Tim Farron, the new Lib Dem leader could be pivotal in the coming campaign to stop fracking in Britain
He has already made public statements that he will be reviewing LD policies to make them more liberal. He has also voiced opposition to fracking. His winning of the Party leadership should before long make the Lib Dems the next party after the Greens to be in opposition to unconventional gas drilling in Britain. UKIP were a great disappointment in this regard and they missed a trick at the General Election by supporting the Conservative pro-fracking policy. Carswell is still making pro-fracking noises btw, as is Owen Paterson, who has obviously not yet learned his lesson either.
A confirmed anti-fracking Lib Dem policy, which could pull support from many constituencies if it actually happens, will trouble Labour, and Andy Burnham has already made anti-fracking/anti-drilling noises. If he wins the Labour leadership, it is possible, though by no means a certainty, that with Conservative rebels and the SNP, along with Lib Dem, a majority of MPs could be willing to vote against fracking within a few months, and bring in a UK ban, as has happened in many other countries.
As regards the Labour leadership contest, the front-runner is said to be Jeremy Corbyn by The New Statesman. If that forecast correct, he is totally in favour of a national fracking moratorium.
Jeremy is totally opposed to fracking because he believes that ”Fracking is dangerous to the environment and causes water pollution.”. In June 2012, he sponsored an Early Day Motion in parliament calling for a moratorium on fracking.
INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe has received private assurances from the SNP that it does not oppose fracking, he claimed yesterday.
The Switzerland-based billionaire said his business was given the nod earlier this year during private talks with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon — on the same day her party confirmed a moratorium on the damaging extraction process.
Mr Ratcliffe believes that an onshore shale gas industry could be operating commercially as early as 2018.
Ineos currently holds fracking exploration licences across 700 miles of Scotland, and will soon be seeking formal approval to begin drilling and carrying out seismic testing, which Mr Ratcliffe is confident will not breach the terms of the moratorium.
Frack Off Fife activist Tam Kirby told the Star that Mr Ratcliffe’s announcement “does not come as a major surprise.
“The SNP has always been very cagey when responding to queries regarding unconventional gas extraction.
“Now is the time for the SNP to come clean on the whole matter.
“If Ratcliffe is wrong, then the SNP needs to now change from having a moratorium on fracking to a complete and outright ban.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Dr Richard Dixon added: “Nicola Sturgeon urgently needs to publish a note of their meeting and make a statement on what she did and didn’t say to the Ineos boss.”
A Scottish government spokesperson said that these revelations were simply what had already been said publicly on the issue, namely that “no fracking can or will take place in Scotland while the moratorium we have announced remains in place, a policy that has received wide support from both environmental groups and industry.”
The SNP not voting against fracking would change the arithmetic substantially. You’d need over fifty Conservative/SNP rebels if these parties went against a moratorium or a ban. That’s where a Lib Dem revival could be powerful. Were Tim Farron to rebuild his party by taking up a strong anti-fracking stance, as well as over electoral reform, which he’s playing as his first pitch to the marketplace, the ground would start moving, and the other parties could be compelled to follow suit.
This video won’t delete from this post. I don’t know why! My attack on Owen Paterson’s fracking policy when he was still Environment Secretary.