A new report by the National Audit Office estimates that at least £32.7 million has been spent by public bodies since 2011 on dealing with policing, environmental monitoring and planning applications relating to fracking. The Government’s attempts to push ahead with fracking, against the wishes of communities, have led to this indefensible waste of public money.
In fact, the Government’s own research shows that opposition to fracking has risen from 21 percent of the population to 40 percent between 2013 and 2019. During the same period, public support for fracking has falling from 27 percent to just 12 percent.
I have campaigned against fracking since before I was elected in 2015 and am delighted that Labour’s policy is now unequivocal – the next Labour Government will ban fracking, no ifs, no buts.
I do not support fracking for a number of reasons: health and safety; the potential for earth tremors; the likely pollution of the water table; the impact on local communities in terms of disruption and subsidence; and the fact that the chemicals used are deleterious to our health. But, above all, the fundamental problem with fracking is that it will lock us into an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels long after we need to have moved to clean energy.
Unlike the Tories, Labour understands that we must act quickly and decisively to tackle the climate crisis that is unfolding around us. In Government, we’ll restructure our economy to protect the environment and create hundreds of thousands of high-skilled, unionised green jobs.