Even before COVID, the North of England has had more than its fair share of economic challenges in the last 40 years. Declining heavy industry and mining account for the long lasting social and economic damage still experienced in many locations that have struggled to reinvent and feel forgotten by a London based government. Science tells us that these same regions probably hold immense reserves of energy resources that a progressive and carefully constructed fracking policy could exploit. There are plenty of precedents – impoverished areas like Pittsburgh in the USA have kick-started a new economic direction because of fracking. But the British government have listened only to the siren voice of middle Englanders who don’t want fracking in their backyards. There is currently a law that is tantamount to a ban on fracking – any micro tremor at 0.5 magnitude must lead to a suspension of that fracking activity. There’s more tremor than this on firework night…This short-sighted energy policy now has new unintended consequences; at a time when we may well require to become ever more self-sufficient in our oil and gas and create new jobs due to a dislocated global economy, we have strangled one of the best opportunities the UK has seen since the discovery of North Sea oil in 1969. #YesInMyBackyard              

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