New Fracking Commissioner: ex-INEOS employee.

Fracking was in the news this weekend with Jeremy Corbyn visiting Derbyshire and voicing his opposition to Shale Gas Fracking…..

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Jeremy Corbyn deplores Fracking.

Meanwhile it has been announced that Natascha Engel a former MP has been appointed as Shale Gas Commissioner by the conservative government.  As Ms Engel is also a former employee of the fracking company INEOS, questions have been raised about her impartiality..  Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the appointment.

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Natascha Engel relaxes in the Speakers Chair

Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake stated that he “didn’t think that Natascha is an independent person in this debate, clearly she has been appointed by the government and the government’s strategy is to push ahead with shale gas” …… going on to say she is “definitely there to try and help the government to roll out its policies on shale gas exploration which I support”

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Tory MP Supporting Fracking and Natascha Engel’s appointment

You can watch the Look North broadcast on BBC iPlayer until 10:30 tonight…. BBC Look North

If you’ve missed the BBC clip, you can cheer yourself with this song from David Rovics  🎵 I agree with Jeremy 🎵

 

 

Fracking Update from Bryan Barrett

I can’t have been alone at being alarmed at the release of the IPCC report last week.

The very sobering report can be summarised in just one sentence. The burning of fossil fuels is destroying our planet.

Is it not obscene then that in the very same week in which this report was released, the High Court ruled that Fracking could go ahead? Is it also not obscene that this government “pulled the plug” on making environmentally cleaner cars more affordable?

In comparison the Norwegian parliament has set 2025 as the goal for ALL new cars to have zero emissions, compared with the UK’s 2040, they are on target, the UK isn’t.

Fracking is an emotive subject and one that many people close their ears and eyes to. There is a lot of evidence available, much of which can seem to be contradictory. I have considered both sides of the argument and deduced that we should be investing in renewable energy.

Surely, we cannot surge ahead with a controversial method of gas extraction with a history of environmental disasters in other countries when we have just admitted that our planet is dying!

The argument that we need a bridge to renewable energy is also defunct after a Petro-chemical giant, admitted in an article published in the Sunday Times newspaper on 30th December 2017, that all of the gas extracted as a result of fracking would be used as a feedstock to power its power plants. These same power plants, make the plastic that pollutes our seas and oceans. This is quite simply grotesque!

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I have had an off the record discussion with a senior employee of an energy company, who own the PEDL License for an area very close to where I live. They state that our country should be heavily investing in renewable energy and that Fracking will not end well.

Think about it, an expert in the field, employed in the oil and gas industry has informed me of the detrimental impact that fracking will have on our communities. This is a warning that I cannot ignore.  Put simply; fracking will destroy our community for corporate profit!

Given the controversy surrounding fracking you could be forgiven for thinking that there would be a concerted effort to ensure that everything would be conducted transparently in an effort to combat any claims of underhand dealings or unfair play.

The sentencing of 3 protestors for 18 months by a judge with, according to the Daily Mirror, links to the oil and gas industry suggests to me that there is an unseen power at play here.

Surely the time is now for every politician to come together, irrespective of their political allegiance and work collaboratively for the good of our humanity? The future of our world depends on it!

Bryan Barrett

@BryBarrett999

 

 

Party Conference Update, Tuesday 25th

I enjoyed yesterday; the atmosphere in the hall was really energised. The day was dominated by standing ovations – two for Kier Starmer; three for Emily Thornberry and three for Diane Abbott plus several during the Palestine debate, although perhaps the latter should be described as carnival. It was extraordinary to see a sea of flags waving as Harlow CLP moved the motion.

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I did want to speak in the Brexit debate (as did our colleague Charlie Rowley from York Central) but neither of us were picked. It was a good, calm and rational debate on both motions plus the Windrush motion, one that I scarcely recognised from the radio this morning – should I be surprised?

Mick spoke in his ‘reference back’ on Fracking and this was carried overwhelmingly at the end of the day. Mick and I have noticed that whilst Fracking doesn’t appear to be at the forefront of conference business this week there is nevertheless, a strong theme that climate change is right at the top of the party’s agenda. This was evidenced by Rebecca Long- Bailey’s speech yesterday and in a Policy Forum debate that I attended where Barry Gardiner re-iterated that the business and trade forum strongly recognised that the emphasis on Growth and GDP at the cost of sustainability was not a valid approach and he reminded us that he had introduced the Fracking ban.

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At the fringe events Keir Starmer gave his analysis of the reasons that the Brexit negotiations have been so ineffective. He observed that the Tories have approached it from an ideological perspective without first having assessed the needs of the British people or economy. He had worked on the Good Friday agreement and used that example to underline how the Tories had fundamentally failed to understand that the issue was not in any way a technology issue and that it was about Irish history and sensitivities.

Mick has proposed that the NEC convene a meeting of front line CLPs and we await an answer; as he said to the platform yesterday “it wasn’t a rhetorical question”. We have the view that Fracking is an issue for CLPs but not for affliates, especially Unions, but Mick was approached by a representative of Unite who specifically wanted him to know that Unite had supported the reference back.

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It’s the Jeremy’s speech today; I won’t be sitting on the floor in the dark on Thursday morning to write an update so please watch on TV, and I hope to be back on the floor next year. It’s been a really good experience – thanks for selecting me to be your representative.

Chris Williamson MP Public Meeting at Malton. 10th Feb 2018

The theme of the talk given by Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North, was Give Peace a Chance. In addition he covered a range of issues includng austerity, privatisation and Europe and allowed plenty of opportuniies for questions and debate.

After an excellent meeting he found time to visit the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp with a group of our members to demonstrate our continued support for the local campaign against fracking.

Big Turnout For Labour Day of Action at Kirby Misperton

 

 

 

Great response from Labour members and supporters at the gates of the Third Energy fracking site today, 11th October 2017. From 8.30 over a hundred gathered during the morning to show our continued and growing opposition to fracking here or anywhere. David Yellen, Chair of the Constituency Party, applauded the bravery and commitment of the Protectors for their peaceful but determined struggle to stop fracking at Kirby Misperton. He pledged continued support of the local labour party. ‘The gas must stay in the ground’, he said, and welcomed and thanked all who attended including delegations from Scarborough, York, Mirfield, Selby and East Yorkshire constituency parties.

 

LABOUR MP AT KIRBY MISPERTON ANTI-FRACKING CAMP

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Rachael Maskell, Labour Party MP for York Central, was at Kirby Misperton Protection Camp on Saturday 4 March with Thirsk and Malton Labour Party to meet and support the campaigners. She spent over an hour at the Camp talking to anti fracking campaigners and went on to look at the fracking site.
The Protection Camp was established just before Christmas with the aim of demonstrating continued opposition to fracking by Third Energy at Kirby Misperton and to take peaceful and legal action to prevent it.  Local people support the Camp and provide food, water, fuel, bathroom and laundry services for the residents. The camp is well organised with an equipped kitchen, a common lounge, art and crafts tent and a broadcasting studio. Since being set up it has had a constant stream of visitors from near and far coming to show their support and bring supplies.Rachael Maskell MP said:
“Kirby Misperton is on the front line in the national fight against fracking. There were almost 4,000 local objections to the planning application, over 99% of all respondents, all of whom were completely ignored. If politicians do not listen to the voices of local residents, then they are left with no choice but to take direct action and protect their environment, and then have their say at the ballot box come the election.”Local resident Eddie Thornton quit his job and moved into the camp when the local community failed to stop fracking in the courts. He said:
‘”For the last 3 years my community has tried everything within the normal system to stop fracking, but our voices have been ignored.  So now we have no other option but to engage in a sustained campaign of peaceful, non-violent direct action to let central government know this district is not for fracking.”Thirsk and Malton Anti-Fracking Campaigner, Mick Johnston says:
“Thirsk and Malton Labour Party has been campaigning against fracking since it was first proposed in Ryedale. We stand with the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp and applaud its commitment to the environment and its ethical campaign pledge. What they are doing is for all Ryedale residents who oppose fracking. We need to invest in renewable and community based energy sources and not the harmful burning of more fossil fuels. It’s great to see Rachael Maskell here as a member of parliament. It is a disgrace that our own MP has not only ignored the wishes of the majority of Ryedale people by supporting fracking but is doing his best to smoothe the way for fracking companies with his Parliamentary Group. The latest twist is that the Government are right now scheming to remove the protection from fracking that they previously gave to National Parks.

 

Notes for editor
For Rachael Maskell contact: Rachael.maskell.mp@parliament.uk 01904 623713 www.rachaelmaskell.com @RachaelMaskell

Pictures of Rachael Maskell with members of the camp, supporters including members of the Thirsk and Malton Labour Party

Fracking Update

​The Thirsk and Malton Labour Party continue to work with a range of people and organisations to campaign against fracking in the constituency. Our Chair and Secretary recently visited the Protection Camp at Kirby Misperton as the pictures on our Home Page show.

​There is a lot of action taking place across the country  as you will from the Frack Free Ryedale ‘February Racking News’

Campaign Archive

​We have also added a link to a new website – Frack Free United – a network of residents and campaign groups who are united in protecting our countryside and communities from the threat of fracking, strengthening and building a progressive alliance from all walks of life and working together to oppose fracking – not only in our local area, but across the UK.

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They will also have a feature in advance of the local council elections on 4th May 2017 so you can see which of your candidates are opposed to fracking

www.frackfreeunited.org/