Opposition

European backing for Lancashire fracking protests

PNR 170531 Frack Free Lancashire1

About 80 opponents of fracking from across Europe joined a protest today outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, where drilling is expected to start imminently.

The campaigners were from Friends of the Earth groups in 30 countries, including Holland, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, the former Czechoslovakia [now split into the Czech republic and Slovakia], and Poland.

Jules Burton, of the local campaign group, Frack Free Lancashire, said:

“This industry has already caused catastrophic damage to great swathes of the countryside wherever it’s been practised.

“What is happening here at Preston New Road is not the culmination of Cuadrilla’s attempt to frack the Fylde but merely the start of an invasive and all-pervading industry that will change our area into one huge gasfield with no agriculture, no tourist industry and no more clean air or water.”

PNR 170531 Frack Free Lancashire2

A spokesperson for Friends of the Earth said:

“The eyes of the world are on England – particularly the Fylde.

“We have successfully fought off the blight of fracking from countries in Europe and people power is gradually driving it out of Australia, Canada and America where it was born.

“The only country in the western world still supporting this dangerous and discredited industry is England and there is a real fear that if fracking goes ahead here it will give foreign governments the excuse they were looking for to re-introduce licenses regardless of public opinion”.

Post edited to correct reference to Czechoslovakia, which has now been split into the Czech republic and Slovakia

 

25 replies »

    • Why didn’t FoE go a little further east to find support? I understand there is plenty of anti-fracking sentiment in Russia.

  1. @NickGrealy said:

    Driven out of America! What frutitcake at FoE said that? An outright lie. Fake news! Fantasy

    Not unusually, the fantasy lies entirely with you, Nick.

    The actual quote was

    … people power is gradually driving it out of Australia, Canada and America, where it was born.

    • Except that the idea that this is being driven out is fake news. The world price of oil and gas is no longer driven by the Middle East. Its driven by US fracking which is going from strength to strength.

      FoE have run a fake news PR campaign very effectively. Still going on about health and environment concerns that exist only in their imaginations. Pity its all BS.

      • It’s not fake news. Nick G just got his tenses mixed up. Some areas of the States have indeed been blighted by fracking. Bans are spreading.

  2. 80 people ONLY! Shows the the Anti Fracking movement are on the road to nowhere! How many would turn up outside Downing St if there Gas & Electric was TURNED OFF! Probably 8 million + these protestor’s have NOT A CLUE what they are doing or why! FAKE NEWS!

    • Where has there ever been any effect on farming from fracking Peter? I mean specifically that process. There have been a few issues with coal seam gas (not fracking) leaking surface wells due to bad design (not fracking) and chucking fluids straight on the ground (not fracking), but even these are very rare. Sounds like you have been reading too much fake news on the internet.

      Remember FoE could not provide any evidence for any bad effects when I challenged em with their adverts at the Advertising Standards Authority.

  3. Would a company really pay out $1.6 million for no reason? And also note that public water supplies were contaminated in Potter County, along with private supplies. The problem in the US is that too many gagging orders and industry behaviour smother the truth.

    https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2012/06/21/chesapeake-to-pay-1-6-million-for-contaminating-water-wells-in-bradford-county/

    http://publicherald.org/breaking-oil-gas-drilling-impacts-public-drinking-water-supplies-in-potter-county/

    • … cue Paul Tresto’s standard response – that ‘this is just an example of people believing anything they find on Google [edited by moderator]

      • Philip, farmers are not any different from any sample of the population. You will find an anti-frack strain amongst a group of them, and they will bend the truth just like many of the anti-frackers on these pages. This should not come as a surprise to you or anyone else. Farmers generally have no “beef” with fracking because fracking doesn’t impact them (other than the fact that some have gotten rich because of fracking!) in a systemic fashion. You can find cases where accidents have occurred that impacted farmers, just as farming accidents have occurred that have hurt people and hurt the environment. Applying logic, you begin to understand why fracking has been so popular in America, and why it is practiced over the vast majority of prospective land in this country – much more good comes from it than bad.

  4. Rex, when I see a blatantly false statement / misleading argument like “Where has there ever been any effect on farming from fracking..?”, or your “..fracking doesn’t impact them” I will reply. I do not belong to any group but with a documentary background I have an abiding interest in how observations are made (or made up) and how arguments are constructed. I have seen enough evidence to convince anyone (who follows the subject closely) that you are not only wrong but that you and a number of the pro-frackers on these threads are deploying questionable tactics to pollute and confound any real debate on matters that are very important to UK residents, and particularly farmers, at this time.

    The first and foremost tactic is to point to any doubters or critics (of fracking) as being members of a group which is named and attacked as having no credibility, just as you have done there with your statement about farmers having “an anti-frack strain amongst a group of them, and they will bend the truth just like many of the anti-frackers on these pages” immediately attempting to discredit any possible substance to their observations and to shut down any revealing disclosures and real debate on the matter.

    To deal with your other points. Yes some farmers have gotten rich on fracking because in many (US) States the land-owners hold mineral rights and they get significant deals from the gas companies. Part of those deals very often are gagging clauses which mean the farmers will not be able to raises any legal cases or public complaint if anything goes wrong with respect to air/water/other pollution or accidental mishaps. This argument about no ‘systemic’ impacts is just word-play or semantics which I will happily debate separately if you want.
    Your last statements about the popularity are simply misleading. There is a strong groundswell moving against the fracking juggernaut now and county and state-wide bans are growing.

  5. Ken Wilkinson say: quote ‘The world price of oil and gas is no longer driven by the Middle East. Its driven by US fracking which is going from strength to strength.’
    My understanding of economics is that price revolves round supply and demand. US fracked gas/oil supply added substantially to world supply from a new source, contrary to the world’s global warming need to ‘keep it in the ground’. Rather than cutting their own supply in order to keep prices high, OPEC chose to keep their production high, therefore creating a high overall level of supply and therefore a drop in world price. This was deliberate from OPEC, both for fear of being left with large reserves of worthless oil and gas resources in the medium term, and to make US operations either marginally or completely uneconomic (the middle east conventional production is much cheaper than US fracking). Presumably, that means that the middle east is very much driving world prices and that US fracking is not going from strength to strength, but desperately lurching on with production, barely at or below the cost of production, in a similar way to the UK railway boom of the mid 1800’s – taking money from gullible investors, siphoning off a hefty cut, then building uneconomic railways that were always destined to fail. It’s called a Ponzi scheme and only fails when confidence suddenly collapses. It’s also called unsustainability – i.e. you can’t keep doing it for long.

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