Here is the resolution that went through: the deletions are shown and the one insertion is underlined.
Council notes that:
- it is publicly committed to being a greener and cleaner city and is committed to the promotion of renewable energy sources
- the Government’s policy of promoting ‘fracking’ for shale gas across large areas of Britain may mean that applications may be made for licences to start exploratory drilling within the city boundary
- Fracking has a long history of operations in North America, but in many European countries it has been banned or is subject to a moratorium.
Council further notes that:
- exploitation of shale gas locks our economy into a ‘carbon culture’ that produces climate change and diverts investment away from renewables
- planners judging fracking applications are forbidden to consider alternatives to oil and gas
- drilling for shale gas creates fewer local jobs than could be created through investment in renewables
- fracking can be very disruptive to residents
- the evidence from North America shows that fracking can pose a threat to underground geology and the local water basin
- research from North America suggests that a health risk may exist from fracking processes that pump a mix of potentially dangerous chemicals into the earth’s surface and close to water aquifers.
Council therefore resolves:
1. To declare the City a ‘frack-free’ area and prohibit fracking on all council land
2. To instruct its Corporate Scrutiny Board to investigate and to report back to the full Council the likely environmental impact of fracking within the city
3. To work with other local authorities and environmental groups to oppose fracking and emphasise its dangers
While I appreciate that going to scrutiny and getting a report could be productive the risk is that the effort will go into seeing if fracking might take place within Derby, and not looking at the impact of fracking upon the people of Derby.
It remains that fracking, and this is THE critical issue, leads to the emission of greenhouse gases, and we should be aiming for zero-carbon emissions. See the attached leaflet, which uses this as a starting point.
We are very grateful to the Lib Dems who did so much work on this. But perhaps we should have made an effort to get the Labour party to second the motion. Incidentally the Conservatives abstained. We are pleased to note that the Labour Party is now working with us to see how we can move forward together .