EA asleep at the wheel?
The recent debacle in Balcombe where the Environment agency found itself asleep at the wheel until Friends of the Earth alerted it to shortcomings in its own permitting for Cuadrilla’s current exploration operations, shows us how ludicrous Mr Cameron’s rhetoric that “No regulation must get in the way” of shale gas development really is.
As Geoffrey Lean writes in the Telegraph http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geoffreylean/100222841/drilling-set-back-regulator-caught-out-as-fracking-opponents-draw-first-blood/
“The episode calls into question the competence, alertness and impartiality of the Environment Agency itself. This is crucial since an enormous amount is riding on these very qualities. When protesters have raised fears that the incidents of serious pollution that have occurred in the United States might be repeated here, the official response has been to insist that the industry would be much better regulated in Britain. And – since the Agency has enjoyed a good reputation – this assurance has carried weight and reassured many who might otherwise have been doubtful.”
First blood has been drawn down there in Balcombe….