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Frack on

The Telegraph has the shock news that a bunch of Balcombe villagers have stuck their heads above the parapet and called for fracking to go ahead:

Sixty residents in Balcombe, West Sussex, have put their name to a letter in support of fracking and criticised the anti-fracking campaigners who continue to mount daily protests in a camp on the outskirts of Balcombe.

Their letter states: "Having regard to the outlook for energy prices, energy security, and importance to the national economy, we believe that we, in common with other communities, should accept and facilitate this 'new' technology."

The villagers believe that despite the "relentless propaganda", exploratory drilling or properly-regulated exploitation will not "unduly damage" the environment.

They're probably all in the pay of big oil.

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Reader Comments (19)

'Despite the relentless propaganda'. That could be our motto around here.

Aug 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

In a previous thread someone made the point that... [paraphrased]

"it's easier for the Americans cos they use a simple process called 'fracking' but we will have to use "theControversialTechniqueKnownAsFracking' which is self-evidently costly and dangerous."

Aug 29, 2013 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

If they have actually named themselves, then these are very brave individuals.

If, as I suspect, the anti-fracking Brigade behave in the way they usually do, things could get very uncomfortable for these people.

The ‘activists’ are not averse to making people's lives a misery in their eagerness to defend their cause. This time, however, it would be a colossal miscalculation. A few news reports of local villagers being subjected to harassment or abuse will go a very long way towards convincing the undecided about who the enemies of shale gas really are.

I suspect they won't be able to help themselves. They usually can't.

Aug 29, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

If only I had read this post 5 minutes ago, having just sent my MP letter number three, trying to get her to understand how lucky we are in the UK to have the natural resources of natural gas and oil. I sent her the excellent and detailed Balcombe Parish Council detailed report about drilling for oil.

The Mendips are one of the proposed areas for exploration and she is anti-fracking. In fact she is anti everything fossil fuel based. She honestly believes we can obtain all of our energy needs via renewables of wind, solar and biomass.

I wonder about her chances of re-election in 2015.

Aug 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeilC

I used to be in the Green party. I was even selected to stand on the list for MSP in 2003. I was pro wind (before I got round to reading the "science"). I am part of a campaign to save Lenzie Moss from housing development. I don't like the way government policy is destroying the green belt, I don't like the wholesale consumerist society which is degrading our society and turning us into consumers. I would rather we all walked, cycled.

But even when I was in the green party it was clear they were less "green" than naive. Even back in 2003, none of them had a clue how damaging all these windmills would be. They would go on about "saving" the countryside from development ... without any concept at all how much development they were promoting in the countryside through wind industrial states.

Now I look at fracking and it makes me ashamed to support the environment because I've never seen such a daft campaign by such a bunch of misinformed idiots.

So, will I be jumping on the "pro-fracking" bandwagon? Not on your life. Unlike global warming where all the big oil companies (like greens, academics, and everyone else ... except us public who paid for it all) were making money hand over fist through their wind divisions and rising fuel prices ... in the fracking debate the commercial companies have plenty of resources and the ecos ... as I said ... just look daft.

But it will be fun watching those eco-fascists who have so nastily & relentless attacked us public-spirited sceptics getting a taste of their own medicine from their old allies in the oil industry.

Aug 29, 2013 at 11:12 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

11:00 AM |NeilC

Tessa Munt - ? oh dear

My commiserations - what a clueless addled opportunistic twit... she makes Ms. Lucas look sane.

I researched the lady when Frack Free Zummerzet popped into existence - that somebody like her can get elected says a lot about the electorate.....

It seems she's running a care scheme for third and fourth rated eco-twerps if her overstuffed team of one assumes paid "researchers" is anything to go by - their pronouncements are even more ludicrous than hers...

Pols like Tessa are a large part of the reason we're in the present pickle - just woeful (and I feel I might be being overly generous there....) Numeracy isn't one of Tessa's strong points

Aug 29, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Aug 29, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Registered Commenter tomo

I may be banging my head against a brick wall but I will keep trying to get her to understand the real world.

Aug 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeilC

11:40 AM NeilC

You are a brave chap ... I'd say that you'll have to deploy a logarithmic scale for exasperation and recalibrate your futility indicator.

She's in too deep - ridicule is the only option imho

Aug 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Registered Commentertomo

I'd still like to know why the scores of policemen haven't arrested anyone for trespass. Still, as long as the protesters despoil the place, people who care for the environment will have a shining example of how not to.

Another splendid own-goal by the greens.

Aug 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Blimey - are those protesters still there..?
The area must be starting to resemble those third world rubbish dumps you see children playing on...
I feel for the residents of Balcombe - and admire their courage for standing up to be counted...

Aug 29, 2013 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Balcombe its Twyford Down M3 motorway protests, the rematch.

PS In the London Evening Standard the new American Ambassador beleived Shale Exploration polluted the water supplies.

See if hes still Anti Shale when hes back in Washington running for election.

Aug 29, 2013 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Sherlock1: "The area must be starting to resemble those third world rubbish dumps you see children playing on..."

Probably quite tidy compared to the depressing squalor at the Reading Festival last weekend. When politicians tell you that young people are concerned about the environment, they need to get out more to a festival or two and see for themselves just how concerned they are. More interested in getting pissed, shagging, defecating in bushes, watching music and generally enjoying themselves than they are in the environment. They only items recycled with any success at Reading are the paper beer cups, and that's because they have a 10p deposit on them so skint students go around picking up enough to get free beer (45 cups buys you a pint!).

I had a great time, though. Mon the Biff!

Aug 29, 2013 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

PS re Reading Festival squalor. Check out:

Aug 29, 2013 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

What is interesting is that the 60 non-anti-fracking residents don't feel safe enough to publish their names. There have been reports of intimidation when that famous 82% (or 85% or 87%) poll was being done. When you have a large crowd of very weird people who are willing to fight the police then you are definitely not going to put your head above the parapet for the really weird and stupid in the crowd to attack you because of the feel so strongly about their view.

It's also interesting that the protesters seem so upset that even a tiny minority of Balcombe residents could even countenance a pro view. I thought they were so convinced about their cause that they knew that they had won already. They had stopped Cuadrilla hadn't they? All the statements being put out by the anti lot would seem pretty frightening to someone on the receiving side of such forceful antagonism. Some of the anti's views are on par with forceful re-education to put the pro group on the straight and narrow.

Some info here -

@jamesp, the police don't arrest trespassers such as those who took over the farmer's field. It's a civil matter. Aggravated trespass is a different matter though which would be the case if they went on Cuadrilla land.

Aug 29, 2013 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

They're probably all in the pay of big oil.

Its frankly amazing oil companies make any money , considering the number of people who are claimed to be 'in their pay ' by the ECO loons .

Aug 29, 2013 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Good for them. Fracking actually produces energy and profits, and does not destroy the landscape with blight visible for miles or kill birds by nature of its operation.
Living in Texas, where there are oil wells of some sort all the way into town and even visible at the beach we go to, wells are not a big problem. Driving by large wind mill farms, however, is like driving past some sort of industrial factory.
Stand up to the eco-mob.

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

'Balcombe' means 'Mining Place Camp'.

Aug 30, 2013 at 6:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Completely by chance, Mrs Hucker and myself drove through Balcombe a couple of days ago. How gaily colourful it all seemed, with everyone dressed in their oil-based products. It made us feel quite nostalgic for the last big Anti-Progress Camp near us. That was the Newbury ByPass Protest, trying to preserve a major piece of misery for motorists (the old A34 through Newbury)

Ironically, we were passing through to take our children to the Bluebell Railway, where part of Britain's "Strategic Steam Reserve" is kept. Useful for when the lights go out.

Aug 30, 2013 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRudolph Hucker

A link at GWPF led me to this article:
It exposes the false claims of the anti-frackers on the specific issue of well integrity and includes links to other articles on methane leaks, water contamination, etc (which I have yet to read).
This para is noteworthy:
" An August 2011 report from the Ground Water Protection Council examined more than 34,000 wells drilled and completed in the state of Ohio between 1983 and 2007, and more than 187,000 wells drilled and completed in Texas between 1993 and 2008. The data show only 12 incidents in Ohio related to failures of (or graduate erosions to) casing or cement – a failure rate of 0.03 percent. In Texas, the failure rate was only about 0.01 percent.
Most of those incidents, by the way, occurred before modern technology and updated state regulations came online over the past decade."

Aug 31, 2013 at 10:54 AM | Registered Commentermikeh

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