Gordon is seconding a Queens Speech amendment in Parliament to ban fracking in the UK. It comes at the same time as a critical report from the National Audit Office saying that the government had not analysed the benefits and costs on fracking and support for shale gas from the public was low.
Gordon is backing the motion by fellow North West Labour MP Faisal Rashid because it follows on from successive red-light earth tremors in August, including a record one at 2.9, which caused damage to people’s properties in Blackpool. It forced Cuadrilla to suspend drilling at Preston New Road in August until an investigation by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) was carried out. Gordon has written to the OGA demanding a complete ban on drilling and their investigation into the tremors to be fully independent from Government.
He said: “I have consistently campaigned for a ban on fracking, which is why we need it now on back of the Queens Speech and the NAO report. After the tremors in August I had dozens and dozens of people who had never previously contact me, worried and concerned about fracking. Cuadrilla have sadly proved what I said at the very start – fracking cannot be done safely.
“Lancashire County Council rejected fracking but Tory Ministers rode roughshod over them to force it onto local people. There are still too many cheerleaders in Boris Johnson’s Government for fracking – his own Secretary of State for Energy, Andrea Leadsom. It’s clear you can’t trust the Tories to ban fracking. Only the Labour Party has given that direct commitment to do that in Government.
“A report from the Government itself in 2015 also concluded that fracking increases air pollution and posed contamination risks to the local environment. We should instead be investing in renewables and high skilled green technologies. Blackpool is in the perfect place geographically to do that become a hub for wind, tidal and solar energy. That’s why we must look at using the Enterprise Zone at Blackpool Airport to maximise some of these opportunities.
“The NAO say the Government are also not doing enough to develop the necessary technologies to meet our current climate change targets. It also raises the alarming possibility that landowners may be liable for the decommissioning costs of shale gas wells when an operator is unable to fund them. However the Environment Agency might still be unable to pursue this leaving the prospect of huge eyesores on our landscape in Lancashire and elsewhere.”