Quantcast

Judge Allows First UK Fracking in 7 Years to Proceed

Fracking
A worker at the New Preston Road fracking site in Northwest England, where fracking is likely to start Saturday. Danny Lawson / PA Images via Getty Images

An anti-fracking campaigner has lost a last-ditch legal effort to stop the first fracking in the UK in seven years, The Guardian reported Friday.

Lancashire resident Robert Dennett had won a temporary injunction last week to stop shale natural gas company Cuadrilla from fracking in a well near Blackpool in northwest England. At a hearing Thursday, his lawyers argued that Lancashire County Council had not adequately planned for an emergency at the site on Preston New Road. But on Friday, a high court judge ruled that the council's planning was adequate and that fracking could go ahead.


The decision comes the same week as a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that says we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

"Cuadrilla can now carry on regardless, ignoring the urgent warning issued this week by the IPCC about the need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but all of the fracking companies need to know that fracking will never get a foothold in the UK because they will meet resistance at every stage of their projects," a spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire told The Guardian.

The Guardian said the ruling meant that Cuadrilla could begin fracking within hours, but Cuadrilla lawyer Nathalie Lieven told the judge at Thursday's hearing that the timing of the hearing meant they were planning to begin Saturday instead, BBC News reported.

"[E]very day, it costs Cuadrilla £94,000 to keep all that kit and equipment on site," she told the judge.

Fracking was set to restart after the conservative UK government approved two new wells in July and September. It had been halted at the Blackpool site in 2011 because of earthquakes, but the government has issued more stringent regulations and wants to try again, citing a need for energy independence.

Opponents, meanwhile, pledged to continue fighting.

"[I'm] obviously disappointed," Dennett told The Guardian after Friday's ruling. "We will continue to be defiant and fight this. We will never give up. We've put too much effort in to throw the towel in."

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley called the verdict a "real blow" in the wake of the IPCC report and pledged direct action against fracking companies.

A climate change protest is planned at a farm near the Cuadrilla site later in the month. The protest will also call for the release of four anti-fracking activists who were jailed last month for an action blocking trucks from entering the Cuadrilla site, making them the first environmental protestors to be jailed in the UK in 86 years.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate change activists gather in front of the stage at the Extinction Rebellion group's environmental protest camp at Marble Arch in London on April 22, on the eighth day of the group's protest calling for political change to combat climate change. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP / Getty Images

Extinction Rebellion, the climate protest that has blocked major London thoroughfares since Monday April 15, was cleared from three key areas over Easter weekend, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Veganism refers to a way of living that attempts to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty. For this reason, vegans aim to exclude all foods containing meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and honey from their diet (1).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
American farmers use chlorpyrifos, a pesticide tied to brain and nervous system issues, on crops such as apples, broccoli, corn and strawberries. Stephanie Chapman / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Jessica Corbett

In a ruling welcomed by public health advocates, a federal court on Friday ordered the Trump administration to stop stalling a potential ban on a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, giving regulators until mid-July to make a final decision.

Read More Show Less
fstop123 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.

To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.

Read More Show Less
NASA

By Shuchi Talati

Solar geoengineering describes a set of approaches that would reflect sunlight to cool the planet. The most prevalent of these approaches entails mimicking volcanic eruptions by releasing aerosols (tiny particles) into the upper atmosphere to reduce global temperatures — a method that comes with immense uncertainty and risk. We don't yet know how it will affect regional weather patterns, and in turn its geopolitical consequences. One way we can attempt to understand potential outcomes is through models.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Maria Gunnoe Flight, courtesy of southwings.org

By Julia Conley

Green groups on Saturday celebrated the latest federal ruling aimed at preventing President Donald Trump from rolling back environmental regulations that were put in place by his predecessor.

Read More Show Less
NASA scientists flew over the Kuskokwim river in southwest Alaska in 2017 to investigate how water levels in the Arctic landscape change as permafrost thaws. Peter Griffith, NASA

By Tim Radford

Scientists have identified yet another hazard linked to the thawing permafrost: laughing gas. A series of flights over the North Slope of Alaska has detected unexpected levels of emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from the rapidly warming soils.

Read More Show Less
Youtube screenshot

A woman has been caught on camera dumping a bag of puppies near a dumpster in Coachella, California, CNN reported Sunday.

Read More Show Less