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CPRE's Response to Weald Shale Gas Report: "We need more guarantees"

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 00:00

23 May 2014

The British Geological Survey released a press release on 23 May 2014 unveiling their findings that report estimates that the Weald Basin, a vast area covering around 3,500 square miles in the south including Sussex and the South Downs National Park, could contain between 2.2-8.5billion barrels of oil, equivalent to 290-1,100million tonnes. Read the British Geological Survey Report [PDF].

 Nick Clack of CPRE made the following response to the media:

“If the Government is going to win support for fracking it must demonstrate that it’s serious about protecting the landscape, climate, and local communities. This latest Government-commissioned study suggests there may be billions of barrels of shale oil under southern England, but we need many more guarantees about how our communities and countryside will be safeguarded. The Government has the opportunity to go about this properly and make its case. But unless it can demonstrate that it gives a high priority to protecting our landscapes and wider environment, and is willing to engage openly with those who are alarmed by the potential impact of fracking, this potential shouldn’t be tapped.

"Ahead of the Government’s next round of licensing for fracking sites, we’ve highlighted our major concerns that decisions are being rushed with too few facts available and have called for sensitive areas such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to be excluded from licensing. It’s important that we get a sense that if it becomes clear that the environmental cost of fracking is unacceptably high, the Government is willing to say ‘no’ to it. We’re not getting that sense at the moment.

"The Government has also published proposals to change the trespass law for fracking, which includes increased compensation to communities affected by fracking. This suggests that fracking should be allowed to go ahead regardless of the environmental consequences and that communities will welcome it if the price is right. CPRE believes people care more about their environment than politicians seem to think.”

The Daily Mail's report on the BGS report quoted the CPRE's response.

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