Three women from Lancaster locked themselves to a boat outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site to protest about extraction of fossil fuels.
The group of Green Party members arrived at the Preston New Road site near Blackpool with the boat called Fracky McFrackFace. It was painted with slogans including “Harness the wind, waves and sun”.
Caroline Jackson, a Lancaster City Councillor and a retired headteacher, said the protest aimed to raise awareness of what could be the impact of fracking on climate change.
“We have brought a boat to the fracking site to highlight the fact that fracking will make climate change worse by emitting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Fracking will therefore contribute to rising sea levels. Around half a billion people around the world are at risk from rising sea levels.”
Another of the group, Emily Heath, a university lecturer in Earth Sciences at Lancaster University, said:
“Continuing to develop new sources of fossil fuels is utter madness. We have abundant renewable energy all around us, and yet the Government is hell-bent on undermining the renewable energy industry, because they have vested interests in the fossil fuel industry and seem to be incapable of thinking beyond the short term.”
Mollie Foxall, a retired NHS manager, said:
“I am taking direct action because the Government has left me no choice. They overturned the local democratic decision to not allow fracking in this area. We are calling on the Government to put people’s lives ahead of corporate profits, and stop backing fracking.”
They were supported by Lancashire County Councillor, Gina Dowding, who took part in a direct action protest at the Preston New Road site in July. She said Cuadrilla’s operation was a test case for energy policy across the country.
She said the country had to make the connection between fossil fuels and climate change.
“We need to say really clearly to the government please invest in our future and a sustainable renewable energy policy.”
A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said:
“Emily Heath, 45, of Meadow Street, Lancaster, Mollie Foxall, 71, of Aldcliffe Hall Drive, Lancaster and Caroline Jackson, 63, of Park Road, Lancaster, were charged with wilful obstruction of a highway. They have been bailed to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on September 25.”
29/8 Last quote corrected to read “We need to say really clearly to the government please invest…” rather than “…police invest…”