Monthly Archives: June 2015

Huge Victory for Lancashire and the UK as Councillors vote NO to Cuadrilla fracking plans

fracking refused in Lancashire

On a day which has huge implications for the future of shale gas extraction in the UK, Lancashire Council councillors have voted NO to  Cuadrilla’s fracking application at Preston New Road. After months of demonstrations, awareness-raising, and strong opposition not only from local communities but people throughout the UK and all over the world, it seems the councillors have held their integrity and recognised the serious impact fracking would have on the land, water and people. The past week has seen demonstrations made up of locals, families, celebrities, supporters from throughout the UK, and politicians descend on County Hall, Preston, whilst the councillors considered the application.

Last week, councillors refused Cuadrilla’s application to frack at the Roseacre site but Cuadrilla stated their intentions to perform ‘seismic monitoring’ at the site, which was later suspected to be stage one of their plans to turn Roseacre into a nuclear waste dumping ground.

Cuadrilla tried their best to bully, intimidate and pressure the council into approving the application, incorrectly ‘warning’ them that a refusal would result in huge legal costs from Cuadrilla. But despite the threats, over the weekend, a second leading QC emerged with information which proved that the council were very much within their rights to refuse the application without financial repercussion. Which, in a so-called democratic society, seems ridiculous to consider otherwise.

Cuadrilla will inevitably choose to appeal the council’s decision. But the fact that it has today been REJECTED is hugely significant in the fight against the government and corporations who want to ‘frack the life out of the country’. Community resistance, solidarity, and the truth about fracking is more powerful than the corporations and their money, we said we would STOP them and today, we have.

Vivienne Westwood against fracking in Lancashire

Vivienne Westwood speaking on Tuesday 23rd June 2015, outside Lancashire County Hall in Preston where Lancashire County Council decide whether to give the shale gas firm, Cuardrilla, a license for fracking. © Jonathan Nicholson/NurPhoto/Corbis.

Lancashire fracking decision and Cuadrilla’s charm offensive | F.O.E

Fracking in Lancashire

Whether or not fracking happens in Lancashire remains on a knife edge.

But while we wait for the decision, expected at a County Council meeting on Monday, it’s worth remembering just how much the Westminster Government and Cuadrilla have thrown at making it happen.

•    David Cameron said that we’re going ‘all out for shale’;
•    George Osborne has been getting all Machiavellian to make fracking happen;
•    Amber Rudd, the new Energy Secretary, is a fan;
•    The media, many of which support fracking (Mr Murdoch has interests in fracking) and when they can’t dismantle the anti-fracking messages, they attack the messengers instead.

Most importantly though, Cuadrilla’s been on a charm offensive and has been dishing out some of its plentiful investment to Lancashire organisations and ventures  ahead of seeking permission to frack, including:

•    Fylde Rugby Club
•    Lowther Pavillion
•    Windmill Youth Development Group –
•    Layton Juniors Under 13 football team
•    Weeton Village Hall
•    Elswick in Bloom

This unquestionable big-heartedness has not been restricted to these PR-friendly ventures. Cuadrilla also bank rolls the fracking hype machine that is the North West Energy Task Force (NWETF). The NWETF has been very busy trying to drum up support for fracking in Lancashire and this culminated in its recent Faces of Shale campaign which found 10 (ten!) people in Lancashire to support fracking.

Despite all of this activity the majority of Lancastrians still don’t want to see fracking in their county. Opposition keeps growing with thousands of residents, hundreds of businesses and local unions all against the fracking plans. And last week showed that Cuadrilla has also failed to convince a majority of the councillors to approve their plans.

All that time and money spent and Cuadrilla still can’t sell fracking to this clued-up public. They don’t buy the claims of no environmental impact and the hype about job creation and lower bills.

Of course, it’s not just Lancashire and it’s not just Cuadrilla – others have got their beady eyes on some other prime spots. But for now, the priority is to stand with the people of Lancashire to stop fracking in the county.

You can help by attending the rally at County Hall in Preston on Monday 29 June or by sending a message of support.

Lancs Demo: The Frack Stops Here | Details

Preston Fracking Demo

LANCASHIRE needs you (now more than ever) – please join us to make this matter:

From Tues 23rd to Fri 26th June, Lancashire County Council will be deciding on whether or not to approve two of the biggest fracking tests ever contemplated in the UK. If allowed to happen, each site would have 4 horizontal wells, producing tens of millions of gallons and radioactive and toxic waste and opening the door to thousands more wells to be drilled across Lancashire, and the rest of the UK.

On the first day (and on subsequent days), concerned communities from around the UK will descend upon Lancashire County Hall in Preston for a peaceful show of solidarity and resistance. This is a huge deal that has implications for the entirety of the UK. It’s also a great chance to showcase the strength and solidarity of the of the UK anti-fracking movement by standing with the people of Lancashire!

If you live in the 60% of the UK that has been made available to fracking companies, this is also your chance to highlight the threat to your community and the resistance taking place where you live! Get involved and come to Lancashire, if you can! If you can just come for one day the first one is likely to be the most important in setting the tone for the days that follow.

For more info and details about this event please click here to visit the Facebook page.

US EPA report confirms fracking pollutes water

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Despite investigation weakened by oil and gas industry obstructionism, EPA confirms what communities living with fracking have known for almost a decade | Earthworks.org

June 4, 2015

Washington DC — In a watershed moment, today EPA announced fracking does pollute drinking water with the release of  the draft final version of its study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources. Congress commissioned the study in 2010 in response to increasing public questions about the risks posed to drinking water by the unconventional oil and gas boom. In 2004, an EPA study concluded that hydraulic fracturing does not threaten drinking water. From that conclusion, Congress exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The 2004 study was maligned within the EPA and by independent scientists. The current study was intended to revisit the conclusions of the 2004 study. “Today EPA confirmed what communities living with fracking have known for years, fracking pollutes drinking water,” said Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel. She continued, “Now the Obama administration, Congress, and state governments must act on that information to protect our drinking water, and stop perpetuating the oil and gas industry’s myth that fracking is safe.”

Please click here to continue reading the Earthworks article.

Visit the EPA website to read the report in full – please click here

World Health Organisation on fracking: Outlining serious health/environmental hazards

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To read the WHO’s SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH SECTORAL BRIEFING in full please click here.

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