100% of Green Parliamentary candidates in the South East have signed an anti-fracking pledge, known as the ‘Frack Free promise’ set up by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
The number of Greens opposing fracking in their constituencies is far ahead of the other parties: Conservatives 0%; Labour 38%; LibDems 34.5%; UKIP 3.6%
Greens candidates are standing for election in 83 out of 84 constituencies in the South East. Of the 83 Green candidates standing, all have pledged.
Fracking proposals have caused major protests across the South East, from Balcombe where Caroline Lucas was arrested, to Horsehill in Surrey which is now the subject of a major oil find. The geology in parts of the South East gives rise to deposits of shale gas, which would be extracted by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) which has major environmental impacts.
“The Greens are the only party to oppose fracking as a matter of principle”, said Jonathan Essex South East Green Party chair. “The other parties are divided, and where local candidates oppose fracking, they do so in the face of pressure from above”
The Horsehill site has been the focus for a speculative bubble, and the main company taking interest in the site has seen a soar in its shares since the major oil discovery was announced. But this week shares slumped as the company revealed its licences for exploration were up for review soon.
“The South East, which is already heavily developed, shouldn’t be a target for oil speculation and fracking companies”, said Jonathan Essex. ”The next Government needs to listen to the opposition of so many local communities to these licences”.
Notes to editors:
The Frackfree pledge website is here: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/content/fracking-map/
UKOG, which has a 30% stake in the Horsehill site near Horley in Surrey, has said the oil find has “amazing implications for the UK”. But after shares rose 300% in a day in early April, they slumped on Tuesday (April 28) when the company revealed one of its licences expires in September. It will need a further permission to continue exploration.