Public pressure stops fracking in large areas of the country - But MPs reject moratorium
The decision was made to protect wildlife and drinking water – an admission that fracking poses serious risks.
Despite this, Government rejected calls from cross party MPs for a moratorium. If fracking is not safe near wildlife, its not safe in our communities.
The good news is the rules agreed today will prevent fracking in large parts of the country.
One of those protected places is Balcombe, the scene of significant protests against fracking in the summer of 2013.
Government ignores climate change and health risks
There were significant omissions though.
The conditions ignored the risks of causing climate change. Fracking for shale gas is an unconventional fossil fuel that would contribute to climate changing emissions.
Scientists have warned that most conventional fossil fuel reserves will have to be left in the ground if we are to avert the worst climate scenarios. And that drilling for unconventional fossil fuel only contributes to the problem. It's not a substitute.
In addition to the climate change risks, they ignored the negative health impacts. Both were highlighted as key risks in an inquiry into fracking by the influential Environmental Audit Committee of MPs.
Government defeats bid to halt fracking
More than 50 MPs including the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Green party MPs along with rebel backbenchers from Labour, Lib Dem and the Conservatives defied the Government to vote for a moratorium on fracking.
But Government rejected the proposal, while the Labour party abstained, meaning fracking can still go ahead. This makes Lancashire Council's decision on whether to allow fracking later this week even more important. Only a no vote will keep Britain frack free. Please sign the petition against fracking now.
End in sight for fracking in Scotland?
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Scottish Labour announced that if they were elected in 2016, they would introduce a moratorium in Scotland. The SNP will be under increasing pressure to introduce a moratorium in Scotland after voting for it at UK level.
Join the opposition to fracking
The crumbling of political support for fracking – and tough new rules for the fracking industry – follows hundreds of thousands of people backing campaigns against fracking.
More than a quarter of a million people signed a petition to David Cameron asking him to stop fracking and go for green energy instead.
But the fight against fracking is not over. Crucially the new rules would not stop fracking going ahead in Lancashire, where the council is due to decide whether to accept or reject fracking proposals later this week.
Whether Britain stays frack free hangs in the balance.
To stop climate change we must stop fracking. Today shows that when we put pressure on politicians, they feel forced to respond. We have much more to do, but together this is a fight we can win.