Dr Alan Whitehead, Member of Parliament for Southampton Test, has today launched a report authored by a coalition of the UK’s most influential conservation groups.
“Are We Fit to Frack”, which has been published by six organisations including the National Trust and the RSPB, warns that current shale gas regulations are not fit for purpose and as a result the industry could have a serious impact on wildlife habitats and endangered species.
The report sets out 10 recommendations that Ministers should embrace in order to adequately address the environmental risks associated with fracking. Notably the report calls for the setting up so-called "no frack zones" around the UK's most sensitive conservation areas.
Alan Whitehead MP said:
“David Cameron and George Osborne are huge advocates of fracking and have regularly argued that we have the strongest environmental controls in this country and that nothing will go ahead if there are dangers to our environment.
This report highlights the risks associated with fracking and evidences the impact that fracking could have on our countryside. The robust research shows that better regulation is needed if we are to protect our environment.
The findings of the report are particularly relevant to Hampshire, which has both a sensitive natural environment and potential shale gas reserves. I have long argued that we have to be clear about what the real consequences of fracking might be if it is allowed to go ahead and what this means from a resource point of view. For example, how will the South be able to cope with the added demand for water that results from fracking?
To protect our county’s wildlife from potential fracking and to be sure we don’t place even more strain on our resources, we need to ensure that the Government makes the regulatory framework as secure as it can possibly be.”