It makes a mockery of democracy

Fracking posters Marsh Lane
Fracking posters Marsh Lane
0
Have your say

Lauren Jones

Campaign Against Climate Change volunteer and former PCS Green Rep, S6

In the Telegraph, October 18, South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said that £1 million has been set aside to deal with anti-fracking protesters in the area.

Your article quotes Dr Billings as saying "… we know the anti-fracking feeling is very strong and that probably all the publicly elected people will be opposed to it". Dr Billings seems on the money (pun intended) with this one to me.  

So why are so many people protesting? Lord Browne, the chairman of Cuadrilla, said back in 2013 that fracking "is not going to have a material impact on (energy) price". Scottish Power is on target to have all its energy produced by wind farms by the end of this calendar year, so we don't need fracking to 'keep the lights on'. The recent IPCC report has said we only have 12 years to keep global warming at 1.5C. Several leading scientists have expressed deep concern on levels of radiation and chemically-treated water that could escape from fracking wells.

Only 18% of people surveyed in August this year said they were 'in support of fracking' in a poll organised by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). Fracking has been banned in 6 countries around the world including France and Ireland. Six unions have publically opposed fracking, as have two political parties who have opposed it as part of their current manifestos.

Despite all this, the current government has gone ahead with the proposal of 'Permitted Development' being used to assess further applications for fracking. 'Permitted Development' was only supposed to be for personal home and garden extensions, not for massive industries to steam ahead without local planning applications. This allows it to be even more likely that local people with grave concerns will be ignored and overlooked. But then should we be surprised that the government is even listening to the public anymore? The whole issue makes a mockery of democracy. Yes, people are angry.