York Green Party

Fracking Comes to Yorkshire - unless we stop it

1 November 2013

The drive toward 'extreme energy' is continuing, led from the highest levels of government in hand with the fossil fuel industry. Rather than make the only sensible long-term decision - to move to renewables - those in financial control are trying to squeeze the last drops of value out of the UK's fossil fuel reserves.

After Lancashire and Balcombe, Yorkshire is one of the next places in the firing line for shale gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing, popularly known as fracking. Licenses for shale gas exploration covering large areas of the North York Moors, Ryedale and the Vale of York have already been granted (see a map of licensed areas, courtesy of the Northern Echo).

Commercial gas extraction is already taking place in sites in the North York Moors and in Ryedale - and expanding. Applications to develop the new fracking sites are already in progress - one (NY/2013/0182/SCR) for a site just metres away from the confluence of the Rye and the Derwent !

The drilling rig infamously used by Cuadrilla to quake Lancashire has now turned up at Kirby Misperton, near Flamingoland. And things could soon be happening closer to York too. Half of the city is covered by a license sold to Dart Energy, part of a Singapore-based group of gas exploration companies. Those licenses were recently sold to GDF Suez - a company formed from a merger of the state-owned French national gas supplier with Suez (they of the famous colonial-era canal). So we could end up with the situation where the French state, having banned fracking nationwide in 2011, supports fracking in Yorkshire instead.

Fracking makes no sense environmentally. It is responsible for spectacular levels of water pollution in the USA - 280bn gallons of toxic waste water produced last year alone - and a new dash for gas will see us miss our climate targets. It also makes no sense financially - DeutscheBank, Nicholas Sterne and David King are amongst the many experts who have concluded that it will not make a dent in rising energy prices.

The Green Party is the only UK party in Parliament that opposes fracking. Green Party Councillor Andy D'Agorne said: "If we care about building a sustainable future we must oppose fracking everywhere. Extracting oil and shale gas from beneath York could risk our local environment, our water supplies and even our heritage. With over 2,000 listed buildings, we have a lot to lose even from minor earth tremors that could be triggered by the process. York must be a frack free zone!"

Join the campaign against fracking in Yorkshire

You may also like to register your opposition to planning application NYM/2013/0593/EIA for commercial (conventional) gas extraction at Dalby Forest in the North York Moors.


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