Margaret Greenwood MP has renewed her call for fracking to be banned as she accused the government of being “reckless with the environment and the health and safety of communities.”
The Wirral West MP was speaking in a parliamentary debate which was called by Labour.
During the debate she reminded Conservative MPs that their own election manifesto in 2019 stated “We will not support fracking unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely.”
She pointed to a recent report into fracking by the British Geological Survey, commissioned by the government, which found that “Forecasting the occurrence of large earthquakes and their expected magnitude remains a significant challenge for the geoscience community.”
At the end of the debate in parliament, a vote was held on Labour’s motion that would have guaranteed parliamentary time for a bill to ban fracking.
The government voted against the motion which was defeated by 326 votes to 230. However, 40 Conservative MPs abstained, meaning that they neither voted for or against Labour’s motion. This was seen as a significant blow to Liz Truss’s authority, and she has now resigned as prime minister.
Speaking after the debate, Margaret Greenwood MP said, “Conservative MPs had a real opportunity to stand up for their constituents and oppose fracking.
“They have failed to do so.
“Fracking is dangerous, dirty and an expensive way to produce energy.
“It will not provide the clean, secure energy that our country needs, nor will it help us to meet our legally binding commitment to net zero by 2050.
“Fracking in Lancashire in recent years has led to earthquakes locally. It cannot be right that the government is promoting this high-risk technology.
“As Friends of the Earth has pointed out, fracking also risks contaminating water, it poses risks to public health and the environment and it is unlikely to reduce energy bills.
“There currently exists a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence – PEDL 184 – covering an area of north-west England that includes Wirral West.
“This licence allows a company to pursue a range of oil and gas exploration activities, subject to the necessary drilling and development consents and planning permission.
“People in Wirral West have made it clear to me that they do not want to see fracking going ahead and I agree with them.
“Labour is standing up for local communities and opposing fracking.
“We need a general election so that people can vote for a Labour government that will ban fracking once and for all.”