Yesterday, the UK government rejected requests by fracking firms to review the strict rules in place to control seismic activity caused by their operations. Both Cuadrilla and Ineos had appealed for a relaxation of the limits, which state that fracking operations must stop if a tremor greater than 0.5 magnitude is detected.
A spokesman said on behalf of the government, “We set these regulations in consultation with industry and we have no plans to review them."
According to recent polls, public opposition to fracking has grown considerably, with 35% now against it, while just 13% are in favour. 47% of people expressed no strong preference either way, with 5% saying they didn't know enough to offer an opinion. Similar levels of opposition and support for fracking were last seen back in September 2017.
The level of public support for fracking in England has fallen steadily since early 2014, when almost 30% of people said they were in favour of it. It is thought that high levels of publicity for recent earthquakes caused by Cuadrilla's operations in Lancashire have led to the strengthening of public opposition.
Whilst neither Cuadrilla nor Ineos has announced a halt to their operations, Ineos has described the current limits as "unworkable", whilst Cuadrilla has expressed the view that it would not be able to frack commercially without a relaxation on the limits.