A group opposed to Cuadrilla’s shale gas plans in Lancashire has sent an open letter to the Queen in a final attempt to prevent fracking near Blackpool.
The Government’s announcement on whether fracking should go ahead at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road is due by 6 October.
Tina Rothery, writing on behalf of the Lancashire Nanas campaign group, said:
“We are a group of UK citizens who feel increasingly shut out of the decision that is soon to be made on shale gas extraction in Lancashire.”
Ms Rothery (pictured second left) said the group had spent “considerable time, energy and money pursuing every democratic opening available to us”.
Her list of actions includes attending meetings, discussing hundreds of studies, giving feedback to councillors, contacting MPs, organising demonstrations and cooperating with environmental groups. She said:
“We have exhausted every democratic channel. We are desperate. What would you do, Ma’am?”
She asks the Queen to “consider my question from your obligation to defend your young and with your heart, rather than your crown”.
The letter will be followed up next Tuesday (27 September 2016) with a protest outside Buckingham Palace.
Lancashire County Council refused planning permission to frack at both sites in June 2015. But Cuadrilla appealed and the government decided it would have the final say after a six-week public inquiry.
Ms Rothery’s letter described the refusal by Lancashire County Council as “democracy in action”.
But she said
“The government’s support for shale means that the power has been passed from Lancashire’s elected representatives to the hands of a few, who are interested in aiding the interests of big business, rather than the interests and health of the residents of Lancashire.”
Call for new health impacts report
An anti-fracking campaigner in Lancashire has started a petition urging Public Health England to produce a new health report on the impacts of shale gas developments.
At the time of writing, the petition had 1,302 of the target 2,000 signatures.
The petition organiser, Claire Stephenson, described the report, published in 2014 as “now grossly outdated”. She said hundreds of critical studies had been published since.
“Unless risks have been properly assessed, there should be an immediate ban on shale gas exploration and development in the UK.
“If Public Health England are to fulfil their public duty and mission statement, then to not acknowledge and act upon the wealth of contraindications towards hydraulic fracturing, they could be in breach of their position and may face legal challenge.”
Public Health England (PHE) told DrillOrDrop:
“PHE’s report focused on the potential public health impact of shale gas extraction as a result of direct releases of chemical and radioactive pollutants. It did not consider wider public health and socioeconomic impacts, but recommended these be considered during the planning process.
“The report concluded that the currently available evidence indicates that the potential risks to public health from exposure to emissions associated with shale gas extraction will be low if operations are properly run and regulated.
“PHE will continue to keep abreast of substantial new research into shale gas published in peer reviewed journals. PHE continues to review the evidence to assess whether its conclusions and recommendations remain valid.”