Local MP proposes amendments to Fracking Bill

Lewes MP Norman Baker has proposed changes to the Fracking Bill in order to remove key clauses

Norman Baker MP is fighting the threat of fracking to our countryside and has tabled amendments to remove key clauses on fracking, as well as oil and gas drilling from the Infrastructure Bill.

The Lib Dem MP has also tabled an amendment to give the Environment Agency and water companies a veto on fracking, in cases where they believe that it would cause environmental damage, including to water supplies.

Together with the Green MP for Brighton Pavillion Caroline Lucas, he is seeking to delete clause 36 which would introduce the new legal duty for energy companies to maximise the economic recovery of UK oil and gas.

In an additional amendment, the two MPs are also seeking to remove clauses 38-43 of the Bill, which would cover the drilling for oil and gas in deep level land, including the proposed changes to the trespass laws to allow pipes to pass directly under private land.

Norman says:There is an alternative, which is proper investment in energy efficiency, which will also bring fuel bills down, and a big expansion on renewables where there is huge potential for wind, wave and tidal power.”

Whilst serving as a minister, Norman successfully lobbied behind the scenes for fracking to be virtually ruled out from the South Downs National Park, but he is still concerned that still leaves large parts of his constituency vulnerable.

In a recent commons debate, introduces by Norman, he warned that the claims made for fracking have been exaggerated, and the downsides underplayed, calling for a shift of emphasis towards renewables and away from fracking.