York Green Party

Fracking vote shows how "government is failing us all"

27 January 2015

The Green Party's York Central Parliamentary candidate Jonathan Tyler today hit out at all three main parties for their abject failure to stand up for the public against fracking companies. A moratorium on fracking was rejected after a debate as part of the Infrastructure Bill in the House of Commons on Monday.

Despite the recent report by the Labour-led Environmental Audit Committee (on which Green MP Caroline Lucas sits), which called for a full moratorium whilst risks are evaluated, the Government still supports the expansion of the practice.

The Green Party is the only major political party opposed to fracking, with Green MP Caroline Lucas is leading calls in Parliament for the practice to be banned. Caroline was herself arrested in August 2013 at a fracking protest in Balcombe.

Jonathan Tyler said: "Fracking is bad for health, the environment - and democracy. The chaotic procedures in Parliament on Monday showed how our present system of Government is failing us all".

Jonathan Tyler said: "The Green Party is opposed to fracking because of the overwhelming importance of leaving carbon resources in the ground and the severe risks to our drinking water supplies if aquifers are polluted. We are also concerned about the improper tax privileges being given to the exploration companies, the assult on personal freedoms and property and the potential damage to the countryside."

Whilst adding that Anne McIntosh, the Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, "should be congratulated on the success of her amendment preventing fracking in National Parks", this is in direct contrast to her colleague Julian Sturdy, Conservative MP for York Outer, who loyally voted with his party. The Labour Party abstained on the vote in the Commons, with York Central MP Hugh Bayley neither speaking nor voting.

Whilst the City of York Council has passed a clear motion opposing fracking in the City of York area, the Chancellor George Osborne has asked his colleagues to use every available means of helping the drilling companies - including overriding the decisions of Councils to refuse planning applications. Jonathan Tyler has criticised this as "a complete disregard for local democracy, and for the clearly-expressed massive opposition to fracking across the country."

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