A report by Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
Knowledge of what hydraulic fracturing is, its costs and drawbacks, and its place in the spectrum of extreme energy, have grown a lot since the issue first came on to the UK agenda in 2010. As the latest group of protesters against fracking from Balcombe, including Green MP Caroline Lucas go on trial, and protests grow against the nature of policing of the continuing protests at Barton Moss, now’s a good time to assess how far the debate has come.
Communities fighting back against fracking are well versed in the localised risks, but they also appreciate the opportunities afforded by alternatives in renewables (particularly those that they can own themselves) and energy conservation, promoted by campaigns like the Energy Bill Revolution.
For some of our increased knowledge we can thank our Tory-Lib Dem government. As knowledge of fracking has spread, opposition has grown, and the government has become increasingly, obviously, frantic to find ways to turn the tide.