Barry Gardiner MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, responding to the Tory Government’s decision to override Lancashire county council’s rejection on fracking, said:
“The Government’s decision bulldozes local democracy and risks locking Britain into an old-fashioned dirty energy infrastructure when we should be seizing the opportunities for new long-term jobs and investment in a clean energy future.
“Cuadrilla’s own figures on jobs show they would be very temporary, and their claims that fracking will lower British energy bills have been discredited.
“Tory ministers pay lip service to tackling climate change but are bending over backwards to force through new fossil fuel infrastructure, with divisive bribes, tax breaks and ministerial powers that override the wishes of local communities.
“The next Labour government will ban fracking and focus on unlocking the jobs and growth that a new clean low-carbon energy infrastructure can provide for our industry, workforce and communities.”
Notes to editors:
· The next Labour government will ban fracking to deliver a clear signal to investors about the economy’s direction of travel, in light of 196 governments committing to a net zero carbon economy in the second half of this century under the Paris climate agreement.
· Cuadrilla claimed that they could create 1700 jobs in Lancashire, but research endorsed by PCS union and North West trade unions councils found these roles would last for one year only, and job numbers would fall to under 200 within three years.
· Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change select committee concluded that it is “too early to say whether domestic production of shale gas could result in cheaper gas prices in the UK”, and that it would be wrong to assume that prices would come down as a result of domestic or foreign shale gas.
· The Advertising Standards Agency recently ruled that the general consensus among most experts was that it is very unlikely bills will come down due to shale gas.