Louise Haigh has today called for a "complete halt" in fracking exploration which includes large parts of the Sheffield Heeley constituency & surrounding area. On Wednesday, the Government issued exploratory licences which will give energy companies a free pass to conduct exploration drilling to assess whether fracking is viable in an area which falls within both the 10km and 1km buffer zone designed to protect our beloved countryside to the West of the City.
There are fears that the exploratory licences, which cover an area of 1000sq miles largely in the North and the Midlands, will start the firing gun on dash for shale gas, despite very real public health and environmental concerns.
Commenting, Louise said:
"The government is intent on starting the firing gun on a dash for shale gas across the North, and are prepared to ride roughshod over the very real environmental and safety concerns.
The "licensing block" which covers parts of my constituency fall within both the 10km and 1km buffer zone designed to protect Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas. This will raise real fears that in their dash for shale gas, the Government will cast aside regulations designed to preserve our countryside.
At the end of the last Parliament and flying in the face of concerns from independent scientific institutions, cross-party Parliamentary committees and environmental groups the government moved to water down environmental protections which would have ensured public and environmental health came first in any dash for shale gas.
The license they have issued , which cover large parts of our city and surrounding countryside will dismay residents who will be understandably concerned about the safety fears of an industry whose safety record is far from conclusive."