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What are the effects of Shale Gas Extraction?

After watching the two short videos below you'll soon realise why drilling for shale gas, coal bed methane and fracking are a very bad idea. Unless we can prevent it from happening it will cause significant disruption in the following areas:

  • pollute the air we breathe
  • contaminate the water we drink
  • industrialise our countryside
  • cause serious health risks
  • higher risk of earthquakes
  • massively increase HGV traffic flow 
  • greatly reduce our property value
  • ruin our general environment

 

Undecided On Fracking?

Video link to "Undecided On Fracking"

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Fracking Hell: The Untold Story

Video link to "The Untold Story"

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About Fracking

ABOUT FRACKING

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and dangerous chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows gas to flow up to the head of the well.

The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer. The process can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels.

The gas and oil industry suggest trillions of cubic feet of shale gas and coal bed methane may be recoverable from underneath parts of England, through a process known as "fracking".

 

What Is Fracking

 

Why is it called fracking? 

It is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing and refers to how the rock is fractured apart by the high-pressure mixture. 

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock and coal seams. But how does it work and why is it controversial?  

Why is it controversial?

Extensive use of fracking in the US, has revolutionised the energy industry, but has radically industrialised vast areas such as the state of Pennsylvania, an area the size of England. If it happens here the Garden of England will change unrecognisably and will be lost forever. We simply cannot let this happen.

More worryingly in the US shale gas extraction has contaminated land, polluted drinking water and caused genuine public health concerns to such a degree New York State has successfully banned fracking from ever taking place. Their decision was made on health grounds alone.

In addition fracking uses huge amounts of water that must be transported to the fracking site, at significant environmental cost. Then there is the worry that potentially carcinogenic chemicals used in the drilling process can escape and contaminate groundwater around the fracking site.

There are also genuine concerns that fracking causes earth tremors. Two small earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude hit the Blackpool area in 2011 following fracking. Recent earthquakes in Kent prove the local geological ground structure is already unstable. To drill, frack and reinject wastewater is likely to trigger further earthquakes and cause structural damage to property.  

Finally, fracking is simply distracting energy firms and Government from investing in renewable sources of energy, and encouraging continued reliance on fossil fuels.

"Shale gas is not the solution to the UK's energy challenges," said Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth. "We need a 21st century energy revolution based on efficiency and renewables, not more fossil fuels that will add to climate change."

So when will it happen here?

Reserves of shale gas and coal bed methane (CBM) have been identified across swathes of the UK including East Kent and the Weald. Lancashire County Council rejected two fracking planning applications, but in October 2016 the Government overturned the Councils decision at one drill site, with the other site expected to be given clearance very soon. Sadly this undemocratic decision means fracking will take place in Lancashire during 2017, with other sites expected to follow soon after.

In August 2015 the Government announced the latest round of Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs) and while none are located in Kent, some licences border our county boundary with Surrey. 

The Government's dash for gas is only just starting and future licensing rounds might still affect us locally in Eastry and surrounding villages too. We cannot afford to be complacent and must remain vigilant.

We must also think nationally by supporting and campaigning with those communities throughout the UK who are threatened with fracking. Remember we've only just begun.