Members of the Frack-free Balcombe Residents Association delivered a letter to Downing Street (20/12/13), urging David Cameron to reconsider the government’s policy on fracking for shale gas.
The letter, signed by the association’s chairman, Charles Metcalfe, calls for a an immediate and binding UK-wide moratorium on shale gas, coal bed methane and underground coal gasification on our islands’.
It accused the government of “proceeding headlong” with an attempt to “turn two-thirds of the countryside into a giant drill site”.
It said the process of fracking was criminalising law-abiding Conservative Party supporters in rural communities by “obliging them to protest to and demonstrate to defend their precious environment against marauding oil and gas companies”.
The letter countered what it called five myths of fracking. These included claims that fracking would be safe as long as it was well-regulated and that shale gas would bring down fuel bills.
Charles Metcalfe said “We owe it to ours and future generations to stop the oil industry chasing profit above our safety and the safety of our countryside. Please listen to us before it is too late.”
On December 17th, The Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, published a “regulatory road” for shale gas and a report on the potential effects of shale gas production. Mr Fallon said shale gas could “bring growth, jobs and energy security”. This is part of the preparation for the next round of petroleum exploration and development licences next year.