James Heappey hits back in row with Tessa Munt over fracking vote
MP James Heappey has this week defended his decision to vote in
favour of fracking for shale gas, despite an attack from the town's
former MP Tessa Munt.
comes after we reported here
that the Government's Oil & Gas Authority has sold the rights
to explore in 27 different parts of the west country. Wales-based
South Western Energy has secured the rights to explore several
areas, including Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge, Brean and Berrow.
former Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt has criticized Conservative
James Heappeys decision to vote in favour of fracking in
a parliamentary debate.
Munt said this week: "Im appalled, as are many local
people, that in spite of his well-publicised promises which
were repeated during 25 public meetings in the run-up to last
Mays elections the new MP has broken those, done
a u-turn and voted to abolish protections against fracking across
cant believe this has happened. Before he was elected, Mr
Heappey trumpeted his so-called 'opposition' to fracking far and
wide. Its not just disappointing, but downright hypocrisy
- duping voters by saying one thing when he wants their support
and then voting for what he describes as the "huge economic
benefits" of fracking at the first opportunity."
he arrived in Somerset in 2013, his Conservative colleagues would
have briefed him about the sensitivity of our environment - the
Somerset Moors and Levels and our precious Mendip landscapes,
and our dependence on tourism, farming and water but he
has chosen to ignore the perils of this new type of fracking and
voted to support it. What hope of protection can locals have when
the Conservatives control not just the Government, but also the
Councils who decide what happens locally?"
added: "This is so important. Somerset will suffer as the
Conservatives launch their full-scale attack on the environmental
agenda, cutting support for renewables and going all out for energy
from fossil fuels which should remain in the ground. This is not
the future we need, but a return to darker times!"
defends his vote in favour of fracking
Burnham's MP James Heappey this week defended his vote, and told
Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It is quite extraordinary that despite
professing to have such expertise on this subject, Ms Munt so
clearly has no real understanding of either the relevant legislation
nor the geology of Somerset."
the election I made an unequivocal pledge to defend our part of
Somerset from fracking. Nothing that the Government has done nor
the votes taken in Parliament have diminished that commitment."
"Quite simply, the vote taken is for legislation that amends
the 1998 Petroleum Act which contains a very specific definition
of the geology into which fracking can take place. There is none
of that rock here in Somerset."
He added: "The Liberal Democrat spokeswoman peddles fear
of fracking when she must surely know that the British Geological
Survey have shown there to be no shale reserves at all either
in the Mendips or in the new license areas on the coast."
"My challenge to her is to explain how exactly the vote taken
has changed anything for Somerset. If she'd care to contact my
office, I'd be delighted to supply her with copies of all relevant
legislation and geological mapping of our area. For too long the
fracking debate in Somerset has been fuelled by political expedience.
It is time we started dealing with facts instead."
The controversial fracking 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