The North West Energy Task Force, a major lobby group created to make a business case for fracking in Lancashire, consists mainly of firms located outside the county, an investigation by Greenpeace has found.
The North West Energy Task Force, a major lobby group created to
make a business case for fracking in Lancashire, consists mainly
of firms located outside the county, an investigation by
Greenpeace has found.
The analysis by Greenpeace has shown that of the 343 small
businesses that allegedly support fracking in Lancashire’s Fylde
area, only 149 of them are actually based in Lancashire, the
Several small firms also appear to have signed up as supporters
of fracking multiple times in order to get the numbers up.
Supporters include a care home for the elderly in Yorkshire, a
fishing resort in Wales, and a sheet music and song book shop in
Only 14 companies actually come from the area of Lancashire,
where the hydraulic fracturing for shale gas is due to take
The North West Energy Group Task Force receives funding from the
main shale gas developers in Britain, Caudrilla and Centrica (the
owner of British Gas). Both companies aim to exploit as much
shale gas in the UK as possible.
A spokesman for the North West Energy Task Force defended the
findings and said that fracking would benefit people throughout
the region and the country.
“We believe it will benefit the North-west region. We think
the positive impacts will be felt far and wide, including by
BB owners in Blackpool, fertilizer producers in Cheshire and
professional service companies in Manchester,” he told The
Independent. He also pointed out that the anti-fracking lobby in
the UK lobbies for support from as far afield as Canada and the
US, so “their complaint smacks of hypocrisy.”
But Greenpeace said the findings show how desperate the fracking
lobby is, in the face of overwhelming local opposition.
“This is another example of smoke and mirrors from a fracking
lobby that has form in talking up its numbers. What’s clear is
that Cuadrilla is having to look outside Lancashire to drum up
support for an industry which the majority of local people would
rather see the back of,” said Liz Stanton of Greenpeace
Cuadrilla Resources was first given permission to begin
exploration for shale gas in Lancashire in 2007. But drilling was
stopped in 2011 because seismic activity from the fracking
operation was damaging the production zone. An application by
Caudrilla to continue fracking in the area is currently being
considered by Lancashire County Council.
Earlier this month, Greenpeace appealed to the Information
Commissioner’s Office, Britain’s transparency watchdog, over the
government’s “repeated refusal” to publish the full
version of a highly redacted report into the negative impacts of
Greenpeace’s appeal follows numerous protests by campaigners from
Reclaim the Power who have occupied government buildings and
helped mobilize public support against fracking across the
The Scottish government has declared a moratorium on fracking
developments north of the border until further notice.