10 August 2015

I’ve commented before on the irony of fracking splitting opinion as much as the rocks it seeks to crack.

What price can we put on our countryside?

Green goals – Rain power in Wales

However, this week MPs are to be given the ability to fast-track fracking applications that are delayed by councils.

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd told the Sunday Times we need “secure, home-grown energy supplies and shale gas must play a part”. Adding that: “We can’t continue with a system that sees applications dragged out for months”.

I noted earlier in the year that it seems politicians are attempting to force fracking on people who don’t want it and who don’t see the potential monetary value of it as a good enough reason to take the risks it poses. This latest move is completely taking that power of objection away.

We’re a democratic country. That should mean we play a role in choosing how our country changes – for fracking to scar swathes of our famous British landscape is not something that should be rushed through. Especially when there are huge uncertainties about its impact on the environment as a whole.

Whilst the pro-fracking camp argue we are behind the times by not adopting the technique that has seen a transformation in US energy supplies; the ‘No’ camp don’t want to see our environment and beautiful British countryside destroyed.

The huge difference in the UK, for me, is that we have significantly less space. I don’t know all of the specifics but it seems to be that it may have been possible in the US to trial fracking and establish its best practice simply because they have the space to do it. We in the UK, on the other hand, have a limited amount of unpopulated space.

We need to think long term about our country and the environment. There have to be better ways to approach the energy situation than by potentially destroying the landscape that makes Great Britain what it is.

This year has been pegged as the first in which we really notice the effects of climate change. We have to ask, is fracking worth the risk? Should we be finding cleaner, greener alternatives?

And, should we allow government to create a route that sidetracks the delays caused by expressing our opinion on these matters?

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