Fracking tsar quits 'impossible role'

| 29th April 2019

Greenpeace peaceful protest against fracking.

Greenpeace
Natascha Engel says environmental activists "highly successful" in curbing fracking.

A perfectly viable and exciting new industry...is in danger of withering on the vine - not for any technical or safety reasons, but because of a political decision.

The government's fracking tsar has quit the post after just six months claiming policy around the controversial process means there is "no purpose" to her job.

Natascha Engel told Greg Clark, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, developing the industry will be "an impossible task" despite its "enormous potential".

In a resignation letter to Mr Clark, she said environmental activists has been "highly successful" at encouraging the government to curb fracking.

Energy revolution

Ms Engel penned the letter following two weeks of protests by the Extinction Rebellion group, which brought parts of London to a standstill with demands to cut emissions to zero by 2025.

She wrote: "A perfectly viable and exciting new industry...is in danger of withering on the vine - not for any technical or safety reasons, but because of a political decision."

Ms Engel complained that a traffic light system which halts fracking when a tremor with a magnitude of 0.5 is recorded "amounts to a de facto ban".

Critics say the amount of water needed for fracking is bad for the environment and claim it releases dangerous chemicals. They also say Governments should focus on renewable energy.

This Author

Lewis Pennock is a reporter for the Press Association.

Donate

The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate here