Monday, 19 January 2015

MPs pressure David Cameron to release uncensored Fracking Report

A total of ten MPs have now called for DEFRA’s censored ‘Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts’ report to be released in full, including four MPs from David Cameron’s own party.  Last week, at the House of Commons' Environmental Audit Committee inquiry on the environmental risks of fracking, three MPs made requests to see the complete report.

As we reported last week, Lancashire County Council will take a decision on whether Cuadrilla can resume fracking for shale gas at the end of this month.

Over 4,700 people have now signed the ‘Stop Fracking Censorship’ petition and an additional 1,500 tweets were sent using the #DefraCoverUp hashtag on Twitter. The climate change minister Amber Rudd MP, responded saying the redactions had been made under exemptions in the freedom of information rules. The shadow energy minister, Tom Greatrex MP, described the minister’s explanation as the “thinnest justification I have ever heard for not publishing a document”.  

“We have to have transparency," argues Andrew Miller MP. " I think it is absolutely outrageous that we have documents that are redacted”.

With an election looming, the Prime Minister will not want to seem like he’s leading this cover up.  Now is the time to concentrate our efforts on showing David Cameron we require full transparency from our Government.  The hidden contents of this report will influence how MPs vote on Monday 26th January and the outcome of the much-criticised Infrastructure Bill. 

"If enough MPs demand the report is released in full, David Cameron will have no choice but to release it before next Monday," say campaigners. "The Bill proposes controversial changes to our Trespass Laws that will erode our land rights, and pave the way for fracking.  

"Ask your MPs to support the amendments to the Bill proposed by Dr Caroline Lucas MP and Norman Baker MP, which call for the removal of the fracking-facilitating clauses.  Dr Lucas is also calling for an outright ban on fracking.  We believe more MPs will support a ban once they are privy to the contents of DEFRA’s secret report."

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, said “By heavily redacting the ‘Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts’ report the Government wants to obscure the truth and not explain it.”

• As well as signing the petition. make sure our MPs know exactly what you think about Government censorship and this contentious Bill. Email your MP to tell them they should ask David Cameron to release the report and support the Lucas/Baker amendments.  Click on this link to send your email via this simple ‘Write to your MP’ tool:

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