Last week Jeremy Corbyn announced a leadership policy that must surely have caught the attention of every anti-fracker in the land: that with him at the helm, Labour would ban fracking, commit to phasing out coal-fired power stations by 2020 and invest heavily in renewable energy. Yes, please! (More on that announcement HERE)
The good news is we can bring that policy closer to a reality thanks to a resolution drafted by Thirsk and Malton CLP asking for a ten-year-moratorium on fracking, which is accompanied by a fringe meeting with Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Rachel Maskell MP, to be held at 6:30pm on Monday 26th September at Suite 9, Jury’s Inn, Keel Wharfe L3 4FN.
For Thirsk and Malton’s resolution to make it to the conference floor it must win the support of CLPs across the country, so please tweet the resolution below at your local Constituency Labour Party. A link to our tweet, aimed at all the Greater Manchester Boroughs currently threatened by fracking is HERE.
We’ve also written a template letter for you to send to your Labour MPs, MEPS and Councillors asking them to support Jeremy Corbyn’s policy and Thirsk and Malton CLP’s resolution. You can use this handy service to find their addresses. And please feel free to make liberal use of the #LabourBanFracking when the party’s autumn conference kicks off on Sunday 25th September… and especially at 6:30pm on Monday 26th when Rachel Maskell’s fringe meeting is taking place. And why not keep on using it until conference ends on Wednesday 28th September or when #LabourBanFracking (whichever happens first)?
And now for the letter…
Dear (Insert name of Labour bod here)
I am writing to seek your views on whether you will be supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s policy of banning fracking, phasing out coal by 2020 and pushing for major national investment bank funding in renewables in order to meet our Paris Climate Commitments of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
More on the leadership policy here:
Thirsk and Malton CLP have drafted a resolution that brings this reality a little closer, calling on the Labour party to adopt a ten-year moratorium on fracking anywhere in the UK, stating: “A case has yet to be proved that fracking can be progressed without causing permanent damage to the health of people unfortunate enough to be neighbouring it, and permanent damage to a fragile ecosystem. Communities in this constituency are being expected to accept the impact on the local economy in housing, tourism and agriculture… Thirsk and Malton Labour Party expect the energy policy of a Labour government to set a clear principle of “people before profit” and to actively support renewable means of generating energy whenever possible.”
We ask that you support the above resolution at conference so that the party can have a much needed debate on this issue, and that you attend the fringe conference meeting ‘What’s Wrong With Fracking?’ to be held at 6:30pm on Monday 26th September at Suite 9, Jury’s Inn, Keel Wharfe L3 4FN and hosted by Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Rachel Maskell. Details here: http://www.thirskandmaltonclp.com/latest-news.html
Labour constituencies are bearing the brunt of areas licensed for fracking, a means of energy extraction opposed by 81% of the electorate (according to a recent DECC poll), so it is imperative Labour offers the electorate opposition to Conservative Party policy on this very controversial issue.
The realities of the dangers of fracking came home to roost in Oklahoma recently when a 5.6 Richter scale earthquake hit during well injection of fracking waste. Four USA states have openly declared water contamination from fracking. The Committee on Climate Change have advised fracking for gas is not compatible with our climate commitments and there is no adequate regulation to deal with the rogue methane emissions that make fracking 20% more warming in the atmosphere than coal over a 20-year period, according to a study by Cornell University. The next twenty years are a critical time for our planet, when we should be cutting our emissions, not adding to them.
Parliament’s own Environmental Audit Committee advised that fracking isn’t compatible with our climate commitments, and presents a significant localised public health risk – and peer reviewed studies support this view showing increased cases of respiratory diseases, cancer and birth defects in communities affected by fracking.
Jeremy Corbyn’s policy and Thirsk and Malton CLP’s resolution doesn’t just present an opportunity to reflect popular opinion: it is a chance to tackle climate change and help lift people out of fuel poverty by protecting citizens from the rising energy costs built into the Hinkley Point C deal. It gives us the opportunity to invest in a democratic, user-friendly energy system in rooftop and community owned solar, wind and hydro that will build ten times as many jobs as fossil fuels do (according to the UK Energy Research Centre) and without the risks to our children’s future.
I hope we can start to build that green future with the full support of the Labour Party instead of gambling it on the continued use of fossil fuels.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Mr and Mrs #LabourBanFracking