Gas giant Ineos—owned by energy baron Jim Ratcliffe—called on the government to override Derbyshire County Council’s planning processes so it can start fracking.
Ineos accuses the council of “unreasonable delays” in letting it frack. Its plans have provoked protests hundreds-strong, and an avalanche of planning objections.
So last Friday Ineos called for the government’s planning inspectorate to take over from the council.
It echoed the overruling of Lancashire County Council’s decision to block Cuadrilla’s fracking application last year.
And it underlined Ineos’s contempt for democracy, a day after it won an extension to a ban on protests.
The high court upheld an injunction against protests that slow or stop vehicles—but didn’t go as far as the blanket ban Ineos wanted.
Local campaigns will fight on against Ineos and others.
A march is planned in Pickering on Saturday. It will follow a 60-strong protest last Friday in Northallerton against Third Energy’s plan to frack in North Yorkshire.
But it will take more than local fights to beat bosses backed by the state. We need a national demonstration for a ban on fracking.