The fight against fracking continues in South Yorkshire
Words: The Naughty Pixies
After long campaigns by the community to keep them out, villainous chemical and plastics company, INEOS has sadly received planning permission to explore for shale gas at a site in the village of Harthill, South Yorkshire. Rotherham Borough Council had voted unanimously in January to oppose the application after INEOS announced it was appealing over non-determination. The company’s appeal has been allowed following a seven-day public inquiry in April and May; the decision was made by the Planning Inspectorate regardless of local and national opposition.
The site at Common Road, Harthill, had been opposed by the residents, local MPs and many community groups including, Harthill Against Fracking and Frack Free South Yorkshire. MP for Rotherham Sir Kevin Barron said he was “Very disappointed that INEOS have been granted planning permission for fracking in Harthill. I will continue to fight this decision as I still believe there are too many unanswered questions around fracking.”
Pro frackers will tell you we’ve been fracking on this isle for decades, but the truth is the only fracking work to have taken place in the UK was 7 years ago over in Lancashire by the company Cuadrilla. Work was suspended in June of that year after the Flyde coast experienced earthquakes that were also felt here in South Yorkshire. One tremor of magnitude 2.3 on 1 April, followed by a second of magnitude 1.4 on 27 May. A study by the British Geological Survey placed the epicenter for each quake about 500metres away from the Preese Hall-1 well at Weeton near Blackpool. Cuadrilla admitted that their fracking attempts had caused the quakes and there was no more fracking the Flyde until now.
It’s no coincidence that Cuadrilla sounds just like Godzilla because fracking companies are monsters invading our towns and villages. In 2017 Cuadrilla were back to frack Lancashire, and despite massive campaigns by locals and a no vote from Lancashire Council, the decision was taken out of the hands of local democracy, just like the INEOS application in Rotherham, Westminister gave it the go ahead. So Cuadrilla have commenced work at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton. There are successful daily blockades by protestors from all over the country and a protection camp established to monitor every move and mistake Cuadrilla makes. Fracking companies constantly breach planning permission and have to be watched very closely so their wrong behaviour doesn’t go unchecked.
These companies go to great lengths to silence the communities that they prey on, for example, INEOS and Cuadrilla have taken out injunctions against ‘persons unknown’, which means all of us. The injunctions prohibit any unlawful obstruction of INEOS/Cuadrilla business, people or suppliers – basically anyone attempting to protest their activities by attending the site or slow walking lorries etc. may be subject to their injunction. But, their underhand scare tactics have only highlighted their contempt for the local community and thousands of people continue to oppose them. That is what we must do oppose them!
Protectors include nans and grandads, mothers and fathers, teachers and nurses, MP’s and Mayors, students and graduates, carers and construction workers, people just like us. There are protection camps at Misson near Bawtry and at Tinker Lane near Ranskill/Blyth where exploratory wells are under construction. These are temporary camps set up to oppose the fracking activities, people visit from other communities to help the locals take action and the camps serve as a place for protestors to eat and rest, so they can be present to monitor the sites. Last month a solidarity day was held at the Misson camp and people attended from all over the country to visit the gates at the IGAS site, share cake, play music and show their opposition to this invasion of the community. This year the company, Third Energy, pulled out of their site in North Yorkshire after a long campaign by locals and protectors, their accounts are under scrutiny and they abandoned their operations.
The fracking industry is a total scam, they know it’s not viable, they know it won’t last, the UK’s no good for fracking they just want to make money fast! Cowboy billionaires like Jim Ratcliffe of INEOS need to back off, frack off, and try investing in repairing the earth instead of filling it full of plastics and chemicals. The rest of the world is busy embracing green solutions to our energy needs and working to eradicate the pollution caused by plastics and fossil fuels so let’s not allow them to fill our lovely land with poison there is a reason this practice has been banned in other countries. Help stop fracking here, folks 🙂
P.S. Lord Brown, this is not the ‘desolate north’ we are the many and we say no!
If you are unsure what fracking is or want to help stop it please visit http://www.frackfreesouthyorkshire.co.uk/fracking-facts.html or visit one of the local camps to find out what’s occurring and share a cup of tea.