Kent Green Party MEP, Keith Taylor voted today (9 October) to bring hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for unconventional hydrocarbons within the scope of the European Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.
This major change to European environmental protection rules was passed by 322 votes to 311. Once enacted in 6-12 months’ time, the impact of fracking operations on the environment will have to be thoroughly and independently evaluated by qualified experts before permission to begin drilling is granted. The changes also require that local people are provided with more information about fracking applications in their neighbourhood and that public consultation about these applications will have to be strengthened (1)
Keith Taylor said “I’m convinced that an EU-wide fracking ban is needed, but in the meantime, requiring a full environmental impact assessment on every shale gas or oil project is an important safeguard to determine the risks associated with fracking. Taking baseline environmental readings in advance of drilling will also enable effective monitoring of operations".
Thanet Green Party Councillor, Ian Driver, who is campaigning with East Kent Against Fracking to oppose exploratory drilling for coal and shale bed methane gas at Guston, Shepherdswell, Tilmanstone and Woodnesborough, said “I’m delighted by the news. The new rules will give more power and influence to local communities who, more often than not, are forced to oppose big drilling companies with one hand tied behind their back and without any proper advice or information from council planners”.
The Kent Green Party is supporting a major public meeting Fracking in the Garden of England? What you should know on Wednesday, 16th October, 7.30pm-9.30pm, Connaught Hall, Dover Town Hall, Maison Dieu House, Biggin St, Dover CT16 1DL.
FURTHER INFORMATION: Ian Driver, County Press Officer, Kent Green Party: Tel: 07866 588766, or Keith Taylor MEP on 0207 250 8415
Promoted by Stuart Jeffery for Kent Green Party, 82 Buckland Road, Maidstone ME16 0SD
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(1) See European Parliament press release