Green campaigners asked city MP Stephen Mosley to back a moratorium on fracking when he votes in the House of Commons today (Monday January 26).
The Infrastructure Bill, currently going through Westminster, is set to allow underground access in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but not Scotland after the UK government agreed to exclude Scotland from laws making it easier for fracking firms to drill for shale gas.
But Frack Free Dee wants Mr Mosley to vote for amendments proposed by Caroline Lucas MP and Norman Baker MP which would see a moratorium put in place on onshore fracking across the UK.
Campaigners, who have actively protested against potential fracking sites at Upton, Farndon, Ellesmere Port and Borras in North Wales, handed Mr Mosley a 300,000-strong e-petition run jointly by Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and 38 Degrees opposing the Infrastructure Bill.
Mr Mosley MP, who supports fracking ‘in the right place’, said afterwards: “I want to thank Frack Free Dee for taking time out to meet with me and hand me their petition. I will of course be at the parliamentary debate on Monday and will be paying close attention to what is said and discussed.”
“I will be writing to everybody who has contacted me on this highly complex issue with my thoughts on the debate and letting them know the outcome.”
Mr Mosley’s pro-fracking stance is in contrast to that of his Labour parliamentary opponent Chris Matheson who is against fracking despite the Labour Party nationally having a policy of cautious support. Now Labour opposition councillors on Cheshire West and Chester Council have decided to call for a moratorium on shale gas extraction in the borough until environmental issues have been fully addressed.
Labour environment spokesman Cllr Mark Henesy commented: “Shale gas extraction has only really taken place in America and Australia. These are vast countries with light touch regulation. In our small densely populated island, we must have tight control over the industry and we need to be sure that the risks to the environment are fully quantified.
“Until we can be sure that we can control the risks, know what the environmental impacts are and what the true benefit to the nation is, we should not allow extraction to take place.”