13 January 2016

NDGP Chair Responds to Fracking Letters in BVM

In response to Mr Bill Woodhouse from Mappowder 10th Jan, Mr Woodhouse seems to be completely unaware of the processes involved in Hydraulic Fracturing. We are not simply talking about one or two wells and a pipeline. At each fracking pad there can be up to 3 well heads each one drilling down 1-2 miles and then out horizontally for around a mile. Which means the next fracking pad is drilled so that the next lot of bore holes meet up. That results in the landscape being peppered with fracking pads with new ones appearing at a regular rate.

Each well head is fracked on average once a year and each fracking results in up to 500 extremely heavy lorry movements of water sand and toxic chemicals in and gas and toxic radioactive sludge out. These lorries and drilling equipment are so heavy they need substantial road infrastructure up to each fracking pad and the ground is severely compacted below.

To add insult to injury all this devastating infrastructure is only productive for around 5 years, by which time 90% of the gas is removed. In the states this often means that at this point the big companies move on and smaller companies take over which often go bust and make no restitution or repairs to the land.

That is if it all goes well. If it doesn’t then we have all the problems experienced by many thousands of people in the USA, Australia and the Netherlands suffering polluted tap water that they can set alight and increases in the frequency of earthquakes from 2-3 per year to 2-3 per day.

In fact right now in California there is a declared state of emergency over a massive gas leak from a fracking storage facility in Los Angeles: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/06/los-angeles-natural-gas-leak-california-governor-jerry-brown-emergency

A failure of one of the well heads in October has resulted not only in methane gas release the equivalent in pollution of 7million cars per day but thousands of local residents have had to move out with adults and children suffering headaches, nausea, vomiting and nosebleeds. Many of them are now trying to fight for help to pay their mortgage on uninhabitable homes while they have to rent elsewhere and with local rents doubling in response to the huge rise in demand.

Why is this not headline news we wonder?

The 31st of January is a day of action against fracking. Not only is it damaging to the immediate areas around fracking sites but we know that if we are to keep global warming with in the 1.5 degree limit that our own government has just agreed to in Paris 80% of ALREADY KNOWN fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground and not be burned. There is no room for new gas from such a dirty and dangerous industry.

There is a film showing of ‘Voices From the Gasfields’ detailing people’s experiences not only of the problems they have experienced with Fracking in their communities but with the fight they have had to get compensation from the gigantic Oil and Gas companies to help sort out their lives that have been wreaked. 7pm Blandford Corn Exchange 31st January.

Anna Baker

Link to Mr Woodhouse's letter: http://www.blackmorevale.co.uk/fears-fracking-letter/story-28485602-detail/story.html

Link to original letter: http://www.blackmorevale.co.uk/Dangers-fracking-Dorset-letter/story-28461535-detail/story.html