Last year saw the first fracking in the UK for seven years, as Cuadrilla finally started fracking at their Preston New Road well-site, in the face of overwhelming opposition and daily protests from brave local communities. As you will have heard, Cuadrilla's fracking has not gone well, as they have caused over 50 earth tremors and had to repeatedly shut down the operation.
While Cuadrilla were busy moaning about having to actually abide by the regulations they signed up to, councils in Greater Manchester agreed to effectively ban fracking in their area by establishing a presumption against all fracking planning applications. This approach echoes policies in Scotland - where there is a moratorium - and Wales, where all fracking applications will be opposed. Meanwhile, fracking is more unpopular than ever with the general public, with only 15% supporting the practice (compared to 80% supporting renewables).
It is clear that the failing fracking industry in the UK is now in serious trouble. The government has clearly decided that they are never going to persuade local communities to welcome fracking in their areas, so are trying to force through changes to allow exploratory drilling to be classed as permitted development, and so could go ahead without planning permission. This outrageous attack on local democracy has been almost universally opposed, even by Conservative councils, and has only served to harden opposition to fracking across all parties.
And with last year's IPCC report issuing a stark warning that we only have 11 years to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels if we are to prevent catastrophic climate change, it's clear that setting up a fracking industry is the exact opposite of what is needed in this country, or across the planet.
But this is no time for complacency. This industry is not dead yet, and will keep fighting to stay alive through whatever means it can - which means we must continue to fight in every way we can too. Please click on the banner above and make a donation to Frack Free Ryedale - and let's stand together until this unwanted, unsafe and unnecessary industry is consigned to the dustbin of history.
Great news from the USA – Florida has banned fracking. For more on this story, visit Food and Water Watch.
The North Yorkshire Plan is approaching its final hurdle, and local communities are fundraising for legal representation. Click here for more and how to donate.
Excellent news from Manchester, where 10 local councils have effectively banned fracking. Click here for more.
Anti-fracking campaigners celebrate at the Conservative Scarborough council’s decision. More here.
Please read this article from Drill or Drop about the toxic impact of heavy metals in shale.
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