On 2 November 2019 the Government announced in a Press Release that they had imposed a Moratorium on fracking in the UK with immediate effect. This follows a report from the Oil & Gas Authority resulting from their investigations into fracking-induced earthquakes at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, in which they concluded that “it is not possible with current technology to accurately predict the probability of tremors associated with fracking”.
Whilst we at CADAF welcome this Moratorium, we recognise that it only brings a temporary halt to fracking unless and until the oil and gas industry can provide “compelling new evidence” that it can be carried out safely. We have always argued for a complete and permanent ban on fracking and our position in that respect has not changed. We have won a significant battle with this Moratorium but we have not yet won the war. We will remain vigilant for any further developments.
At the same time, the Government announced that because of the Moratorium, they would not now be proceeding with plans to bring fracking in as “Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects” nor to allow exploratory drilling as “Permitted Development” for Planning purposes, both of which were put out for consultation in 2018.
We have drawn up some Q&As which you can read here.
Meanwhile, because it is now highly unlikely that anything of any significance will happen until after the General Election, we have decided to cancel our meetings until January 2020, to give our members a well-deserved rest!
We would like to place on record our heart-felt thanks to all of our members, and those of Eckington Against Fracking, for all your tremendous hard work and unflinching support over the past three years, and to our MP Lee Rowley for his tireless work on our behalf “behind the scenes” at Westminster. We also salute all those at Preston New Road, Lancs; at Kirby Misperton, North Yorks; and at Misson Springs and Tinker Lane in North Notts who have turned out day-in, day-out, in all weathers, in many cases putting their entire lives on hold and risking their own liberty to protest against fracking: you are true heroes! To all of you we say: this victory belongs to you!
For further reading follow the links below:
Government Press Release, 2 Nov 2019: 2019 MORATORIUM – Press release
Written Ministerial Statement, 4 Nov 2019: 2019 Moratorium – WMS – Energy Policy Update
OGA Report: Oil & Gas Authority Report