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.Read more
Tessa recently sent this message to people who have contacted her before about environmental matters.
“As you have contacted me before about environmental matters, I hope you do not mind if I write to update you further on some proposals which relate to Hydraulic Fracturing, known as ‘fracking’, in our part of Somerset, and to ask again for your help.
You may be aware that last month, the Government announced plans to encourage investment in and increase the competitiveness of the UK’s energy infrastructure.
The wording used in the Queen’s Speech was as follows:
“My government will introduce a bill to bolster investment in infrastructure and reform planning law to improve economic competitiveness. The bill will enhance the United Kingdom’s energy independence and security by opening up access to shale and geothermal sites and maximising North Sea resources.”
This would have come as no surprise, as David Cameron is on record stating his intention to “go all out for shale”.Read more
Please have your say on the Somerset pre-submission Minerals Plan.
There’s one week left to comment on Somerset County Council’s pre-submission Mineral Plan Development Plan Document (DPD).
Having begun consultation on 3 March 2014, the closing date for comments is 6pm on 14 April 2014.
The Somerset Minerals Plan sets out the County Council’s approach to planning for sustainable mineral development in Somerset until the year 2030. The Somerset Minerals Plan includes information and policies on crushed rock, building stone, and peat. The Plan also outlines Somerset’s position on shale gas extraction, also known as fracking.
The Plan also outlines how Somerset’s communities, biodiversity and historic environment will be protected from adverse impacts of mineral extraction.
The pre-submission Minerals Plan, Response Form and a Statement of Consultation are available on the County Council website:Read more
Today I have replied to over a thousand constituents on the proposals for Hydraulic Fracturing, known as ‘fracking,’ in our part of Somerset.
It’s no secret that I am opposed to Fracking. Although fracking has been a fact of life in the UK for decades, the process intended for shale gas extraction is new and untested. Consequently, there should be an even greater duty to address worries about fracking raised by local residents and the scientific community. I believe that the greenhouse gases deposited safely inside shale rock over millions of years should remain there. We should be saving energy – investing in reducing our needs and in renewable technologies which already exist, not extracting every last bit of fossil fuel.
My chief concerns are the risks posed to our local and global environment; specifically, but not exclusively, climate change, water pollution and the storage, transportation and treatment of waste water.Read more