Kevin Hollinrake has been granted a Parliamentary Debate on shale gas in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 30th June, starting at 9.30 am. You can follow the debate (or hopefully see a recording of the debate) on Parliament Live TV.
Frack Free Ryedale have sent Kevin some questions that they have requested he asks on the day, which we have listed below.
1 The Information Commissioner ruled on 8th June that the Government must release an unredacted version of the report by DEFRA on the effects of fracking on rural communities.
– Can the Minister tell us that the government will release this report as soon as possible, and not appeal against the order?
– Also, can the Minister give us a date when this is to be released?
2 Regarding the government’s U-turn on a fracking ban in AONBs and National Parks
– Do you support Secretary of State Amber Rudd’s position that fracking should be allowed under AONBs and National Parks?
– Won’t this create a ring of fracking wells just outside these protected areas, which then drill horizontally under the parks?
3 A recent independent survey of estate agents in areas under threat of fracking showed that two thirds of them thought house prices would fall between 8% and 70%.
– How can fracking be good for rural communities if people can’t sell their houses?
4 NFU Mutual and other rural insurers say that they will not insure farms or property owners for borehole contamination, loss of livestock and many other fracking-related dangers if they are caused by a third party.
– How can people sell houses or farms near fracking sites, or conduct their agricultural businesses effectively, if people can’t get insurance?
5 The Environment Agency Standard Permitting is usually only used for techniques that have a long and safe track record over a number of years.
– Why is the Government consulting on removing compulsory Environmental Impact Assessments and bespoke permits for well-testing techniques such as leak off testing and acid washing, and replacing with Standard Permits, when these techniques are so new and untried the UK?
6 The current arrangement for air quality monitoring is that all the companies need to do is provide the EA with a print-out from their self-calibrated machines once a month, which is hardly gold-standard!
– Why is there no compulsory independent monitoring of air quality at fracking sites?
7 New York State, France, Scotland, Wales and many other places have declared a moratorium on fracking because of grave concerns about human health, and there have been nearly two hundred published papers on this topic since Natural Health England produced its report in 2013.
– Is it not time for the government to update this report, given that about 80% of these new reports show that fracking is dangerous to human health?