The politicians are lying. The true facts about fracking. The contamination. The incompetence. The denials. Property damage. Water pollution. Local businesses ruined. Peoples’ health. Deaths.
Ian Crane listens to the people who live in the heart of the gasfields in Australia. Thousands of kilometres of pipelines. The devastation is horrific. The gas grid goes on far beyond what you could drive in a day. Every 750 metres is a gas well. People are surrounded by thousands of gas wells. 280,000 hectares for wells – evaporation ponds. They changed the name to ‘water transfer ponds’.
Would anyone vote for this in the UK? It’s horrific in Australia. In a small country like Britain it will be total destruction.
The Great Artesian Basin is being depleted at a rate six times faster than it’s being replenished. The gas companies can use as much water as they like from any resource.
The water supply is contaminated. Children made ill. There is no policing of the pollution. People don’t trust the water any more. It’s not safe, and it’s running out. Western Queensland used to be a big beef provider. It’s going. The water will never reappear.
Imagine the industrialisation in Britain. You see the brown dome of pollution in the sky. The radioactivity’s there. The heavy metals are there. You can’t trust the rainwater. Car paintwork’s being burned off by rain. Plants are dying. They call it black rain. It kills everything.
No one drinks water locally any more. People buy in water now. They ask the government to help. No help is offered. They don’t reply.
The politicians were all bought out. How come they offer no resistance? People still trust the government, but not in Queensland. It’s dollars over health. The gardens are dead. You have to buy in food now. Hedges dead. The fish are dead. The toads are all dead.
All of the royalties don’t cover the cost of repairing the new roads.
Health impacts are being swept under the carpet. People get dizzy at work. They are flown out by helicopter to other areas so the stats don’t show what’s happening. Cancer clusters are starting. People are dying. Asthma. Gas company workers are also affected. Kids get bad rashes. Flu symptoms.
The medical staff won’t log the symptoms in computer. Blood coming out of peoples’ ears.
Methane is 72 times worse than coal for pollution.
Radiation is higher than from nuclear power stations. People are being driven out of their houses by radiation. They call the government. ‘We’ll get back to you.’ Children have to fitted with gas marks. Eyes burning. Oily dry taste. Little fibres in your throat. People live in a constant state of fear.
The regulatory body is two people for ten thousand gas wells. They test the wells proposed by the gas companies. Drilling componaies are going bankrupt and are unable to clean up the mess in the long term future. The well casings eventually rot away. The landowners sign in to being responsible for the aftermath, and the claims, and to the local authorities. There is no regulation.
As they empty the water from the coal fields, the gas seeps out of the ground, into the aquifers and then the rivers. Water is oily green. All will flow into the rivers eventually.
They use money to silence criticism. The information is suppressed. Property prices crash in the targeted areas.
In Britain DEFRA’s report on the local effects of gas extraction was heavily redacted with 64 sections removed. Still Ministers said the report should never have been produced.
Companies issue environmental impact assessments to get planning permission. They guarantee action to protect the environment, but then later get the protection requirements overturned and amended. Visitors say ‘how can you live there?’ Yet it’s not that easy to move. You can only sell property to the gas company. No one else will buy.
The gas companies offer things like $100,000 to compensate people for the losses they incur. Yet moving elsewhere would cost far more for a family. Those who take the compensation have to sign gagging clauses, which release the gas companies from being accused of what they’ve done.
People must face down the police intimidation. Put your cameras in the face of the police. People must say no in numbers, the whole family, the whole community, old people, children, everyone.
The moratorium against gas extraction was lifted in the UK in December 2012. Since then oil prices have halved, and gas companies’ shares have crashed. Yet the government is still determined to push ahead with turning the UK into a toxic water dump.
Taking all of France’s nuclear waste into Britain is also planned. They could decide to pump it all underground into the fracking wells.
You’re not going to want to live in a gas field. 40 million people in the UK could be living within one mile of a gas well.
It’s the landowner that signs. Get in touch with landowners and get them to do their own research.
It started with just one well.
HERE’S A BOUGHT AND PAID FOR POLITICIAN – Roger Helmer of UKIP
Recently a number of people have written to UKIP raising concerns about shale gas. I have replied in the following terms:
Thank you for writing to us about shale gas. I can well understand your concerns, given the torrent of negative stories from “green” groups. You may like to know that you are helping to fund these groups, via the European Commission. Many commentators also believe that Russia has a hand in promoting anti-shale-gas campaigns – they are fearful of losing Gazprom’s lucrative export markets.
But there is another side to the story. As Energy Spokesman for UKIP, I have taken the trouble to go to the USA and look at shale gas first hand, in Pennsylvania and in Texas. In the small town of Mansfield PA, on the great Marcellus shale field, I found local residents delighted by the economic resurgence, based on the new shale industry, in their previously declining town. New businesses, new shops and restaurants and hotels, and house prices boosted by increased demand.
What I did not find was people complaining about pollution, or earth tremors, or any other problems. Admittedly during the drilling phase – several months – a new shale well means a football-pitch-sized area of industrial activity. But when drilling is complete, the landscape is reinstated, and the remaining well which goes on producing for two or three decades is no more intrusive than a garden shed – far less intrusive and disturbing than a wind farm.
More generally, America is enjoying an industrial renaissance based on shale gas. Businesses that were off-shored to Asia are coming home. There are more jobs, more prosperity, more energy security, industry is more competitive on the back of lower energy prices, the balance of payments is improved. It would be utterly irresponsible for politicians to ignore this huge opportunity.
These are vast benefits, and they stand in stark contrast to Europe, where energy prices are far too high, jobs and investment are moving abroad, and we depend on insecure energy sources like Russia.
We hear about methane in tap water. But the USA experienced methane in tap water long before fracking. It comes from the natural decay of plant material in the soil. There has never been a case of fracking per se leading to pollution. There have been a few cases of pollution from cracked piping. But occasional minor issues occur in any energy industry. Seismic events resulting from fracking are very small – less than those associated with coal mining, for example.
Indeed shale gas is much cleaner, safer and less intrusive than coal mining. Across Britain, communities regret the loss of the coal mines. They should be delighted to have a new technology that offers similar economic benefits, without requiring hundreds of men to spend decades underground acquiring respiratory diseases. Gas also burns cleaner than coal.
If we had seen the same sort of protests against the nascent coal industry in the eighteenth century that we see today against shale gas, the Industrial Revolution might never have happened.
Some people say we need more time to see evidence of safety – but they’ve been fracking in the USA for fifty years with no major problems. We’ve even had fracking sites in the UK for a couple of decades, and they were so problem-free that local people hardly knew they were there.
The industry has made great strides in improving well integrity, reducing water use and recycling more water, and reducing the use of chemicals in fracking fluid. Fracking fluid now consists of water, sand, detergent, and other perfectly safe chemicals which can typically be found around the home in toiletries and cleaning products. The concerns raised by protesters really relate to an earlier period.
For more technical background on safety questions related to shale gas, please visit
Please do stand back and take a new look at the opportunity represented by shale gas. Don’t be taken in by the black propaganda of “green” campaigners. These people aren’t “Friends of the Earth” – they’re enemies of the people.