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No fracking in Hants, says Green MEP

June 25, 2013

Government encouraging exploration for shale gas. County Council buries head in sand...

keith-taylor-MEPOne of Hampshire’s Members of the European Parliament has called for the county to remain ‘frack free’ after media reports suggested that exploratory drilling could be on the horizon.

In December 2012, the Department of Energy & Climate Change announced that exploratory fracking can be resumed in the UK, subject to some new controls. Prior to this, the process of fracking had been suspended in the UK, following some minor earth tremors in Lancashire.

Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technique which involves injecting toxic chemicals, sand, and millions of gallons of water under high pressure directly into the ground to release natural gas in shale deposits. Besides the risk of triggering earth tremors, this mixture of toxins and sediment, along with any natural gas released, can leak to the surface and enter rivers and groundwater.

Speaking at the first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Unconventional Gas & Oil  in the House of Commons on 15th May, Energy Minister Michael Fallon further said:

“The Government is creating the right framework to accelerate shale gas development in a responsible way.”

“We announced fracking could resume with robust regulation last December and there is nothing now stopping licensees from bringing on new drilling plans.”

“It is up to licensees to come forward with plans to explore the shale potential, engaging with local communities and gaining the necessary planning permissions and permits.”

“There are already 176 licences for onshore exploration and development, conventional and unconventional, a fifth of which are substantial. We expect to launch a new round of licence applications next year and I am announcing that AMEC will carry out the necessary Strategic Environment Assessment for what will be the UK’s 14th onshore licensing round.

“Shale gas has great potential and we have the right regulation in place so the UK benefits as quickly as possible in terms of energy security, investment and jobs.

“But development must be done in partnership with communities. We are working hard with industry on a package of community benefits and to ensure that their concerns are properly met.”

Licences have previously been issued for oil and gas exploration within the county of Hampshire, including one for an area to the North and East of Southampton, thus incorporating parts of the Borough of Eastleigh. As oil has been discovered at a site in Hedge End, this area could possibly be of further interest to energy companies, now searching for shale gas.

Area PEDL5, licenced for exploration by the DECC

Area PEDL5, previously licenced for exploration by the DECC

However, the area that is thought to have the best potential for shale gas follows geological strata across the UK, across Local Government boundaries through the South Downs and across much of Hampshire, not just around Eastleigh….

Already active in the national campaign against fracking are Greenpeace and the imaginatively named protest group, Frack-Off

Keith Taylor, a Green MEP for South East England, has been supporting the anti-fracking campaigners across the South East region and has recently added his voice to existing calls  for Hampshire to reject applications for fracking.

Keith Taylor MEP said:

“It’s no wonder that a number of campaigns have already sprung up across the South East as concerned residents realise the potential dangers of fracking. I am doing all I can to raise awareness of these controversial plans and I will support Hampshire residents who are concerned about this happening on their doorsteps and across the region.”

“Despite what the fracking firms are communicating this new ‘dash for gas’ is misguided and potentially very costly. The evidence from the USA suggests that fracking can pollute water sources and cause significant disruption to local communities. Fracking has also been linked to earth tremors in Lancashire, which became the first location in UK to under go fracking 2011. To top it off the evidence suggests that fracking won’t even help cut our energy bills.”

“If we really want our energy needs met, for our generation and those to come, we really do need to let common sense prevail here. We shouldn’t accept corporations drilling for gas in our communities. Instead we must focus our efforts on reducing energy demand and providing people with locally owned, sustainable energy harnessed from the sun, sea and wind.”

Campaigners in West Sussex have successfully stalled an exploratory drill near Balcombe recently, after Friends of the Earth drew the company’s attention to them failing to have the correct permits from the Environment Agency.

Lib Dems at Hampshire County Council have also called for the process of ‘fracking’ to be banned within the county of Hampshire. At the HCC meeting of 23rd May, the matter was referred to committee .

Meanwhile, the Hampshire County Council website is currently ‘frack free’, with no official statement on the subject. The only reference to fracking that we could find on Hantsweb, is a broken link to the South Downs Green Fair, an event which was held at the Sustainability Centre in East Meon on 12th May and which featured a film entitled Fracking Hell – The Untold Story, a short and somewhat one-sided introduction to shale gas extraction…

20 Responses to No fracking in Hants, says Green MEP

  1. Sue on June 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    from what I understand fracking is doing a lot of damage to the environment in the USA? We could learn from their experience and say “no” to it here! But I guess profit talks :0( But whilst a very few do very nicely out of it the rest of us will suffer the negative consequences. Time to protest!

  2. Sam Snook on June 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Sam Snook 26/06/2013
    The 2010 documentary Gastland famously illustrates the potential hazards of methane polluted water in the film, a
    homeowner holds a lit match up to his running tap water
    and it burst into flame. I agree with Sue.

  3. Pete Stewart on June 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I think “methane polluted water” is another scare slogan like “weapons of mass destruction”, “global warming” and “climate change”?

    If methane is a problem (hard to believe in Britain) then the motto is: Don’t drink water while smoking!

    If we have shale gas, for goodness sake let’s use it to Britain’s benefit and get our people working again!

    Thanks to Europe’s disastrous “energy policy”, we have no viable coal or nuclear industry and no long term plans for power generation. Instead we now rely on IMPORTING energy. How insane!

    It’s time to get out of Europe and scrap wind turbines! Let’s open up our coal mines and build a few nuclear power plants as well. Above all, let’s implement common sense plans for generating our own power.

  4. Sue on June 28, 2013 at 9:38 am

    if only it were a case of just methane but it is not. Whole tracts of land in the States have apparently been made uninhabitable due to the contaminants pumped into the earth with the water for the fracking process and those released by the earth because of the process. The tap water is not safe to drink or bathe in in some areas. But unlike us the USA have a vast amount of countryside that they can afford to contaminate (?!) whereas we do not. We are densely populated and any problem here will be on a large scale.

  5. Sue on June 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

  6. Sam Snook on June 28, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Hi All
    http://www.gasland the movie.co/whatsfracking
    It might help if you understand.
    Sam Snook

  7. Sam Snook on June 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Sorry Gasland movie not available

  8. Pete Stewart on June 29, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    If not methane in “methane contaminated water” then what?

  9. Sue on June 30, 2013 at 12:29 am

    radium 226 has been found in the water in some places in USA and high amounts of lead

  10. Pete Stewart on June 30, 2013 at 9:35 am

    What were the concentrations of radium and lead in the water (immediately) before and (immediately) after the fracking had begun?

  11. Sam Snook on June 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    We live in the most arid region in Europe and we all have a moral responsibility to protect our Environment for the present and future generations. After watching a report on Fracking on tube-I believe its time we supported our MEP Keith Taylor. I will be asking 38 degree members to support a campaign in Hampshire.
    Sam Snook

  12. Pete Stewart on July 1, 2013 at 10:23 am


    If the anti-fracking movement is built on science fiction it will eventually crumble under the weight of scientific fact. To describe any part of Britain as “arid” is just playing into the hands of globalist businessmen and politicians.

    Firstly there are plenty of places in Europe with less rainfall than here. For instance London’s average annual rainfall is 22.9 inches compared to Athens with 15.9 inches.

    Secondly globalists are using scaremongering to brainwash us into thinking water is becoming a scarce commodity and fossil fuels cause “global warming”.

    TEN POINTS to the first Eastleigh News’ reader who can explain why globalists are doing this.

  13. Sam Snook on July 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Firstly South East England is one of the most arid regions in the EU. Water is going to be big problem in many parts of our country.

    Secondly UKIP used Immigration to brainwash local people telling them 4million Bulgarians, had every intention of moving to Britain,
    and they believed him. Did you know-Mr Farage say’s he’s got no money?

    In Germany, beer brewers recently urged a ban on Fracking, citing concerns about ground water contamination, according to
    the newspaper Blid. Nigel likes his pint-he wont like it and his wife is German too.

  14. Pete Stewart on July 2, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Hi Sam,

    If there is any dryness in South East England, it’s in the sense of humour of some Eastleigh News contributors:-)

    To describe South East England as “arid” is stretching the bounds of credibility even more than “global warming”, “climate change” and “weapons of mass destruction”.

    Do you remember what happened immediately after the last time they announced an official drought?


  15. Sam Snook on July 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Yes Peter I do!
    A Drought Act was passed, a minister was made responsible for handling the water shortage and stand pipes were set up to provide a rationed supply of Water.

    Will it be another 1976? The so called Great Drought of that year saw reservoirs dried up and turned into giant cracked mosaics of mud. No one had heard of global warming then, but records set that summer, have still not been broken.

    When the heat wave broke there was also excitement. “When the rain finally came, we all ran out into the street, took off our tops and danced. “Those were day’s.”

    Sam Snook

  16. Pete Stewart on July 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Ah Sam…those were indeed the days. The good old days when we still had British Rail, Ford, Pirelli, Caustons, Mothers Pride, the Railway Carriage Works, a purpose built Library on the Rec, Peter Green and a cinema, and when you could drive around every street in Eastleigh and park free for the first 20 minutes or so while you nipped in to one of the shops to buy almost everything you wanted. I don’t care what anyone says, those really WERE the good old days.

  17. Sam Snook on July 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Sam Snook
    Peter Thank you for reminding me.
    Looks like, you don’t want answer Sue comments.

  18. Pete Stewart on July 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm


    Sue’s comments already answered. Waiting for reply.


  19. Brian Norgate on July 7, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Peter, Martin, Andy

    please could you or one of your colleagues
    answer this

    Nigel Farage said on the BBC1 Sunday Politics show
    UKIP had funds from Lord Ashcroft for the Eastleigh By election, as we always feared UKIP are not a represenatative looal group but a well funded party from right wing political thinker

    UKIP surely dont want to be remembered like the lib dems and their phony students fees polcy and be treated as a proper political party

    So its about time UKIP came out from their paranioa
    scaring people to vote for them whilst the unseen hand of a wealthy ex tory donor dominates their funding and a directing mind of their policies

    Nigel Farage and UKIP never sid anything about this in the by election, so Farage has stated what some of us knew and Diane James denied

    I bet we dont hear their real views just spin and more scare stories

  20. Sam Snook on July 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Sam Snook
    Peter does UKIP support fracking?

    Those were the days when, Eastleigh had two cinema’s The Regal AND the Picture House.
    My regards

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