Fracking Conference: Greens call for rethink on shale gas support

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As the North West Energy Task Force meets in Blackpool to discuss shale gas, the North West Greens have been reiterating their calls for the government to re-think their support for the shale gas industry.

Peter Cranie, the North West Green Party’s European election candidate, said: “A recent YouGov poll found that two thirds of people would prefer to live near a wind farm than a “fracking” site.

“However much the government tries to remove ‘obstacles’ to fracking, by changing the laws on trespass or giving the industry tax breaks, the key fact is that people in the North West just don’t want it.

“They oppose fracking and they want the right to refuse it taking place under their home and their land. They don’t want the government riding roughshod over them.”

He continued: “Cuadrilla is about to submit planning permission for fracking at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road, between Preston and Blackpool. The gas companies met with huge resistance at Barton Moss in Salford and now we’re seeing the same at Upton in Cheshire. The same will be true in Lancashire and the Greens will be there to support that campaign.”

Mr Cranie concluded: “Energy minister, Michael Fallon, has spoken of the economic investment and jobs which the shale gas industry could bring to our region.

“But this is true of any new industry. We saw only yesterday the government promising new jobs with planned offshore windfarm expansions in the region.

“If we are to tackle climate change and to reduce energy costs we must shift to renewable energy sources, not begin a whole new fossil fuel industry. It can be done. We just need the political will. As the first Green MEP for the region I would be a strong voice against fracking in our communities.”