The Government wants to obscure the truth about Fracking

Keith Taylor is the Green Party Member of the European Parliament for the South East region. In this blog, he explains why he signed the Talk Fracking petition demanding that David Cameron release DEFRA’s censored report on fracking in full, before MPs decide on the Infrastructure Bill. 

An open and honest debate on fracking cannot be had if the Government hides the evidence. By heavily redacting the ‘Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts” report the Government wants to obsure the truth and not explain it.

The Government continues to defy public opinion in its unswerving support for fracking. The fact is that the more residents find out about the impacts of fracking, the less they want it in their area.

I remain convinced that fracking carries huge risk to our environment and health. The environmental and climate impacts of fracking are significant. Exploration, extraction, pollution of the local environment, disposal of waste products and byproducts, transportation, and the burning of fossil fuels to generate power all have an environmental impact.

Fracking also poses additional risks, including to water supplies and quality, to emissions, natural habitats and biodiversity and geological integrity. There is also a monetary impact associated with the costs of remedial action and clean up costs that are often borne by public funds.

Furthermore, the scientific consensus on climate change has never been greater. With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment report stipulating a limited global carbon budget, it is now accepted that we must leave the majority of known fossil fuel reserves unextracted and unburnt if we are to keep within 2 degrees of warming.

The long-term challenge that has been set to us is to phase out all fossil fuels by 2100. In this context, going all out for fracking clearly isn’t the answer. But the government’s support dismisses these concerns.

Fossil fuels worsen climate change, renewable energies don´t. We need sensible investments in renewable energy instead.”

By Keith Taylor MEP