More recently, we visited our fellow protectors in Lancashire to support their peaceful non-violent campaign conducted in the face of disgusting violence from security guards acting outside their jurisdiction and police not acting in the public interest. Obviously, they are on their best behaviour when the press and a big crowd are around. On this day the Guardian were here with a group of trade unions, Greenpeace UK, Poverty Action and a moving and inspiring address by William Hawk from Standing Rock.
To: Herefordshire County Council
Ban fracking in Herefordshire
We call on Herefordshire County Council to REFUSE all planning applications related to FRACKING, whether exploratary or 'actual' along with all associated unconventional processes, including coalbed extraction.
Why is this important?
The damage to the environment and economy of areas where this has been allowed is well documented.
Poisoning of the water supplies, health issues, earthquakes are not imaginary and if you want an economic reason, property values can drop by 30% and you can find yourself unable to get house insurance.
An estate agent in Poulton le Fylde, near one of Cuadrilla’s drilling sites, told the Observer "There are a lot of properties coming on to the market, and some of the owners are saying they want to get out before prices start dropping” Other local estate agents have said sales have fallen through because properties are near a fracking site.
Herefordshire is an agricultural area and a tourist attraction, being an area of outstanding beauty. Experience in the US shows that fracking can create problems for local agriculture, including the loss of agricultural land, and concerns about water resources.
Jumping forward to September 2015, you will have heard on BBC Hereford & Worcester that a new round of applications were to be allowed in the South of Herefordshire in the Wye Valley Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in autumn of 2016 were issued. Thanks largely to public resistance accompanied by adverse oil prices South West Energy handed back the licences but made clear that this is a 'temporary' reprieve and they would be back, The fight continues ... Meanwhile a documentary is in editing stages at present. Thanks to those who have caught up with the plot and all the new additions to signatures.
Nationwide Mutual, the largest US farming insurance underwriter, announced in 2012 that “from an underwriting standpoint we do not have a comfort level with the unique risks associated with the fracking process to provide coverage at a reasonable price."
What would be the impact on tourism of hundreds of shale gas wells and associated infrastructure? In Australia, local tourism bodies are among the opponents of unconventional gas developments.
The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management has said that the UK should “not encourage fracking as a part of our energy mix until there is more evidence that operations can be delivered safely, that environmental impacts are acceptable and that monitoring, reporting and mitigation requirements are comprehensive and effective.
Mark Menzies, the Conservative MP whose constituency covers much of the area in Lancashire where Cuadrilla has been active, has said “I do not believe that the regulatory system is robust or transparent enough to instill public confidence should permission be granted to the industry.".
Go tell your friends this is no longer a distant threat but a very real one right on our doorstep .
How it will be delivered
Will decide this when we have more firm info on applications ... Currently responding to posts on BBC Hereford & Worcester's facebook page and subsequent reports that deposits of shale gas have been found not only in the east of the county but a search being allowed in the south of the county in the Wye Valley AONB ... see recent news on the update section and our facebook page.