Prime Minister Liz Truss’s plan to revive fracking has been condemned by York’s Lib Dems.
A ban on fracking in England ‘where there is local support’ has been lifted as the Government pushes for an increase in domestic energy production in the face of soaring bills.
The controversial move to end the moratorium, which was imposed in 2019 after tremors caused by fracking in Lancashire, could get gas flowing from onshore shale wells in as little as six months, the PM said.
This February, after more than seven years of work, councillors approved the Minerals and Waste Joint Plan which introduced controls on fracking in York and North Yorkshire if the government lifted the moratorium.
The plan will be used to decide planning applications until 2030, with minimum distances between homes and well pads and for greater controls around protected areas.
Cllr Andrew Waller, of the York Liberal Democrats Group, said: “Having worked on the proposals to safeguard our city and region against fracking, it’s disappointing to see the reintroduction of this disastrous practice as the new Prime Minister’s first action in office.
“With soaring energy bills and inflation overwhelmingly being driven by record-high gas prices – and with renewables four times cheaper – fracking is not the answer.
“Other sources of energy, including renewable, and ‘buffers’ such as battery storage and hydrogen, are fast making any plans to introduce fracking irrelevant.
“There will be considerable concern amongst local residents about the environmental impact of fracking and its potential adversely impact our local communities.
“We will continue to work to oppose any plans which could see fracking introduced in York or the surrounding area.”
Climate change lead on the council, Cllr Paula Widdowson, said: “Fracking poses unacceptable risks to people, the climate and the environment, bringing with it the potential threat of earthquakes, water pollution, and green spaces transforming into industrial landscapes.
“We stand with the countless communities across our region as well as the country, who are categorically against fracking, and the damage it would inflict on our environment. It’s time Conservative Ministers listened, and ushered in an age of renewables.”