The ground we stand on, the air we breathe and the water we drink are under grave threat once again, thanks to Theresa May’s alarming proposal to bribe local residents to accept the extraction of shale gas by drilling underneath our homes. Not only does it make a mockery of the ‘greenest government ever’ mantra which has long been abandoned by the Conservative Party, in case it upsets their amoral corporate paymasters, but this proposal extends beyond even her hated predecessor David Cameron’s obsequious approach.
Cameron was notoriously “all out for shale” and played an active role in the censorship of those who raised environmental concerns, going as far as overriding local democracy by personally intervening in council decisions to intentionally accommodate the profiteering of controversial fracking monoliths like Cuadrilla and Ineos. His chancellor George Osborne was unashamed in his active lobbying for the fracking industry too, writing to cabinet members urging them to ‘fast-track’ shale gas extraction and even passing on ‘asks’ for immediate action from major industry players. Such dogmatic enthusiasm for fracking deliberately overlooked the mounting evidence that it poses serious detrimental dangers to our environment and public health.
It has been proven through extensive scientific study that hydraulic fracturing chemicals leak into underground aquifers, poisoning the water we use to wash and drink. These chemicals are linked to respiratory problems such as asthma, and there is enormous evidence to suggest that they are potentially carcinogenic. We also know that hydraulic fracturing causes earth tremors, as witnessed in Blackpool five years ago when fracking operations had to be suspended. Many incidents have been documented in the United States where one could actually set water alight because of all the chemicals it contains. Who in their right mind would accept such a monstrous thing in their community?
At the beginning of last year, Parliament’s cross party environmental audit committee lambasted ‘undemocratic’ changes to trespass laws which had previously been imposed by the Con-Dem coalition. The committee demanded an urgent moratorium on the practice, citing “uncertainties around the impact on water supplies, air quality and public health”. We must demonstrate to the unelected prime minister and her party that we refuse to be bought off. Fraudulent promises of a temporary windfall will not mitigate the horrific impact on our environment or public health. It’s time for us to organise for a cleaner, greener and more prosperous society for everyone.
By Daniel Pitt @infamyreborn92