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Councillors: Fracking in East Riding is ‘inappropriate’

East Riding of Yorkshire Council leader, Cllr Jonathan Owen, has submitted a motion, alongside Cllr Jane Evison, against fracking.

The motion went to Full Council last week, Wednesday 5th October, which seeks the council’s support in agreeing that fracking activities in the East Riding of Yorkshire are inappropriate.

Cllrs Owen and Evison, who sit on the East Wolds and Coastal ward, have for a number of years made their views of opposing any fracking activity in this area well-known.

This motion comes after business and energy secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, revealed the government’s plan to lift the England moratorium on fracking which has been in place since 2019 after a series of tremors caused by the process.

Cllr Owen stated: “Whilst appreciating the need to review our national requirements for energy security in the light of recent events in Russia and Ukraine, I am still of the opinion that fracking is not the way forward in the East Riding.

“Not only is it still unproven as a means of production, but original arguments against fracking still hold in my mind and I have heard nothing to change my views.

“Of particular concern is the effect on the aquifer under the Wolds and the counter effect on our ambitions to have an area of outstanding natural beauty.

“Investment in other forms of energy production is the longer-term solution.”

Cllr Evison added: “When the possibility of fracking in this area was suggested a few years ago, I made it my business to find out as much as I could about the process, attending many meetings and listening to both sides of the argument.

“However, having done that, there is no doubt in my mind that it is absolutely the wrong venture for our ward and residents.

“I will continue to oppose any suggestion of fracking in this area.”

Mr Rees-Mogg faced a series of attacks from Tory backbenchers, including that of East Yorkshire MP, Sir Greg Knight, who raised safety concerns brought on by the process.

Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a method for recovering gas and oil from shale rock.

By drilling into the ground and pushing a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemical at rock, gas can be released from inside by splitting the rock open.

Mr Rees-Mogg said the impact of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine means securing domestic energy supplies is vital and suggested limits on acceptable levels of seismic activity are too restrictive and said the government is determined to “realise any potential sources of domestic gas”.

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