While you were watching The X Factor and I was trying to get some kind of genuine steer on the EU/Greece ‘negotiations’, our fine United Kingdom Government slipped a bit of fracking fascism under the radar. As Farmer’s Weekly reports: Wayne Davey (r)
- “Protected areas” and “protected groundwater areas” will be exempt from fracking – but it will be up to the secretary of state to specify what these areas are. This is despite both types of protected area already being clearly defined.
- Fracking will be allowed “under” protected areas. This means a well could sit outside the area but drilling could go horizontally underneath it.
- Drilling at depths of less than 1,000m is not allowed – but the secretary of state is allowed to override this limit.
- Boreholes for monitoring purposes may be granted permitted development. This is effectively a fast-track route avoiding more lengthy permissions.
- There is still no provision for compensation of a landowner thus raped. And the best of the lot….
- The secretary of state will be allowed to grant consent even if all the conditions are not met.
So, to sum up, we’re going to pass a Law that says Energy Secretary Ed Davey is above it, and can ignore it.
Mr Davey is a Liberal Democrat who now finds himself above an illiberal and undemocratically passed law that is completely senseless given the current oil price, and obviously environmentally unsafe in the context of UK water supply. One is left wondering how he feels about that.
It is yet another example of the need to watch this corporacratic Coalition 24/7 – be the issue free speech on the internet, military adventures in the Middle East, immigration levels…or the viability of what little agricultural land we have left.
Major hat-tip to Slogger Helen for spotting this.