Further to my blog of 22 June, most people will have heard the great news that Lancashire councillors voted against giving Cuadrilla planning permission to frack. This was an impressive example of people power. However, the cynic in me says - look out for a government announcement in some way curtailing local council democratic rights to decide on fracking applications. I say this because straight after the general election the government carried out a very low key consultation about not consulting local residents before letting fracking companies carry out exploratory drilling. Also that there not should be site specific environmental assessments, but just general guidelines.
Fracking is being actively promoted by the tories. Onshore wind power is not, so the government has just announced that wind farms cannot go ahead if the local people are against it. According to the BBC website:
'Some of the business leaders are baffled why ministers will give local people a unique veto over wind turbines, when they cannot veto shale gas fracking or even a nuclear power station on their doorstep.'New onshore wind farms will also be excluded from a subsidy scheme from 1 April 2016, a year earlier than expected.
Friends of the Earth's renewable energy campaigner Alasdair Cameron said:
"While the government rolls out the red carpet for fracking, they're pulling the rug out from under onshore wind."The Green Party is against fracking and for local communities having their own wind turbines. Party leader Natalie Bennett said
“Going ahead with fracking will always have its dangers, but to begin drilling without a proper environmental audit is simply reckless, and shows what little regard ministers have for the natural environment of this country." See the full statement.