Steve Rotheram TfN

Rotheram: ‘No justification’ for fracking in Liverpool City Region

Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has hit out at potential fracking within the city region, arguing the area should instead focus on renewable and carbon-free energy to achieve its ambition to be carbon-neutral by 2040.

Rotheram said there was “no need or justification for shale gas extraction” in the city region, hitting out at a scoping opinion request lodged by energy firm Aurora to Sefton Council, as it looks to explore potential fracking in Great Altcar.

Both Sefton and the Wirral have been earmarked as two potential areas for fracking and shale gas extraction, but Rotheram said this would conflict with the city’s plans to be carbon-neutral in around 20 years’ time.

The mayor added the case against fracking was not “simply based on concerns about safety” or any potential impact on the environment, but that it is “unnecessary for a region and a nation with vast and underexploited potential for renewable energy”.

He said: “I have talked about our city region becoming the UK’s energy coast, but that does not and should not include shale gas extraction. We are home to Europe’s biggest off-shore wind farm, and with plans to harness the power of the River Mersey, we could be generating the equivalent of four nuclear power stations, or 20% of the UK’s domestic residential power needs.

“Our focus is entirely on renewable and carbon-free energy production, including hydrogen capture, as the foundation for a successful and sustainable future economy.”

Among Rotheram’s proposals for renewable energy in the region include a “multi-billion pound” tidal energy project in the River Mersey.

In November last year, he appointed former Dong Energy UK chairman Brent Cheshire to  head up the region’s special purpose vehicle for the project, who will work up a business case for the scheme by the end of 2018.

The mayor concluded: “The UK Government needs to do a great deal more to live up to its responsibilities to avert the devastating impacts of climate change, which ironically pose a direct threat to our low-lying coastal areas where fracking companies want to operate. I want this City Region to be a beacon and an international exemplar for green renewable energy.”

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Well said Steve Rotherham,please pass that knowledge to Derbyshire council,I fear our concerns are going to deaf ears,we should all be looking at renewables this is the future not the Dinosaur fossil fuel and a specially fracking.

By Anonymous

My understanding is the gas from fracking is sold on the European market and is not intended for use in the UK. Madness.

By Verum

It’s an interesting one, this, and all relates to the need for a balanced energy mix while we make renewables both more productive and lower cost. There’s great progress on those fronts, as well as on battery storage capacity.

In the meantime, we’ve got to keep the lights on and need a balanced mix of power sources. Securing our own gas means we’re not transferring £12bn pa to countries like Russia and Qatar with their pitiable human rights and environmental records. We create new skilled jobs, retain the tax income and enjoy a big economic boost.

The technology and engineering skills required to drill safe wells are widely proven and available and these are just a few of the reasons why unions like the GMB support a well-regulated on-shore gas sector.

If you like giving you money to states that treat women like chattels and the environment like a disposable resource then I suppose the status quo will do just fine.

By Sceptical

Such a lost opportunity for the creation of so many jobs!

By Abots

Well said. Fracking is a huge threat to our Sefton Coast. Tourism is the life blood for Southport. The coast is also being erroaded at Formby and fracking would eventually polute the sea. Safe, clean, green renewable energy is the way forward.

By Helen Fangman

Ridiculous shortsightedness by populist politicians once again.

There is no reason both renewable and fossil fuels cannot be invested in, giving both immediate resources through fossil fuels while we transition to a more sustainable green energy source.

But these “men of the people” are earning far more than the average person, so really what do they care if bills go up?

By QuaysMan