Fracking may create a few jobs in the energy industry, but it will also put farmers’ and growers’ livelihoods at risk:
“Walking through the village of Hesketh Bank in West Lancashire, you can see why the residents are so proud of this green belt area. At the village’s busy agricultural show people repeatedly emphasised how when you buy British produce from Tesco or Marks and Spencer, it was probably grown here.
Modern agriculture thrives in this area, and local politicians such as Conservative councillor Malcolm Barron boast that just two of the many local growers export roughly £90 million in fruit and vegetables each year. Planning regulations in the green belt are strict. Unsurprisingly, the appearance of a gas rig in the middle of a field of cabbages caused some upset.”
Heavy metals found in drilling waste can be absorbed by plants and added into the food chain. Toxic chemicals taken up by plants travel throughout the food chain and from one living organism to the next, eventually reaching our tables.
Livestock often drink surface water from ponds and streams which is easily contaminated by fracking fluids. Even small spills can have very big effects on livestock by contaminating their drinking water. Livestock are attracted to the saltiness of these fluids.
Explosions, spill, flares and leaky gas pipes are all shown to have negative effects on agricultural soils. Increased soil acidity around oil and gas pipelines reduces the available essential nutrients for plants, making it more difficult for healthy fruits and vegetables grow.