Ecological threat to Southport, Liverpool, Blackpool and Cumbrian populations from Fat- Cat Hydrofracking Operation?
On 1 April 2011 an earthquake hit Blackpool. Around about that time a few notes were made, as follows…
Blackpool has also previously suffered a 5.2 magnitude earthquake and subsequent to this, one happened in 2009 that registered 3.7 on the Richter scale.
The BBC previously reported that Shale gas test drilling in Lancashire had been suspended following another earthquake on the Fylde coast. Cuadrilla, the company behind the tests, said drilling had been suspended as a precaution after the latest 1.5 magnitude tremor was experienced – the second in just two months. It had been revealed that the latest earthquake occurred on 10 May and its epicentre was recorded by the British Geological Survey (BGS) as being within a mile of where the gas drilling had taken place.
Are some of the UK’s self-satisfied lawmakers incredibly stupid people and not doing the job they were elected to do?
Why? Well rather than immediately moving in and closing down a highly controversial operation that may very well have been responsible for triggering ‘earthquakes’ they have apparently sat back and ‘permitted’ the company bosses to decide for ‘themselves’ whether they should or should not stop the drilling. Can anyone believe such bureaucratic lunacy? When will these buffoons ever wake up?
Hell fire – if a malicious foreign power had the means to employ a secret weapon that could create earthquakes in the UK, the politicians would have declared WAR on it, without hesitation. But now we are told by the same grinning political cranks to sit back and let fat cat drilling firms blast the earth under our feet into smithereens and all is fine and dandy!
Well folks no – it is NOT OK. The planet belongs to us all and as human beings we have a basic right to protect what is ours from the worst extremes of the merchants of greed and profit!
This authoritarian apathy from Britain’s lacklustre politicians is simply astonishing but true and based perhaps more on concern for expanding business profits, than any feasible care for the fragile environment.
Humanity’s inadvertent quest for natural resources is frequently greatly damaging to the environment. And essentially many politicians support this appalling eco-vandalism either directly or by staying silent whilst it occurs.
Cuadrilla was injecting fluids under high pressure deep underground in order to intentionally blast apart the gas-bearing rock – a process known as ‘Fracking’ or ‘Hydrofracking’, brought to the UK from America, where it has been a highly controversial process. The methane gas released into the environment by fracking is believed to be 20 times more dangerous than CO2.
Has fracking seriously damaged the undersea regions? If so what will be the ramifications?
Injection of fluid into subsurface geological structures can create subsidence; this in turn may generate seismic events over a range of magnitudes. Allegedly natural gas drilling may have caused earthquakes in North Texas. Cleburne TX for example never experienced earthquakes in its recorded history until widespread fracking moved into the area.
Frequent earthquakes are a new problem in Texas, coinciding with the growth of fracking — and massive volumes of fracking wastewater requiring disposal. Before 2008, Texas experienced relatively few earthquakes, and those quakes were spread across the state, such as a 1964 quake near the Texas-Louisiana border, quakes in West Texas in 1931 and 1969, and numerous small earthquakes in the Panhandle.
Oklahoma orders shutdown of 37 wells after earthquake
So, will the company responsible for the controversial Lancashire drilling now pack up and go home? Or alternatively will our blinkered politicians in their ivory towers give the drilling operations the ‘All-clear’ and permit yet more potential pollution, health concerns and ecological damage?
It appears that a few Lancashire earthquakes are not enough to deter the gas hunters in their lucrative quest for company profits; but what about the rest of us?
Fracking has been seriously criticised by environmentalists in the US, who say the practice can end up polluting drinking water in the adjacent vicinity. In Pennsylvania, a natural gas company was prohibited from drilling for at least a year because methane from a defective well contaminated the drinking water.
Shale gas extraction has been highly divisive in the US because of allegations that cancer-causing compounds used in the process have polluted water supplies.
Incidentally, France’s parliament has become the first to vote for a ban on the contentious new technique for extracting natural gas, amongst concerns about health and ecological pollution. So, can the populations of Blackpool and Southport etc expect more of the same?
To add insult to injury in May environment officers tested Southport’s seawater as they battled to clean up the beach. Officials have just 12 months before seawater samples have to start meeting new European Union pollution laws. Currently the water quality on Southport beach would fail when the stringent new tests come into force.
In a likewise depressing situation, several beaches at Blackpool have also previously failed to meet minimum standards for clean water, according to the Marine Conservation Society in the Good Beach Guide. Clearly both Southport and Blackpool could be ruined if drilling operation were later found to create greater water pollution concerns in these popular holiday resorts.
DAMAGE TO LANCASHIRE’S HIDDEN FOSSIL LAYERS
On a more personal basis; I have walked and fished the shoreline of Southport all my life. On June 2011 I found an ancient ammonite fossil.
This is an unusual find for our flat sandy coastline. So was this discovery just a ‘one-off’ find or alternately was it further evidence of the significant blast damage being done under the sea by the drilling firm? Has the Cuadrilla operation done more ecological damage then first anticipated by concerned international ecologists?
I wonder how many worldwide tremors may have been caused by fracking methods? Clearly, the concerned global public need sincere answers not drilling company-supportive spin! I for one welcome more unbiased scientific research into this alarming axis.
The new pro-fracking champion emerges
With all this in mind we now see UKIP’s MEP Paul Nuttall ‘welcoming’ Fracking into the Northwest area.
Mr Nuttall stated:
“The Caudrilla plans for the two Fylde sites at Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood involve horizontal drilling rather than vertical drilling which is believed to have led to minor earthquakes near Blackpool. This method should avoid that possibility but I do understand concerns of local people about the affect on their environment. Reaching decisions on such important planning issues is very much a balancing exercise and I believe that for the Little Plumpton site the Communities Secretary has got it right. The fact that the decision on the second site has been delayed shows just how carefully the concerns of local people are being considered.”
So all is now fine and dandy and the good folks of Blackpool, Southport etc will KNOW who to contact if and when their ceilings fall down, due to increased seismic activity?
Unfortunately, not everyone shares Mr Nuttall’s confidence in earth-destructive techniques that have been so widely criticised on a global level.
Halsall’s Cllr Maureen Mills said: “We are very concerned these seismic surveys are going ahead. Landowners have basically been bullied into allowing these tests to take place on their land, as refusing access would result in high court action, sanctioned by the Secretary of State. There is nothing democratic about the way this government is trying to force fracking upon us by any means they can, including changing laws to allow them to do so. A better description would be “tyranny”.
So the question is – why is Paul Nuttall really welcoming this latest threat to our fragile ecosystem, with welcome arms? Do the fracking brigade have all the answers?
Man abuses the ecosystem at his/her peril! If we continually rape the very planet that sustains us we should accept that severe ecological consequences will certainly follow?
Mother Nature ‘will’ strike back, when least expected! She always does!
Pat Regan ©
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