I agree with much of the argument in Eric Wood’s open letter to Sir Greg Knight. We should all be concerned about the impact of our use of carbon fuels and the way they are sourced; fracking in particular.
However, I think it would be difficult for Sir Greg to change his position and still claim to be the democratically elected parliamentary representative for East Yorkshire.
Last May he stood for election on the basis of his party’s manifesto and was elected with a substantial majority. That manifesto unambiguously stated “we will continue to support the safe development of shale gas”, although it wasn’t entirely clear how that squared with the commitment to safeguard “Britain’s green and pleasant land”.
So, whether they realised it or not, the largest proportion of East Yorkshire voters voted for fracking. That being the case, using the “precautionary principle” to stop fracking per se might be viewed as a tad undemocratic.
However, I think it is perfectly legitimate to ask Sir Greg what, in detail, he will do to ensure fracking is done safely without upsetting our environment.
I suspect he may have some difficulty in assuring us that the responsible regulatory authorities will be able to effectively monitor and control fracking when their budgets and staffing are subject to continuing cuts.
Also, can he explain how limiting national park authorities’ and local authorities’ powers to prevent fracking will help safeguard our environment?
Anyway, one glimmer of hope; the growing economic chaos caused by the EU referendum may well mean that before long most of us won’t be able to afford our current carbon hungry lifestyles!
St Helens Road, Pocklington