Whilst it is clear that we need a mix of energy sources in the future, I do not believe there is sufficient evidence to justify fracking at this stage. I am very concerned about the potential impact of fracking on Barnsley and on other communities around the country.
There is currently no scientific consensus on the potential environmental impact of shale gas extraction. The reality is that fracking will not solve our long-term energy needs and we should instead be looking to invest in renewable energy in the short to medium-term.
I believe there should be a moratorium on fracking at a national level. Studies in the United States have shown that fracking could contaminate water supplies and lead to other environmental degradation. Furthermore, the United States has far more open and uninhabited areas in this country where the potential impacts of fracking can be more carefully mitigated.
The scientific case for fracking has not been made and I do not believe we should proceed on that basis. Labour has announced that we will ban fracking if we win the next general election.