Edward Leigh, the Member of Parliament for Gainsborough, today welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of new incentives for communities that allow shale gas extraction in their area. David Cameron’s speech in Beckingham came as French energy firm Total made it known they intend to invest £12 million into shale gas extraction in Lincolnshire.
“So long as local planning committees have the final authority on whether to allow them or not, I am in favour of shale gas extraction,” Edward Leigh said. “Luckily most of the kinks of fracking have been worked out abroad, where the procedure has been used for over sixty years. The incentives the Prime Minister announced here in Lincolnshire this week will allow local authorities to keep all business rates incurred through fracking, which should provide a welcome boost to local coffers.
“We have an opportunity to release a massive new energy resource for Britain, to reduce people’s monthly costs and help balance the books a little,” the MP continued. “We’d be foolish not to explore it further, but ultimately it’s local residents who must have the final word on whether they go through.”
Readers know that the preservation of our beautiful countryside here in Lincolnshire is one of my absolute priorities. I’ve written in this newspaper about a wide variety of issues we need to be concerned about in Lincolnshire. This has ranged from the unsightly and unsustainable wind farms to more subtle issues like planning for future development and the potential dangers involved therein. We need to be on guard to protect our way of life, our natural environment, and to ensure that we continue to provide a liveable setting for ordinary working families and individuals.
That is why I have cautioned a prudent approach to development, lest we overload our already stressed infrastructure and overstretch our local resources. There is another issue which I suspect we will be confronted with more and more often in the coming year or so: hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’. Fracking is the process of using hydraulic drills to dig deep within the earth to gain access to (usually) petroleum or natural gas. Read the rest of this entry »