In a move at odds with the Government, the Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh Mike Thornton voted to back a moratorium on fracking, arguing the drive for shale gas would make Britain over-reliant on fossil fuels.
The moratorium vote was defeated in Parliament after Labour asked its MPs to abstain from this vote, but the government pledged to bar fracking from national parks and agreed to 13 new conditions to be met before drilling can take place.
Mr Thornton said: “I didn’t support the Government on this issue as I don’t think it is right to allow energy companies to extract shale gas from under our homes and villages.”
“I passionately believe in promoting our renewable energy industries and I am especially proud that the Eastleigh Borough Council have used geothermal energy at Fleming Park Leisure Centre, which has helped keep costs down and reduce our carbon emissions.”
“I feel that by not providing our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren with a permanent renewable source of energy, we are letting them down and leaving them hostage to fortune.”
Friends of the Earth Campaigner, Rose Dickinson, said: “We strongly welcome Mike Thornton MP’s support for a ban on fracking and for voting for a fracking moratorium during this week’s Infrastructure Bill debate.”
“Keeping fossil fuels in the ground is the only way to stop climate change.”
“With the news today that there is a fracking moratorium in Scotland, and with bans an moratoriums in the Netherlands, France, Bulgaria and New York State, MPs urgently need to put a stop to fracking.”
He was one of only 52 MPs who voted to suspend fracking. Mr Thornton also supported the amendment to stop the changes to Trespass Law which would make it easier for energy companies to drill under people's homes. However, MPs weren’t given the chance to vote on changes as the debate exceeded its allocated time.
The Infrastructure Bill, which contains the new rules on fracking, has now moved to the House of Lords, where further changes could be made