A Fylde coast engineer today hit back after he was accused of “offering his services” to a former boss of shale gas firm Cuadrilla in an email.
Chartered engineer Mike Hill, who is a campaigner for fracking regulation, said it was “nonsense” to suggest he was “applying for a job” with the firm in the email, which dates back two years and was published last night on the website of blogger Guido Fawkes.
The email, which is dated March 4, 2013 and addressed to former Cuadrilla CEO Mark Miller, says: “You know I have never been opposed to fracking, just opposed to no fracking regulation.
“I have certain skills, technical, engineering, project management and PR that could be of use to different sides.”
He goes on to talk about good contacts he has within organisations like Lancashire County Council and the Environment Agency and suggests that the two meet up.
It adds: “Just being anti-fracking is nonsense to me. It’s purely a reaction and not a positive one.”
The website suggests that the email demonstrates how Mr Hill, who is standing as an independent candidate for the Fylde seat in the upcoming May General Election, “once tried to get a job” with Cuadrilla.
But Mr Hill said: “I have never applied for a job with Cuadrilla, that’s nonsense.
“The email between me and Mark Miller doesn’t say anything about a job.
“Myself and Mark Miller, the previous CEO of Cuadrilla, we did meet fairly regularly between 2010 and mid 2012 because he was sensible and wanted decent regulations for the industry, and right up to 2014 I was still hoping the Government and Cuadrilla would still do the job properly.
“In January 2014, I moved more over to the anti-fracking fraternity because I realised Government was never going to do this and there would be no decent regulations or monitoring. I have worked with Cuadrilla, from 2010 to mid 2012 I did a lot of work with them because they were prepared to work with me to make it safer.
“However I have never been paid by them.
“This email was me saying to Mark, let’s sort this out and get some decent regulations. When Mark left Cuadrilla, I had no more contact with Cuadrilla.”
Cuadrilla is seeking permission to frack on two sites on the Fylde coast - at Little Plumpton and Rosecre.
Lancashire County Council will consider the application later this year.