Fracking is an environmental catastrophe, photo Casey Hugelfink/CC

Fracking is an environmental catastrophe, photo Casey Hugelfink/CC   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

The government’s fracking tsar, ex-Labour MP Natascha Engel, has quit six months into the job. She claims rules the government has been forced to adopt, which mean fracking must be suspended every time a 0.5 magnitude tremor is detected, means that campaign groups “were driving policy”. She says that the government is “pandering to what we know to be myths and scare stories” about shale-gas extraction.

But the ‘myths’ are real, and fracking continues to only be pushed by big business despite complete condemnation by climate scientists, campaigners and trade unionists.

Engel claims the rules effectively mean a ‘ban’ on fracking. But the government has long been a supporter of fracking and has helped its big-business mates push ahead with it wherever possible. The new government rules are a welcome response to pressure.

To ensure a real ban on the dangerous practice we need proper democratic control by working-class people of land and resources as part of a socialist plan – in the interests of the working class and the environment.