8 reasons to say no to fracking

Fracking and why to say no to it. 8 rock solid reasons – including global warming – to reject fracking, the controversial technique for extracting natural gas.
By Donna Hume    |      Published:  01 Jun 2017    |      2 minute read

1. Climate change. The only way to stop it is to stop burning fossil fuels, not dig up more. Especially when we know only one fifth of the fossil fuels already discovered and owned can be burnt without causing runaway temperature rises and extreme weather.

You can be in favour of fracking, and you can be in favour of tackling climate change, but you can't be in favour of both.

Former special envoy on climate change John Ashton.

2. Fracking is bad for your health. New York State banned fracking after the Public Health Commissioner found “serious health risks”.

New York State banned fracking after finding “significant” public health risks. A peer-reviewed analysis of medical research into fracking found that 84% of public health studies indicate a risk to public health.

3. Everyone else is stopping it. OK, so not usually a good reason. But when Denton, Texas – known as the birthplace of fracking – bans it following a town referendum, you need to sit up and listen.

Fracking has been banned or put on hold in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Bulgaria. England is increasingly isolated in pushing ahead with fracking.

4. Nobody likes it. Support for fracking is at an all-time low in the government’s own polling: only 13% of people support fracking and 36% oppose it.

5. A little thing called democracy. Over a quarter of million people signed a petition to then prime minister David Cameron to ask him to stop fracking.

Even more have signed a petition to MPs to scrap plans to frack under people’s homes without their permission. We are awaiting their response.

6. We can use the great British weather as an alternative. Balcombe is a little village in West Sussex that Cuadrilla tried to frack. A coalition of local groups – including Conservatives against fracking – send them packing. And now they have set up their own solar power cooperative to power the village with solar panels instead.

7. There's not much in it for the 99%. First they said it would reduce energy bills, then they said it probably wouldn't. Then they said we could stop importing Russian gas, but it was pointed out we hardly import any anyway.

Then they said it would bring jobs. But the 6-year fracking project proposed in Lancashire would create just 11 jobs at each of the 2 sites. Insulating homes in the North West could create nearly 10,000 jobs in 5 years and cut people's energy bills. Perhaps we should do that instead.

Local groups against fracking

8. The Nanas have said no. A group of grandmothers have got together to oppose fracking in Lancashire, and occupied a proposed fracking site. Everyone knows you should always do what your grandmother tells you.

This is an updated version of an article by Donna Hume, first published on 26 January 2015. Donna is now Head of Air Quality at C40 Cities.