Sunday, 4 August 2013

Green PPC for Ashford visits Balcombe fracking site

Mandi Rossi, Prospective Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Ashford reports on her visit to Balcombe last week:

"Members of Ashford Greens, myself included, travelled to Balcombe on Thursday 1st August to lend our support to the ban fracking protest.  Sadly, drilling started the day we were there.  A minutes silence was called, and all we could hear was the sound of drills.  No birds, no laughter, nothing but drilling.  Imagine, if the pro-fracking fraternity have their way - that is the sound you will be hearing up and down the country.

"Fracking is a controversial subject.  A recent survey of residents in Balcombe found that 85% of residents are against it.  Well of course they are, you say.  They don't want it in their back garden.  Cries of NIMBYism, and what about the cheap energy we'll get?  And the jobs, don't forget the jobs.  The thing is, with fracking - none of us should have it in our back yard.  It is potentially dangerous.  The process involves drilling down, followed by drilling horizontally - in some cases for miles, underground.  Then fracturing takes place to release the gas.  The fracturing is done by pumping massive amounts of water and chemicals through. Chemicals that could leak into our land and water.  If they leak into our land, they can contaminate the soil, and ruin any chance to farm safely on that land, neither crops, nor animals.  If the chemicals leak into our water - well, imagine turning your tap on and brown gunk pouring through.  Not a pleasant thought and already, Cuadrilla the firm behind the drilling in Balcombe, have caused minor earthquakes in Lancashire where they have been drilling.

"We hear stories from America about some of the dangers, and believe them to be massively exaggerated, because 'that's what the press do', but actually, talking to people who live in the USA, the levels of horror you're greeted with when you mention fracking is shocking!

"At Balcombe, people are peacefully protesting.  Emotions are running high but each time a lorry comes through, protestors stand shoulder to shoulder and let it be known that this is without our permission.  That our green and pleasant land is under attack, and that we demand that it is protected, not fracked with.

"It's very likely that exploratory drilling will be starting somewhere near you soon.  In Kent, Woodnesborough, near Sandwich has already been granted a licence for exploratory drilling.

"Wherever it happens, you can guarantee one thing.  The Green party will be joining protesters on the front line, and demanding that it stop.  That we invest properly in our future - in renewable energies, that will bring jobs and energy supplies that are sympathetic to our environment.  The Green Party is the only political party that is saying a loud and clear NO to fracking."

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