TAP – Another fracking agenda becomes detectable – besides water destruction, and Agenda 21 depopulation/clearance of the countryside. The break-up of the UK into regions.
‘It looks suspiciously like the Tories are trying to avoid fracking taking place in their heartlands by pushing as much of it as possible up north’
Oil & Gas Authority, the industry regulator, said nothing should be read into the absence of the South – while the Government pointed out that southern areas are under consideration for future licences.
In addition to the licences granted yesterday, the Government will offer up to 159 more in the future, subject to environmental assessment and consultations. About 30 could be for sites in the South – mostly around Bournemouth, Weymouth, Bath, Bristol and Hereford.
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A handful of oil and gas licences have already been awarded in the South, but these were issued around a decade ago when few people had heard of fracking and the technique had yet to become controversial. Licences have also previously been granted in Lancashire – but last month the county council put a block on commercial drilling by Cuadrilla. The company is appealing.
Anti-fracking protesters in Balcombe, in 2013 (Getty)
Protests in the West Sussex village of Balcombe in 2013 – over fears that a local licence-holder would seek to frack nearby – helped propel fracking into the spotlight. Campaigners suggested yesterday they had made the Government and fracking companies wary of the South.
“According to the Government, the areas today earmarked for fracking are supposed to be uncontroversial. This will be an insult to people who live in the North of England. They will be on the fracking frontline and will face noise, air pollution and threats to local groundwater,” said Greenpeace campaigner Daisy Sands.
A DECC spokesperson said: “Decisions on where to award these oil and gas licenses are made by the independent Oil and Gas authority, not Ministers and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
“The Government has been clear that we are backing the safe development of shale gas because it’s good for jobs, good for our energy security and part of our plan to ensure that the economic potential of all parts of the UK is realised”.