There is much confusion regarding recent legislation on fracking, primarily because the government has sought to push through policy in their “all-out” support for the controversial industry.
Much criticism has surrounded the process with which legislature has been voted on before sufficient debate in the Commons or thorough safety investigations into hydraulic fracturing have taken place.
The government had previously agreed to an outright ban on fracking in national parks and sites of special scientific interest.
A significant vote took place on 16 Dec 2015 at which Maria Caulfield (Con MP, Lewes) and Nus Ghani (Con MP, Wealden) both voted in favour of secondary legislation to amend these proposals.
As a result of that vote, which the government won by 298 to 261 votes, exploratory drilling can now take place 1,200m beneath sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) as long as the initial drilling takes place outside the protected areas.
Fracking contributes to global warming, pollutes the water table, and can cause earthquakes and subsidence. It requires a huge volume of water for blasting at rocks deep below the land surface.
The article in last week’s Sussex Express was extremely badly edited and appears to have been drafted pretty much word-for-word from a press release of Caulfield’s office.
With fracking potentially threatening green spaces locally, it is important that your readership is aware that the two local Conservative MPs mentioned above have voted in legislation permitting fracking to take place under National Parks and sites of special scientific interest.
Market Street, Lewes