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UK Government Approves Fracking

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The Government has controversially given fracking in Lancashire the green light.

One fracking scheme in the county has been given the go ahead, but the second – applied for by the same fracking company – was refused.

Lancashire County Council had turned down planning applications from shale gas company Cuadrilla for fracking at two locations in Fylde.

Cuadrilla, which had hoped to frack at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood, appealed against the decision and it went to a public inquiry, which was heard earlier this year.

Fracking is incredibly controversial. Anti-fracking campaigners say the process could contaminate local water sources and cause traffic and noise pollution.

What is fracking and why is it so controversial?

Environmentalists also argue that the government should be focusing its efforts on developing renewable energy sources, rather than relying on the extraction of fossil fuels.

These campaigners have expressed their outrage at the government’s decision, which they say goes against pledges to tackle climate change – particularly those made in the Paris Agreement.

Pat Davies, Chair of Preston New Road Action Group, said: ‘This is a sad day as it is clear to all that this government neither listens nor can it be trusted to do the right thing for local communities.

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‘It is deplorable that an industry that has been rejected on every level has inflicted itself on Preston New Road.

‘Westby Parish Council, Fylde Borough Council and Lancashire County Council planning committee all said no to this application. These reasons were based on facts and knowledge, they rejected the site as unsuitable.

‘Dismantling the democratic process to facilitate a dirty fossil fuel industry when only months ago the UK committed to climate change targets in Paris is another example of saying one thing and doing another.

‘Profit clearly comes before people. This decision will be scrutinised by many, not just the people of Lancashire and this travesty of justice will not be accepted. This is not the end. We will challenge this.’

And Helen Rimmer, north-west campaigner for Friends of the Earth, added: ‘This is bad news for Lancashire – the community have been fighting fracking for more than five years.

‘This fight continues until this unproven and unpopular industry disappear for good.

‘Instead of shoving us down a dangerous path that inevitably leads to climate change, the government should invest in renewables and energy efficiency, an emerging industry that could create 24,000 jobs in the north west alone.’

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