Northern anti-fracking groups today vowed to unite to prevent any fracking in the north of England. The statement follows the announcement of the 14th round of licensing for on shore petroleum exploration and development licenses (PEDL).
The long awaited announcement made on 19th August 2015 showed that the majority of licenses to be issued are based in the north of England and cover huge swathes of Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Furious campaigners from more than thirty groups responded quickly to say they will show a united front and support each other in their fight against fracking and onshore fossil fuel extraction.
Bob Dennett from Frack Free Lancashire said “The fact that the vast majority of the licenses being issued are based in the north shows the governments contempt for our communities. Obviously they have listened to Tory Peer, Lord Howell and decided to focus fracking in the ‘desolate north’. They will get a shock if they think we will be so easily pushed around.”
Frack Free Lancashire recently won a major victory against the fracking company Cuadrilla when they forced Lancashire County Council to turn down their planning applications. A community campaign in East Yorkshire also won a victory this month when Rathlin Energy was forced to abandon an exploratory well at Crawberry Hill in the face of massive local opposition.
Pippa Hockey from Frack Free East Yorkshire said, ‘The more they try and push fracking on us, the harder we will fight back. We have made friends all over the UK, especially with other groups in the north, and now we will all work together to stop fracking happening anywhere.’
The announcement of the 14th license round follows a recent announcement that the government plans to give itself more power to rush local councils into making decisions and be able to overrule decisions they do not agree with.
Rachel Thompson from Manchester Reclaim the Power said, “They can change any laws they want, what they fail to register is that we have a really strong movement here in the North West. This is not just about the destruction of our local environment and potential water contamination; this is about stopping climate change and local communities making our own decisions about our energy future.”
Fracking company IGas, faced massive community opposition at Barton Moss, Salford and a local group has now set up its own energy cooperative in response to the threat of fracking in their community. In Upton, Cheshire the local community have been occupying land earmarked fracking for over a year.”
Riley Coles from Frack Free Leeds said “Frack Free Leeds has been supporting anti-fracking campaigns across the north because we know fracking is a dangerous, polluting technology which doesn’t even bring down people’s energy bills. Now the threat of fracking is on our doorstep and we know that people across the north will join together to put a stop to fracking in the UK.”
Geologist, Biff Vernon from Frack Free Lincolnshire said, “Any support for extracting fossil carbon is a denial of climate change. Campaigners in Lincolnshire are delighted to be joining up with so many other groups in the north to stop this addiction to fossil fuels.”