Here is Surrey Anarchist Federations newly updated leaflet on fracking, explaining what it is, the dangers and pollution is causes. Have a little read, will hopefully be in print soon.
What is Fracking?
Fracking is a type of unconventional drilling used to extract fossil fuels (Oil and Gas) from the ground, it involves drilling into a rock formation, then pushing in large amounts of a water and a chemical mixture called “fracking fluid” at high pressure to extract oil or gas from the cracked rock formations.
Water use and Pollution
A single frack uses 5-10 Olympic swimming pools of clean water (10 billion gallons or more) which are turned into toxic ‘flowback / produced water’ which must be treated and disposed of. Methane produced by fracking migrates via the damaged aquifers into drinking water.
The methane produced by fracking leaks into the atmosphere as fugitive emissions. Over a 20 year period it is 100x worse than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and more polluting than coal. Ozone, aromatic hydrocarbons and silica gas are also produced by drilling and fracking. This is on top of the pollution from construction, drilling rigs and machinery. 6% of wells leak immediately; 50% leak within 15 years.
Corporate Profit vs Community Cost
The impacts and dangers from fracking are extreme and long term, They are borne by local communities who find themselves living in the middle of gas fields. The rewards go to an elite of shareholders, directors and investors. Any benefits to locals – such as jobs – are short-term and come with a high risk factor which includes amongst other things a high incidence of the lung disease silicosis, resulting from exposure to silica. Such benefits are vastly outweighed by the costs.
Damaging Health & Countryside
Most wells require many sites: needing roads, foundations, floodlights and enclosures. Wildlife corridors are disrupted, habitats fragmented, damaged and destroyed. The evidence of this is perpetually mounting: in Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania in the U.S, as well as in Queensland, Australia people have been exposed to toxic, carcinogenic and hormone disrupting chemicals in air and water, causing symptoms ranging from headaches and breathing difficulties to neurological impairment. Animals and crops were killed in Alberta, North Dakota, New Mexico, California and Pennsylvania.
Earthquakes and Tremors
On the 19th of October 2018, a tremor with a magnitude of 0.3ML was recorded during fracking operations. This would put it at Amber under the traffic light system. Three micro-seismic events were also recorded the day prior, which measured as 0.2, 03 and 08. The traffic light system was put in place after Caudrilla`s shale gas well at Preese Hall caused earthquakes measuring a magnitude of 1.5 and 2.5 in 2011. Meanwhile on April the 1st locals in the area surrounding Horsehill felt a magnitude 2.7 earthquake, the first earthquake since 1968, UKOG denied the allegations that acidisation at Horsehill was linked to the earthquakes.
We Can Win
‘At Leith Hill the communities of Coldharbour and Dorking, fought against Europa Oil and Gas UK for 10 years, along with activists from around the UK. Their fight involved protests, legal battles, the creation of a community and actions that physically prevented building on the site itself. In the face of continued opposition Europa abandoned fracking at the site, a victory for community organisation!’
Leith Hill is safe now but the struggle continues at Brockham (Surrey, near Box Hill), Horse Hill (Surrey, Horley) and Balcombe (West Sussex), with fracking moving southwards
At Preston New Road in Lancashire, Caudrilla have refused to publish reports on fracking at the site but regulators have released reports containing information about the leaking of fracking fluid and low methane levels. With daily protests and actions, including lock ons and road blockades, strong resistance continues at Preston New Road after the site become active on the 15th of October 2018.
Together we can take on these capitalist parasites bent on destroying our environment for profit. So let’s keep the pressure up, support and join your local protectors and help finish them off!