failed to secure long-term financial protection from the company against the risk of environmental damage over the long term.
Friends of the Earth’s Yorkshire and Humber campaigner, Simon Bowens, said:
“North Yorkshire County Council failed in their legal duty to fully assess the impact this fracking application would have on the climate and in protecting their local communities against long term financial risks.
“We are really fired up for our day in court. Shale gas is a dirty fossil fuel which is why we are calling on the judge to see that justice is done for the community of Kirby Misperton and for the millions of people affected by catastrophic climate change.
“We can’t afford to allow the fracking industry to just go on putting communities across the world at risk by developing a new, dirty, fossil fuel.”
Reverend Jackie Cray, a member of Frack Free Ryedale and a claimant in the case said:
“This application was opposed by the Ryedale District Council, every Ryedale town council, 15 parish councils, businesses such as Flamingo Land, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the Castle Howard Estate, and dozens of other groups and local businesses. The County Council received 4,375 objections against the application and only 36 letters in favour, yet still approved the plans. We can’t call this democracy.”
The process of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into underground rock formations to release gas. Friends of the Earth will continue to support communities everywhere to make sure Britain stays frack free.