Decisions over the onshore drilling need to be taken with the facts in the open, not pushed through Parliament in a rush
By John Ashton
We shouldn’t need a report by Medact to tell us what fracking means for our health. We have a Government led by politicians we elect to represent us in the public interest.
We have Government Departments and regulatory agencies we pay for with our taxes to act in the public interest. Fracking for shale gas on the scale proposed by the Government would transform our nation. The direct physical impacts alone would be experienced by millions.
We should not embark on this without a strong national consensus based on full, rigorous, and transparent consideration of all the implications, particularly the implications for health.
Otherwise this project will end in tears.
If our leaders think any great endeavor is in the national interest, they have an obligation to promote a full, rigorous, and transparent debate, as a basis for building a national consensus. Government departments and agencies that exist to serve the public interest have an obligation to ensure that such debate is built upon the best possible understanding of what will be involved.
On fracking, alas, our leaders and our public institutions are letting us down.