Green Party warns taxpayers must pay bill for fracking disasters

14 December 2013

Green Party warns taxpayers must pay bill for fracking disasters

The Green Party is warning that taxpayers will have to pay for pollution caused by fracking if companies go bankrupt, after the government rejected proposals to make fracking companies take out insurance against such risks. Peter Cranie

Energy companies are lining up to drill shale gas wells around the North West, encouraged by high gas prices and generous tax breaks from the government.

This week campaigners and a cross-party group of MPs argued that fracking operators should have to take out a bond to pay for potential fracking accidents. Without this insurance the taxpayer would be at risk of paying out millions of pounds to clean up pollution and toxic waste if a company went bust.

Peter Cranie, North West Green Party European elections candidate, said: “By rejecting calls for fracking companies to take out insurance against environmental disasters, the government has confirmed our suspicions – that they are happy to put the public at risk while they dish out massive tax cuts to encourage the industrialisation of our countryside."

“Landfill operators already have to take out this type of insurance in case things go wrong, so why should fracking companies not be subject to this simple safeguard when the risk is that they pollute our air and water supplies?"

There are many concerns around the potential for fracking to cause pollution to water, air and land after a number of such incidents have occurred in the USA. Despite this, government and the shale gas industry claim that a strict regulatory system is in place and that residents have nothing to be worried about.

“We’ve seen people protesting against gas drilling in Salford over the last few weeks. They’re worried that this is a risky business which ultimately won't help us reduce our carbon emissions. Now it seems the government is happy for them to pick up the bill if something goes wrong.” continued Peter Cranie.

“Instead of tax breaks to encourage a dash for dirty gas, we should be helping local people to insulate their homes and supporting communities to generate their own clean renewable energy. This will protect our environment, save the average person hundreds of pounds on their energy bills and create thousands of skilled green jobs.”


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Gina Dowding

Gina Dowding was the Green Party Member of the European Parliament for the North West of England. She achieved much for the North West in the short time between July 2019 and February 2020. Gina is now chair of the North West Green party. Three of Gina's reports are listed below.

Click here to view what a Green New Deal for the North West would mean.

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