Today's announcement is an affront to local democracy. For a government that talks the talk about devolution and localism, it certainly fails when held up to any scrutiny.
Lancashire County Council, our locally elected democratic representatives, took the decision to turn down the two applications for Preston New Road and Roseacre based on right and proper planning issues. For the Secretary of State, who represents a leafy Worcestershire seat, to force fracking upon the people of Lancashire is a slap in the face to democracy and any pretence of devolution to the north.
A future Labour government would ban fracking. It is increasingly obvious that we cannot ignore that the global transition to a 100% clean energy economy is rapidly accelerating. At the heart of the historic Paris climate agreement reached last year between 196 governments is a commitment to reaching zero emissions global economy in the second half of the century. An agreement signed up to by this Tory government.
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, warned last month that to minimise financial stability risks from this transformation of the global economy, the transition away from high carbon industries should begin early and follow a predictable path, helping markets to anticipate the transition to a net zero economy. To provide regulatory certainty about the direction of travel the Government should support Labour's call for an outright ban on fracking.