Kent Green’s are deeply concerned about the local environmental impact of fracking – the multiple heavy vehicle movements, the consumption of water, the high risk of contamination of aquifers, the earthquakes. It is also important to also recognise that the independent Committee on Climate Change has said that Britain might not be able to frack and meet its legally binding emissions targets nor will it reduce the price of gas.
There are three main reasons not to allow fracking:
- Fracking will put communities at risk. Fracking sites and the host of dangerous pollutants used and released by the process and mass lorry movements will blight our countryside.
- Fracking will accelerate climate change. The extraction of shale gas is difficult, dirty and inefficient. It is not compatible with the pressing need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Fracking will not lower energy bills, although David Cameron chooses to repeat this myth the International Energy Agency predicts the price of gas will rise 40% by 2020.
In Kent three sites have so far been given permission for exploratory drilling:
- Cuadrilla for a site at Cowden, near Sevenoaks
- Midmar Energy for a site at Bidborough, near Tunbridge Wells
- Coastail Oil and Gas at Woodnesborough, near Sandwich
Three more applications are being considered for exploratory drilling at Guston, Sheperherdswell and Tilmanstone – all near Dover.
And potentially worse than that, the British Geological Survey has been commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to conduct a survey of methane gas reserves in the Kent Weald. Work is underway and the results will be reported in the new year. If significant reserves are found then Kent will really become a target for the gas drillers and frackers.