Drilling licences for the controversial process of fracking have been issued in several areas around York and North Yorkshire.
Despite the protests over the process, drilling licences are being issued to gas companies by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for several areas of North and East Yorkshire, including constituencies near York.
According to Greenpeace, the sites include Easingwold and the western edge of York, to the north, north-east and north-west of Malton, in the Pickering area, between Scarborough and Helmsley, and to the south-west of Pocklington.
Fracking, an abbreviation of hydraulic fracturing, involves drilling deep underground and injecting water mixed with chemicals and sand at high pressure to fracture shale rocks and release the natural gas stored inside.
Tory MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey and Chair of the Commons environment select committee, Anne McIntosh, is aware of the prospect for shale gas in the vicinity of York but admits to the “lack of knowledge of the process of fracking and the impact on the environment.”
However, Prime Minister David Cameron, has urged the public to support fracking as it has the potential to generate low cost household energy bills and reduce unemployment.
It is expected that in areas where wells are created, the communities affected will receive £100,000 in compensation alongside one per cent of the profits which are likely to be worth several million pounds.
Nevertheless, Greenpeace predicts future opposition on behalf of protesters and warns MPs not to support drilling in their respective constituencies unless they want to ‘’pay a price at the polling booth’’
This is also in line with Tory MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey who intends to raise concerns when the House of Commons is back in September.
“The main concern is of the disruption caused to the local community and the possible impact on house prices as well as the quality of life,” says MP McIntosh.
She continues by adding that “People living near any potential site will be concerned about possible subsidence and other adverse consequences.
“These issues must be fully aired and discussed before any fracking exploration or licenses are issued to allay any concerns of local communities.”
However, according to officials, applications for drilling on any of the sites will have to be subjected to standard planning and regulatory checks, before the department gives any authorization.