Caroline Lucas: Why fracking should be banned

Caroline Lucas: Why fracking should be banned

Caroline Lucas: Why fracking should be banned

First published in News

AS an MP, I’m in the privileged position of being able to make the case against fracking in Parliament.

I’ve tabled motions, championed debates, and put questions to the Prime Minister – and will continue to do so.

But the Government is ignoring the evidence, and is set on a reckless and irresponsible new dash for gas, offering the fossil fuel companies generous tax breaks as well as senior roles within Government itself.

Balcombe, in a Sussex area of natural beauty, was one of the first places in the UK to be earmarked as a potential fracking site.

Yet fracking will accelerate climate change, pollute our environment and lock us into yet more dependence on fossil fuels at precisely the time when we need to be moving in the opposite direction.

That’s why I, and many others, took part in peaceful protests outside the Cuadrilla site in August last year.

My acquittal and that of the four other co-defendants on Friday is a huge relief, but it is by no means a cause for celebration.

That will only happen when David Cameron announces an end to fracking, as has been achieved in other countries like France, and will put investment instead into cleaner, greener energy sources.

The case at Brighton Magistrates’ Court raised questions not just about fracking, but about police tactics too.

I appreciate the hugely difficult job the police have to do, and the challenges in facilitating peaceful protest, and often Sussex Police get the balance absolutely right.

However, on August 19, the day of our arrest, the police leadership clearly got it wrong.

In delivering his verdict, the judge said that the conditions imposed on people at the Balcombe protest on that day were unlawful, since the senior police officer was not authorised to issue the conditions, and they were so vague and unclear as to be meaningless.

Moreover, the policing seemed arbitrary and disproportionate.

The fact that, during the summer protests at Balcombe, of around 126 people arrested, and 114 charged, there have been only around 27 convictions, suggests that many of the arrests were unnecessary, and many cases should quite simply not have come to court at all.

There is no evidence that they were in the public interest, and a huge amount of money and resources were wasted, when both are in short supply.

The campaign against fracking will continue until the Government finally listens.

Comments (8)

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9:40am Mon 21 Apr 14

fred clause says...

Except that a study in the U.S found no evidence any of this is true typical greens scaremongering again.
Except that a study in the U.S found no evidence any of this is true typical greens scaremongering again. fred clause
  • Score: 11

10:30am Mon 21 Apr 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Caroline, what are you going to do to tackle the diesel vans parked all over he city's parks which pose a much greater threat to the environment?
Your council even opened the gates at Wild Park to allow vans in and then a quad bike, which was parked outside one of the vans for a month, was regularly being ridden in the woodland during the key breeding season of many species.
Why won't you answer this question and why won't you tackle the issue?
Caroline, what are you going to do to tackle the diesel vans parked all over he city's parks which pose a much greater threat to the environment? Your council even opened the gates at Wild Park to allow vans in and then a quad bike, which was parked outside one of the vans for a month, was regularly being ridden in the woodland during the key breeding season of many species. Why won't you answer this question and why won't you tackle the issue? Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 14

11:00am Mon 21 Apr 14

clubrob6 says...

I agree people should be allowed to protest peacefully,but blocking the road is not peaceful .Whenever there is planning permission for wind farms,solar farms ETC there is opposition what does Lucas say we should be doing for our energy needs?.Does she use gas in her house?.In Brighton and Hove the greens cant even get the basics right,rubbish collection,removing bowling greens and planting wild flowers on them,not opening tourist attractions like hove mini golf course.They have failed in there first attempt at power now she wants to make her name by stopping fracking and stopping the page three girl.I say lets get FRACKING.
I agree people should be allowed to protest peacefully,but blocking the road is not peaceful .Whenever there is planning permission for wind farms,solar farms ETC there is opposition what does Lucas say we should be doing for our energy needs?.Does she use gas in her house?.In Brighton and Hove the greens cant even get the basics right,rubbish collection,removing bowling greens and planting wild flowers on them,not opening tourist attractions like hove mini golf course.They have failed in there first attempt at power now she wants to make her name by stopping fracking and stopping the page three girl.I say lets get FRACKING. clubrob6
  • Score: 9

1:19pm Mon 21 Apr 14

wippasnapper says...

This is just another one of those great injustices of Tory Coalition Government rob the poor to give to the rich (fossil fuel companies generous tax breaks), wile many on benefits are being pushed to the brink of salvation and homelessness regardless of whether fossil fuels are safe or not this coalition are creating get rich schemes to line there own pockets wile accusing out of work people as being the scum of Britten.
This is just another one of those great injustices of Tory Coalition Government rob the poor to give to the rich (fossil fuel companies generous tax breaks), wile many on benefits are being pushed to the brink of salvation and homelessness regardless of whether fossil fuels are safe or not this coalition are creating get rich schemes to line there own pockets wile accusing out of work people as being the scum of Britten. wippasnapper
  • Score: -7

3:02pm Mon 21 Apr 14

angrymonkey says...

I do hope the people of Brighton do not vote this lot back in as only in to use it to get there silly views over and not doing any good for the people of Brighton.
I do hope the people of Brighton do not vote this lot back in as only in to use it to get there silly views over and not doing any good for the people of Brighton. angrymonkey
  • Score: 5

7:55pm Mon 21 Apr 14

pachallis says...

Caroline...

We don't need evidence of the dangers of fracking - we need reasonable proof - from proper scientists (unlike yourself!) - not eco-activists bending the facts and creating fear, uncertainty and doubt about water being polluted and earthquakes.

You need to convince the world - not just a country or a county. I thought that the UN had come out in favor of a 50 year planned migration to sustainable using natural gas (CNG for vehicles) as a lower emission path to achieve targets.

Apparently you don't agree (according to your fan-boy / economy spin doctor HJarrs) who thinks we need to cycle and walk more and lead by example to the rest of the world by not expanding Gatwick..

What is the green global migration plan to lower emissions (and please don't quote your green council that has managed to increase emissions - that takes a real genius)?

Surely the global green movement has a realistic, costed, solution rather than just being anti-everything?
Caroline... We don't need evidence of the dangers of fracking - we need reasonable proof - from proper scientists (unlike yourself!) - not eco-activists bending the facts and creating fear, uncertainty and doubt about water being polluted and earthquakes. You need to convince the world - not just a country or a county. I thought that the UN had come out in favor of a 50 year planned migration to sustainable using natural gas (CNG for vehicles) as a lower emission path to achieve targets. Apparently you don't agree (according to your fan-boy / economy spin doctor HJarrs) who thinks we need to cycle and walk more and lead by example to the rest of the world by not expanding Gatwick.. What is the green global migration plan to lower emissions (and please don't quote your green council that has managed to increase emissions - that takes a real genius)? Surely the global green movement has a realistic, costed, solution rather than just being anti-everything? pachallis
  • Score: 1

8:01pm Mon 21 Apr 14

pachallis says...

wippasnapper wrote:
This is just another one of those great injustices of Tory Coalition Government rob the poor to give to the rich (fossil fuel companies generous tax breaks), wile many on benefits are being pushed to the brink of salvation and homelessness regardless of whether fossil fuels are safe or not this coalition are creating get rich schemes to line there own pockets wile accusing out of work people as being the scum of Britten.
@wippasnapper- do you remember the greens were in favor of above inflation price increases for petrol, diesel, gas and electricity to encourage lower emissions and reduce usage by better insulation.

As such the greens were actually the party encouraging more of the poor to move into fuel poverty.

The green council are now putting solar panels on roofs of council buildings for about £1m to held address fuel poverty that would have been even worse if they had had their way on fuel prices.
[quote][p][bold]wippasnapper[/bold] wrote: This is just another one of those great injustices of Tory Coalition Government rob the poor to give to the rich (fossil fuel companies generous tax breaks), wile many on benefits are being pushed to the brink of salvation and homelessness regardless of whether fossil fuels are safe or not this coalition are creating get rich schemes to line there own pockets wile accusing out of work people as being the scum of Britten.[/p][/quote]@wippasnapper- do you remember the greens were in favor of above inflation price increases for petrol, diesel, gas and electricity to encourage lower emissions and reduce usage by better insulation. As such the greens were actually the party encouraging more of the poor to move into fuel poverty. The green council are now putting solar panels on roofs of council buildings for about £1m to held address fuel poverty that would have been even worse if they had had their way on fuel prices. pachallis
  • Score: 2

2:53am Sun 11 May 14

Mr chock says...

she is not very GREEN practice being a bit more environmentally aware .. Caroline .. " why did she have that very un environmentally kind looking red bow on her wrist while on the Question time panel ? "
she is not very GREEN practice being a bit more environmentally aware .. Caroline .. " why did she have that very un environmentally kind looking red bow on her wrist while on the Question time panel ? " Mr chock
  • Score: 0

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