Don’t frack with our future

Frack640

Groups in Barnsley that oppose fracking have been invited to attend a planning meeting on Tuesday 5 January 2016, at the YMCA in Barnsley at 6.30pm, to build a new campaign to stop fracking in our area.

Fracking is coming to Barnsley. This may be a short sentence but it is one loaded with the possibility of dire consequences for the future of our environment. Just five short words that could spell out quick profits for a few investors, but leave communities to deal with the pollution of our water, air and land.

In August, the government announced a new round of exploratory licenses covering the Dearne Valley, to the east of Barnsley. This includes villages such as Darfield, Brampton, Wath, Thurnscoe, Goldthorpe and Mexborough. The next round, currently under consultation will include Barnsley itself.

Fracking is a way of extracting gas or oil which is trapped inside rocks – such as shale. To get the gas or oil out, the rock has to be fractured – this is known as ‘hydraulic fracturing’ or fracking for short. Once the well has been drilled, a charge containing explosives is passed along the well fracturing the rock. A mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pumped down the well at very high pressure. This opens up the fractures in the rock and, when the pressure is released, the gas or oil flows back up the well.

In countries such as the USA and Australia, where the fracking industry is much more established than in the UK, evidence is building for the detrimental effects that fracking can have on communities close to frack pads. This includes the contamination of water by leaking chemicals used during the fracking process and methane leaking through faults in the bedrock, the contamination of the air by well vents and seismic events such as earthquakes and landslides.

In November a joint meeting held by Frack Free South Yorkshire and Barnsley Green Party attracted a crowd from across the political spectrum, all concerned about the dangers that fracking could bring to Barnsley.

The meeting demonstrated that there is a solid base on which to build a local campaign to stop fracking in our area. We would like to bring together people from a wide range of political parties, groups and individuals to create a non-partisan campaign and ensure that fracking does not gain a foothold in Barnsley.

A follow up meeting has been called to discuss how the campaign will be built and aim to serve as a rallying point for local opposition to fracking.

No Fracking in Barnsley Planning Meeting
Tuesday 5 January 2016 @ 6.30pm
YMCA, 1 Blucher Street, Barnsley S70 1AP
Find the Facebook event page here.