Socialist Worker

Balcombe anti-fracking protest camp grows

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2368

Hundreds of people continue to protest against Cuadrilla Resources’ drilling operation in Balcombe, West Sussex. The protest camp outside the site gate has grown to more than 100 people, who harangue Cuadrilla’s lorries on their way in to slow them down. A free bus from nearby Brighton brought more supporters to rally against plans to “frack” for shale gas in the area over the bank holiday weekend.

Fracking is a dangerous technique which has been linked to earthquakes in Blackpool and serious incidents of water contamination in the US.

The Ribble Estuary Against Fracking campaign pledged to recreate the Balcombe protests in Becconsall, Lancashire, if Cuadrilla gets through the planning permission process on its exploratory well there.

University of Glasgow professor David Smythe published a blistering criticism of Cuadrilla’s surveying in Balcombe last week. He warned that Cuadrilla was not taking account of major faults allowing dangerous fracking chemicals a route to the surface.

But Cuadrilla chairman Lord Browne has been busy too—using his position in the Cabinet Office to lobby for Cuadrilla inside the government.

Documents newly revealed from a freedom of information request last week showed that Browne had personally intervened to help Cuadrilla lobby against regulations on environmental waste being applied to fracking.


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Tue 27 Aug 2013, 18:24 BST
Issue No. 2368
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