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Ed Miliband confirms Labour would ban fracking on visit to Nottinghamshire village

Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero Ed Miliband said the party would ban fracking while talking to residents in a Nottinghamshire village where the practice has been proposed.

The Misson Springs site, in Bassetlaw, was subject to shale gas tests until 2019 after Nottinghamshire County Council approved plans in 2016.

In 2019 exploration work was completed at the site, and applicants Island Gas Ltd (IGAS) said it had found a world-class gas resource.

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The Conservative party’s manifesto in 2019 pledged to ban fracking, before Prime Minister Liz Truss’ government U-turned on the commitment once she came to power last month.

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ed miliband fracking Nottinghamshire

Fracking involves the hydraulic fracturing of rocks by pumping water and chemicals at high-pressure to release gas to be used for energy.

Supporters say it can create energy at low cost and create jobs, but many environmental campaigners have opposed it, saying it can harm wildlife and cause pollution.

ed miliband fracking Nottinghamshire

Liz Truss pledged to “end the moratorium on extracting our huge reserves of shale which could get gas flowing as soon as six months where there is local support for it”.

But residents in Misson expressed their fears over how local consent would be measured.

ed miliband fracking Nottinghamshire

On a visit to Bassetlaw on Friday (October 14), Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Climate Change and Net Zero Secretary, met local residents to hear their concerns over potential fracking of shale gas near their village.

Mr Miliband said Labour would oppose what he called the Government’s “unjust charter for earthquakes” and would ban the industry if it won the next General Election.

ed miliband fracking Nottinghamshire

He said: “There is deep concern is communities like the one we are in in Misson around fracking and the impact it would have.

“Fracking would make no difference to energy bills, it is opposed by local people, there is no guarantee of its safety.

ed miliband fracking Nottinghamshire

“It shouldn’t go ahead and I am making the pledge that a Labour Government will ban it once and for all.”

He said residents have expressed their “universal opposition” towards fracking during his visit.

He added: “I will come back here if Labour is in Government and show that we are fulfilling that pledge.”

Misson resident Sheelagh Handy said it was “ridiculous” that fracking was ever put back on the agenda by Liz Truss.

She said: “It has hugely increased the anxiety levels in this community when we have been struggling with this for seven years and counting.

“We have seen first hand what that massive scale industry can do, and it is destructive in every way.”

Labour claim that fracking would not solve the energy security or price issues the UK currently faces.

They say they are also “serious concerns” about the environmental damage that fracking would cause to local communities, including both the risk of exacerbating earthquakes and seismic events, and the fact that fracking relies on poorly regulated chemicals that could harm local water supplies and wildlife.

Cllr Jo White (Lab) said: “When the new Prime Minister came in and it was one of her first commitments, it was a shock. These people locally are up in arms.

“Things had returned back to normal and now they have got to go out and campaign again.”

Ms Truss has previously said fracking could play a vital role in making the UK less reliant on energy imports at a time when world prices are soaring following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But its potential link to earthquakes and environmental damage remain under investigation by scientists.

Following Ms Truss’s announcement last month, a Government spokesperson said: “Making the most of our own gas resources makes us less dependent on imports and helps maintain the security of the UK’s energy supply in both the short and long-term.

“Drawing on lessons from around the world, we will make sure it is done as safely as possible and where there is local support.”

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