THE recently-published Manifesto of the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) pledges that a “ban on fracking is overwhelmingly sensible”.
As one of the 41 Conservative MPs who are members of the network, Ryedale’s MP Kevin Hollinrake has signed the CEN Declaration.
However, on his constituency website, he says “there is one policy in the manifesto upon which I disagree. I should make clear that I am not in favour of a ban on fracking, which is one of the suggestions in the manifesto”.
Leaving aside the fact that manifestoes make pledges, not suggestions, the question arises as to what motivates him in continuing to speak on behalf of the fossil fuel industry rather than his constituents.
As the manifesto points out, “over twice as many Conservative voters believe that we should generate power from onshore wind than from fracked gas”.
Mr Hollinrake seems to think we need more fossil fuels, yet the manifesto makes clear that “gas from fracking offers little in the way of economic opportunity, and much more in the way of stranded assets”.
A fellow enthusiast for fracking is Jim Ratcliffe, the majority owner of the petrochemical company Ineos – and Britain’s richest man. Rather than pay his fair share of taxes, Mr Ratcliffe now lives in Monaco.
His giant plant in Grangemouth uses ethane from imported shale gas to make one-third of the UK’s plastic. The plant consumes massive amounts of electricity in addition to being a major burner of fossil fuels, indeed it is estimated that by 2050, plastic production will be responsible for 15 per cent of global carbon emissions.
The CEN Manifesto takes a decidedly negative stance against plastic pollution, yet this is another anomaly in Mr Hollinrake’s position as he champions fracking in order to create yet more plastic.
Despite his professed ‘green credentials’, Mr Hollinrake’s continued support for this environmentally destructive industry raises deep suspicion.