During last week’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee meeting Mr Griffin tried to effectively impose a moratorium on the controversial process of gas fracking.
Supporting an amendment by former French environment minister, Corinne Lepage, Nick had sought to ban the process of hydraulic frackuring, given the serious environmental and health risks involved.
However, despite not succeeding totally there were a number of amendments Nick helped vote through which will become serious hurdles to those wishing to play Russian roulette with our green and pleasant land in search of a quick buck.
As well as a much greater scrutiny of the potential health risks involved in fracking, a polluter-pays principle will be applied. In effect this will eliminate the possibility of fly-by-night operatives who will instead be responsible for any long-term damage they may inflict.
Further to this new rules of disclosure will apply to the actual chemical make-up of the fracking fluid used in the process. As such, unlike in the USA , where big companies have been afforded the opportunity to use their financial clout to keep the public in ignorance, operatives will have to exist under a much stricter environmental transparency regime.
The disposal of fracking fluid and the possibility of it leaking into the water table will be monitored with greater emphasis placed on its closed-system recycling. Fracking fluid will also now be classified as a hazardous waste.
Following on from the earthquakes experienced during fracking trials in Blackpool, the seismic implications of the process will also now have to be considered. Mr Griffin was pleased to see the following amendment included in his briefing documents:
Notes that there is a risk of seismic tremors as demonstrated by shale gas exploration in the north-west of England; supports the recommendations of the UK Government commissioned report that operators be required to meet certain seismic and microseismic standards.
Whilst the Czech Republic, Germany & Romania are considering banning the process of hydraulic fracturing a further indication to the growing worldwide opposition was reflected in the following amendment:
whereas many governments in Europe, such as France, Bulgaria, North Rhine Westphalia in Germany, Fribourg and Vaud in Switzerland, as well as a number of US states (North Carolina,New York, New Jersey, and Vermont and more than 100 local governments) and other countries around the world (South Africa, Quebec in Canada, New South Wales in Australia) currently have a ban or moratorium in place on the use of hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of oil and gas from shale or other 'tight' rock formations;
All in all a productive morning dealing a serious blow to the fracking fraternity. However, the battle is far from over as the fervent support for the fracking industry by several senior Conservative MEPs also demonstrated.
To find out more about the work that Nick does as an MEP, please visit his official website here.