Why is HKD concerned about fracking in Sussex?
Water use – Fracking uses millions of gallons of water for each well. In our drought-prone area, where will the water come from?
Chemicals used – The water is mixed with a large number of chemicals, many of them kept secret. While the percentage of chemicals is small the total volume is large because so much fracking fluid is used.
Potential water contamination – In many of the areas where fracking has been underway (USA and Canada) fracking fluids have contaminated groundwater. What guarantees are there this won’t happen here?
Risk of seismic events – Cuadrilla’s first test well in the UK near Blackpool caused two small earthquakes, and Cuadrilla has voluntarily stopped fracking there for the time being. Could an earthquake on this scale impact the Balcombe viaduct or tunnel?
Disposal of contaminated water – Cuadrilla currently has no plan for how to dispose of the waste water but suggested tanker trucks could haul it out of area for treatment and disposal.
Fracking is energy inefficient – You invest a lot of energy in extracting shale gas, because each well can only be used for a limited time.
Distraction from investment in renewables and reduction in energy consumption – If all the conventional fossil fuels already discovered are burned, that will emit more than enough carbon dioxide to cause runaway climate chaos.
We need to shift away from fossil fuels of all kinds as quickly as possible.
Let your elected representatives (MP, county and district councillors) know what you think on http://www.writetothem.com/
To get involved see our resources section below.
Anti-fracking groups and resources
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Lewes Against Fracking
HKD member Felicity Tanous offers a personal perspective on fracking
‘Fracking’ is daily news. That’s hydraulic fracturing – injecting water and chemicals at high pressure into wells to extract oil or gas. Where to begin?My first encounter a while ago was HKD Transition’s showing of Gasland – I was shocked. At the meeting some Balcombe residents aired concerns about Cuadrilla coming to their village. Now we’ve seen pictures, been to Balcombe and supported the villagers protesting against this drilling activity, which could contaminate the water supply, pollute air, damage the environment, causing untold misery to local people. Balcombe’s a test case for Sussex, as the whole Weald contains shale gas, and other villages are already licensed by the government.In Gasland, people and animals in Pennsylvania living around fracking operations fell ill; their water was contaminated; escaping methane was set alight in running tap water. A court revealed a company dishonest about the chemicals used, many carcinogenic. Hundreds of wells made an alien landscape. Drill, baby drill was screened in a packed village hall in Balcombe – the story of Polish farmers who fought off Chevron drilling in their village.Friends of the Earth (www.foe.co.uk/fracking) held a workshop promoting clean British energy and demoting fracking. Australia’s National Toxic Network’s senior adviser was in Brighton and Cuckfield, speaking of farmers’ ‘Lock the Gates’ campaign in Queensland to stop drilling on their land. Two companies left Australia (one now in the UK). She highlighted dangers of fracking, an unsafe technology.Emissions from fracking will add to climate change. A scientist claims there are enough fossil fuels and an environmental scientist asks, ‘Which is more important : water, or keeping the lights on?’ The State of Nature report by RSPB highlights the decline in our native species and habitats. The Environment Agency has granted a minerals permit to Cuadrilla; a radioactive substances permit consultation has been extended to 28 August https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/portal/. Cuadrilla has also applied to WSCC for a six-month extension plus raising the flare to over 13 metres.Alongside 200 road schemes and HS2, the government’s ‘dash for gas’ will make our countryside unrecognisable. Transition ‘resilience’ and people writing to their councillors and MP ( firstname.lastname@example.org) are vital to stop this ‘fracking’ madness. We won’t be fobbed off by government giving thousands in ‘compensation’. However, I’ve been uplifted reading Resurgence mag, and Tony Juniper’s What has nature ever done for us? How money grows on trees; with people power and action, we can win!