The Green Party

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fracking in Sutton

Shasha at Balcombe

Local Green visits Balcombe on day Green Party MP is arrested during peaceful protest.

Earlier today Sutton & Croydon Green Party leader, Shasha Khan, travelled to Balcombe in West Sussex to show support for residents in their stand against fracking.

Protests have been going on at Balcombe since fracking company Cuadrilla began exploratory drilling for shale oil there four weeks ago.

Fracking poses serious environmental risks, including air and soil pollution, and threatens already overstretched water resources. It makes a mockery of the UK’s efforts to tackle climate change.
And it won’t even help bring energy prices down. It’s not just Greens saying that: everyone from senior executives at Norddeutsche Landesbankanalysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance and even Cuadrilla’s own PR people say that the development of shale gas resources in the UK is unlikely to lead to a significant reduction in UK natural gas prices.

Although shale oil and gas exploration is at an early stage in the UK, a licence has already been granted in Sutton – so industrial sites could pop up in our borough, bringing a huge increase in heavy goods traffic as drilling materials, water, chemicals, waste and the extracted gas or oil are transported to and from the sites..
These licences are to extract the gas or oil, they don’t specify the method to be used.  In order to frack, the companies would need further specific permits. The Government is currently trying to make the permissions process easier for the companies to get permissions and harder for residents to oppose.

Commenting on his visit, Mr Khan said, “When the first modern incinerators were built in other parts of country, we would never have expected one such facility would receive planning approval on our doorstep. We cannot assume that it will never happen in Sutton given Northdown Energy Limited already has a license to frack here (1).  I am particular concerned about toxic chemicals getting into our drinking water.”

Balcombe will be a test case for the entire South East, so it is important we do all we can to demonstrate our opposition and inform people about the risks of fracking, and the myths being perpetuated by the industry and its apologists in government.

The Greens are the only political party completely against any shale gas exploitation. We need to heed the warnings of other European countries, such as France, who have banned fracking entirely.

Earlier in the day, Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, was arrested during a peaceful protest.
Commenting on the arrest, Shasha continued, “ Greens back her brave stance against fracking. For once an MP has been arrested for the right reasons.”

Instead of continuing to chase ever more extreme forms of fossil fuel energy, we should be investing in energy conservation and renewable energy, creating an affordable, job-rich, energy-secure future.


Notes (1)