14 July 2014
Today would have seen the We Need to Talk About Fracking debate take place at Central Hall, Westminster. Regrettably, this event has had to be postponed. Despite our efforts to invite a broad selection of policymakers, politicians and fracking industry leaders to take part in the panel discussions, they have declined to attend.
There has never been a more pressing need to discuss and debate the crucial questions around fracking and what it means for the future of the UK, whilst at the same time cutting through the confusion and misinformation on both sides of the argument.
Today’s debate would have been the sixth of our events that the supporters of fracking have failed to field a panel for. We have nevertheless been able to use these forums to collate many genuine questions and concerns from ordinary people, all of which remain unanswered.
There is currently a huge discrepancy between the experts who highlight the negative impacts of fracking and the stories being put out by the fracking industry. With our trespass laws set to change to accommodate fracking beneath our homes, it is vital that the public can feel confident that they are fully informed about shale gas extraction.
We have over 80 people on our list from government departments and industry that have been courteously invited with plenty of advanced notice. Many of those names are currently calling for more public debate in the media, but when offered the opportunity they have either stonewalled us, turned us down, failed to commit or failed to offer an alternative representative.
Those invited include: Andrew Austin, CEO of IGas; Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla; Lord Browne; DECC, UKOOG, Gregory Barker MP and Michael Fallon MP.
Talk Fracking will continue to provide this forum for debate and will continue to ask the crucial questions regarding shale gas extraction and its effect on the British people, so that an informed public can deliver their verdict at the ballot box.
Our invitation to all parties remains open and we are still hopeful that they will take this opportunity to allay the fears that people in the UK have about the impact that fracking may have upon health, our environment, house prices, business interests and tourism.