THE Archbishop of Canterbury took to Twitter on Tuesday evening
to defend the north-east of England, which was described in the
House of Lords as "desolate" during a debate on the extraction of
shale gas by fracking.
"North-east England very beautiful, rugged, welcoming,
inspiring, historic, advancing, not 'desolate' as was said in House
of Lords today," wrote the Archbishop, who was Bishop of Durham for
a year before his appointment to Canterbury.
Lord Howell of Guildford, a Conservative peer and former Energy
Secretary, suggested during the debate that "there are large,
uninhabited and desolate areas, certainly in parts of the
north-east, where there is plenty of room for fracking, well away
from anybody's residence, and where it could be conducted without
any threat to the rural environment."
He was speaking after a question was tabled by Lord Harries of
Pentregarth, a former Bishop of Oxford, about the feasibility of
pursuing fracking in the face of public resistance. This week,
protesters formed a blockade to oppose drilling in Balcombe, West
Lord Howell later apologised: "I certainly did not intend to
suggest that the north-east is desolate, and I do not believe it to
be the case."