Fracking in Greater Manchester An Interview about Fracking with Bury Council's Rishi Shor.

What is Fracking?

Fracking is the use of a chemical solution sprayed underground at a very high pressure to break rocks below the surface that then releases shale gas which we can use for energy within homes and businesses.

Shale gas is a high carbon energy source. When used for generating electricity its emissions of carbon dioxide are about 30-90 times higher than the full lifecycle emissions of either renewables or nuclear power sources.

Since the UK’s existing coal power stations are becoming fewer and fewer, shale gas will not be produced at sufficient scale and in the necessary timeframe for it to be a substitute for coal.

Photograph of Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester has seen a rise in the amount of people that are taking an interest in the Fracking process. This has lead to a number of activist groups forming. These groups have seen criticism from some, as they are branded as people that do not work. Some groups worth mentioning are Frack Free Lancashire and Frack Off Manchester. These groups came together to support a motion that was passed at Bury Town Hall to not allow fracking in this area.

In July 2016, members of the local council within the Bury area of Greater Manchester, lead by Rishi Shori, have come together to pass a motion that fracking will not be allowed on the land that they own and that he will do what he can to ensure the process of applications for fracking are met with the correct precautions. This will make it more difficult for these fracking companies to get planning permission to set up drilling equipment in these areas.

Bury, Greater Manchester

The Labour motion agreed that the risks facing the environment: “include, but are not limited to, earth tremors, potential air pollution, pollution of water resources and increased industrialisation of the countryside.”

With this motion in place, council leader Rishi Shori made it clear to his supporters and local community that he would do what is in his power to stop fracking from happening on the 15% of land that is owned by the local council.

Wildlife in Greater Manchester

However this does not stop fracking companies from applying for permission from the houses of parliament to allow them to frack in certain areas. This raises a point on the power a council has over the land that it is said to own.

The council doesn’t have the power to outlaw fracking on private land and can’t introduce anti-fracking planning policies because of government planning legislation. This means that private landowners will be able to sell their land to fracking companies if they wish to.

Despite these issues, Shori is adamant that the motion passed will stand as a strong message to prospective Fracking Companies that they are not welcome in Bury.


Caitlin Mooney

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