Sent: 25 October 2018 18:52
To: RAAB, Dominic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Please attend a Westminster Hall Debate on fracking this Wednesday
Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP,
Esher and Walton
Dear Rt Hon Raab,
As a constituent of yours, I am writing to ask you to attend and make a contribution at a Westminster Hall Debate on Wednesday 31st October at 16:30-18:00pm on ‘Local involvement in shale gas development’. It is hosted by Mark Menzies MP (Con, Fylde).
The debate relates to the government’s proposals to fast-track fracking and follows the closure of MHCLG’s consultations on ‘Permitted development for shale gas exploration’ and BEIS’ consultation on ‘Inclusion of shale gas production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime’ on October 25th.
I am concerned that these proposals are counter to public opposition and feeling, and would:
● disregard the wishes of local communities;
● remove decision making powers from local councils;
● strip the requirement for fracking companies to apply for planning permission for shale gas exploration;
● undermine urgent action on climate change.
I am a supporter of Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and believe that fracking poses great risks to our countryside, through the industrialisation of landscapes, potential environmental hazards and fossil fuel extraction driving climate change. It is my belief that unless these risks can be mitigated, that it should be harder – not made easier – to frack.
A short outline of why these proposals are a problem, plus a list of questions that you might like to ask at the debate are in the briefing below.
Please do let me know if you are able to attend the debate.
Briefing for Westminster Hall Fracking Debate – October 2018
CPRE, together with partners at Friends of the Earth, Frack Free United, 38 Degrees, 350.org and SumofUs, have put together a briefing for MPs ahead of the debate. This briefing outlines;
• The key arguments for why these proposals must be dropped
• A summary of public opposition to the proposals so far
• Suggested questions for MPs to ask in the debate
To read the full briefing please copy and paste this link into your browser:
Thank you for contacting me about planning practice on shale development.
Shale development has the potential to deliver substantial economic benefits to the UK economy and for local communities where supplies are located. The government remains committed to protecting the environment and ensuring that shale exploration happens safely. Planning decisions on shale exploration applications remain disappointingly slow, which is why the government announced a range of measures to help speed up these decisions.
A consultation has been launched to consider whether the early stages of shale exploration should be treated as permitted development, and in particular the circumstances where this might be appropriate. This would allow early exploratory work to proceed without requiring planning applications, although planning applications would still be required for fracking.
Other measures include strengthening community engagement by consulting on the potential to make pre-application consultations a statutory requirement, and launching a new £1.6 million shale support fund over the next two years to build capacity in local authorities dealing with shale applications.
A new Planning Brokerage Service for shale applications will also be created, to provide guidance to developers and local authorities on the planning process in order to speed up decision making. Furthermore, to simplify the complex UK regulatory regime for shale gas, a new Shale Environmental Regulator will also be set up, to act as a single coherent face for the public, mineral planning authorities, and industry.
These measures will help speed up decision making on shale applications, whilst protecting our environment and ensuring that the voices of local communities are heard. I hope this provides you with a degree of reassurance.
Unfortunately, due to pre-existing diary commitments, I am unable to attend Wednesday’s briefing on this issue.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me on this important issue.
Much emphasis on ‘good for the economy’ and ‘speeding up the process’ puts Dominic firmly in favour of fracking wherever it is economically viable but with no reference to the effects on climate change when releasing fossil fuels or the effects on local democracy where communities say no to fracking in their area but are over-ruled by central government.
Greenpeace put forward 4 reasons why fracking is not a good idea for the UK. greenpeace.org.uk/what-we-do/climate/fracking/the-problem-with-fracking/
- Increase climate change
- Bad for the local environment
- Potential to damage our water supply
- Will not reduce bills
None of these points is mentioned in Dominic’s response. Profit over planet is a very short-sighted view.