On Monday the 26th, you and your fellow MPs will vote on the Infrastructure Bill, and I write to you today urging you to down-vote and reject it outright.
Among other things, this bill will provide £15 billion for road expansion and maintenance, despite studies suggesting that road use is the biggest cause of air pollution in the UK. At a time when the government is driving people into food banks and culling their benefits, spending £15 billion on road expansion is wholly unjustified. I can think of any number of better uses for this money, among them is not use on roads.
On top of this enormous sum, the bill also provides massive incentives to go forward with the shale gas industry, commonly known as fracking. Fracking has been undertaken in many parts of the U.S., and nothing but disaster has ensued: Minor earthquakes, poisoned water supplies, instability, and more fossil fuels have been the product of fracking in the U.S., yet this infrastructure bill would allow for fracking companies to put pipelines under private land.
Fracking has a well-documented record of destroying the surrounding environment in which it’s undertaken, and ignores the pleas of climate scientists who warn that extracting more fossil fuels will increase the speed in which we head towards irreversible climate change.
A vast majority of UK citizens are opposed to fracking. Are you?
Although the Infrastructure Bill does include some minor tidbits and favourable clauses (like the cycling provisions), overall this bill is both unjustified and a step backwards. Unjustified because the money is better spent elsewhere (perhaps helping victims of the Coalition austerity programme?), and a step backwards because it deliberately ignores the mounting evidence that fossil fuels will send this planet back to the dark ages.
Dan Byles, Conservative MP: Replied after 10 days.
Thank you for contacting me about the Infrastructure Bill.
Crucially, the proposed legislation would improve how we fund, plan, manage and maintain our national infrastructure. I believe this Bill is absolutely critical to safeguarding the future of our country, as it simplifies processes to help get our economy moving, forming a central pillar of the Government’s long-term economic plan.
The new laws would provide a £3.9 billion boost to the economy over the next 10 years by improving the funding and management of our major roads and streamlines the planning process for major projects. Furthermore, the legislation would make it easier and cheaper to register land and property to support house building. These measures are critical if we are to meet our long-term housing needs.
Additionally, this Bill will help communities become stakeholders in renewable energy projects, while maximising the recovery of oil and gas from the UK continental shelf. These measures will help to reduce bills for households and businesses across the country.