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Outrage over fracking licencing

Map showing onshore licenses, strategic environmental assessment (SEA) areas and prosepective areas for shale gas.

Map showing onshore licenses, strategic environmental assessment (SEA) areas and prosepective areas for shale gas.

Areas of the Calderdale landscape could be transformed by fracking, as ministers open the bidding process for companies seeking licences to drill for oil and gas onshore.

Worried residents have voiced concerns over the dangers of fracking to the Calderdale landscapes, which could affect places around Heptonstall Moor, Corpley Reservoir, Widdop Reservoir and Warshaw Dean Reservoirs.

Although added planning guidance was implemented to protect areas of outstanding natural beauty, world heritage sites, national parks and the Broads, dangers of fracking include atmosphere and water pollution, as well as the possibilty of small earthquakes.

Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock published details on the application process for companies seeking licences to start exploration for shale gas.

The licences are the first step to the drilling commencing but require further applications. Planning permission and permits from the Environment Agency and a sign-off from the Health and Safety Executive must be granted before drill can start.

Jenny Shepherd, Calderdale Green Party Press Officer, said: “The Green Party is opposed to fracking because the government can’t afford to be developing more fossil fuel sources.

“One reason for this is that we need to conserve energy and switch to renewable energy sources and fracking will not help that. There is also considerable danger with it and there is all kinds of evidence that the chemicals get into the undergound water sources and the atmosphere.”

Commenting on the Halifax Courier Facebook page, Phil Townend, said: “I am absolutely against fracking! This is another example where the rush for resources is jeopardising our common future.

“We just most not let this happen anywhere. Our responsibility is for Calderdale.”

Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock, said: “Unlocking shale gas in Britain has the potential to provide us with greater energy security, jobs and growth.

“The new guidance published today will protect Britain’s great national parks and outstanding landscapes.”

 

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