Greenpeace’s Lancashire group will launch a local
anti-fracking campaign this weekend in Preston, with street stalls and a call
to local councillors to say no to the controversial extraction process in the
This follows correspondence from Greenpeace’s
Executive Director John Sauven, which went this week to every member of the county
council planning committee. The committee will make the final decision locally
on whether fracking goes ahead or not.
"Lancashire is well and truly in the fracking
firing line, and the local Greenpeace group will be doing everything we can to
stop drilling companies moving into the countryside,” said group spokeswoman and
Preston resident Liz Stanton.
As well as its existing
exploration well at Grange Hill, Cuadrilla applied in June for consent to test
drill at up to six new Fylde sites.
The company was caught on tape earlier
this year admitting that UK shale gas will have a “basically insignificant”
impact on bills, and conceding that “well integrity” and “traffic” are big
issues in Lancashire (1) “I was
just up in Lancashire looking at different sites the other day…. these are
little roads and you have to be sensible about it,” company spokesman Mark Linder told a Greenpeace
“Most experts agree fracking in the UK will make
little or no difference to bills, yet it risks industrialising beautiful parts
of Lancashire, and has been associated with water contamination, earth tremors
and reduced house prices. It is likely to end up being a lot of pain for
Lancashire, for very little gain,” said Ms Stanton.
“Fracking companies are proposing to invade precious
parts of the county with trucks, drills, flares and chemicals. They’re even
planning to drill under people’s homes. This is a case of global corporations
exploiting Lancashire for their own gain.”
Ms Stanton said
Government claims of tens of thousands of jobs for local communities impacted
by fracking were “widely considered to be exaggerated”.
“What we do know is
that North West has the potential to be a leader in green energy with huge
offshore wind and tidal resources and a strong manufacturing heritage. Fracking risks displacing jobs and
investment in thriving low carbon industries.”
The experience in Balcombe, Sussex, where Cuadrilla is
now saying it may not proceed with full production, shows local opposition
works. “People in Lancashire really can make a difference,” said Ms Stanton.
“They can stand up for their local environment and for the climate.
“We’ll be busy in the coming months encouraging
people to take a stand and encouraging county councillors to say no to dirty,
OF TOMORROW’S ACTIVITY
Market, Preston, by the Harris Library
WHEN: 10am -2pm
Greenpeace local Lancashire groups
(1) Cuadrilla spokeman Mark Linder speaking in May to
a Greenpeace campaigner at a drop-in session for concerned residents in
Balcombe, Sussex: http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1428831/utter-fucking-bullshit-2.mp3