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Monday, 03 September 2012 (3030130)
Campaign group blasts fracking extension plans
by David Simister

A CAMPAIGN group has hit back at controversial plans by Cuadrilla to extend the use of a ‘fracking' site in the West Lancashire countryside.

Last week The Champion reported that the energy company has written to Hesketh Bank residents to inform them it intendes to apply for extended permission to operate the Marsh Road site, despite ongoing concerns about the safety and environmental impact of shale gas drilling techniques advocated by the firm.

Now members of Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) have hit out at the plans, saying they were “bad news” for nearby residents.

One of the group's spokespeople said: “Cuadrilla says that the site will be returned to its original condition once operations are complete, and that it is relatively easy to restore surface conditions however what about the 1,000s of gallons of fracking fluid of which only 50% are produced back. No one, not DECC the EA or Caudrilla has or can say what happens to that fluid. They also cannot say it will not at some point in the future find its way back into the human environment. Why take that risk to do do exploritory work?

”I suspect that if indeed flow test are favourable then this too will become a ten well pad and fracked fully on a commercial scale. If we accept each stage of their operations we cannot complain when this goes commercial and we end up with bad air pollution locally, spills and leaks and contaminated ground water - all have been proved time and again in the states as a result of commercial operations. This is bad news for the locals and bad news for the environment. It will also not answer the one question all politicians, governments and big energy companies cannot answer: when fossil fuels run out, and they willm where will we get our energy from then?

“It's certainly not from big oil or gas profits. The only answer to this question is in clean and renewable energy sources. We have more than enough resource but require investment and political will - to get tidal and wind all around the UK, bring in long term jobs in maintenance and start on the road to long term recovery of our economy - not short term profit for outside investors and their friends in the Government.”

West Lancashire residents keen to find out more about Cuadrilla's plans for Hesketh Bank should ring its freephone number on 0800 170 1115 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.30pm), or to visit to find out more.

Do you think Cuadrilla should be allowed to continue operating at the site in Banks? Share your thoughts by sending an email to or call The Champion on 01704 392404.


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