Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Fracking in East Devon

Fracking is very much in the news at the moment:
Tory MP for crucial shale gas area calls for fracking 'buffer zones' - Telegraph
Fracking 'could lower house prices' says draft official report - BBC News
New blow to UK fracking is a delay but not the end of the road - opinion - 30 June 2015 - New Scientist
An alliance of 'colonels and crusties' may just have killed fracking in Britain - Telegraph

The chair of the Commons Select Cttee for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) is also the MP for Tiverton and Honiton:
Neil Parish MP will Chair Environment Select Committee | Neil Parish

Mr Parish has just spoken on the issue of fracking:

Devon MP suggests public could "buy in" to idea of fracking

By Western Morning News | Posted: July 02, 2015

By Kate Langston

The new head of Parliament’s environment and rural affairs committee has urged ministers to do more to encourage people to “buy into” fracking.

Neil Parish, chairman of the Efra select committee and MP for Tiverton and Honiton, suggested the controversial practice would be “good for the country”. But he said it was important for the Government to demonstrate “tangible” benefits to local communities first in order to get their support.

His comments came during a Westminster debate in which he acknowledged there were no current plans to extract shale gas in Devon. But large areas of the Westcountry are open to applications, and the energy secretary is pushing for extraction to be permitted in national parks.

Mr Parish argued a “competitive and efficient” shale gas industry would be “good for the country”, adding that the UK could end up producing “a lot more” of the resource than expected. He qualified this by saying the gas “should not be brought out of the ground at any price” and recommending investment in infrastructure to ensure minimal disruption to communities and landscapes.

However, his comments drew criticism from Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, who said the Government’s approach to fracking was proof of its willingness “to prioritise corporations over people’s rights and their health”.

Devon MP suggests public could "buy in" to idea of fracking | Western Morning News
Neil Parish MP says the public should be encouraged to “buy into fracking”: Green MEP disagrees | East Devon Watch
Fracking: get ready to rumble! | East Devon Watch

However, it seems that there might be some lack of clarity, or the need to add some nuance:

HONITON: MP U-turn on fracking ?

7 July 2015

by Anders Larsson anders@tindlenews.co.uk

A Honiton resident says the town should be safe from fracking after an alleged U-turn by MP Neil Parish (Cons).

But Mr Parish, who is MP for the Tiverton and Honiton constituency, hasn’t admitted to making a U-turn. Instead, he issued a statement saying he can see both pros and cons with fracking, which is a process to extract oil or gas.

Having listened to Mr Parish in a Westminster debate on June 30th, Honiton resident Tony Simpson claimed the former had made a U-turn and is now opposing the views of the Prime Minister.

Referring to the Westminster debate, Mr Simpson said: “Mr Parish appeared to question his previous support for fracking. He said ‘We do not seem to be doing terribly well...all locals are turning fracking down. We are going to have to rethink our approach to all this’.

“Mr Parish appears to have done a complete U-turn since I wrote to him in September 2013. Before the election he supported the line taken by the Prime Minister that we had to back fracking and shale technology. He didn’t mention environmental issues or any of his concerns about groundwater sources or green spaces. He agreed with David Cameron. He told me shale gas could create thousands of jobs and bring in £billions in tax revenues and secure our energy costs for the future. 

He seems to have done a U-turn, which I personally welcome. He clearly recognises the Governments approach is very unpopular and wants it re-visited.
If there is any suggestion of fracking in Honiton and Tiverton we look to Mr Parish to oppose it on the grounds he has mentioned.”

Mr Parish, who chairs the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, has seen the statement issued by Mr Simpson, and did not dispute any of the claims made, although he didn’t say he has made a U-turn.

In response to Pulman’s View asking him if he has changed his mind, the MP wouldn’t commit to a Yes or No answer, but said: “It has always been my view that shale gas extraction has the potential to increase competition in our energy market. Obviously, it is my view that the environmental impact of large scale projects do have to be considered and I would never want to do anything that would do serious damage to the environment.”

HONITON: MP U-turn on fracking ? - View from Sidmouth

See also:

No comments: