Green MEP slams Greg Clark in letter over plans to weaken fracking regulations and local democracy

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, has today condemned the Government’s plans to further fast-track fracking in the South East and across England.

Responding to Greg Clark Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s announcement that the UK Government plans to relax planning laws and overriding local democracy, just seven days after a consultation on the proposals closed, the senior Green Party politician and member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, sent the following letter.

Mr Taylor has previously condemned Greg Clark’s announcement and consultation process. He said:

“This process has been a sham; the Government can’t claim with any credibility that it has assessed even a handful of the responses to the hefty consultation on these anti-democratic plans that it closed only last week.”

“Ultimately, the Conservative government, for all its empty green promises has proven determined to defy the evidence and local communities and hasten the climate breakdown by fast-tracking a fracking enterprise for which it has been unable to demonstrate either an economic or energy security case. It is with absolute certainty that experts and climate campaigners say: there is no possibility that the UK will meet its legally-binding climate targets if fracking is rolled out across England.”

“The proposals are pure ideology, seeking to blindly promote fracking despite the evidence. The Government has not even made a cursory attempt to balance the contested benefits of a risky industry against the all too real and established disadvantages of environmental degradation and the climate breakdown. The Tories continue to cement their disregard for evidence-based policymaking.”

As a Vice Chair of the Local Government Association, Mr Taylor added:

“The predictable consequences of this anti-democratic move, which seeks to cut local authorities out of the decision-making process, is that the firms that are already failing to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of their activities will continue unabated and without local scrutiny.”

“There is no doubt that our democracy, our communities, our environment, and our planet will suffer.”