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Monday, July 28, 2014

UK Government to protect National Parks from fracking

The Telegraph reports that new planning guidance to be issued by UK Ministers will provide some protection from fracking for National parks and other areas of important countryside.

Although they will stop short of a total ban short the Government's new planning guidance will make it harder to drill fracking wells in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.  The new rules will state that fracking should only be allowed in the most precious areas of British countryside in “exceptional circumstances”.

Ministers will only approve applications if the gas and oil reserves are so large that they are deemed to be of "exceptional" national significance and any impact on the environment can be kept to a minimum. It is an effective ban.

Where that leaves the rest of us is unclear.Now that the government have acknowledged that fracking does have a major environmental impact then surely it will make it harder to get planning applications through elsewhere as well. We will have to see.
So where do you and your party stand on fracking? It's OK for populated areas and former mining communities but not for rural areas? Or do you accept that once fracking gets the go-ahead from your party's government coalition it will cause serious problems for the environment and water supplies in the UK?
Not sure we can all be as complacent as you...
Both I amd the Welsh Liberal Democrats are opposed to fracking. We are far from complacent. All of the welsh Lib Dem AMs have been involved in campaigns against fracking. You can find more details here: http://peterblack.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=fracking and here: http://welshlibdems.org.uk/en/search?query=fracking
But your government has just given the go-ahead for more fracking. Which end of the Liberal Democrats should we believe? The end that says "we oppose fracking" or the one that says "we support fracking"?
No wonder politicians have got a bad name.
Government does not give the go-ahead for fracking, it is done via local councils through planning permission and various statutory agencies through licensing arrangements. At the moment as I understand it all the applications are for test drilling rather then fracking. It is the UK Government's policy to promote fracking but each case has to be considered on its own merits and as an individual politician I have consistently opposed the process, as have my Welsh colleagues.
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