Bath’s MP has received written ministerial confirmation that the World Heritage city will be free of any fracking activity.
The risk to its hot springs from any prospecting for shale gas has been widely reported.
Ben Howlett has already said he wanted to fully understand the risk to Bath and the water supplying our thermal springs and ensure it is fully protected from any future fracking activity around Bath or the Mendips. It is widely believed that the waters supplying the hot springs in Bath are sourced from the Mendips.
So it was with some relief that he has now received written confirmation from the Minister at the Department of Energy & Climate Change that Bath and the surrounding areas, including the Mendips, are therefore not located in a “shale prospective area” according to shale resource estimates by the British Geological Survey and hence do not have any shale gas under them.
The response from the Minister went as far as to say that a number of licenses had previously been granted and subsequently rescinded due to the fact that no frackable shale gas could be found.
Ben said of the revelation. “I am obviously delighted to find that Bath and the Mendips do not have frackable shale gas under the surface and is, therefore, safe from the risk of fracking.
As the Minister, Andrea Leadsom, said in her response to me I regret that this situation has been unclear both to me and my constituents and am relieved and reassured by her response”
The full response is available on Ben’s website: www.benhowlett.co.uk
Meanwhile – a word of caution – as a regular visitor to the Virtual Museum tells me he that – although the Mendips seemed reasonable as a source – he had heard somewhere that there had been
research which seemed to point to the water having gone underground somewhere in France about 10,000 years ago.
With that in mind, he was not so not sure how much of a risk fracking in other areas might prove to be in Bath… albeit perhaps a while into the future. Best be careful he thought.
Fracking – he said – was the sort of bright idea which people rush to exploit without too much inconvenient thought being given to what the drawbacks might be in years to come… ( a bit like the Industrial Revolution really ! )