66% of Lancashire residents oppose fracking in their local area
Over half of people surveyed (54%) still believe fracking to be unsafe, despite long-term efforts from the industry to sell the controversial process to the county.
It is two years this week since Lancashire County Council rejected a fracking planning application, a decision that was appealed against and then over-turned by central government. Almost 3 in 4 people (73%) polled think that Lancashire County Council should have the final say on fracking applications.
A YouGov survey  of Lancashire residents for Friends of the Earth released in full today reveals that:
• 54% said that they thought fracking was unsafe;
• 73% thought that Lancashire County Council should have the final say about whether fracking goes ahead,
• 66% are concerned about the impact of fracking on Lancashire’s natural environment; and
• 66% are opposed to fracking within 5 miles of where they live.
This week France has announced it will stop granting oil and gas licenses for exploration as the country moves towards an energy transition away from reliance on fossil fuels.
Contrastingly, the Conservatives are isolated in the political drive to frack in England – they are the only major UK party to support fracking – with their manifesto going as far as making proposals to weaken local decision-making in relation to fracking.
Friends of the Earth is calling on the government, given the extent of public opposition in Lancashire and the risks of fracking, to:
• Drop controversial deregulatory fracking and non-fracking drilling proposals as outlined in Conservative manifesto – these proposals will face strong parliamentary and public resistance
• implement an immediate ban on all fracking; and
• invest in renewable energy and jobs to put us on par with countries like Germany
Friends of the Earth North West campaigner Helen Rimmer, said:
“Lancashire residents already know that fracking is unwanted, not just here but anywhere in the country where fracking is proposed. But the extent to which this industry has failed to win over the public is undeniable. Friends of the Earth has always stood against fracking, together with residents on this issue.
“There is overwhelming opposition to fracking from Sussex to Lancashire. The list of countries banning fracking grows all the time, why should Lancashire just roll over and accept it? Instead of imposing an industry on communities, the government must let localism happen and prioritise clean, renewable energy that would cut carbon emissions and at the same time create tens of thousands of new jobs”.
2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,148 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th May – 6th June 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of adults in Lancashire (aged 18+).
For press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.
Published by Friends of the Earth Trust