Fracking: Liz Truss' pledge to bring back fracking to Lancashire is blasted by green campaigners
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The foreign secretary, who will find out on Monday if she has beaten rival Rishi Sunak to the top job, said she would “end the effective ban on extracting our huge reserves of shale gas by fracking” by taking away the ban imposed by the Government in November 2019 following a series of earth tremors caused by Cuadrillas two fracked wells at Preston New Road near Little Plumpton.
But she added that she “would be led by science, setting out a plan to ensure communities benefit.”
The moratorium was to stay in place until the oil and gas industry could show they could better predict and mitigate tremors caused by the injection of water and chemicals at high pressure into deep lying shale rock to release gas.
The British Geological Survey has been preparing a report on safety and the predictability of earth tremors associated with fracking after being ordered by the Government to do so in April under pressure from back-bench Conservatives and the onshore oil and gas industry in the wake of rising fuel prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The report, which if favourable could pave the way to fracking’s return, is now with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, but no date has been set for its public release.
Nick Danby from Frack Free Lancashire said the current fuel crisis was being used to try to put fracking back on the agenda.
He said: “This is a shameless and transparent bribe. If fracking was truly such a wonderful idea, communities would not need to be incentivised in this way.
“The fracking industry has so far failed to produce enough gas for a small barbecue whilst causing sustained and uncontrolled earth tremors.
"This will happen again if Cuadrilla are allowed to resume their activities.
“This industry is discredited and should be consigned to history. We must now move to embrace renewables if we are to avoid climate breakdown.”