Keith Taylor MEP for the South East Weekly Update

21 September 2018

21st September

Say no to fast-tracking fracking!

The Government has two consultations open until October 25, 2018, which aim to speed up permissions for onshore shale gas operations. The effect of what is proposed is to undermine local democracy and accountability and speed through, without proper scrutiny, applications for operations including fracking which is of significant public concern. Please respond to the consultations before the deadline.

Of the plans, Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East said:

“The plan to ride roughshod over local residents and their representatives in the pursuit of environmentally-destructive fracking is frighteningly anti-democratic. It’s shameful enough that the Tories, in a bid to fast-track, fracking have already done this in places such as Lancashire. The Government is making a total sham of any pretence of localism.”

“To protect local democracy, we need as many people as possible to respond to these consultations and tell the government what a dangerous proposal this is.”

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Green MEP restates support for campaigners as Balcombe work begins

As work begins at the controversial unconventional drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex, Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, has issued a statement in support of the campaigners and residents resisting Angus Energy’s operation.

In his statement, Mr Taylor said:

“I want to extend my solidarity to campaigners and residents in Balcombe. I and fellow Greens will continue to stand with you in your fight—as we did five years ago. And, as in 2013, our strength in numbers and unity will prevail once again. More power to your elbows.”

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Green MEP launches sustainable transport vision during meeting with Oxford cycling campaigners

Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East, launched a new publication setting out his transport vision for the region, and country, on Tuesday in Oxford.

The senior Green politician and staunch opponent of the planned Oxford to Cambridge Expressway unveiled his ‘Outmoded: a call for sustainable mobility in the 21st-century’ report during a meeting with Cyclox, the voice of cycling in Oxford, at the new Broken Spoke workshop on Osney Lane.

The publication calls for an end to the ‘disjointed’ and ‘outdated’ infrastructure planning process that prioritises ‘environmentally-damaging roadbuilding projects’ that ‘only put more traffic on our roads.’

Instead, Mr Taylor, a member of both the European Parliament’s Environment and Transport Committees, uses the report to call for a substantial uplift in investment in public transport projects, ensuring they are affordable and accessible, and the promotion of, and infrastructure, active transport, walking and cycling.

“The car can no longer be the unchallenged king of Britain’s transport projects, or we will drive ourselves towards and climate and environment Carmageddon,” Mr Taylor said.

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Greens: ‘Brexit is a US-led chlorinated chicken coop d’etat that will harm our public health, environment, animal welfare standards and farmers’

Keith Taylor MEP, the Green Party of England and Wales animal rights spokesperson, has reacted explosively to the news that disgraced former Defence Secretary and current Trade Secretary Liam Fox plans to exploit anti-democratic Henry VIII powers to scrap EU food and public health standards post-Brexit.

In response to the revelations, Mr Taylor, a member of the European Parliament’s Public Health committee and Vice Chair of the Animal Welfare Intergroup, said:

“Today’s revelations aren’t new, sadly. They are just a re-confirmation of animal welfare and toxic trade campaigners worst fears, fears that were shouted down during the EU referendum as scaremongering.”

“British farmers, public health, animal welfare and environmental safeguards are set to be sacrificed on the altar of a hugely unbalanced trade deal with a nation that has talked up its desire to exploit Britain’s post-Brexit vulnerability.”

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Oil and gas drilling ‘possibly’ linked to Surrey earthquake swarm, says expert as Green MEP visits monitoring site

Dr Stephen Hicks, the University of Southampton seismologist leading on the investigations into the recent seismic activity in Surrey has told a senior Green politician there is a ‘possibility’ oil and gas drilling in the Weald could have induced the earthquake ‘swarm’.

Keith Taylor MEP, the Green MEP for the South East, met with the earthquake expert during a visit to one of British Geological Survey’s (BGS) five new monitoring sites in Surrey on Thursday [20 September].

He said:

“I am extremely grateful to Dr Hicks for taking the time to meet with me and share with me his expertise and updates on the progress of the ongoing investigations into the Surrey earthquake storm.”

“It is clear to me from talking to Stephen that more work is needed to establish, with any certainty, the cause of the earthquakes that have shaken the region over the past few months.”

“However, while a link with nearby oil and gas drilling sites, which were active around the time the swarm began, remains possible, I will continue to support calls from expert geologists for a moratorium on all operations.”

“The case for employing the precautionary principle is obvious. That we have witnessed unprecedented seismic activity in an area where unconventional fossil fuel drilling sites are active is, clearly, extremely concerning. Until Dr Hicks and the BGS are able to draw any firm conclusions, a moratorium is an entirely sensible course of action for all involved.”

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