Wirral MP calls for ban on fracking and underground coal gasification

Margaret Greenwood MP has called on the government to think again, restore the ban on fracking and put in place an outright ban on underground coal gasification (UCG).

The MP for Wirral West made the call after the Prime Minister Liz Truss announced that she would lift the moratorium on fracking.

Under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government, a conditional licence was granted for underground coal gasification in the Dee estuary in 2013.

After speaking in Parliament, the Wirral West MP said, “Many Wirral West residents are very concerned about fracking and underground coal gasification.

“Both are risky, dirty processes for extracting fossil fuels and should be banned once and for all.

“Back in 2013 I launched a campaign against UCG in the Dee estuary. There was huge public support for the campaign and we were successful in seeing off the industrialisation of the Dee off West Kirby and Hoylake.

“Now that threat has returned. The new Prime Minister has announced that she intends to hand out licences for fracking; she has also said that she wants to accelerate all sources of domestic energy production and I am very concerned that this may include underground coal gasification in the Dee.

“We are facing an environment and climate emergency: the UK Parliament declared this back in 2019 after a debate called by the Labour Party. Since then, we have seen devastating floods in Pakistan and record temperatures in the UK, resulting in urban fires.

“We all know that climate change is happening right now. The government should not be licensing drilling for fossil fuel.

“The Dee estuary is incredibly important to the character of Wirral West and the lives of all who enjoy it, whether that be for walking dogs, bird watching, sailing around the coast, kayaking up the estuary, or walking out to Hilbre Island to watch seals at close quarters.

“This is a precious natural environment and must be protected.”

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