Balcombe anti-fracking campaigners take message to Downing Street

Campaigners opposed to Cuadrilla’s exploration site at Balcombe joined opponents of fracking from across the UK in writing a letter of protest to David Cameron.

The letter included the views of people from areas being targeted by companies which want to exploit unconventional oil and gas. One section was written by Kathryn McWhirter, a Balcombe resident and member of the No Fracking In Balcombe Society (No FiBS).

She wrote:

“In Sussex, your Tory heartland, we feel bullied by the oil and gas industry, and by you, our Government. We draw strength from our growing numbers and our national and international links. Wherever new anti-fracking groups emerge across Britain, we are there to help them. Mr. Cameron, we are uniting against you. You cannot destroy our community and our countryside and still expect our votes.”

“In the fracking process, large amounts of chemical-laced fresh water are pumped down long lateral wells. Imagine the volumes, cumulatively, in your dream scenario of thousands of wells across Britain. Some of this water comes back, further contaminated by heavy metals, salts and radioactivity. Around the world, no one has yet cracked the dilemma of how to treat this flow-back water and restore it to the water cycle. It gets tipped down wells (triggering earthquakes), sprayed on fields and roads, dumped in canals, rivers, seas. What is your policy on flowback fracking waste water?”

“Have you considered the deeply faulted nature of Britain’s geology, and the fact that pollutants can migrate up natural faults intersected by wells and fractures? Have you seen the website of Professor David Smythe (University of Glasgow).”

Other sections of the letter were written by Andrew Pemberton, a fourth generation dairy farmer from the Fylde coast in Lancashire, Louise Somerville Williams, of Frack Free Somerset, Gayzer Frackman, who walked from his home in Lytham to Downing Street, Tina Rothery, of Residents’ Action on Fylde Fracking, and Ian R Crane, a former oil executive who presents a weekly online magazine programme about fracking.

  • NoFIBS has collected more than 2,700 signatures for its online petition urging West Sussex County Council to stop Cuadrilla’s oil exploration activities at Balcombe.

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