Thursday, 23 August 2012

Press Release - Fracking

Today's press release; written in response to a shale gas mining company's application to start horizontal drilling in our community.
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RAFF   

Press Release


RESIDENTS ACTION ON FYLDE FRACKING
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   -   9am, August 23, 2012

Organising Opposition to
Fracking in the Fylde

Following this week’s announcement by shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources that it will be launching a planning application to begin drilling horizontally at its Westby site in Lancashire, local residents’ groups are planning further actions to raise awareness of risks and rally opposition. 

Tina Rothery of Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) said: “At meetings across the region, we have heard the deep concern of residents over the risks this form of gas exploitation poses to communities. Horizontal drilling at Anna’s Road is another step in the wrong direction that is certain to fuel further (justifiable) fears.”

RAFF has set up an ‘Information Point’ in Ansdell in order to assist local residents with access to a broad range of anecdotal and research information and provide the opportunity for those affected to find out how they can engage in opposition activities.

Cuadrilla’s hydraulic fracturing of the Bowland Shale (‘fracking’) in order to extract shale gas remains suspended while the firm awaits the outcome of a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) investigation.

Miss Rothery added: “The ‘fracking’ part of shale gas exploitation is still suspended and with good reason; the risks have not been adequately explored. The seismic danger already evident from last year’s earthquakes though, is just one risk aspect; the potential contamination of our water supplies, the change to an industrial landscape, the harm to human and animal health from methane emissions and the long-term effects are what residents talk about.”

Other opposition groups too have expressed concern about the application to drill horizontally with the Green Party, Friends of the Earth, Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, Frack Free Fylde and others reacting to the news this week.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s CEO, said: “I don’t think drilling horizontally will affect people. We have chosen this site (to drill horizontally) because it is reasonably far from urban areas and it’s a good place to do it without causing too much fuss.”

Miss Rothery says: “Mr Egan’s statement that he ‘doesn’t THINK’ the horizontal drilling will affect people is ridiculous. Of course it will affect the community not only with the work itself but because it is clear that even though this industry is not properly regulated, it is going ahead.”

“We urge the LCC to consider this application and its implications very carefully and then reject it until risk assessments for health and environment are undertaken. We also urge all concerned residents to attend the public meeting about the new well on Tuesday, September 4 between 5pm and 8.30pm in the function room at Pipers Height Caravan Park, on Peel Road.”

Fylde Council’s Technical Adviser, Mike Hill also spoke this week and expressed his disappointment with shale gas drilling monitoring plans by government bodies. Mr Hill says he is worried by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) plans to split the duty and says neither body is carrying out sufficient on-site monitoring.

“The people I am talking to in London are very well paid by us to protect us, I expect them to do that and they are not. What is missing in the UK is monitoring and that has to be in place.”

DECC is the government body with overall responsibility for fracking and are set to decide whether to give Cuadrilla Resources the go-ahead to resume drilling. The HSE takes charge of workers’ safety, but Mr Hill claims neither body is carrying out sufficient on-site monitoring.

The RAFF Information Point is being held every Thursday between 12-2pm at:  29 Woodlands Road, FY8 4EP (next to Kelly’s Newsagent’s) .

ENDS
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