Frack Off: Activists Blockade Fracking Drill
Update: it has now ended - a successful 7 hour occupation on the gates and no arrests
Anti-fracking group, Frack Off, is blockading the site of Cuadrilla Resource’s drilling rig. Twenty people descended on the site at 5am and are blockading the entrance. The site is owned by PR Marriot who is Cuadrilla’s lead drilling contractors.
The action is stopping work on the drill which is being worked on in preparation for more fracking exploration in Lancashire. Frack Off is highlighting the threat posed by the tidal wave of extreme energy extraction methods that are being pushed by the government and a number of mostly US and Australian companies. The action is the beginning of a concerted campaign by people across the country to stop the introduction of these dangerous practices before it is too late.
Despite the mounting evidence from the United States that the exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels such as shale gas and coal bed methane (CBM) threatens to poison the environment, further destabilise the climate and is implicated in rising toll on human health including increasing cancer rates, corporations and governments are doing all they can to push through the introduction of these new energy extraction methods in the face of growing public opposition.
Last month the Energy and Climate Change Minister Gregory Barker announced in parliament that the "Government will continue to seek full economic recovery of UK hydrocarbon resources, both conventional and unconventional", a position which amounts to a declaration of war on the people and environment of the British Isles. Full economic recovery will involve coating the countryside with drilling sites and pipelines while poisoning the air and water and the emission of vast quantities or carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The main justification used for the need for this destructive course of action is that we face an energy crisis and need this gas to "keep the lights on". In reality unconventional fossil fuels are very expensive to extract and the amount that could be extracted is a small fraction of the gas from the North Sea that we have squandered over the last 40 years. The choice we face is between continuing to feed our addiction to increasing expensive and dangerous fossil fuels or putting a stop to the vicious economic system that requires them.
There is a gaping disconnect between the green rhetoric that is thrown around by governments and corporations alike and the dirty, dangerous and impoverished future that they are actually advocating in their quest for a quick buck. This prioritising of corporate greed over the interests of people and ecosystems while pretending to care about them, has no better poster child than the Rio+20 Earth Summit that starts on Wednesday.
Twenty years after world leaders met in Rio de Janeiro and promised to address the environmental and social problems afflicting the planet they will meet again, to promise, again, to do something about the now even worse problems we face. As with twenty years ago they have no intention of actually doing anything that would put a check on the system of corporate exploitation that is destroying the ecosystems we rely on. This is why ordinary people must take a stand to stop the destruction if anything is every going to change.
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