I will be asked to vote on the Infrastructure Bill on Monday.
The Infrastructure Bill which contains changes to trespass laws which will enable High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing, known as ‘fracking’.
You will know I have been a staunch and vocal opponent of fracking in Somerset. Nothing has changed.
I disagree with the extraction of fossil fuels on principle. It doesn't fit with our objective to tackle climate change.
High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing involves millions of gallons of toxic waste water and there is a real risk of spills, leaks, ground water contamination and air pollution.
Our regulatory regime is weaker and less independent than it needs to be for this new process to be considered safe.
This is completely unacceptable.
Countries like Germany and Bulgaria have banned High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing. New York State and Denton in Texas have also implemented bans. France and the Netherlands have announced a moratorium, as has Quebec in Canada.
The UK Government should announce a moratorium on fracking, not “go all out for shale” as David Cameron insists.
I have used my Government position as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Vince Cable to push hard for a halt and a rethink. I will spend this weekend studying the many amendments which have been submitted to try to improve the Bill ahead of Monday’s vote.
I will update my blog on this important matter as the situation develops.