Redacted Fracking Report Hides Much But Not Role Of Communities In Stopping Fracking
A heavily redacted cabinet office report (PDF) the government has been forced to release provides interesting reading even though it hides much about the fracking industry in the UK. The report blames “public opposition driven by … concerns local quality of life and safety, environmental protection” resulting in “several practical barriers, with the most significant for operators so far being long timelines/uncertainty in local planning”. The report also shows the very high bar which the industry needs to reach before billions in will flood in from investors, predicting “20-30 successful wells in 3-5 regions” would be required to kick start large scale investment in the industry but that “exponential acceleration in wells fracked” could be expected after that.
Despite all the hype in the media, the fracking “pause” that has just been announced by the UK government would not even stop the fracking industry from doing what it did to cause the recent earthquakes which triggered this “pause” in the first place. Setting aside question of whether it is a temporary PR exercise, the fact that it still allows construction, drilling and a lot of testing, and that who areas of the country (e.g. Sussex/Surrey) are effectively exempt from it. The “pause” would not even stop Cuadrilla Resources from doing anything it has not done already in Lancashire, and in particular the hydraulic fracturing of Preese Hall (2011), Preston New Road 1z (2018) and Preston New Road 2 (2019) wells, which caused magnitude 2.4, 1.5 and 2.9 earthquakes respectively.
The Preston New Road site is Cuadrilla’s flagship fracking test project, where they have planning permission (from central government) to drill and hydraulically fracture 4 shale gas wells. This would involve more than 20,000 vehicle movements in and out of the PNR site, as fracking trucks bring equipment and materials and dispose of waste, to and from support sites across the country. Take a look at our factsheet and find out what support sites could be near you.
Cuadrilla’s speculative business model means that they need good results from these test to get more investment, but that includes not just what they find under ground but the level of resistance they encounter. That is where communities across the country come in – by making Cuadrilla’s fracking plans as difficult, slow and expensive as possible!
Check out our factsheet about Cuadrilla’s plans, your community may be threatened with impacts (e.g. fracking waste being dumped or transported through your community) even if you live hundreds of miles from Lancashire.