Ban fracking Mr Prime Minister – Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo FoE

Photo: Friends of the Earth

On the eve of the public inquiry into Cuadrilla’s Lancashire shale gas plans, the Oscar nominated actor, Mark Ruffalo, has urged the Prime Minister to ban fracking in the UK.

In an interview with the campaign group, Friends of the Earth, the US actor said David Cameron was making “an enormous mistake” over fracking. And he accused the Prime Minister of going back on his word that communities would be involved in shale gas decisions.

Ruffalo, nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA for his role in the film, Spotlight, was involved in the campaign to ban fracking in New York state. In October 2015, he joined calls for a moratorium in Pennsylvania. He also founded the environmental group, Water Defense, following reports of water contamination in Dimock. He said:

“I personally have experienced the dangers and horrors of hydro-fracking”.

“I’m imploring you, people of England, to fight against it”.

In a direct message to David Cameron, he urged the Prime Minister to be a “true and honest world leader and leave fossil fuels in the ground”.

“New wealth and jobs would be created by a “renewable energy revolution”

“And not only that but your people don’t want it”.

“You have already told them once before that if they didn’t want it you wouldn’t push them to take it. And you’re turning back on your word, Sir, and what is a politician if he is not credible.”

The inquiry, which begins tomorrow (Tuesday 9th February 2016), will hear from more than 20 expert witnesses, as well as local people in favour and against Cuadrilla’s plans. The company is appealing against the refusal of planning permission to frack up to eight wells across sites at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood in the Fylde.

The hearings will be chaired by the planning inspector, Wendy McKay, but the final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, under the “recovered appeals” procedure. The inquiry is expected to last until 11th March 2016. More details.

Donna Hume, a senior campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said Mr Cameron was turning his back on Lancashire by “ignoring their local democratic decision to reject fracking”. She said:

“The Government admits that the more people know about fracking, the more they oppose it. That’s why Mark Ruffalo, who has seen the impacts of fracking first-hand, doesn’t want Lancashire to suffer the same impacts as so many states in the US.”

“Mark Ruffalo is right: Mr Cameron must listen to the people of Lancashire and not force this risky and unpopular industry on the county or anywhere else in England.”

Full text of Mark Ruffalo’s message to David Cameron

“Mr Cameron you are making an enormous mistake and it’s a legacy mistake, because there is no fracking that can be done safely.”

“Today we are at the precipice of a renewable energy revolution. This is the new economy. We had 200 countries from around the world all agree that it’s time to leave fossil fuels in the ground. This is where all new wealth is going to be created. This is where new jobs are going to be created.”

“And not only that but your people don’t want it. You have already told them once before that if they didn’t want it you wouldn’t push them to take it. And you’re turning back on your word, Sir, and what is a politician if he is not credible.”

“So I would say to you this is a wonderful opportunity for you to honour your people, to honour their will, but also to take them in to the renewable energy future of the world. And to be a real true and honest world leader and leave the fossil fuels in the ground.”

“We’re being told by every single scientist in the world that we must leave 70% of this in the ground if we are to have a chance at all. And to join us in the rest of the world in making this monumental transition to a cleaner, safer, more just world.”

Link to video


10 replies »

  1. I’m glad the water issue is being raised by Mark Ruffalo and his water Defense site. People need to know about the fracking assault on our water supplies.

    At Yorkshire Water reserves reservoir water abstraction licences are known to have been sold off and 13 of these OVER abstracted in 2013, with detrimental effects on the environment surrounding them. Given fracking needs 23 million gallons per drill, 19 drills per site, 50 sites across many square miles near Kirby Misperton North Yorks, it does look like there is going to be a sad lack of water sometime soon if all frack licences are awarded.
    Not only this,the potential for bandit charters and rogue abstraction could be on the rise, as with stolen sheep, will be be seeing wagons rolling out taking our freshwater away onto mainland countries some time soon?
    And, if it is alright for East Anglia, and other parts of the county to abstract from Yorkshire for their region’s use, can also Greece, and other impoverished water countries in Europe, also turn up and demand we share reserves with them?
    This over abstraction is already evident in Lancashire are where United Utilities are already under fire from farmers and over water users, as water reserves become depleted. You only have to walk along isolated valleys to see slithers of water, and burned ridges where water fell down fells and mountains, but are now dry, to see the damage and devastation to the Lakes area.

    Not only that, the PEDL licences are unsafe, yet are being used to regulate onshore drilling and fracking.
    If PEDL licensing (that regulatory framework our gov erroneously brags is the safest in the world ) has no framework within it to properly estimate ill effects of offshore drilling, so how safe is it to use it to regulate onshore drilling?
    I contacted BGS to ask if they were distinguishing between drill induced EQ, mostly occurring at low magnitude, and naturally occurring EQ. They do not. This is significant because if they have not been doing this they have no insight into the impact of drilling on
    a) seismicity
    b) the difference between an underground drill explosion which would deliver seismic measure and a low magnitude EQ.
    The latter would mean that too few offshore deep underground explosions are actually included in data collection, and the former lack of distinction between natural and drill EQ conveniently allows the braggadocio about PEDL being a high safety model to be deployed for onshore drilling.

    Not only this we know cetaceans such as dolphins and whales are constantly turning up dead on our shores. There seems no connection made between offshore drilling and these deaths. WHY? An inconvenient truth?

    In addition how much of our marine environment is being desecrated and killed off, including the toxic or dead food cetaceans can’t eat any more? A massive gas explosion in the North Sea occurred 31st December. Yet no report on how much death and destruction is caused out at sea to sea life by this and other drill incidents.

    Fracking and drilling is a war on water and marine life.

    If such a cavalier approach is being delivered to marine life then how far can we trust the government to protect life onshore from the war on water once fracking rolls out?

  2. So we have an overpaid Hollywood star, who hires private jets for his mates to come to his parties….
    …and he wants to complain about fracking? Has he any knowledge of the subject? or is he like a Leonardo di Caprio, wanting to sound like an environmentally solid superstar, while he jets around all over the place.

    What a hypocrite

    • Hypocrite or not the message has been accepted by the State of New York which has banned fracking. One person’s hypocrisy is another person’s compromise.

      • Hard to see how this actor is compromising or indeed whether he is qualified to compromise on a subject so far from his area of expertise

  3. What are the dangers and horrors of hydro-fracking? All sounds a bit Hollywood. Similar techniques have been used to exploit oil and gas on the Wytch Farm oil field for decades without environmental impact. We need energy to support our economy and life styles and too many people say no to wind farms, no to solar, no to nuclear. Coal fired power stations are to be closed. What happens when the lights go out!

    • There is no evidence that Wytch Farm is exploiting shale or using hydraulic fracturing. It would be interesting to find original information that indicates otherwise.

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