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CPRE warns against ‘price is right’ approach on financial benefits from fracking

13 January 2014

 

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement today that councils can keep all the business rates they collect from shale gas sites — double the current percentage — the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE) Senior Energy Campaigner, Nick Clack said:

‘This announcement 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. This is a cynical approach. CPRE believes people care more about their local environment than politicians seem to think.

‘Shale gas exploration and exploitation should not be imposed on sensitive areas such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Nor should it go ahead in other areas if it harms the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside, pollutes or makes unsustainable use of natural resources such as water, or compromises the UK’s carbon budget.

‘The government, regulators and operators need to do much more to engage with and reassure communities that these risks are being adequately addressed. If not, councils and their communities may well decide that fracking shouldn’t take place even with an improved financial package’.

In addition to the government’s announcement about business rates, the shale gas industry has today confirmed it will consult on how money from any shale gas sites can best be shared with the local community. Last year, the industry announced that local communities would receive £100,000 when a test well is fracked, and a further 1 per cent of revenues if shale gas is discovered.

 

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