UKIP Leader, Nigel Farage, has been described by Kent Green Party as “dangerously ignorant” following his comments about fracking made whilst visiting Dover and Deal. According to reports Farage described fracking as a “God given opportunity” and “gift horse” (1) for the people of Kent.
Green Party spokesperson, Councillor Ian Driver said “Evidence is mounting that shale and coal bed methane gas extraction methods are extremely damaging. They deplete and pollute ground water supplies, increase greenhouse gas levels, cause earth tremors and destroy natural habitats”.
“In Kent 75% of our water comes from underground aquifers already under stress because of years of over extraction and pollution (2). Yet the latest applications to Kent County Council for exploratory drilling for shale and coal bed methane gas are located right on top of the East Kent Stour aquifer which supplies water for half-a-million people in the Ashford, Canterbury Dover, Deal, and Thanet areas”(3).
“For Farage to describe a threat to the water security of one third of Kent’s population as a God-given gift-horse, suggests that he is a dangerously ignorant person who is out of touch with growing public concerns”.
“Kent Green Party is opposed to fracking. Instead of depending on fossil fuels, we propose major investments in developing new renewable energy sources” (4).
"We will work closely with campaign groups across Kent to stop damaging gas extraction. This will include taking peaceful direct action like Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, who was recently arrested at the Balcombe anti-fracking protest."
(2) The State of Water in Kent, Environment Agency 2012 and East Kent Stour Groundwater Body Report, Environment Agency 2008
(3) The applications have been made by Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd for exploratory drilling at Tilmanstone, Shepherdswell and Guston
(4) Green Party Energy Policy http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/en