Friends of the Earth and community campaigners are calling on Greg Clark MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, not to give final consent to allow fracking to go ahead in Lancashire, as drilling is reported at Preston New Road today.

17th August 2017

Greg Clark MP still has to give final consent before the controversial hydraulic fracturing process can begin. With support for fracking at an all-time low, and local opposition increasing, Friends of the Earth has said it’s not too late for the government to admit it has “got it wrong” on fracking and is calling on the government to put a stop to this costly mistake before it begins.

Drilling at the Preston New Road site will take place 24 hour a day, seven days per week causing noise and disruption to the local community. Councillors in Lancashire voted to reject fracking in their area in 2015, but the decision was overturned by the government in Westminster.

A spokesperson from Preston New Road Action Group has said:

“Preston New Road Action Group are bitterly disappointed that Cuadrilla have reportedly commenced drilling at the Preston New Road site, despite a legal challenge still being in progress. They seem to have a total disregard for the local community, despite on many occasions saying they wish to be good neighbours. Once drilling commences the local community is subjected to 24×7 drilling with the impacts that it is likely to have on their lives. As the rig was delivered during the night they have already breached planning conditions which does not bode well for the future.”

Helen Rimmer, Friends of the Earth North West campaigner, said:

“The start of drilling means that local people will be subject to 24 hour noise, 7 days a week, from a fracking project that they don’t even want.

“Fracking is bad news for the local community, bad news for our environment and is the wrong solution to our energy needs.

“But it’s not too late for the government to admit that it has got it wrong on fracking and put an end to this risky industry before it starts. Now is the time for Greg Clark to show he’s serious about climate change and say no to fracking before it begins.”

Fracking is currently banned in Ireland and France, banned in the Netherlands until 2020, and there is a moratorium in Scotland and Wales while the risks are investigated, putting England’s pursuit of fracking at odds with all of its closest neighbours.

For press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust