Thursday, 17 December 2015

UK votes for fracking under national parks

We live in such insane times that it seems that nothing needs to make financial sense - with oil at $35 a barrel, on its way to $20.

Fossil Fuel U-Turn: UK Approves Shale Gas Fracking Under National Parks

British MPs have voted to approve the use of fracking to extract shale gas and oil under national parks, only days after the UK came to an agreement with other nations to crack down on emissions and the use of fossil fuels at the Paris climate change convention.

16 December, 2015

Despite opposition from the Labour party, environmental groups and a number of Conservative party rebels, MPs voted 298 to 261 in favor of allowing fracking in national parks.

Breaking: MPs have voted in favour of allowing fracking under national parks. Details to follow soon.

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The decision is also seen as a U-turn on an early law implemented by the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition in January, which imposed a ban on fracking in such areas.
While energy companies still won't be allowed to frack in national parks, they will be able to drill horizontally into deposits situated underneath protected zones, providing equipment is located outside the boundaries.
The decision has sparked outrage from environmental campaigners.
"What we have seen today is the Government breaking its promise and forcing through regulations which will allow fracking underneath some of the most fragile and treasured landscapes in Britain. These areas have been protected for a reason: stunning areas like the Peak District, the North York Moors and the South Downs," Hannah Martin, Greenpeace energy campaigner said.

Government successfully sneak through (without debate) change to allow under protected areas.Real shame 298 MPs voted for it.
'Why Should the Public Believe Them'

Ms Martin pointed to the government's slim majority on the vote to highlight the contentious nature of the issue, noting that many of Prime Minister David Cameron's own MPs voted against the bill.
"It's clear that the Tories can't even convince some of their own MPs that fracking under national parks and other areas of natural beauty is a good idea — so why should the public believe them?"
Among those was Conservative MP Andrew Turner, who rejected the government's plans.
"I voted against the proposals. Although the Government has listened to concerns raised and made a number of concessions, I do not believe that they go far enough to protect environmentally sensitive areas such as areas of outstanding natural beauty."
UK Accused of Undermining Paris Deal 

The practice of fracking — which involves drilling into shale rock and then using a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals to bring gas and oil to the surface — has been a highly contentious issue in Britain in the last few years.
Advocates say that fracking is a safer way to access shale gas and oil, arguing that it will increase jobs and reduce the UK's energy dependency on other countries.
Critics, however, have scoffed at the alleged energy benefits, arguing that fracking will have a detrimental environmental and health impact, as well as the communities affected by the drilling.
"The UK government has just participated in a historic climate agreement in Paris, but if it's to hold up its end of the bargain it has to rethink its support for fracking and back safe, cheap, clean energy instead," Hannah Martin said.
"As a result of today's vote, these places can now be fracked in all but name. Whether the fracking infrastructure is set up just outside the boundaries of national parks is a moot point: these previously protected areas could be ringed by drilling rigs, floodlights and compressors — and play host to thousands of lorry movements — meaning the most precious landscapes in our country are blighted by noise, air and light pollution."

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