The ArgusSussex MP warns fracking is causing 'fear of the unknown' (From The Argus)

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Sussex MP warns fracking is causing 'fear of the unknown'

The Argus: Sussex MP warns fracking is causing 'fear of the unknown' Sussex MP warns fracking is causing 'fear of the unknown'

Fracking is causing a "fear of the unknown" among Britain's rural population, a Sussex MP warned today.

Nick Herbert's comments came amid increasing signs of unease among MPs about the innovative method of extracting gas for energy from shale deposits deep beneath the ground.

Another Tory MP, Eric Ollerenshaw, warned of the danger that the development of shale gas facilities could create a new "North-South divide".

And the Liberal Democrat party president, Tim Farron, warned that a "short-sighted" rush to exploit deposits could cause long-lasting damage to the countryside.

"I am afraid the Government has seen flashing pound signs and has not considered the long-term threats fracking poses to the countryside," said Mr Farron. "I think this is a very short-sighted policy and we will all be left to live with the consequences."

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Herbert did not position himself in opposition to fracking, but made clear that his constituents in the West Sussex seat of Arundel and South Downs have deep concerns about the procedure, which involves fracturing rock deposits deep below the ground with high-pressure blasts of water and chemicals.

Test drilling began last week at a site in Balcombe, West Sussex, in the face of protests by local people and environmental activists, who are concerned about potential harm to the water table, as well as the possibility of mini-earthquakes. Energy company Cuadrilla insists that its current operations will not involve fracking in the area.

Mr Herbert told the Telegraph: "There is a lot of concern about the impact of new housing in West Sussex. This (fracking) is seen as a second threat to the countryside.

"People are worried about the implications and they don't have enough information to know how damaging it will be. It is the fear of the unknown that is exacerbating local concerns. People understand the national arguments about the need for secure and cheap energy, but they don't know how much this is going to damage the local environment."

As protesters demonstrated against drilling in Sussex, Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Mr Ollerenshaw warned that the North of England would not be prepared to absorb the potential environmental damage from fracking while the South reaped the financial rewards.

Mr Ollerenshaw was speaking after Tory peer Lord Howell of Guildford sparked outrage by suggesting that fracking should be confined to "desolate" parts of the North of England.

Lancashire has been identified as one of the areas of Britain with most potential for hydraulic fracturing, which involves using water and chemicals to break up rocks deep underground, with a recent report suggesting there may be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas present.

But Mr Ollerenshaw said it was important that any extraction operations benefited people in the county.

He told BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour: "What Lord Howell was trying to say just reinforces, if you like, a northern prejudice that southerners haven't got a clue what the North West is like, or indeed the North East.

"It does look as if the rest of the country wants to use Lancashire as its energy base. There's a particular environmental concern about the use of water and the impact on the water table... but long term what is going to be the benefit to the area where this is going to happen?

"This is not to become a North-South divide... We want (a) level playing field across the country. We do not want - and it looks at the moment - that the North gets the dirty end and the South sucks up all the energy."

In reported comments from a private meeting, energy minister Michael Fallon appeared to relish the idea of fracking taking place beneath the homes of "chattering class" commentators in The Weald, in the affluent South East.

Mr Fallon has been a public advocate of shale gas, but the Mail on Sunday reported that he told the meeting that "the beauty" of drilling in Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey was that "of course it's underneath the commentariat - all these people writing leaders saying, `Why don't they get on with shale?' We are going to see how thick their rectory walls are, whether they like the flaring at the end of the drive!"

A DECC spokesman did not dispute the paper's account of the comments, but said: "Fracking will only be allowed in the Weald if it is safe and poses no risk to the environment."

Craig Bennett, director of of Friends of the Earth's policy and campaigns, said: "Michael Fallon's unguarded comments will resonate across the UK and fuel more opposition to the Government's disastrous support for fracking.

"Ministers must pull the plug on shale gas and oil extraction, especially as there's plenty of evidence they won't lead to cheaper fuel bills.

"We need an energy policy based on cutting waste and developing the nation's huge renewable power potential - not one that wrecks our clean and pleasant land and pumps more pollution into our atmosphere."

Comments (16)

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8:47am Mon 5 Aug 13

ICantThinkOfAName says...

I suppose Balcombe is an ideal site for fracking as there is plenty of water to inject into the ground in the nearby Ardingly Reservoir. However will a hosepipi ban apply to Cuadrilla?
I suppose Balcombe is an ideal site for fracking as there is plenty of water to inject into the ground in the nearby Ardingly Reservoir. However will a hosepipi ban apply to Cuadrilla? ICantThinkOfAName
  • Score: 0

8:57am Mon 5 Aug 13

ragamala says...

The fear is not of the unknown, but the fear of what has happened in the US, Canada and Australia happening in the UK. Despite politicians sticking their head underground and not admitting the problems experienced in the US have been real and significant, and the effects would be even more felt in a country with a population density some 30 to 100 times greater than in the American fracking lands. With the well failure rates we know not only from the US but from North Sea operations, with an estimated minimum 40,000 wells needed to even approach the optimism by the pro-frackers for the amount of gas they hope to extract, the risk of pollution problems is not an unknown factor, it is a certainty.
The fear is not of the unknown, but the fear of what has happened in the US, Canada and Australia happening in the UK. Despite politicians sticking their head underground and not admitting the problems experienced in the US have been real and significant, and the effects would be even more felt in a country with a population density some 30 to 100 times greater than in the American fracking lands. With the well failure rates we know not only from the US but from North Sea operations, with an estimated minimum 40,000 wells needed to even approach the optimism by the pro-frackers for the amount of gas they hope to extract, the risk of pollution problems is not an unknown factor, it is a certainty. ragamala
  • Score: 4

9:24am Mon 5 Aug 13

Morpheus says...

The MPs should stop making pointless statements and give us the evidence with the supporting information so that we know exactly what the risks are with fracking. I don't want to listen to MPs talking about fear of the unknown or the scare stories of protesters. Where are the expert views?
The MPs should stop making pointless statements and give us the evidence with the supporting information so that we know exactly what the risks are with fracking. I don't want to listen to MPs talking about fear of the unknown or the scare stories of protesters. Where are the expert views? Morpheus
  • Score: 7

9:38am Mon 5 Aug 13

Baz from sussex says...

Can some one tell me how many bloody MP'S we have? And do all of them now jumping on the band wagon?
Can some one tell me how many bloody MP'S we have? And do all of them now jumping on the band wagon? Baz from sussex
  • Score: 3

9:38am Mon 5 Aug 13

Baz from sussex says...

Can some one tell me how many bloody MP'S we have? And do all of them now jumping on the band wagon?
Can some one tell me how many bloody MP'S we have? And do all of them now jumping on the band wagon? Baz from sussex
  • Score: 1

9:48am Mon 5 Aug 13

Baz from sussex says...

How many MP'S has Sussex got? Guess all of them want too jump on the Fracking band wagon now they are all expert's.
How many MP'S has Sussex got? Guess all of them want too jump on the Fracking band wagon now they are all expert's. Baz from sussex
  • Score: 2

11:04am Mon 5 Aug 13

PorkBoat says...

Morpheus wrote:
The MPs should stop making pointless statements and give us the evidence with the supporting information so that we know exactly what the risks are with fracking. I don't want to listen to MPs talking about fear of the unknown or the scare stories of protesters. Where are the expert views?
I thought YOU were the "expert".
[quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: The MPs should stop making pointless statements and give us the evidence with the supporting information so that we know exactly what the risks are with fracking. I don't want to listen to MPs talking about fear of the unknown or the scare stories of protesters. Where are the expert views?[/p][/quote]I thought YOU were the "expert". PorkBoat
  • Score: -4

11:47am Mon 5 Aug 13

ModelCitizen says...

Fear of the unknown? What a joker! The more I learn about fracking the more fearful I become. The only ones who aren't fearful are the uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests.
Fear of the unknown? What a joker! The more I learn about fracking the more fearful I become. The only ones who aren't fearful are the uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests. ModelCitizen
  • Score: 1

11:49am Mon 5 Aug 13

ModelCitizen says...

Baz from sussex wrote:
How many MP'S has Sussex got? Guess all of them want too jump on the Fracking band wagon now they are all expert's.
Empty vessels.....
[quote][p][bold]Baz from sussex[/bold] wrote: How many MP'S has Sussex got? Guess all of them want too jump on the Fracking band wagon now they are all expert's.[/p][/quote]Empty vessels..... ModelCitizen
  • Score: 1

12:46pm Mon 5 Aug 13

fredaj says...

ModelCitizen wrote:
Fear of the unknown? What a joker! The more I learn about fracking the more fearful I become. The only ones who aren't fearful are the uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests.
Because people have a different view to you they are "uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests"?

Oh, and you left out the phrase "all right thinking people will agree".
[quote][p][bold]ModelCitizen[/bold] wrote: Fear of the unknown? What a joker! The more I learn about fracking the more fearful I become. The only ones who aren't fearful are the uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests.[/p][/quote]Because people have a different view to you they are "uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests"? Oh, and you left out the phrase "all right thinking people will agree". fredaj
  • Score: -2

12:46pm Mon 5 Aug 13

fredaj says...

ModelCitizen wrote:
Fear of the unknown? What a joker! The more I learn about fracking the more fearful I become. The only ones who aren't fearful are the uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests.
Because people have a different view to you they are "uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests"?

Oh, and you left out the phrase "all right thinking people will agree".
[quote][p][bold]ModelCitizen[/bold] wrote: Fear of the unknown? What a joker! The more I learn about fracking the more fearful I become. The only ones who aren't fearful are the uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests.[/p][/quote]Because people have a different view to you they are "uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests"? Oh, and you left out the phrase "all right thinking people will agree". fredaj
  • Score: -2

1:06pm Mon 5 Aug 13

ModelCitizen says...

fredaj wrote:
ModelCitizen wrote:
Fear of the unknown? What a joker! The more I learn about fracking the more fearful I become. The only ones who aren't fearful are the uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests.
Because people have a different view to you they are "uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests"?

Oh, and you left out the phrase "all right thinking people will agree".
Nope. Because they have obviously not availed themselves of the facts. Injecting a cocktail of lethal poisons for kilometers into porous rock under the earth near the source of much of Sussex' water supply is obviously stupid. When you read the figures detailing the high percentages of mines that leak and how fracking cannot be compared to oil drilling (due to no hard rock cap over the resources) objecting to it becomes a no-brainer.

We are at this desperate place due to short-sighted politicians who have been so weak over decades that the UK has no sustainable or even viable energy policy, and individual and corporate greed. Try looking into Tory big wig Lord John Browne, major shareholder in the venture capitalists that fund Cuadrilla and the person responsible for appointing the advisors to the cabinet. He stands to make a lot of money from this... and still no vested interests have been declared. There is so much more I could write but this is not the place. Fracking (and especially in Sussex) stinks to high heaven. Do some research, and not amongst those funded by vested interest or the main stream media.
[quote][p][bold]fredaj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ModelCitizen[/bold] wrote: Fear of the unknown? What a joker! The more I learn about fracking the more fearful I become. The only ones who aren't fearful are the uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests.[/p][/quote]Because people have a different view to you they are "uninformed, the wilfully obtuse or those with vested interests"? Oh, and you left out the phrase "all right thinking people will agree".[/p][/quote]Nope. Because they have obviously not availed themselves of the facts. Injecting a cocktail of lethal poisons for kilometers into porous rock under the earth near the source of much of Sussex' water supply is obviously stupid. When you read the figures detailing the high percentages of mines that leak and how fracking cannot be compared to oil drilling (due to no hard rock cap over the resources) objecting to it becomes a no-brainer. We are at this desperate place due to short-sighted politicians who have been so weak over decades that the UK has no sustainable or even viable energy policy, and individual and corporate greed. Try looking into Tory big wig Lord John Browne, major shareholder in the venture capitalists that fund Cuadrilla and the person responsible for appointing the advisors to the cabinet. He stands to make a lot of money from this... and still no vested interests have been declared. There is so much more I could write but this is not the place. Fracking (and especially in Sussex) stinks to high heaven. Do some research, and not amongst those funded by vested interest or the main stream media. ModelCitizen
  • Score: 1

1:38pm Mon 5 Aug 13

Rollin Hand says...

ICantThinkOfAName wrote:
I suppose Balcombe is an ideal site for fracking as there is plenty of water to inject into the ground in the nearby Ardingly Reservoir. However will a hosepipi ban apply to Cuadrilla?
No, there are no water restrictions on Businesses, even Brighton and Hove Albion can water all they wish. Plus, the word is Hosepipe Hosepipi sounds stupid.
[quote][p][bold]ICantThinkOfAName[/bold] wrote: I suppose Balcombe is an ideal site for fracking as there is plenty of water to inject into the ground in the nearby Ardingly Reservoir. However will a hosepipi ban apply to Cuadrilla?[/p][/quote]No, there are no water restrictions on Businesses, even Brighton and Hove Albion can water all they wish. Plus, the word is Hosepipe Hosepipi sounds stupid. Rollin Hand
  • Score: 0

2:31pm Mon 5 Aug 13

tinker111 says...

Think we should have built NUC power stations to cover all our needs of a busting population (from where ever they come from to this green and pleasant land HAND OUTS) French got it rite and built them along the channel and they don't need fracking...

HY HO GREENS.

PS NEED OIL TO PRODUCE POWER JUST IN CASE YOU DONT KNOW
Think we should have built NUC power stations to cover all our needs of a busting population (from where ever they come from to this green and pleasant land HAND OUTS) French got it rite and built them along the channel and they don't need fracking... HY HO GREENS. PS NEED OIL TO PRODUCE POWER JUST IN CASE YOU DONT KNOW tinker111
  • Score: -1

3:30pm Mon 5 Aug 13

getThisCoalitionOut says...

There are many MP's and ministers who are directly involved with fracking and that is what is wrong with this unelected government.

George Osborne's father in law owns a fracking company - so Georgie porgy has given the in laws a tax break - how corrupt can he get?

This shouldn't be allowed and I want this gov' out as soon as possible. Our NHS is being sold off to the cheapest tenders from private companies - that will cause more deaths. Everyone needs to stop this. Sign all the epetitions that you agree with. Sign petitions, write to your MP, protest - it's the only way we can do this to stop these terrible events from happening.

Remember British Rail being sold off? Has it improved - no.

Remember all our utilities being sold off - our gas and electricity is now so expensive that many OAP's die every winter. That's got to be wrong.

Come on - do something, stop this lot from selling anything else off and ruining our country.
There are many MP's and ministers who are directly involved with fracking and that is what is wrong with this unelected government. George Osborne's father in law owns a fracking company - so Georgie porgy has given the in laws a tax break - how corrupt can he get? This shouldn't be allowed and I want this gov' out as soon as possible. Our NHS is being sold off to the cheapest tenders from private companies - that will cause more deaths. Everyone needs to stop this. Sign all the epetitions that you agree with. Sign petitions, write to your MP, protest - it's the only way we can do this to stop these terrible events from happening. Remember British Rail being sold off? Has it improved - no. Remember all our utilities being sold off - our gas and electricity is now so expensive that many OAP's die every winter. That's got to be wrong. Come on - do something, stop this lot from selling anything else off and ruining our country. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 2

5:11pm Mon 5 Aug 13

rolivan says...

Meanwhile
Our biggest polluters: Water companies revealed to be worst for incidents which have left England's beaches and rivers no-go areas

Read more: http://www.dailymail
.co.uk/news/article-
2384314/Our-biggest-
polluters-Water-comp
anies-revealed-worst
-incidents-left-Engl
ands-beaches-rivers-
areas.html#ixzz2b6yN
KRCj
Meanwhile Our biggest polluters: Water companies revealed to be worst for incidents which have left England's beaches and rivers no-go areas Read more: http://www.dailymail .co.uk/news/article- 2384314/Our-biggest- polluters-Water-comp anies-revealed-worst -incidents-left-Engl ands-beaches-rivers- areas.html#ixzz2b6yN KRCj rolivan
  • Score: 1

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