Members of powerful committee of MPs call for fracking moratorium

23rd January 2015

Members of a powerful committee of MPs have called for a moratorium on fracking, it was revealed today (Thursday 22 January 2015). 
The call by eight members of the Environmental Audit Committee is based on the conclusions of the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into fracking, due to be published on Monday (26 January 2015), and follows news yesterday, revealed by Friends of the Earth, that a cross party group of ten MPs will also propose a fracking moratorium motion in Parliament on Monday.

Responding to the news, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Donna Hume said:

“The call for a UK moratorium by senior cross party MPs is a further blow to an industry still reeling from the recent ban on fracking in New York State due to health risks.

“From Lancashire to Balcombe, communities are rejecting the fracking industry’s spin and this move shows MPs aren’t swallowing it either.

“The truth is people do not want a high-impact fossil fuel industry that would leave a legacy of pollution and disruption and would lock the world into further climate change.

“The tide is turning against fracking around the world with bans in place from France to Texas – British politicians should follow suit and vote to stop fracking on Monday.”

Members of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have proposed an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill to introduce ‘a moratorium on the hydraulic fracturing of shale gas deposits in order to reduce the risk of carbon budgets being breached’. The amendment comes ahead of the publication of the Committee’s conclusions from an inquiry into the Environmental risks of fracking, due on Monday 26 January, the same day that MPs will vote on the amendment.

It comes as the Labour Party says fracking should not go ahead at sites unless a list of conditions are met, including ensuring that drinking water protection zones are ruled out from fracking.

Donna Hume said:

“Labour is right to call for a ban on fracking near aquifers used for drinking water, its basic common sense. But with such high risks from fracking to health, the environment and climate change, Labour should back the call of cross party MPs for an immediate moratorium so these risks can be assessed.”


Notes to editors

1. The proposed amendment from the members of the Environmental Audit Committee can be seen here (amendment 68).

2. A separate cross party group of MPs had yesterday (Wednesday 21 January) called for a moratorium on fracking.

3. The Labour party amendment. (New Clause NC 19).
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