Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 24, 2017

Where Does Sam Currie Stand On Fracking In And Around West Lancashire?

Local groups opposed to fracking are incensed by the present Tory government’s General Election Manifesto pledge to effectively wipe away yet another ‎layer of local democracy which would lead to wholesale fracking of the countryside. Does Tory candidate Sam Currie agree with this policy? When will he tell the West Lancashire electorate? He has said Of the 3 major parties standing in West Lancashire I am the only candidate who lives in West Lancashire. I am the only candidate who can look residents in the eye and say “your local hospital is my local hospital”, “your transport links are my transport links” and “when your area floods, my area floods”. He didn’t say “when your area fracks, my area fracks” did he?

The manifesto states “We will legislate to change planning law for shale applications. Non-fracking drilling will be treated as permitted development, expert planning functions will be established to support local councils, and, when necessary, major shale planning decisions will be made the responsibility of the National Planning Regime”.

Maureen Mills  of Halsall Against Fracking  said “Their whole rationale has been discredited. There is no evidence to support a statement that the UK could replicate the so-called US Shale Gas “Revolution”. In fact geological differences and a clear lack of vast expanses of sparsely populated areas support the contrary opinion that a UK shale gas revolution is far from likely. ‎In a nutshell they are pledging that “non-fracking” wells will no longer need planning permission. They created a gaping loophole by adding an arbitrary definition of “fracking” in the Infrastructure Act based solely on the volume of fluid used. Regardless of the volume of liquid a frack is a frack is a frack!”

And Simon Maxwell of Frack Free Formby  said “If this plan ever goes ahead it will enable thousands of oil and gas wells to be drilled without any requirement for planning permission whatsoever, regardless of whether they are conventional or unconventional, single or multiple well pads, vertical or directional drilling, using acidisation or other chemicals and stimulation techniques. All ‘non-fracking’ wells. But here’s the twist. Because of the loophole in the legal definition, a non-fracking well CAN be fracked so long as it isn’t expected to exceed the specific volume of fluid in the definition! Using this same definition, a large proportion of the wells fracked in the US shale revolution would be defined as non-fracking wells, as would Cuadrilla’s infamous Preese Hall well in Lancashire, closed down in 2011 after causing 2 earthquakes but only using 8,400 cubic metres of fluid – short of the 10,000 cubic metres required for it to be defined as “fracking”.

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