Faisal Rashid MP has today (Tuesday 27 August) backed Labour’s demands to “immediately ban fracking”, following a record-breaking 2.9 Richter scale earthquake that hit Lancashire on Monday. The earthquake is significantly larger than the 2.3 magnitude earthquake that struck in 2011, following which fracking operations were suspended in the UK for seven years.
The tremor was recorded at about 08:30 BST and is stronger than those that forced oil and gas company Cuadrilla to suspend test fracking in 2011. Cuadrilla said it was investigating the tremor and said no fracking was being carried out at the time. The latest quake is the third recorded in less than a week.
Along with the fear, disruption and potential damage to property caused by fracking, the Committee on Climate Change has concluded that fracking on a significant scale is not compatible with the UK’s climate change targets.
A government report from 2015 concluded that fracking increases air pollution, with substantially higher impacts at the local level where activities are clustered. Fracking also generates large amounts of wastewater, which poses contamination risks to local ecosystems from spills and mismanagement.
Two shadow ministers have today written to Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom demanding that she take action to stop shale gas extraction in the UK. Leadsom has previously dismissed criticism of fracking as “scaremongering” and called it the answer to Britain’s energy conundrum.
Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, said:
“These earthquakes are a cause for serious alarm. We need urgent action on fracking from the Government. They have been unwilling to stand up to big companies who want to profit from this industry at the expense of our planet. It is simply madness to continue fracking in the North West.
I am fully behind calls for an immediate and total ban on this dangerous, harmful practice. Local communities and campaign groups in the North West have long
been opposed to fracking – their concerns have been simply dismissed by the Government as “scaremongering”. I hope that a 2.9 Richter scale earthquake will finally bring them to their senses.