WEST Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has welcomed Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng’s comments last week that ‘fracking is over.’
She has written to the Minister to seek clear and definitive confirmation that fracking really is ‘finished’ in the UK and has asked what the recent announcement means for current sites that are in operation or in the process of applying for permission.
She said: “My position on fracking has always been clear, I will not support fracking while there is any question of environmental damage or threats to the safety of residents, and as someone from a science background I have not been convinced of the arguments in support of fracking.
“The Minister has now accepted what I and anti-fracking campaigners have been saying for many years, and has admitted that fracking is over. The evidence that fracking can be undertaken safely is not available.
“I have written to the Minister to ask him to make clear that fracking is over, what this really means and what Government will do now to back up his words.
“We still have a fracking site on Preston New Road and an outstanding application in Altcar here in West Lancashire – I require assurance that the Minister’s statement means that Preston New Road will close and Altcar will not be progressed any further.
“We need to see Government assurances, perhaps through legislation or a Written Ministerial Statement that fracking is not something that will reappear in the future on the back of lobbying by multinational corporations.
“I look forward to the Government’s focus moving to renewable energies and how they will support the industry through Government incentives.”
Speaking on BBC North West Tonight, Minister Kwarteng said: “We had a moratorium on fracking last year and frankly the debate’s moved on. It is not something that we’re looking to do.
“We’ve always said we’d be evidence-backed, so if there was a time when the science evidence changed our minds, we would be open to that. But for now, fracking is over.”