Fight to stop fracking in the Valley steps up

Coun. Allan Knox.
Coun. Allan Knox.

A notice of motion opposing fracking in the Ribble Valley has won the support of Clitheroe Town councillors.

Liberal Democrat councillor Allan Knox fears fracking can cause problems including water contamination and noise and traffic pollution.

A possible site earmarked for fracking in the Ribble Valley.

A possible site earmarked for fracking in the Ribble Valley.

He is urging Ribble Valley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council to stop the controversial gas extraction technique from being performed in the rural borough.

His plea follows news that a licence to frack in the Ribble Valley has been obtained by Osprey Petroleum Ltd.

Coun. Knox said: “Fracking is banned in Scotland, France, Germany and the states of New York and Maryland, as well as numerous counties in California. There is a significant risk of ground and surface water contamination due to the hazardous chemicals involved in extraction.

“Once contamination gets into water supplies it is impossible to predict where it will go – even if it avoids human water supplies, it can have a devastating effect on agriculture. Around 2.5 million gallons of water are needed per frack i.e. 200 tanker loads of pure water that cannot be reused.

Another possible site that has been earmarked for fracking in the Ribble Valley.

Another possible site that has been earmarked for fracking in the Ribble Valley.

“Last year, on Christmas Day, 41% of UK’s energy came from renewable resources. Wouldn’t it be better if we used our expertise on renewable energy, rather than another form of energy that contributed to climate change?”

The motion follows the Government giving the green light for fracking at a site in Lancashire, overturning the county council’s decision on the scheme. The controversial process can now go ahead at Preston New Road, Fylde, after communities secretary Sajid Javid gave the go ahead for shale company Cuadrilla to drill up to four wells.

Clitheroe resident Katy Marshall, who has long campaigned to see Beautiful Bowland Frack Free, welcomes the Town Council’s decision.

She said: “We are really up against it with fracking, which is a great pity for Lancashire.

“Our children and their children will wonder why we let this happen. I know many local people are very concerned about the development of this industry in our area. Clitheroe Town Council’s support to ban fracking is impartial. They have carefully considered the pros and cons. In the face of the huge oil and gas industry and the powers that be they say ‘No!’ We at Beautiful Bowland Frack Free applaud them because we hope more people will start to listen.”