Should hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale rock (fracking) be encouraged in Pendle as the local MP Andrew Stephenson has suggested?
Or should it be strongly opposed as local green campaigners have said?
The Liberal Democrats on Pendle Council are calling for a study on fracking to set off a local debate.
Liberal group leader Tony Greaves has tabled a motion for the next council meeting on Thursday which says it would be to the benefit of the people of Pendle to gather evidence on the practicability, likelihood and desirability (or otherwise) of possible shale gas exploration and exploitation in this area.
It goes on to request the Scrutiny Committee to carry out this study.
The Scrutiny Committee chairman, the Mayor of Pendle Coun. Graham Roach, said this was the best way to consider this matter.
He said: “This is a complicated matter, with strong views on both sides.
“It does not seem likely the fracking companies will want to look at our end of Lancashire in the near future, but we should be prepared in case they do.
“Rather than divide the council at this stage, when we do not have all the local facts, we want to bring the council together in a way that gets the facts and that allows everyone in Pendle to have their say.
“We can then decide a council policy based on those facts. And we always have to remember that it is Lancashire County Council that is the planning authority for the extraction of minerals including oil and gas.”