The Conservative Environment Network (CEN) manifesto must govern UK’s policies to prevent climate catastrophe.

The manifesto states…

A ban on fracking is overwhelmingly sensible for four main reasons:

One, gas from fracking offers little in the way of economic opportunity, and much more in the way of stranded assets. For a host of reasons including population densities, political dynamics and water distributions, it is extremely unlikely that the UK will be able to exploit our shale reserves in the way the US has.

Two, even if UK shale gas resources could be exploited at scale successfully we would not benefit from the significantly lower gas prices. The amount we pay for gas is largely determined by two things: the international liquefied natural gas spot market price and the European gas price. Consuming UK gas at the cost of production would require significant subsidies.

Three, fracked gas would only help to reduce our emissions if it replaced coal, which has already been almost entirely removed from the national grid. And, in addition, it could lead to unpredictable, ‘fugitive emissions’ that leak out of pressurised equipment.

Four, we know that security for the energy transition can be found elsewhere from cheap renewables, hydrogen, and nuclear, for example. In short, we know that in roughly ten years’ time we should be turning away from gas. Finally, as a cherry on top, fracking is woefully unpopular. Over twice as many Conservative voters believe that we should generate power from onshore wind than from fracked gas.

If we are serious about our transition to a more secure world we now need to step away from the oil and gas economy on which we have relied on in the past.

Read the Guardian article here:

Read the CEN manifesto here:

At a time when we need to cut down carbon emissions and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, companies are planning to tear up our beautiful local countryside to extract shale gas by ‘fracking’.

This is because the Government has reversed its promise not to allow fracking under our National Parks, despite fears over water and air pollution, the dangers of increased lorry traffic on narrow country roads, the noise and visual impact, and the fact that shale gas is a fossil fuel which will contribute to climate change. We are also working with communities on the edge of the national park who are affected.

Currently the Government is seeking to remove planning decisions about fracking from local authority control, by either making shale gas exploration ‘permitted development’ and shifting full-on fracking into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) permitting regime, decided by Ministers. See CPRE’s campaign to stop this, by clicking here.

The main operator in our area, INEOS, is already looking to conduct test drilling at sites in South Yorkshire (Rotherham) and nearer the Peak at Marsh Lane, Eckington near Dronfield. We have objected to these proposals and taken part in two public inquiries, both of which were decided in favour of INEOS, despite huge community opposition. Together with local people, we will keep fighting against this unnecessary industrialisation of our countryside.

You can read our policy on fracking here.