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MP launches petition against fracking as fears of gas extraction in Warwickshire resurface

MP Matt Western has launched a petition against fracking as fears of gas and oil extraction in Warwickshire are reignited.

The Warwick and Leamington MP has warned companies could return with plans to extract in the county now the Government has reversed its 2019 ban.

His petition calls for regional councils to rule out future fracking or underground coal gasification (UCG), for which there were previous plans in Warwickshire.

The British Geological Survey has classified a 128 square mile area, subsuming a vast swathe of the county, as suitable for UCG.

The petition entitled ‘Keep your FRACKING hands of Warwickshire’ also demands the Government reintroduces a national ban on fracking.

It has already gained nearly 3,000 signatures in less than 2 weeks.

Mr Western said: “Fracking and UCG will not help reduce energy prices nor will they increase supply in any notable way.

“They will, however, damage the environment and local communities – and fracking is also known to cause earthquakes.

“Instead of extracting fossil fuels, the Government should be investing in wind, particularly onshore, and solar energy – which are the cheapest and cleanest forms available to us and would significantly reduce domestic bills.

“Fracking is dirty, damaging and undemocratic. UCG is similarly worrying to environmental experts.

“No doubt I’ll be the only Warwickshire MP to oppose these practices.”

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a method of extracting gas and oil from shale rock which involves drilling into the earth to release gas.

It is controversial with environmental organisations because it risks water contamination, damages the natural environment and is a risk to public health according to medical experts.

UCG which involves similar methods of drilling to release gases is also criticised due to the risk of polluting water supplies and huge carbon emissions.

Mr Western shared an image of an area of countryside between Rugby and Leamington which was the subject of an application for a UCG license in 2013.

He fears previously defeated plans like this could now be resurrected.

He has also called on Warwickshire’s four Conservative MPs to ‘take a principled stand’ and speak out against fracking in the county but also across the country.

Mr Western challenged the Energy Secretary Jacob Rees Mogg about the merits of fracking in Parliament yesterday (September 23).

He suggested Warwickshire was one of the only counties in the UK with no windfarm – and urged the Government to back wind and solar power.

To sign the petition, and for more information on fracking and UCG, please visit the following link: https://mattwestern.org/campaign/keep-your-fracking-hands-off-warwickshire/#wpcf7-f164-p13952-o1