West Sussex seismic stability at stake as fracking report gives green light

Demonstration on Cliffe Bridge, Lewes, against fracking and drought.
Demonstration on Cliffe Bridge, Lewes, against fracking and drought.

FRACKING campaigners in West Sussex have expressed their horror as a Government report gave the go-ahead to the controversial procedure across the country.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are consulting before confirming the report’s recommendation to let fracking resume.

Energy company Cuadrilla had voluntarily suspended fracking - a process which involves pumping water and chemicals underground to release shale oil and gas - after it caused minor earthquakes in Lancashire.

Vanessa Vine, leader of No Fracking in Sussex, said: “It simply beggars belief that they try to mollify us with risible reassurances that the earthquakes - which they acknowledge that they will continue to cause - are not likely to cause any ‘significant’ damage.

“Just how credulous do they think the British people are? They think we will swallow this insanity, along with the cocktail of carcinogenic chemicals they will sanction the frackers to inject into our subterranean geology with no possible way to control which rivers, aquifers or reservoirs they get to when they migrate along fault lines.

“And what about the obscene demand this will make on our critically beleaguered water supplies, the huge impact of heavy traffic on local communities? The litany of collateral damage is long and frightening, for an ecocidal energy-procurement technique that does not even begin to make economic sense.

“It is time to get loud and crystal clear. We will not stand for this deeply irresponsible behaviour on the part of those who are empowered to legislate for us. Our water, our fields, our air and our very seismic stability are at stake.”

DECC’s chief scientific advisor David MacKay said: “This comprehensive independent expert review of Cuadrilla’s evidence suggests a set of robust measures to make sure future seismic risks are minimised - not just at this location but at any other potential sites across the UK.”

However Elsie Walker, an activist for Frack Off, added: “This report is a seriously dangerous distraction. People need to understand that the wave of unconventional gas development that is threatening the British Isles will bring with it far greater consequences than a number of small earthquakes.”

Earlier this month campaigns expressed disgust at West Sussex County Council for not following East Sussex County Council’s lead in expressing unanimous concern over fracking.