Today the Government approved Cuadrilla's plans to go ahead with fracking at a site in Lancashire. You will have heard the to-ing and fro-ing that has gone on between the local council, Cuadrilla, various activist groups, the government and the local people.
The Tories would have you believe that fracking was the next big thing for us in the UK. That it will bring about a much needed boost to the economy and save us from the fossil fuel sink hole that we are falling into. However, if you have been following the media storm around the decision, you will know that fracking is actually a highly controversial process.So polarising in fact, that the Labour party announced that they would ban fracking if they were to win the next general election. Not only them but the leaders of countries such as France, Germany, Bulgaria and Scotland have all stood up to the mutli-billion dollar industry and banned fracking until it has been proved that shale gas fracking won't harm the environment.
So yes, you have probably heard of how controversial a process it is. You may or may not agree with it yourself. Then you will probably move on with your lives as fracking becomes the new norm for energy in the UK and maybe listen with mild interest when you hear there has been another earth tremor somewhere up North, near where they might be fracking.
I guess that's probably what I would be doing too except for the fact that this fracking site is not 2 miles from my home. It's happening under my nose. Miles of our countryside has been dug up and destroyed. House prices are set to fall. Fracking is going to take a massive environmental impact on my home turf. It requires a huge amount of water and materials, which have to be delivered to the site. This will cause untold disruption on our already congested roads. There is a big possibility that fracking will release carcinogenic chemicals into our groundwater whether it is through bad practice or technique. Would you want your children using and drinking water with that possibility hanging over your heads? Not to mention the fact that test fracking has already resulted in two earth tremors. That was just the testing - how much more so will that happen when they are drilling full time?
And what exactly has happened to the so called notion of democracy? There was due consideration of all of the facts by Lancashire County Council and understandably, the vote came back as a big fat NO WAY. How can we respect the process of democracy that we are supposed to pride ourselves in as a nation when the government have just waltzed in and fracked all over it?! That's not democracy Mrs May. That's dictatorship.
I expect that it's easy to state from their cushy seat of power in Westminster that it's "safe" and "well regulated" as they grease their paws with millions of dollars of Cuadrilla's dirty money. It's easy to say, we can't rely on traditional fossil fuels forever and ignore the fact that we are under utilising the un-taxable renewable energies such as solar and wind. It's easy to look the other way I'm sure.
You might not feel the same way if it was in your back yard. 27 licences have been awarded to test for shale gas and not one of them is in the Tory's home turf of the South. Funny that. George Osbourne's quite frankly ridiculous father in law has even gone on record to say that they must keep the fracking to the "large, uninhabited and desolate areas of the North". Well Lord Howell of Guildford, I've got news for you - this isn't Game of Thrones! This is real people's homes, lives and futures you are messing with and we fracking matter too!