This is the fracking motion that the 2016 Trades Council Conference passed unanimously on 4th June.
The government’s drive to establish a fracking industry was stepped up when it handed out new licenses for onshore gas and oil exploration in 159 blocks of 100 square kilometres each.
A large proportion of the UK land mass (almost 7 per cent) has been opened up to fracking in a single stroke, vast areas of Yorkshire and North West England, as well as some areas in the south of England.
Not one of the 159 licenses applied for was refused on grounds of environmental concerns, or on grounds of concerns with the company making the bid. All the areas where fracking may be possible have now been parcelled up and sold off.
Just in Greater Manchester, a densely populated area of 2.5 million people, sizable parts of Trafford, Rochdale, Salford, south Manchester, Bury, Bolton and Wigan have been made available for fracking exploration.
As it announced massive support for fracking firms, another statement announced that government subsidies for rooftop solar panels are to be slashed. The support for household solar panels and small wind turbines is to be reduced by 65 per cent. Government funding support for large-scale solar projects is to be ended. An estimated 9,700 to 18,700 jobs could be lost in the solar power industry as a result.
This conference resolves to oppose this Tory Government’s:
- Support for fracking, the roll out of which would not only likely be an environmental disaster in its own right in terms of local people’s health and property (from air and water pollution, earthquakes/tremors etc) but which studies in the USA have shown, due to the leakages of methane gas into the atmosphere, inherent in the fracking process, to be responsible for the emission of more greenhouse gases in total, than coal fired power stations; and which would also create considerably less jobs, than the equivalent investment in renewables and energy saving/conservation measures.
- Destruction of local democracy by imposing a sixteen week deadline for specified planning decisions
- Removal of subsidies to the renewable energy industry