An organisation representing the chemical industry claimed the UK “energy revolution” is about to begin after a fracking application was approved in England.
The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) said it backed a decision by North Yorkshire County Council to allow fracking to be restarted in Ryedale.
Hundreds of protesters had attended a meeting in Northallerton to campaign against the proposal which was approved by the council’s planning committee, who voted 7-4 in favour.
Chief executive Steve Elliott said the move was an “important decision” adding the council had demonstrated “leadership” to the rest of the country.
He said: “It is now more important than ever that, as the process begins, those of us in favour of shale gas continue the dialogue with local communities and those who are opposed.
“This decision should not mean the end of transparent discussion and debate but what we need now is a measures dialogue that respects the democratic decision taken by the County Council and focuses on delivering the benefits that shale gas can bring to local communities and the UK as a whole, alongside reassurance to the public over safety, health and environmental standards.
“The extraction of shale gas in our country will help ensure that the UK becomes increasingly self-reliant on its future energy needs, reducing the volatility of our energy bills that many of us have experienced in recent years.
“Shale will also provide an essential transition to a lower carbon economy where many energy sources, including renewables and nuclear, will play their part. There will also be social benefits, through securing existing and creating new jobs – delivering spending power at the local community level.
“For industries like chemicals, located in the industrial heartlands across the UK, access to domestic shale gas is a key driver to future investment – making our energy supply and costs more stable and predictable and making our products more competitive and attractive to our customers.
“I hope and believe the decision taken in North Yorkshire will signal the start of an energy revolution that not only benefits the country’s chemical industry but all of us as UK citizens.”