County Councillor Sam Coates, Green Party for Oxford Parks division, will be speaking to a motion on fracking at the next County Council meeting.

He explains:

“Oxfordshire Green Party is very concerned at the recent government decision to withdraw the arrangement for a full Environmental Impact Assessment by the Environment Agency prior to any granting of a license to drill for shale gas by the process known as ‘fracking’, also known as ‘hydraulic fracturing.’ Such assessment is essential to assess potential risks to water supplies, wildlife and people as a result of hydraulic fracturing. Such risks and serious environmental pollution have been noted in the United States where hydraulic fracturing is prevalent.

“The new UK regulations may encourage oil and gas exploration companies to come forward with bids to frack in the various potential areas of drilling in Oxfordshire. The withdrawal of this vital safety regulatory process or environmental impact assessment will increase the risk of environmental pollution and spoliation in the County.

“The County should be concerned and should oppose these regulations. It should also challenge the new ‘Approved Permit Scheme’ with its very limited range of safeguards and limited liabilities on contractors. This  will prove ineffective in protecting the environment and the people of Oxfordshire from the serious risks the fracking process presents.”

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