Many local authorities have granted exploration rights to the fracking cartel Ineos, who are exploring new sites across the UK.
South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, including parts of Sherwood Forest, have been earmarked as a priority for potential fracking sites. This will cover a staggering 500 square mile area across the three counties.
Seismic surveys are underway already in these areas. If these surveys are carried out in your community, you are in danger of living next door to a fracking well.
A Seismic survey allows fracking companies to compile data, secure investment and obtain fracking licenses which allow them to explore for shale gas. We have a few sites in the UK at the exploration stage.
Many landowners last year in Lancashire objected to the seismic surveys - the response from Aurora Energy in collusion with the government via Angela Leeson was a high court injunction to gain access to the land if the landowners refused it. In other words, if the government don't get their own way, let's bully the general public into submission. Full report here.
The narrative put forward by the fracking cartels backed by certain politicians is that shale is safe.
Quite the opposite.
Earthquakes,water contamination and exhausting the water supplies are the main problems of fracking. In the USA fracking is common practice and many of these problems have occurred.
If we look at earthquakes there is clear evidence linking them to fracking. In Oklahoma, Pennsylvania last year a earthquake occurred measured at 5.6 on the Richter Scale followed by seven aftershocks. A university partly collapsed and 14 residential homes were damaged. Thousands of fracking injection wells surrounded the affected area.. Full report here.
Recently The Department of Environmental Protection in Pennsylvania linked the Oklahoma earthquake directly to fracking. Full report here.
Geoscientists in Canada have also revealed new evidence linking fracking to earthquakes. Canada has experienced numerous earthquakes in the last few years. Also new data released shows that months after the fracking process has finished earthquakes can still occur. Full report here.
In 2011 at the Preese Hall site near Blackpool two earthquakes occurred during the exploration stage. Full report here
Water contamination is also a major hazard during the fracking process. Chemicals are mixed with water and are pumped underground. In reported cases the chemical cocktail seeps through the crevices of the ground during the fracking process and leaks into domestic water supplies.
The fracking industry have tried to keep a lid on the water contamination issue during the fracking process and has denied it exists. Until a recent updated report by US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) released on 15/12/2016.
A quote from one paragraph of the report.
"We have found scientific evidence that hydraulic fracking activities can impact water resources under certain circumstances. The report identifies certain conditions under which impacts from hydraulic activities can be more frequent or severe"
Environmentalists, scientists and activists have been highlighting these concerns for years.
Fracking for shale is big business and the fracking cartels have withheld vital data for years regarding safety. In Pennsylvania The Department Of Environmental Protection was exposed for withholding data from the public domain. The Public Herald discovered in the offices of The Department of Environmental Protection a 12 year backlog of complaints related to fracking practices. These complaints were previously withheld.
Over a 12 year period over 10 thousand wells were drilled in Pennsylvania. Over that 12 year period 9,442 citizens complained about fracking and the problems it causes. 44% of the complaints were drinking water related involving contamination. Since 2004 the state of Pennsylvania has seen a rise in public complaints on fracking related issues from 4% to 40% (View report here)
The US government in collusion with the fracking cartels have blatantly withheld information from the general public. Through public pressure they have been forced to admit that fracking is unsafe.
Gagging orders were put in place in the past to protect the fracking industry. The Hallowich family from Pennsylvania took the fracking company Rangers Resource Corp to court over contaminated water supplies on their property. They received $755.000 compensation on the premise they sign the gagging order. If you remove the gagging orders it would be interesting to see how many more people have legally challenged the fracking cartels.
Miller Legal are water pollution lawyers in the US. They recently stated in a report that 8 million gallons of water per well are contaminated with chemicals during the fracking process.
Lets look at some of the chemicals mixed in a cocktail with water during the fracking process.
There are approximately thirty different chemicals used.
Toluene and its potential hazards if ingested or inhaled.
Potential symptoms: Exhaustion, weakness, confusion, dizziness, headaches, dilated pupils, anxiety, muscle fatigue, insomnia and liver and kidney damage. (Research carried out by the United States Department of Labour.)
Benzene can cause cancer and anaemia (according to the World Health Organisation).
Xylene can cause dizziness, nausea and internal bleeding. It is also possible to go into a coma when exposed to high amounts of Xylene.
Hydraulic Acid and Ethyl Benzene are other dangerous chemicals leaking into the water supplies during the fracking process.
70 to 140 Billion gallons of water are used every year in the US in the 35 thousand fracking wells. Staggering amounts of water. It equates to the annual water consumption of 40 to 80 US cities.
In Pennsylvania the reservoirs have been drained dry. On the 14th February this year The Department For Environmental Protection issued a drought order to 17 counties in Pennsylvania.
Great logic - we poison the existing water supplies to frack for shale, and at the same time exhaust the reservoirs of water for domestic use.
Its a great idea this fracking.
I bet the UK cant wait to comprehensively frack for shale like the US?
Lancashire County Council in 2015 voted to ban fracking in Lancashire. The council rejected the application by Cuadrilla for the continuation of shale exploration. A petition with eighteen thousand signatures was presented to the council by local people opposing fracking.
However in 2016 the government ignored local democracy. The communities secretary Sajid Javid overturned the council decision and gave the green light to Quadrilla to carry on regardless fracking for shale. Sajid did not exactly listen to the communities of Blackpool and Preston, showing his contempt for local democracy.
Germany, France and Bulgaria have already banned fracking. In Australia there is strong opposition to fracking. The state of Victoria recently banned fracking.
Ineos in the past have offered cash incentives for communities pinpointed for fracking. Bribery maybe... or community friendly - you decide...
The same company, at the Grangemouth Power Plant in Scotland, cut wages, made huge redundancies and introduced new harsh working practices for its workers. When the Union protested Ineos threatened to close the plant down - Ineos, real champions of the community...
There are reports in South Yorkshire that Ineos are using the same tactics of offering cash incentives to pave the way for fracking. Over thirty sites in South Yorkshire have been earmarked for seismic surveys. Many of these sites have suffered mining subsidence over the years a recipe for potential disaster if these areas were fracked for shale.
Many National Heritage sites throughout Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are earmarked for shale exploration.
The Anti-Fracking Campaign in the UK is gaining momentum with 250 groups already established in various regions of the country.
On the 25th February thousands of people attended a national demonstration in Preston and dozens of co-ordinated demos in other parts of the country. Information on future events and demonstrations can be found here
Below is a detailed map of fracking activity in the UK.
In a small island like the UK it would be a environmental disaster if fracking for shale was common practice.
In the USA and Canada events have shown the environmental impact fracking can cause. The American establishment have conceded that earthquakes and water contamination are down to Hydraulic fracking.
We need to change the signposts and quickly change direction. Our planet depends on us.
Portugal has recently demonstrated that renewable energy is the way forward. Recently Portugal powered its entire national grid on renewable energy. Recently in Sweden they developed electricity from waste recycling. But innovative ideas using new green technology are dismissed by the fossil fuel industry..
Hydraulic Fracking is big business for the fossil fuel corporations. The corporate class put profits before the planet.
Only collective action by the people can put a stop to hydraulic fracking. Future generations need a green and sustainable planet. We can not fail them