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Standard Rules Consultation No.11: Relaxing the rules for fracking start-ups, was this a public consultation?

I'm a bit lost for words on this "Consultation No.11" thing, although not entirely (see below). What's the use? is one response. Why didn't I know, is another? Was this a public consultation or not? I'm not totally clear. When I tried checking for previous comments, on the online form, I found responses to a previous consultation (Horse Hill) but apparently not a single person had entered any objections to this one, before me. Can't be right.

Anyway, what is it? This is, I think, an early implementation of the Fracking Good/Onshore Wind Farms Bad new legislation in the Infrastructure Bill. It's wickedly, blatantly, all about serving private vested interests. You used to have to get the Environment Agency to make an assessment, before you could apply for exploratory drilling, in preparation for fracking for gas or oil. In future, that won't apply. You just tell the Environment Agency what you fancy doing, where you fancy doing it, they refer themselves to their spreadsheet, which says Low Risk all the way across the boxes, whether the supposed question is about the protection of rare bats, air quality, climate change, noise pollution, or what the hell, and then they issue a "Standard Permit". Job done.

Exploration shows the very clear intention to exploit. The oil men know what's down there, "Exploration" is boots on the ground, foot in the door, it's standard tactics, and, as I thought we all knew by now, Cuadrilla and Celtique Energie (Balcombe, Fernhurst, Wisborough Green & Kirdford ) have consistently told their shareholders they intend to extract by hydraulic fracking, in just about so many words, while at the same time promising the locals, hand on heart that they will never, ever frack!.

Anyway, I'm bemused, but I responded to 38 Degrees, and I made my personal response here:

https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/portal/ho/ep/src/newrules/oilandgas

& to help you out, if you wish you had known about this, and you want to hurry and get your response in by midnight, or by tomorrow, here's what the questions are and what I said:

Update: I'm sure you've had enough of looking at my spluttering. Here's a link to The Ecologist instead.

Oh. It's shorter than it was last week (but I can fix that|). . . What a tricksy place the Internet is!

The Ecologist 15th June

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