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Three generations of Lancashire family disrupt Cuadrilla’s proposed fracking site

 

 

PRESS RELEASE
Three generations of Lancashire family disrupt Cuadrilla’s proposed fracking site

LANCASHIRE, UK — This morning, three generations of a Lancashire family have taken action against the fracking industry, blockading the gates to Cuadrilla’s proposed site on Preston New Road. The intergenerational action saw four members of the same family ‘lock-on’ in protest of plans to frack on the Fylde Coast [1].

The family members locked into boxes reading ‘families against fracking’ outside the gates of the Preston New Road exploratory fracking site.

Gillian Kelly (73) – mother of Sebastian and grandmother of Megan, locked on at the site – commented:

‘I’ve never done anything like this before, but I can’t sit idly and watch the place I was born and raised be poisoned and polluted by fracking. I feel now I’ve got to make a stand. This will affect my whole family and their futures; my sons, my grandchildren – and that’s why we’re taking action together as a family today.’

The lock on followed a silent demonstration by over 100 women from the anti-fracking community, entitled ‘Call for Calm’, seeking an end to increasingly violent police and security tactics witnessed at the site [2].

Today’s action comes as part of the ‘Rolling Resistance’ month of action, organised by local anti-fracking groups and national network Reclaim the Power. It aims to disrupt work at Cuadrilla’s site every day in July [3].

The blockade marks the eighth working day disrupted at the site since the beginning of the month – actions so far have included multiple lock-on blockades, a mass public demo last Friday, and people climbing onto delivery lorries [4].

ENDS

CONTACT: For all press enquiries, interviews and information, please contact 07404 016676, press@nodashforgas.org.uk

NOTES:

Full names and ages: Gillian Kelly (73), Sebastian Kelly (48), Megan Kelly (19), Paul Martyn (61)
Police tactics at fracking protests need urgent review, says MEP
Reclaim the Power is a UK-based direct action network fighting for social, environmental and economic justice. They have been working to oppose fracking since 2013 when they organised mass action at Balcombe. Since then, they’ve hosted anti-fracking action camps in Blackpool and at Didcot Power station, and taken countless actions to expose and resist the industry as well as the businesses in its supply chain. Read more at reclaimthepower.org.uk
Photos available via Reclaim the Power Flickr
For a round-up of last week’s actions, see: reclaimthepower.org.uk/news/rolling-resistance-weekly-round-up-what-a-start/

 

Thirteen locals, including three councillors, take lock on action at PNR

For immediate release

03rd July

13 Lancashire residents, including three councillors, have this morning taken direct lock-on action against an industry that threatens the health and lives of Lancashire residents.

At 03.00hrs, a group of residents arrived at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, where the drilling rig is expected any day now, and blockaded the entrance, locking themselves to heavy objects and preventing any vehicles from entering the site.

Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding, who is one of the councillors taking part in this direct action, stated:

“It’s abundantly clear that when it comes to fracking, local councils have been rendered weak and helpless. I feel I need to be here with the community to say that we won’t roll over and accept this. We are putting our bodies on the line because our voices haven’t been heard.”

Fylde Borough Councillor for Warton and Westby, Julie Brickles, stated:

“I’m sometimes called the anti-fracking councillor. I strongly disagree with this: I’m the pro-community councillor and Westby is my community. Residents are rightly scared and we have now run out of options.”

Kirkham Town Councillor, Miranda Cox said:

“When your community and family is threatened, you are often left with little choice but to take direct action. As a councillor and member of this community, I have been left with no more alternatives. I feel our way of life locally is under attack by an industry that, backed by a distant central government, is seeking to turn Fylde and Lancashire into the largest gas field in Europe. I cannot stand by and allow this mass industrialisation to happen.”

Nick Danby, a resident of Inskip and retired civil servant, stated:

“I believe that the imposition of fracking on our communities is unfair and unjust and it makes a mockery of local democracy. I have never been inside a courtroom before but, having exhausted all other legitimate means of resistance, I now feel that I have no choice but to continue my protest in the only way left available to me.”

Growing protests by local community members have been taking place every day at Preston New Road in Lancashire since the start of 2017, slowing and often halting Cuadrilla’s work to prepare the site for drilling. Sustained opposition has caused months of delays, and millions of pounds of losses for Cuadrilla, and supply chain companies are cancelling their contracts. A new survey has shown that 66% of Lancashire residents oppose fracking near their homes [2].

The action today is part of Reclaim the Power’s Rolling Resistance month of action supporting local community efforts to resist fracking in Lancashire.

ENDS

 

Notes for the Editor:

66% of Lancashire residents oppose fracking near their homes

  1. Reclaim the Power is a UK-based direct action network fighting for social, environmental and economic justice. We have been working to oppose fracking since 2013 when we    organised mass action at Balcombe. Since then, we’ve hosted anti-fracking action camps in Blackpool and at Didcot Power station, and taken countless actions to expose and resist the industry as well as the businesses in its supply chain. This April, Reclaim the Power implemented a fortnight of action against the fracking supply chain – leading to a number of companies cancelling their contracts. Read more at www.reclaimthepower.org.uk
  2. Reclaim the Power Flickr photo stream
  3.         Image attached, please credit © Kristian Buus for Reclaim the Power
  4. For all press enquiries, interviews and information, please contact call (07376) 530298 or email press@nodashforgas.org.uk

Two out of three Lancashire residents oppose Conservative manifesto proposal to allow non-fracking drilling without planning permission

• Large parts of Lancashire are licensed for onshore oil and gas extraction

• Cuadrilla have already been delayed with plans for fracking due to significant local opposition

A YouGov survey [1] of Lancashire residents for Friends of the Earth released today reveals that 66% of respondents are opposed to the Conservative manifesto proposal to allow non-fracking drilling without planning permission, with almost half (46%) strongly opposed.

The Conservative manifesto contained controversial proposals on fracking. It laid out an ambition to let fracking firms with exploration licences carry out drilling for shale gas without any need for planning permission. This would mean that companies could drill and sample a well, often the first step towards full-scale fracking, without planning permission.

Friends of the Earth is calling on the government to:

•     drop controversial deregulatory fracking and non-fracking drilling proposals – proposals that will face strong parliamentary resistance;
•     implement an immediate ban on all fracking; and
•     invest in renewable energy to put us on par with countries like Germany

Lancashire resident, and Friends of the Earth North West campaigner Helen Rimmer, said:

“This polling shows what Lancashire residents already knew, that this industry is unwanted not just here but anywhere in the country where fracking is proposed.

“We suspect that these damaging ideas may be quietly dropped in the face of significant opposition to fracking.

“These are desperate and undemocratic policies, in response to the fact the proponents of fracking have lost the public argument. The government should follow the lead of the growing number of places around the world, including Wales and Scotland, which have halted or banned fracking due to the risks posed to people and the environment.”

-ends-

Notes to editors:

1. Polling results here.
2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,148 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th May – 6th June 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of adults in Lancashire (aged 18+).

If you’re a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

 

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust

July is Rolling Resistance month – time to get involved!

A message from Reclaim The Power:

I’m sure many of you will have been involved in the long-standing battle against fracking in Lancashire, and the incredible resistance that’s held this frontline against fracking for over 5 years. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

We know fracking company Cuadrilla are making huge losses year-on-year as their ‘flagship’ project meets powerful opposition, and Theresa May’s pro-fracking manifesto stands on shaky ground after losing a parliamentary majority. With major delays to work, but the drilling rig supposedly arriving any day now, all eyes are on Blackpool and whether the fracking industry can get away with it. Let’s show them they can’t.

This July, Reclaim the Power are joining forces with Lancashire anti-fracking groups to organise the ‘Rolling Resistance’ – a month of concerted action to take on the fracking industry at Preston New Road, Lancashire, to stop the UK’s first commercial fracking site and send a clear message to the fracking industry and it’s backers that fracking will not be tolerated – not here, not anywhere.

Come along to the ‘Rolling Resistance’ launch event on Saturday 1st July to find out more and get involved.

The ‘Rolling Resistance’ month of action runs for the whole of July. There will be daily actions, as well as workshops, trainings and speaker events at the new ‘Community Hub’ space. Every Friday there will be ‘mass, family-friendly demos’ at the Preston New Road site to boost numbers (when there are over 100 people present they have to shut down the site).

Whatever your skills, background or experience with fracking campaigning so far, everyone is welcome to take part – from chopping veg to sending tweets to joining actions – this resistance movement needs you. Do come along whenever you can!

Join us at the launch event on Saturday 1st July, 12.00- 16.00 at the Maple Farm Polytunnels on Preston New Road to find out more.

The launch event will be family-friendly affair, with BBQ, games, music and speakers from the local area. It’ll be the launch of the Rolling Resistance, the new Community Hub and an anti-fracking exhibition, as well as a chance to celebrate the power of the local community.

Please invite your friends, family and neighbours, and share widely – and come and show your support and get involved.

While most other countries in Europe have banned fracking, the government in Westminster is pushing ahead against the wishes of local people. This is a critical moment to stand in solidarity to stop fracking in the UK – not in Lancashire, not anywhere.

Breaking News: Preston New Road Action Group granted permission to appeal

From the Preston New Road Action Group website:

We are delighted that the court has agreed that there is validity in our arguments and they have therefore upheld a right of appeal against the decision to allow fracking at the Preston New Road site.

We have put forward credible evidence through our legal team indicating why we believe that decision is unlawful and should be overturned.

It is important to remember that local democracy has been dismantled and denied in Lancashire to allow Cuadrilla and this fossil fuel industry to press ahead.

Lancashire said NO loudly and clearly yet locals are being forced to accept the unacceptable from this external corporate industry.

It is for that reason, we will continue through this appeal and due process to resist, and seek true justice in line with the planning decisions made through Lancashire County Council to reject Cuadrilla’s planning application to frack at Preston New Road.

We hope that this appeal will finally recognise the will and voice of local democracy, and ensure that this application is revoked and the work at Preston New Road terminated.

We await further information on times and dates for our case to be heard at the Court of Appeal and are grateful for the support we receive continually.

UK Labour says: “If elected on June 8th we will put a stop to these damaging plans across Lancashire”

A press release on behalf of UK Labour. If elected on 8 June Labour says it will stop pans to frack Lancashire.

Labour has responded to the news that fracking company, Cuadrilla, have installed a conductor rig at its shale gas site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.

Building a clean economy of the future is the most important thing we must do for our children, our grandchildren and future generations. A Labour government will ban fracking in Lancashire and put us back on track to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement.

Barry Gardiner, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, said: “This is an extremely worrying development as fracking is not the right answer to our energy problems because it would lock us into an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels and will cause more unnecessary damage to our environment.

“If elected on June 8th we will put a stop to these damaging plans across Lancashire.

“Labour will ban fracking and invest in renewable energy instead.”

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Fylde, Jed Sullivan, said:
“I am proud that the Labour Party is committed to banning fracking in Fylde.

“Labour are the only party that can make this happen: I urge you to use your vote for Labour in Fylde so that together we can stop this filthy business.

Reclaim the Power to join PNR Rolling Resistance in July

RR-web-banner-long

July. Lancashire. Be there.

Since Cuadrilla began building a fracking pad at Preston New Road near Blackpool in January 2017, people have been at the roadside every day, putting their bodies on the line to stop this toxic industry. The resistance is working – supply chain companies are pulling out and the building schedule has been delayed by months.

This summer, as Cuadrilla gets nearer to trying to drill, Reclaim the Power is joining the frontline struggle in Lancashire to support and reinforce the amazing local resistance, and we invite you to join.

For the month of July, RTP will be providing training, resources, and support to take creative action against Cuadrilla and the fracking supply chain. It will help continue to halt their work in its tracks and fight for a clean, safe, affordable energy system for everyone across the UK.

Whether you’re part of an action group already, or you’re new to taking action and want to test things out, there’s roles for everyone, and support to take part. Whether you can come for 2 days or 2 weeks, whether you can chop veg, brew tea or take action – this resistance movement needs you, and RTP will be lending its support to local activity however it can.  More details on the Rolling Resistance in July are here.

In the meantime, if you can get to Preston New Road sooner, then there’s logistical details here of the daily protests happening already.  A full schedule of events for July and a secure sign up form will be made available shortly. For now, sign up below to stay in the loop.

Join the Rolling Resistance

SIGN UP:

NEW EVIDENCE SUGGESTS UK GOVERNMENT MISLED PARLIAMENT ON THE CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS OF FRACKING

PRESS RELEASE 25th May 2016

NEW EVIDENCE SUGGESTS UK GOVERNMENT MISLED PARLIAMENT ON THE CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS OF FRACKING

 A report produced by Talk Fracking for the Ecologist magazine concludes that the UK Government’s reliance on a report based on allegedly flawed data has led it to mislead Parliament on the potential climate change impacts of fracking.

This latest report, Whitehall’s ‘Fracking’ Science Failure, calls into question the basis for the Government’s reliance on the 2013 Mackay-Stone report, which concluded that: “With the right safeguards in place, the net effect on UK GHG emissions from shale gas production in the UK will be relatively small”, by demonstrating that the data used in the calculations was suspect, and that the Government should reasonably have been expected to know this at the time.

The conclusions are based on the fact that the McKay-Stone report is in turn based on data from the now-discredited Allen et al (2013) report – Measurements of Methane Emissions at Natural Gas Productions Sites in the United States, which resulted in them using bottom-up data. Paul Mobbs stated that this “traditionally under-estimated emissions by two to four times” and using estimated figures “for gas production per well were at least twice what is seen in US gas wells – and had no clear independent source”.

Mr Mobbs concludes that:

“Using a figure for leakage which was perhaps a half of what it should have been, and using a figure for gas production which was twice what it should have been, the level of impacts which their analysis found is arguably a quarter of what it should be.”

If this the case, then the Government’s argument that using shale gas has a lower climate change impact than coal is not valid.

The report concludes that: “the Mackay-Stone report must be withdrawn, and a moratorium implemented on all ‘fracking’ operations, until we can state the impacts with certainty.”
A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire stated:

“The Government’s justification for its fracking policy is reliant on the argument that shale gas is significantly cleaner than coal. This new report raises significant concerns regarding the data, methodology and even the equipment used to support the Government’s shale gas policy, which is now, once again, enshrined in the Conservative manifesto. The Government must now, as a matter of urgency, either defend the evidence on which the Mackay-Stone report was based or investigate fully the conclusions of this new report and impose a moratorium on shale gas development until the issue of fugitive emissions is satisfactorily resolved.”

ENDS

 

Notes for the Editor 

  1. Whitehall’s ‘Fracking’ Science Failure
  2. For immediate release on behalf of Frack Free Lancashire.

 

Anti Fracking Campaigns Unite in General Election Message: ‘Vote Frack Free’

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 10.19.22Press Release

Frack Free United & Cross Party Frack Free

Anti Fracking Campaigns Unite in General Election Message: ‘Vote Frack Free’

Two prominent national campaign groups, Frack Free United and Cross Party Frack Free, have come together in a bid to put fracking on the Election agenda, encouraging tactical voting and highlighting individual candidate and party policies on fracking. With 60% of the UK offered for exploration in the last licence auction, leading to large parts of country threatened by the fracking, it is set to become an election issue across large parts of the country.

Both groups have been overwhelmed by reaction to their anti-fracking message since the announcement of the general election and have united to cross pollinate and pool resources to get their message out.

Frack-Free United has seen a huge rise in signups with supporters from across the country, joining the growing network of individuals and groups and has a high volume leafleting program at their disposal ready to spread the word about fracking.

Cross Party Frack Free will hold the register of politicians that have agreed to a UK wide ban on fracking. Until now the register has only been open to elected officials including MPs and Peers but now for the first time, candidates can also register to support a ban on fracking in the UK.

They are ready to utilise their networks too simultaneously to promote the cause, both online and on the doorstep and all supporting candidates are invited to ride this wave through the election period.

The online campaign launch has built a social reach of nearly one million people and orders for leaflets has topped 100,000 already, prior to the official launch on Tuesday night.

A spokesperson from Frack Free United said:

“This general election is a whole new ball game. This is now about national policy and we are focused on the bigger picture. Fracking has to be stopped by changing Government policy and we are urging people to find out more about the damage that fracking will do to their communities and before they cast their vote on June 8th – this is a brilliant opportunity to drive home our anti-fracking message and promote the alternative technologies needed to help meet the UKs legal obligations to stop climate change.

“We want voters to make an ‘informed choice’ on who is the best person to vote for in their constituency to stop fracking. We have to get the issue on the agenda now and we will try our best to make June 8th the turning point in the fight against fracking.

“Our interactive map has been updated to include parliamentary constituencies and fracking licences and will also provide the candidate names and contact details in each area, encouraging voters to ask them ‘what is your position on fracking?’ The Cross Party Frack Free Register will be accessible from both the Frack Free United and Cross Party Frack Free websites and across the networks on social media.

“We haven’t even launched our general election campaign yet and we have been already been inundated with supporters signing up from across the UK. We are providing guidance and info to spread our message, which includes supplying the ‘Your home is in a fracking area’ leaflet, giving them opportunity to raise awareness and inform candidates of fracking in their area.”

 Notes to the Editor

  1. For further information visit: www.frackfreeunited.org / www.crosspartyfrackfree.uk
  2. For more information call: Steve Mason (FFU) – 07793821242; Leigh Coghill (FFU) – 07982 236653; Stuart Lane (CPFF) – 07739 836619