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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Sept, 20. 2022 @acenewsservices
#AceNewsDesk – Removal of fracking ban prompts concern in the Cotswolds
Leaders in the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean have said they are “alarmed” and want to make it clear fracking is not welcome there.
Since WWII, the county has been subjected to many oil and gas exploration licences, involving extensive seismic investigations.
County councillor Paul Hodgkinson said the PM’s remarks were a “concern”.
The potential for onshore hydrocarbons such as oil and gas has been explored in the past in Gloucestershire, reports the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Hydraulic fracturing involves drilling into the earth and directing a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals at a rock layer in order to release the gas inside.
‘Free for all?’
Six deep boreholes have been drilled in the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean council areas between 1974 and 1990 to investigate promising rock structures at a depth that might contain hydrocarbons.
Mr Hodgkinson, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach, said the Cotswolds had been identified as a place that had reserves of shale gas eight years ago, which caused concern locally that it would become a fracking location.
He said: “I’m quite alarmed to see the new PM is talking about and promoting fracking now. It is a concern.
“The Cotswolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and so there will be some protections, but if the Government decides to railroad this through, what will we be left with?
“Will it be a free-for-all for companies to just apply for licences?
“The risks of fracking have not gone away.
“We should be promoting renewable energy even more so.”
Conservative group leader at Cotswold District Council Tony Berry (Kemble) said the general view among local Tories on fracking was mixed given the current energy crisis, but he said there would be no appetite for it in the Cotswolds.
He said: “We don’t even want wind turbines. A lot would depend on where the fracking was.”
Forest of Dean District Council climate emergency cabinet member Chris McFarling said he would put forward a motion to renew the local authority’s stance that fracking was not welcome in the Forest.
“It goes against our principle priorities of trying to address climate change and save biodiversity,” he said.
BBC (ENGLAND) NEWS
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