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Friday, June 06, 2014

Fracking ridiculous

There is a lot in the Queen's Speech that I support and applaud. It is obvious that the Liberal Democrats have exercised a lot of influence, not least in the far-reaching pension reforms. However, the one item that I am finding it hard to come to terms with is the proposal to allow fracking companies to drill under people's homes without their permission.

The Guardian reports that the current laws of trespass require land and home owners to give permission for shale gas and oil drilling under their land, but the government intends to end this requirement in order to speed up fracking. Drilling can extend up to 3km horizontally underground from a central well pad.

The process of fracking requires a fairly significant infrastructure so as to get the gas to the appropriate storage point from which it can be used. Furthermore, the companies involved in this process are effectively 'mining' a greenhouse gas. That cannot fit in with our climate change targets.

The biggest objection to this proposal however is the way it seeks to subvert the existing and long-standing rights of landowners. It a putting the interests of big corporations ahead of ordinary people. It is essentially an illiberal measure and I am astonished that Liberal Democrats Ministers allowed it to go-ahead, in fact in some cases appear to have promoted the measure.

This proposal needs to be kicked out.
I can't see it standing up to judicial review anyway, so I'm expecting it to be injuncted and declared unlawful pretty quickly.

Where are the governments lawyers on this? Surely they are pointing out that the government cant pass a law like this?
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