The Guardian is reporting that regulations proposed by the Labour Party and approved by the Coalition Government mean fracking will be banned from two-fifths of the land in England.Labour faced harsh criticism last week, particularly from the Green Party of England and Wales, after it failed to support that party’s call for a moratorium on fracking that would have banned it altogether. Green supporters suggested that Labour had done a deal with the Coalition to abstain on the moratorium in return for support over the 13-point regulation scheme.
In fact, according to the newspaper, “Ministers were forced to accept Labour’s new environmental rules last week to avoid a rebellion by Conservative and LibDem backbench MPs, many of whom are facing opposition to fracking from constituents.”
So there was no dirty backroom deal and 40 per cent of England is free of fracking whereas, if Labour had supported the Green moratorium, none of England would be protected.
The article continues: “Neither the government nor Labour have stated how much of the land available for future shale gas drilling – 60 per cent of England – would be affected by the new bans. But a Guardian data analysis has revealed it is 39.7 per cent, with large swaths of the south and south east off-limits, as well as the Yorkshire Dales and Peak district.
“An independent analysis by Greenpeace also found that 45 per cent of the 931 blocks being licensed for fracking in England were at least 50 per cent covered by protected areas, which it said was likely to make them unattractive to fracking companies.
“Just three per cent of of the blocks have no protected areas at all, Greenpeace found.”
Well played, Labour! That was a good afternoon’s work.
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