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    Mayor Seeks to Stop Fracking in London


The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that London boroughs should refuse applications to explore, appraise or produce shale gas via hydraulic fracturing, a move opposed by the upstream industry.

by: William Powell

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Mayor Seeks to Stop Fracking in London

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that London boroughs should refuse applications to explore, appraise or produce shale gas via hydraulic fracturing in the UK capital. This will be part of his draft plan for London to be issued November 29 for consultation until March 1 next year.

He made his opposition to fracking clear in his mayoral election manifesto, and he said November 26 that there is no place for fracking in London and he remains firm in his belief that any such application must be refused.

“The harmful, negative impact of the use of fossil fuels on the environment and on the air we breathe is well known. We must instead focus our resources on developing technologies for the efficient extraction of clean, renewable forms of energy, rather than coming up with more ever innovative ways to keeping burning fossil fuels."

The mayor's draft plan will also underline his commitment to London’s green belt and much-loved green spaces. Other measures include cleaning up the bus and taxi fleet, the introduction of the world’s toughest new emission standard in Central London, the T-Charge, and confirming he will bring in the Ultra-Low Emission Zone 17 months earlier than originally planned, in ‎April 2019.

In an early response to the consultation, the CEO of UK Onshore Oil and Gas Ken Cronin said it was "deeply troubling that the Mayor of London has chosen to ignore the science around onshore gas and oil production, and instead has repeated a number of wholly fallacious myths about the industry." He said: "Despite the fact that London needs oil and gas, Mr Khan would prefer that the great city he oversees becomes more and more dependent on imports from overseas rather than utilising domestic resources to the full."

He said the mayor also risks further widening the divide in this country between London and the rest of the nation.  "Onshore oil and gas production in the UK is already bringing direct and indirect local investment to communities in the North of England.  It stands poised to bring a much-needed new stream of tax revenue to the UK public purse, and it is projected to create 64,000 jobs across the country.... It is demonstrably the case that within a stringent regulatory environment like the UK’s, hydraulic fracturing – or ‘fracking’ – can help to reduce our emission-heavy import dependency and boost the UK economy while safely meeting the country’s energy needs.”

Cuadrilla is in the middle of its fracking programme in Lancashire and Ineos, having won a court order banning certain types of obstructive demonstrations, is readying to start work as well in a different part of the UK.  Igas is planning to spud a shale gas deposit early next year but without fracking.

Scotland, part of the UK, last month implemented a ban on fracking, having previously imposed a moratorium on its use; it is also banned in Northern Ireland and effectively blocked also in Wales.