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Mock Fracking Rig Set Up Outside Parliament as Inquiry Continues
Environmental group Greenpeace, have erected a ten-metre-high mock fracking rig in Parliament Square as a protest against government support for the practice. The rig has been constructed to coincide with the public inquiry into Lancashire County Councils decision to turn down an application from shale gas company Cuadrilla, against the advice of planning officers.
Cuadrilla were refused permission to extract shale gas from sites at Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood in June last year, on the grounds of noise and traffic impact. The hearing which is being held at Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road ground, is being conducted by the planning inspectorate but Communities Secretary Greg Clark, will make the final decision because the results will be ‘of more than local significance’.
The enquiry is expected to last five weeks but is unlikely to be the end of the story according to David Penney, from the pressure group Keep East Lancashire Frack Free (KELFF) who told the Lancashire Telegraph; “If the applications are approved by Mr Clark we will appeal it to the High Court and Europe and if necessary engage in peaceful civil disobedience to stop fracking.”
Cuadrilla Chief Executive, Francis Egan is however still confident his company will get the green light saying; “We will demonstrate to Lancashire and the UK that shale gas exploration and fracking is not only safe but represents a very real opportunity to create jobs, fuel businesses, heat UK homes and stimulate significant local economic growth.”
You can watch a live webcast of the Planning Inquiry HERE.