Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams, was one of 52 MPs to vote for a moratorium on fracking in the House of Commons this week.
Mark Williams was a co-signatory of an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill, which he voted for, calling for a moratorium of 30 months on any exploration or exploitation of shale gas. Only 52 MPs voted in favour of this amendment, whilst the Labour Party abstained and the Conservatives voted against it. The amendment was therefore defeated.
There were a number of other amendments to Infrastructure Bill which Mark supported, including the protection of local pubs to ensure communities have a say on planning issues affecting their pubs, and the protection of national parks against fracking. The Infrastructure Bill proposes a range of measures including a cycling strategy, and planning reforms, and will now return to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.
Commenting following the vote, Mark Williams said:
“I am concerned about the issue of fracking, and having met with Friends of the Earth, share their concerns that there are not sufficient safeguards yet for fracking to go ahead. I therefore supported, signed and voted for the amendment calling for a moratorium of 30 months on any exploration or exploitation, but unfortunately the amendment was defeated.
“I welcomed the news during the debate on the Bill that the Government agreed to protect the National Parks from fracking, which was a great achievement. There is now an outright ban on fracking taking place in National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I was also pleased to add my name to the amendment to protect planning for local pubs, but sadly this amendment was also defeated.”