A total of ten MPs have now called for DEFRA’s censored ‘Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts’ report to be released in full, including four MPs from David Cameron’s own party. Last week, at the House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee inquiry on the environmental risks of fracking, three MPs made requests to see the complete report.
More than 4,600 of you have now signed the ‘Stop Fracking Censorship’ petition and an additional 1,500 tweets were sent using the #DefraCoverUp hashtag. The climate change minister Amber Rudd MP, responded saying the redactions had been made under exemptions in the freedom of information rules. The shadow energy minister, Tom Greatrex MP, described the minister’s explanation as the “thinnest justification I have ever heard for not publishing a document”. Andrew Miller MP said, “we have to have transparency. I think it is absolutely outrageous that we have documents that are redacted.”
With an election looming, the Prime Minister will not want to seem like he’s leading this cover up. Now is the time to concentrate our efforts on showing David Cameron we require full transparency from our Government. The hidden contents of this report will influence how MPs vote on Monday 26th and the outcome of this dangerous Bill.
If enough MPs demand the report is released in full, David Cameron will have no choice but to release it before next Monday. The Bill proposes controversial changes to our Trespass Laws that will erode our land rights, and pave the way for fracking. Ask your MPs to support the amendments to the Bill proposed by Dr Caroline Lucas MP and Norman Baker MP, which call for the removal of the fracking-facilitating clauses. Dr Lucas is also calling for an outright ban on fracking. We believe more MPs will support a ban once they are privy to the contents of DEFRA’s secret report.
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, said “By heavily redacting the ‘Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts’ report the Government wants to obscure the truth and not explain it.”
Let’s make sure our MPs know exactly what you think about Government censorship and this contentious Bill. Can you take two minutes to email your MP to tell them they should ask David Cameron to release the report and support the Lucas/Baker amendments? Please click on this link to send your email via this simple ‘Write to your MP’ tool: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/action-hub-write-to-your-mp-tool
Copy and paste the following text to the ‘Write to your MP’ tool and personalise your email before sending it to your MP:
Dear [Insert MPs Name],
I am writing to ask that you demand David Cameron release DEFRA’s ‘Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts’ report in full before MPs vote on the contentious Infrastructure Bill on Monday 26th January.
Last month, Anne McIntosh MP asked the Prime Minister to release the report. In his reply, he said “I am very happy to look at that”. Downing Street has yet to confirm whether the Prime Minister had considered the request.
A total of ten MPs have since urged David Cameron to release the report in full including four MPs from his own party. Yet still it remains redacted. It’s crucial that what’s hidden in this report is released before the Infrastructure Bill is finally voted on in Parliament, so that you can properly understand impacts that fracking will have on our house prices and our communities.
Although the Government has repeatedly said ‘the public should be given all the facts’, this report was redacted 63 times, including the section on how fracking could affect house prices. DEFRA claim this was best for ‘public interest’.
Next Monday, MPs will vote on the Infrastructure Bill, which proposes controversial changes to our Trespass Laws that will erode our land rights, and pave the way for fracking. How can you possibly vote on the merits of this Infrastructure Bill when 63 pertinent points from this report have been scrubbed out? Please support the amendments to the Bill proposed by Dr Caroline Lucas MP and Norman Baker MP, which call for the removal of the fracking-facilitating clauses and a ban on fracking.
We all deserve to see the censored material in this important document that our government is keeping from us. Don’t take away our land rights until you have convinced David Cameron to release the full contents of that report.
The more of us that write to our MPs, the more they’ll understand that we’re not going to tolerate this cover up or stand for the Government railroading their fracking agenda on the British public. Please write to your MP now and help keep the pressure on David Cameron!