Driffield News

Campaigners to step up their fight against fracking

Anti-fracking campaigners in Driffield say they are saddened and disappointed with the Government’s decision to award a new raft of licences to explore for oil and gas in the UK which could open up large areas of the countryside to fracking.

Members of the group Frack Free Driffield & the Wolds have vowed to step up their fight to stop fracking from taking place in this area and are calling on the people of Driffield to support them. On Thursday the Oil and Gas Authority awarded 93 licences to explore for onshore oil and gas. Around 75% of the exploration licences relate to shale oil and gas, which typically requires fracking.

Fracking is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing. It is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Under the new licences large parts of the North East and the North West have been opened up for exploration, including the East Yorkshire Wolds and areas of the east coast. Iris Gaughan, from Frack Free Driffield & The Wolds, said: “This decision was expected but it is still a shock. Areas of the north are being used as sacrifice zone.

“It is very scary and disheartening to think that the Government, which is supposed to work for our health and wellbeing, is determined to press on with this industry. “There are more and more alarming reports coming from America which tell us we should not go down this road.

“This decision could be devastating; all that is beautiful about Britain could be ruined.” The licences give rights to companies to explore for shale oil and gas, but do not give automatic permission to drill. Planning permission to build rigs and drill land needs clearance from local or central authorities. Last Tuesday MPs voted to allow fracking for shale gas below national parks and other protected sites. Iris added: “Everyday more and more people are contacting us and our support is growing. It is people power which will stop fracking in Driffield. “We are not going to stand by and let this happen.”

A licence has already been granted to energy firm Cuadrilla Resources to explore for shale gas on land to the west of Driffield. In a statement Cuadrilla Resources said extensive consultation with the local community would take place before any activity to explore for shale gas commenced.

At the time of the announcement, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said: “Last month we set out the vital role gas will play in the UK’s transition to a lowcarbon future.

“The licences offered today move us a step closer – driving forwards this industry which will provide secure, homegrown energy to hard-working families and businesses for decades to come.”

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