Fracking is dangerous and polluting, photo Casey Hugelfink (Creatvie Commons)

Fracking is dangerous and polluting, photo Casey Hugelfink (Creatvie Commons)   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

A lot has happened on the fracking front in recent months. Notably, fracking companies Cuadrilla and Ineos have been awarded High Court injunctions which, in effect, restrict many forms of legitimate protest.

Any protest which slows down operations at fracking sites or at sites belonging to contractors will be considered in contempt of court, and any protester involved could face a prison sentence or have their assets seized. There has been a number of appeals against these injunctions but all cases have failed.

Ineos is also in the process of taking the National Trust to court because they are refusing Ineos access to their land at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire to carry out seismic testing.

Ineos has also recently won an appeal against Derbyshire County Council’s refusal to allow them permission to drill in the village of March Lane.

Government-appointed planning inspector Elizabeth Hill said: “I have found that there would be slight harm in terms of the living conditions of neighboring occupiers in terms of nighttime noise, to which I give limited weight. However, this would not outweigh the benefits of the exploration in terms of its potential to improve resources for energy supplies to which I give substantial weight. In any event, the minor harm in this case is outweighed by other material considerations.” The profits of Ineos maybe?

The Tory government now plans to allow fracking companies to bypass local planning laws. In future, fracking applications would be decided by central government.

The Socialist Party fights against fracking and for proper democratic control by working class people of land and resources in order to protect the environment.

Jon Sibbald, Wakefield and Pontefract Socialist Party