Your Candidates Stances – 2017 General Election

We asked candidates for the 2017 General Election in the East Riding constituencies 3 questions on fossil fuel extraction.  Their responses are below.  We’ll update this page if we receive any more.

 

Party Policy On Fracking – Opposed 

Listed in chronological order of opposing fracking.

 

Green Party

2017 Green Guarantee: “We will prioritise urgent measures to tackle climate change, replacing fracking, coal power and subsidies to fossil fuels, with investment in jobs rich renewable energy technology.”

Policy: “EN264 We will halt the development of coal-bed methane, shale gas and similar hydrocarbon exploitation since it is not needed to meet UK energy demands, is environmentally destructive, and will lead to increasing GHG emissions.”  

 

Liberal Democrats

Manifesto: “Oppose ‘fracking’ because of its adverse impact on climate change, the energy mix, and the local environment.”

March 2016: Liberal Democrats vote to ban fracking in England and Wales

 

Labour

Manifesto: “Labour will ban fracking because it would lock us into an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels, long after the point in 2030 when the Committee on Climate Change says gas in the UK must sharply decline.”

Sept 2016: A future Labour government will ban fracking

 

Yorkshire Party

Manifesto: “we will act to restrict any fracking across the county. … Oppose Westminster’s plans to introduce fracking across Yorkshire.”

Policy (Dec 2016): “The Yorkshire Party calls for the ban of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) for Shale Gas throughout Yorkshire. … in favour of investment in renewable technologies and developing green energy solutions in cooperation with local communities. … We believe it makes no sense at all for the UK government to be promoting the development of a new fossil fuel industry having signed up to the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

 

Party Policy On Fracking – In Favour

 

Conservative

Manifesto: “We will therefore develop the shale industry in Britain. … Non-fracking drilling will be treated as permitted development, … when necessary, major shale planning decisions will be made the responsibility of the National Planning Regime.”

Would not require Planning Permission. Less impact than your neighbour’s extension?

F.F.E.Y. Note: This means that conventional well sites, with tall drill rigs, 24 hour drilling, gas flares and air pollution, large amounts of equipment and tanks, and hundreds of HGV movements, would NOT require planning permission, nor be subject to a public planning consultation.  Unlike your neighbour’s extension.  This puts them more on a par with a wall.

This could include well sites like West Newton A, where a mini-frack went wrong in 2014.

No definition is given for, ‘major shale decisions’, but we assume, ‘when necessary’ means ‘when local communities object’.

 

UKIP

Manifesto not yet published (as of 20th May).

Policy: None found.

2015 Manifesto: “Support ‘fracking’ for shale gas”

June 2015: “SNP are luddites [for banning] fracking”

 

 

Candidates

All parliamentary candidates for the three local constituencies were asked the following questions regarding their policies on fracking and fossil fuel extraction. Their replies are posted below.

As a parliamentary candidate for local constituencies, would you kindly answer the following questions regarding your views on fossil fuel exploration in the UK? Your responses are requested by 19th May at the latest. They will be published on the Frack Free East Yorkshire website.

  1. Do you oppose, and would you be willing to vote against, unconventional oil and gas development in the UK?
    YES / NO / IT DEPENDS

  2. Do you oppose, and would you be willing to vote against, any exploration or testing in tight or shale formations or production by the injection of fluids into a well,
    for example the mini fall-off tests (mini-fracks) planned by Rathlin Energy in East Yorkshire for 2014?
    YES / NO / IT DEPENDS

  3. Do you oppose, and would you be willing to vote against, any further fossil fuel exploration in the UK?
    YES / NO / IT DEPENDS

 

Beverley & Holderness

 

Q1

Oppose unconventional?

Q2

Oppose mini-frack?

Q3

Oppose fossil fuels?

BOAL Johanna Rose
Labour Party

Yes

Yes

Yes

HEALY Denis
Liberal Democrats

Yes

Yes

Yes

HOWARTH Richard John
Green Party Stop Fracking Now

Yes

Yes

Yes

STUART Graham Charles
The Conservative Party Candidate
     
WALTON Lee Richard
The Yorkshire Party

Yes

Yes

Depends

 

Johanna Boal (Labour)

In answer to question 1,2,&3,  I certainly will be opposing the unconventional oil and gas.
2. I will be voting against the testing of shale by the injection of fluids in to wells.
3.  I will be voting against and further fossil fuel exploring in the UK.

I am only too aware of the effects of Fracking on the environment, the wildlife, communities, etc.

Denis Healy (Liberal Democrat)

I oppose fracking and would vote against any attempt to frack in this area.

Richard Howarth (Green Party)

I believe exploring for more fossil fuels is a crime against humanity.  Viable plans to transition to a safe, low carbon, and better future have been available for years, we just need the political will to act.

Graham Stuart (Conservative)

NO REPLY

Lee Walton (Yorkshire Party)

1. YES ~ As a party, we have an anti-fracking policy.
2. YES ~ As a party, we have an anti-fracking policy.
3. IT DEPENDS ~ We need to move to renewables and/or invest in newer, cleaner forms of generation.  We also need to cut consumption through energy efficiency. However, I wouldn’t want to rule out fossil fuels completely, but would need to consider them on a cases by case basis.

 

East Yorkshire

 

Q1

Oppose unconventional?

Q2

Oppose mini-frack?

Q3

Oppose fossil fuels?

CLARK Alan
Labour Party
     
DENNIS Andrew Philip
UK Independence Party (UKIP)
     
JACKSON Michael David
Green Party Stop Fracking Now

Yes

Yes

Yes

KNIGHT Greg
The Conservative Party Candidate

Letter below

Letter below

Letter below

MINNS Carl
Liberal Democrats
     
NORMAN Timothy Robert Ord
The Yorkshire Party

Yes

Yes

Depends

 

Alan Clark (Labour)

NO REPLY

Andrew Dennis (UKIP)

NO REPLY

Michael Jackson (Green Party)

1 – YES (I am standing on anti fracking)
2 –YES (I am standing on anti fracking)
3 – YES (climate change, keep fossil fuels in the ground)

Greg Knight (Conservative)

Interesting letter in reply. See below.

Carl Minns (Liberal Democrat)

NO REPLY

Tim Norman (Yorkshire Party)

1. YES
2. YES
3. It Depends – In respect of “any fossil fuel exploration in the UK”, then where the conventional development of coal and oil fields for example offshore oil fields or should a new economically viable deep mine of coal reserves be found then I would be in favour.  There is still the need for economically viable and environmentally sound energy resources.  As a nation we need to be encouraging energy efficiency and increasing our use of renewable energies especially clean energy sources such as wave, tide, wind and solar.

 

Haltemprice & Howden

 

Q1

Oppose unconventional?

Q2

Oppose mini-frack?

Q3

Oppose fossil fuels?

DAVIS David Michael
The Conservative Party Candidate
     
DEVANNEY Hollie Katie
Labour Party

Yes

Yes

Yes

NEEDHAM Carole Angela
Green Party
     
NOLAN David Patrick
Liberal Democrats
     
WALLIS Diana Paulette
The Yorkshire Party
     

 

David Davis (Conservative)

Dear Mr [… on behalf of Frack Free East Yorkshire],
As you live in the constituency of Beverley and Holderness the Conservative candidate for your area is Graham Stuart. Therefore, you may wish to contact him to raise your questions, you can do this by emailing [email address].
 I trust Mr Stuart will be able to assist you further in this instance.

Hollie Devanney (Labour)

1. YES. I strongly oppose the unconventional extraction of fossil fuel in the UK on the grounds that it is unsafe for the communities surrounding the sites and in countries/ regions where fracking takes place, it has been proven that it is not a safe method and should without a doubt, be banned.  

2. YES. I strongly oppose and in contrast I am in favour of environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources; developing technology to build on renewable and green energy sources that do not have such detrimental effects on the surrounding communities.   
  3. YES I oppose fracking and I would vote against it.  I believe that we need to invest in the development of renewable energy.  

Angela Needham (Green Party)

NO REPLY

David Nolan (Liberal Democrat)

NO REPLY

Diana Wallis (Yorkshire Party)

NO REPLY

 

 

Letter from Greg Knight (Conservative)

I thank you for your recent communication and note what you say about fracking.

I am aware that there is considerable disquiet about the safety aspects of extracting shale gas and also concerns about the possibility of affecting water supplies.

Because of the concerns expressed by me and others, the Government is providing further reassurance.  Regulations will protect some of the country’s most beautiful areas, including National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Fracking cannot take place at depths of less than 1,200 metres in certain areas.  The Government is also committed to banning fracking from wells drilled at the surface of these areas and of Sites of Special Scientific Interest, in order to safeguard these beautiful landscapes.

The Government is creating a regulatory regime that they say, provide clear, strong protections for the environment.

These protections are provided for in the Infrastructure Act 2015. The Act forbids the Secretary of State from issuing consent for fracking if it would take place within a ‘protected groundwater source area’. The regulations clearly set out what is meant by this, and ensure that fracking would be banned at depths of less than 1,200 metres within 50 metres of a point where water used for domestic or food purposes is extracted. Drinking water is not normally found below 400 metres. This limit therefore provides at least 800 metres between the depth of most drinking water sources and the highest possible level at which hydraulic fracturing can take place. The regulations also ban fracking in zones through which groundwater (again used for domestic or food purposes) travels for 50 days before it reaches an abstraction point.

The present Government  believe that these regulations will provide suitable protection against any health risks.  The Government’s approach is guided by the Environment Agency, and with these protections in place, I think it is right that we explore and make use of shale gas and oil. The opportunity to extract this energy, as well as to secure jobs and investment, cannot be ignored.

Local communities must and will remain fully involved in planning decisions. Ministers have set up a £1.2 million support programme to ensure authorities have the resources to make planning decisions in a timely manner.

I am not a surveyor, nor am I a geological expert and so I do not feel qualified to say whether fracking is safe and should be allowed to go ahead or not.  I start from the belief that no politician should ban an activity unless there is a clear need to do so.  Thus, I am not in favour of a blanket ban on fracking.

I do, however, take the view that local communities ought to be able to decide what occurs in the area in which they live and I certainly do think that local communities should have a veto on preventing fracking from going ahead if they do not want it in their area.  This would enable those communities who wish to embrace shale gasextraction to do so.

Recently, the Government presented a motion to the House of Commons which introduced some new restrictions on fracking but which in my view, did not go far enough.  Consequently I did not support it.

Kind regards,
Greg Knight