Lancaster Green councillors celebrate end to fracking in county - but say hard work is not over

Green councillors who have been at the forefront of the campaign against fracking in Lancashire have reacted to the news that all fracking in the county is to be stopped.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 3:25 pm

The owner of shale fracking firm Cuadrilla announced today it will permanently plug and abandon its two shale wells in Lancashire.

Cuadrilla set out plans to permanently seal the two shale gas wells drilled at the Preston New Road Lancashire shale exploration site a little over two years after the government brought an end to fracking in England.

The government brought in a de facto ban on fracking in 2019 after years of opposition from climate campaigners and local protest groups after a study by the industry regulator warned that fracking could not be carried out safely without the risk of triggering earth tremors.

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An aerial view of the Cuadrilla shale gas extraction (fracking) site at Preston New Road. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The leader of Lancaster City Council, Green councillor Caroline Jackson, said: “After a long and hard campaign, it is brilliant news that the final nail in the coffin for fracking in Britain has been hammered home today.

“Decades of investing in ever more extreme ways of accessing fossil fuels has left us with a climate emergency and rocketing energy prices. Allowing fracking to go ahead would have been totally unacceptable.

"There was never any way that fracking in Lancashire could have gone ahead without serious damage to the environment and it is an enormous relief and a credit to all those who campaigned against it to see the plans finally blocked.”

Fellow councillor and former MEP for the north west Gina Dowding said: “Though this news is cause for celebration, this is not the end of the road. Millions of people are struggling with fuel poverty and rocketing energy bills right now because of the Government’s refusal to invest in cheap, clean, renewable energy instead of oil and gas.

“Yet just this week the Chancellor has backed plans for expanding the UK’s fossil fuel industry, which clearly has no viable future. We urgently need a plan to wind down the rest of the UK’s oil and gas exploration as well as existing fossil fuel infrastructure, and to replace it with renewable energy.”