The recent full council debate, which resulted in a ban on fracking for shale gas in Calderdale, has stirred up quite a controversy, writes Coun Colin Raistrick (Independent, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe).
It was also completely pointless. There is no shale in Calderdale, so obviously, there will be no fracking.
Also, any application for fracking would have to go through the planning process. The planning legislation is controlled by central government at Westminster, so the ban that was imposed is completely irrelevant.
It was interesting, however, to see how the political parties lined up.
Don’t forget (as if you could) that there is an election coming and a lot of these motions at council are centrally controlled by the party leadership in Westminster to highlight their respective party’s national agenda.
Nothing to do with Calderdale. So in this case, theLiberal Democrats want to emphasise their “green credentials”, they’re chasing the environmentalist vote from the Green Party.
The Labour Party want to be seen as “green”, dislike the prospect of big business making money from fracking, but some see the benefit of cheap energy, so they can’t make their minds up.
In this case, as there will be no fracking, they were happy to ban it. The Conservatives, in line with the national policy, were happy to oppose the ban.
Where do I stand?
Well despite the doom- mongering propaganda about water pollution and earthquakes, the vast majority of scientists believe fracking to be safe.
In America where fracking is widespread, there has been no successful case of anyone suing a fracking company for environmental damage. So my guess is it isn’t happening.
The benefits in terms of energy supply security would be huge. We would no longer need to rely on Russia ( what a nice man that Putin is) for our gas supply.
We read almost every day how many older people have to choose between “heating” or “eating”. Wouldn’t cheap energy benefit them? The drilling apparatus is ugly, but so are wind farms (as well as being useless) and slag heaps didn’t stop us coal mining did they? Let’s get fracking!