I AM writing in response to Coun. Mohammed Iqbal’s letter of February 22nd regarding the Labour Party’s position on fracking.
Local campaigners against fracking have forced Lancashire County Council to request environmental impact assessments, thus delaying any imminent planning applications for drilling. You only have to look at the consequences of fracking in the USA for there to be opposition as its impacts on the communities affected.
In the west of Lancashire there is great resistance to what has been proposed and residents want a Frack Free Fylde. Although fracking might not occur in East Lancashire, if the go-ahead is given by local councils there could be 80 drill sites across 70% of Lancashire.
The chemicals used to extract the shale gas are poisonous and vast quantities of precious drinking water are mixed with the chemicals. The process involves drilling down vertically for some miles and then horizontally for up to two miles. How will the resultant radioactive waste be disposed of? It could also leach into the soil and contaminate the crops grown in that area, some of which we in Pendle consume.
It will not create jobs and indeed may have a detrimental effect on the tourist industry including our own visits to West Lancashire. It would also cause road congestion as thousands of tankers move the waste. Houses withing two miles would lose 24% of their market value.
Could I also take this opportunity to say shale gas will not help lower energy bills. It would be far better if our councillors, prospective councillors, MPs and MEPs show commitment to sustainable green energy and jobs.
Home insulation and installing solar panels will save residents money. Unions such as the TUC, Unite amd Unison support the creation of a million green jobs in Britain. This would really help the workforce of Lancashire, nit blight the landscape and people’s lives as fracking surely would.
Friends of the Earth