Oscar hopeful Mark Ruffalo warns against fracking ahead of major inquiry

Oscar nominated Mark Ruffalo (By Cpl. Michael C. Guinto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Oscar nominated Mark Ruffalo (By Cpl. Michael C. Guinto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Oscar nominated actor Mark Ruffalo has called on the Prime Minister to abandon fracking and leave fossil fuels in the ground.

A prominent opponent of fracking in the US, Ruffalo warned David Cameron he was making ‘a legacy mistake’ in supporting the controversial process of extracting gas by hydraulic fracturing.

Ruffalo, who has attracted critical acclaim for his role in the film Spotlight, and is nominated for best supporting actor at this year’s Oscars, made the remarks in an interview with environmental pressure group Friends Of The Earth.

Over the past couple of years West Sussex has seen applications for planning permission for oil and gas exploration in areas such as Wisborough Green and Balcombe and several demonstrations against the whole concept of fracking, although currently no sites in the county are being fracked according to the county council’s website.

However, tomorrow, a planning inspector will hear energy firm Cuadrilla’s appeal against last summer’s rejection of plans for exploratory fracking in Lancashire by county councillors which could well have a major impact in other parts of the country.

In a direct message to the PM, Ruffalo said: “Mr Cameron you are making an enormous mistake, and it’s a legacy mistake, because there is no fracking that can be done safely.

“Today we are at the precipice of a renewable energy revolution. This is the new economy. We had 200 countries from around the world all agree that it’s time to leave fossil fuels in the ground.

“This is where all new wealth is going to being created, this is where new jobs are to be created, and not only that but your people don’t want it.

“You have already told them once before that if they didn’t want it you wouldn’t push them to take it. And you’re turning back on your word, sir. What is a politician if he is not credible?

“So I would say to you, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to honour your people, to honour their will but also to take them into the renewable energy future of the world.”

Ruffalo was a vocal support of the fracking ban in New York State and has similarly appealed to President Barack Obama to ditch fracking and instead focus on renewable energy.

The planning inspectorate inquiry starts at 10am tomorrow at the Blackpool FC Hotel and Conference Centre. It is expected to last five weeks.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) said: “We are backing shale because it’s good for our energy security and will help create jobs and growth.

“There is no question that we need natural gas in the UK and if just 10 per cent of the estimated gas in shale rock could be recovered, it would be enough to meet our energy demand for almost 40 years.

“We are encouraging safe exploration so we can know for certain how much is there and how much we can get out of the ground.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.