Fracking could soon take place in the UK, following a five-year hiatus, as North Yorkshire County Council give Third Energy the green light to drill in Ryedale.
The decision flies in the face of fierce local opposition which saw 4,375 objections, compared to just 36 letters in favour of the plans. Itcould pave the way for hundreds of well across the rolling Yorkshire hills and set a precedent for the controversial process to take place in other parts of the country.
Campaigners have been labelled “a travesty” which will “industrialise the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and contribute to climate change”.
Public opposition has prevented any fracking since 2011 following two minor earthquakes caused by the procedure near Blackpool, and with this opposition at an all time high, it is certain the expansion of this controversial industry will still have a fight on its hands as it tries to take root in the UK.
- There is no space for fracking in a carbon-free world. Shale gas is a fossil fuel and cannot be burnt if the UK is going to stick by its commitment to make the Paris Agreement’s zero carbon pledge legally binding. As renewables boom both within the UK and globally – bringing economic, climate and health benefits with them – there is no justification to pursue a fracking industry that would lock the UK into dirty energy for years to come.
- The UK public does not want fracking. Local opposition has remained a major roadblock for shale gas exploration across the UK, and with every government poll, support for fracking falls. In its latest round, just 19 per cent of people backed drilling for shale, down from 29 per cent two years ago, not to mention the high-profile support that the anti-fracking movement has seen in recent weeks. Meanwhile, support for clean, safe renewables has hit a record high of 81 per cent.
- Failing to get off fossil fuels will leave UK citizens’ health at risk. The huge physical and mental health impacts of the Porter Ranch methane leak in the US shows the risks of dangerous shale exploration, not to mention the countless other environmental and public health risks which have already driven local and national governments to ban the process. Whether from fracking, coal power plants or drilling for oil, dirty energy comes with health costs.