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UK’s Labour Party Vows To Ban Fracking If Elected

The UK’s opposition Labour Party will ban fracking ‘outright’ if it wins the next general elections, shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said at the Labour conference on Monday.

“Fracking locks us into an energy infrastructure that is based on fossil fuels long after our country needs to have moved to renewables,” Gardiner said.

The Labour Party will be working for the UK’s low-carbon future and will support clean energy, Gardiner said, commenting on what his party would do if it comes to power.

The UK is not scheduled to hold a general election until 2020, but the country’s vote to leave the EU may lead to early elections between now and 2020.

The Labour Party’s firm opposition to fracking is in contrast with the ruling Conservative Party’s agenda. In August, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a plan to pay more shale gas proceeds to residents than originally planned. Under the new plan, the Prime Minister believes that options to share proceeds of shale should include money directly to residents, compared to previous proposals, which included money for community trusts or councils only.

Consultations on the Shale Wealth Fund proposals are open for the UK public until October 26, 2016.

Environmental activists, the Green Party, the Labour Party, and Gardiner himself have criticized the prime minister’s proposal, saying that it’s an attempt at bribing the public into accepting a shale and fossil-fuel future.

According to the UK government’s latest attitude poll from end-July 2016, the residents against fracking were 31 percent, while supporters were 21 percent. A large 48-percent share of people neither supported nor opposed fracking, primarily due to lack of knowledge.

Another much commented and criticized option for the UK’s energy future, the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, received prime minister May’s go-ahead just a couple of weeks ago.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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