Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Fracking plans backed by MP
2:00pm Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
A WORCESTERSHIRE MP has come out in support of fracking, saying the controversial method could save “an entire generation”money off their energy bills.
Peter Luff, who represents Mid-Worcestershire, has risked the wrath of green groups by firmly backing drilling into the countryside for gas.
No companies have yet secured Government licences to dig in Worcestershire – but in neighbouring Herefordshire 200 people have signed a petition calling for any speculative applications to be banned.
The practice is gaining support as a way of finding new shale gas and oil reserves by drilling into open land, despite campaigners’ fears over potential earthquakes, damage to the landscape and contamination of water supplies.
Mr Luff, a Conservative, said: “I strongly support the exploratory process because energy security is so important to our economy. If we can make this work, we should because it will help stabilise energy prices for a generation of households.
“We need to look at it carefully to make sure appropriate safety measures are in place, but also embrace it. We’ve got a domestic shortage of reliable onshore gas storage and this could make a difference, so it’s not something we can afford to say no to.”
He also believes the drilling will be on a “much smaller scale” than campaigners fear.
Any companies that want an exploratory licence to drill into the ground need permission from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and planning approval.
A DECC spokesman said Worcestershire hasn’t been subject to any bids, but if one was forthcoming it would be considered in line with other counties.
He said: “An interested company would have to come to us first, and we’d issue an exploratory licence, but they’d need consent from the planning authority, Environment Agency and the Health and Safety executive too.”
Worcestershire County Council’s planning committee would be responsible for granting any permission.
Comments are closed on this article.