Fracking Hell - Bristol Rising Tide shut down the country's only hydraulic fracturing rig!

Submitted by Toadministrator on Sat, 12/10/2011 - 08:04

FrackingFracking is a nightmare! Toxic and radioactive water pollution. Tap water you can set on fire. Earthquakes. Runaway climate change. To produce expensive gas that will soon run out. Yet another false solution to try and maintain fossil fuel use!

The controversial proposed Fracking site in Hesketh Bank, Lancashire was shut down on the morning of 1st December as a group of Bristol activists stormed the drilling rig. Three of the climate justice campaigners from Bristol Rising Tide scaled the Cuadrilla Resources equipment with supplies and stopped work for over 13 hours. PHOTOS -

The drilling rig is the only operation of its kind working in the country, after a similar exploratory site in Blackpool was shut down in the spring because it induced two earthquakes in the area.

Liz Sparks, a spokesperson for Bristol Rising Tide, explained the potential dangers of fracking in the South West: “Large parts of Wales, Devon, Somerset and Dorest are potentially under threat from this desperate new technology, which involves extracting the gas in shale rock through Hydraulic Fracturing, (or fracking). Huge amounts of water mixed with toxic chemicals are forced into the ground at high pressure, a large proportion of which are never recovered. This fluid also leaches arsenic out of rocks, creating a dangerous cocktail that’s difficult to dispose of. In the United states numerous spills of these fluids have contaminated irrigation water, effecting food supplies, and the health of surrounding communities."

The same site was occupied last month by another group- “Frack Off”, and local community resistance across the country is gaining ground.

Paul Williams, who works in a Bristol Library, was among the protestors. He commented:

"People simply aren’t going to stand by and let this crazy extreme sneak into our landscape. We've been inspired by the remarkable work of our neighbours in Wales. Glamorgan county council recently voted unanimously against an application to Frack the area.[5] This decision was influenced by Welsh Water's submission that reserve groundwater sites are at risk of contamination. We can stop this before it starts if we act now. If you want earthquakes, runaway climate change, contaminated water, and a threat to agricultural production then Fracking's the way forward. If you want energy security and more jobs per kilowatt hour, go with renewables. It's a no brainer."

The industry is quick to point to the US experience of fracking, but their safety record there is on increasingly shaky ground. New York State has just instituted a moratorium against fracking, as has Quebec, Canada. France has banned it outright, as has New Jersey in the US.

See also:…

Fracking' - film and discussion

We held a Rising Tide Cafe event on Monday, 13th June at Cafe Kino, to
discuss the new lunatic method of extracting fossil fuels called 'Fracking' and to show the Academy Award nominatated documentary film 'Gasland' (about Fracking in the USA see

There are various plans for fracking projects in the UK including in S.Wales and Somerset.

Update on coal in South Wales
Miller Argent plan to "restore" another bit of land near to Ffos y Fran mine by digging a massive hole in it. Coal would be opencast from the site at Nant Llesg over 15 years.

Exploratory work began in August 2011 and will continue for six months in preparation for a potential planning application in Spring 2012. If successful, work could start in 2014.

Miller Argent already operate Ffos y Fran, one of the largest opencast coal mines in Europe. There has been a long campaign opposing Ffos y Fran by the local community, some of who live within 40 metres of the mine and have to suffer black rain and noisy machinery at antisocial hours.