Socialist Worker

Campaigners gear up for mass march against support for fracking in North Yorkshire

by Kim Hunter
Issue No. 2514

An anti-fracking protest in Northallerton, Yorkshire, in May

An anti-fracking protest in Northallerton, Yorkshire, in May (Pic: Neil Terry)


Protesters from across Britain were set to turn out for what could be Yorkshire’s biggest ever anti-fracking demonstration in York on Saturday.

North Yorkshire county council granted Third Energy permission for fracking in Ryedale in May despite huge local opposition.

Frack Free Ryedale and Friends of the Earth have taken out a judicial review to stop it.

They argue that the council’s decision didn’t take account of the effect on the climate of greenhouse emissions from burning fuel obtained from fracking.

This was borne out by a government commissioned report on fracking last month.

It said fracking would only be compatible with Britain’s carbon emissions targets if carbon capture technologies are developed to burn gas clearly.

These technologies don’t exist and may never be practical on a large scale.

So far there has only been one fracking operation in Britain, near Blackpool in Lancashire. It was stopped five years ago after causing earthquakes.

The government has granted fracking exploration licences for swathes of Britain including most of Yorkshire. So far North Yorkshire is the first to give the go-ahead for fracking.

One trick fracking firms use is to seize on any technical variation to rebrand fracking under another name.

At Wressle in North Lincolnshire, Egdon Resources is calling its fracking plans a “proppant squeeze”.

Fracking frontrunner Ineos is even trying to organise children’s fun runs to improve its image, though these have faced opposition in some schools.

Wherever fracking firms turn up they galvanise opposition.

Third’s plans for North Yorkshire might seem small, but if they go ahead the whole industry could rush in behind it with applications everywhere.


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