Monday, February 26, 2024

Blog-spot: No Fracking Way in Thurrock?

WE WELCOME Hannah-Ellen Clare as part of our growing band of bloggers on YT.

Hannah is studying politics at Liverpool University. Hannah has a particular interest in the ecology and all issues green.

As the prime minister David Cameron mentioned Fracking, we asked Hannah for her opinion on the matter.hannah2

“THIS WEEK, the Government have announced that councils are able to gain 100% of business rates from fracking operations in their area. As the UK goes ‘all out for shale’ [1] many, including myself, are concerned about the impact of the method. So what’s the fracking problem?

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process of extracting shale gas from underground rock. Drills sideways underground and then fluid is injected at a high pressure to fracture shale (sedimentary rock) to capture the gas or oil trapped within [2].

There are a number of problems with this process. Starting with water, each well uses up to 29 million litres of it. Across all the fracking fields this can lead to series problems in areas already facing droughts, like our own. This water is also pumped with chemicals and sand, rendering it mostly useless. In cases throughout the world we’ve seen water dumped in holes in the ground and into rivers. In Australia a river has been filmed visibly bubbling at the surface. [4]

So what else? People have seen their drinking water contaminated with water literally setting on fire [5] Others have discussed the impact on their health [6], and it’s not just human health – animals have mistaken large pits of dumped water for ponds and have been seriously affected as a result. Asides from this, a large proportion (40-70%[7]) of this water remains underground.

Moving on from the water, there are issues as well. In 2011, there were two earthquakes in Blackpool as a result of exploratory drilling in the area [8]. Wells are often unsafe, with abandoned wells capable of leaking methane forever [9] and the casing of wells failing. Asides from this, there are climate issues too, because as Natalie Bennett pointed out a few days ago on Daybreak it is a fossil fuel [10].

Yet the Government is keen to make this an economic issue. With the so-called bribes they’re offering to local councils to accept to allow fracking in their area, and with their insistence that this ‘has potential to drive energy bills down [and] create jobs in Britain’ [11]. But even if this is true, we cannot and should not trade in our future on this planet for a quick buck now.

We have an energy crisis, but there are much better ways we can solve it. We, as a country, should be investing more money in renewables, or even tidal power, rather than giving tax breaks to incentivise companies to destroy our future. We, as a community, need to stand up and say that fracking is not for us.

Already we’ve seen efforts in Balcombe, Sussex and Barton Moss, Manchester stand up to companies who are fracking in their areas and we need to do the same. These actions of protection, not protest, have been met with brutality from the police force. Many, including Caroline Lucas MP and Laura Bannister (North West candidate for the Green Party in the European Elections this May) have been arrested for their efforts. Police have been caught throwing disabled people and rough handling 82-year-old Anne Power, a true hero of the Barton Moss Protection Camp. Not only do we need to stand up to the companies doing this, but apparently, our own state.

According to Greenpeace our area isn’t currently under threat, but with the Government’s enthusiasm for this method of extraction [13], it could be soon. Sign here to show that Thurrock is #notforshale

For more information, please check out some of the sources I’ve given below, but there are hundreds more out there. I thoroughly recommend looking at the sources on Frack Off’s website ( as well as watching Josh Fox’s Gasland 1 and 2.



[2] For a more thorough explanation of this process, please see New Internationalist 468, available partially on their website

[3] CIWEM UK 2012, ‘Hydraulic Fracturing of Shale in the UK’


[5] See Josh Fox’s Gasland


[7] NI468

[8] Toothill, A (2013) Fracking in the UK

[9] Ibid

[10] Watch Natalie’s segment on Daybreak here

[11] David Cameron 2013, quoted in NI468

[12] Information on the police reaction can be found on



  1. But, we aren’t facing a drought: FYI, enough rain fell on Thurrock yesterday for at least 11 wells. (2mm according to @ThurrockWeather & Thurrock is 163.4Km²)

  2. This article started to read ok for a while until the lines about police brutality and the throwing of disbled people, then it started to sound like an Aaron kiely side kick. I need a lot more info before i make a decision and i am afraid this young lady is not offering it.

  3. Oh dear! Yet another lefty living in the land of make believe. This person would, I presume, have been steadfastly against coal mining back in the day? Most of the supposed problems she quotes for Fracking apply to that too. Don’t be too impressed with the list of sources either. Josh Fox is an environmental activist, wrongmove is an anti-fracking organisation and CIWEM is another green organisation. Not exactly a balanced list, is it?

    In times of increasing fuel poverty I would have thought that shale gas would be seen as lifer saver, reducing fuel bills substantially so that people can, once again, afford to put their heating on full blast when it’s freezing out! Don’t forget, in times of plummeting temperatures, those wind turbines are standing idle, generating precisely zero electricity.

  4. From the little I know about fracking I can safely say that anything that allows us to provide our own energy rarher than relying on European countries chargng us over the odds for energy gets my vote.

    Whilst I have to agree that I would not like fracking to take place in my area, I do understand the need for the government to pursue it.

    This person is gearing up to be a Labour politician of tomorrow and the first lesson they teach you in left wing school is jumping on the racist/green policy/anti-establishment bandwagon.

  5. gray64
    In times of increasing fuel poverty I would have thought that shale gas would be seen as lifer saver, reducing fuel bills substantially so that people can, once again, afford to put their heating on full blast when it’s freezing out! Don’t forget, in times of plummeting temperatures, those wind turbines are standing idle, generating precisely zero electricity.
    Gray you’re not saying under the present Tory regime people are having to turn their heating off and freeze to death, and to your ridiculous statement that this will bring fuel bills down when has any government passed on savings to the consumer certainly not a Tory lead one that’s for sure
    At least if we would have kept the coal industry alive with its 300 years sustainable stockpile we could have used that, now that David Cameron has changed his mind and hasn’t got many concerns about green policies, now that it’s hit the fan, many other countries use coal as their primary source of power town gas was produced in retorts extracted from Coal, power stations in other countries including Germany produce power from coal, with many thanks to Margaret Thatcher I don’t think so

  6. Superman, I don’t believe I mentioned anything about people dying but it is a fact that fuel is so expensive for some people that they cannot afford to have their heating on all the time when it’s truly cold outside. Also, I don’t think my statement about reduced fuel bills due to shale gas is ridiculous. It’s reduced the cost of gas in the US by 50%, that’s fairly substantial wouldn’t you say. Just to make you aware, the Government do not control energy prices (although a Labour administration would like to), the price is dictated by the free market.

    I do think though that we should explore the feasibility of re-opening coal mines to tap the remaining reserves, on that at least, superman, I think we agree.

  7. Gray 64
    People are dying under this unsympathetic and uncaring government a direct result of Osborne’s and Iain Duncan Smith policies and now another Tory idiot Edwina Currie is not sure that food banks of viable or necessary there is usually something in the air when this woman opens her mouth and yes you guessed it her ankles ask John major no wonder he wore glasses they should have give him binoculars, and that about sums up most Tories completely and utterly out of touch with working class people of this country, if you’re not rich or speak correctly you are scum and a scrounger, as to your comment about gas prices what happened with North Sea gas I do not remember that money being passed around to people in need and the elderly, although the government do not control energy prices they could regulate them a lot better, one of the things I cannot understand when you consider the amount of money that was wasted by this country on the recent Olympic Games, and now we have a Chinese and French consortium building in England a nuclear power plant and dictating and setting prices for the foreseeable future, because we cannot afford to build it ourselves but we can spend billions on the Olympic Games, I suppose we could get all the elderly and disabled and scroungers to run around the Olympic track at least it would keep them warm

  8. I think the argument for fracking, bringing coal mines back into use if possible, would bring benefits in terms of lowering energy costs and reducing unemployment is a compelling one. Unemoployment in some states in the USA where this has happened is below 3%. McDonalds chain in North Dakota are paying $15 an hour because they can’t hire staff.

    Unfortunately the socialist/ progressive/ marxist/ environmentalist government in America are aginst all of this. The same can be said of the same group in this country. I’m not sure how they are re-branding themselves at the moment, presumably one of the above names.

    If it promotes freedom of choice, thought, economic freedom from the welfare state, you can bet this group of people will be against it. Taking away their core support will never be allowed to happen while they have a say in things.


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