fracking moves a step closer in Burnham-On-Sea area
possibility that parts of the Burnham-On-Sea area could see fracking
for shale gas has moved a step nearer, after the Government sold
the rights to explore in 27 different parts of the west country.
South Western Energy has secured the sole rights to explore almost
all the different locations, which include Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge,
Brean and Berrow - and stretch from Minehead to Trowbridge.
Western Energy has been offered more than 20 Petroleum Exploration
and Development Licences from the Government's Oil & Gas Authority.
the firm will have to apply for individual planning permissions
to begin exploring below ground, and then more permissions to
actually start fracking.
controversial process involves high-pressure water and rock solution
forced into drilled holes into rocks deep below ground, which
force out the gas from the fractured ground.
Government was severely criticised for giving the green light
to fracking at the same time as slashing subsidies for renewable
energies like solar power.
individual licences have been broken down into separate blocks
that cover map areas, and gives the right to the firms to 'search
and bore for and get petroleum', and not to frack itself at the
West Somerset, there are nine individual squares that run from
just inside Exmoor National Park across the northern part of the
Quantock Hills' Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, around Burnham-On-Sea
and Highbridge, and into the Somerset Levels, and north up to
Weston-super-Mare and right to the edge of Clevedon, as shown
Samuel, chief executive of the Oil & Gas Authority, said the
awarding of 97 new licences across the country was a big step
forward. "This round enables a significant amount of the
UK's shale prospects to be taken forward to be explored and tested,"
acceptance of these offers, applicants will be issued with licences
and will be able to begin planning their future strategies for
exploration activities. These will be subject to further local
planning, safety, environmental and other authorisations,"
groups of local residents have already been set up in different
parts of the region, including one in the Burnham area, and they
have vowed to continue to fight individual planning applications,
in a bid to get local council chiefs to refuse permissions.
Hannah Martin said the Government policy was 'bizarre' given it
has just recently signed up to a 'historic' agreement on climate
change in Paris.
days after a historic agreement at the Paris climate summit to
move towards a renewable energy future the UK government's
gung-ho approach to a new fossil fuel industry is bizarre and
irresponsible," she said.
future economic benefits of fracking are often touted as a key
argument for investment in shale gas drilling. But when companies
like Cuadrilla are majority owned by firms based in offshore tax
havens, it raises serious questions about where the profits would
go," she added.
worse, the government seems to be saying it's open season on the
UK's rural landscapes, forcing fracking on a reluctant public
and on our most precious areas. Now that fracking under national
parks and other protected areas has been pushed through, it seems
that nowhere is sacred," she concluded.