Bury Green Party

Will Bury be next in line for fossil fuel shale gas drilling?

30 November 2013

If Cuadrilla, IGas Energy and Dart Energy and others are allowed to have their way, the prospect of ten of thousands of shale gas and coal bed methane gas wells being drilled across our North West region may not be far off. 

IGas is planning to drill deep wells which will pass through the coal seams at a depth of about 4.500 feet and continue down through the Bowland Shale to a total depth of 10,000 feet. 

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Bury is within the "Area under review" for development licences for shale gas and coal bed methane. 

It is therefore quite possible that developers may put a planning application to Bury Council at some point to undertake preliminary "flow testing". Depending on the outcome of such testing, planning applications for '"fracking"  in Ramsbottom, Walmersley, Radcliffe or Prestwich or anywhere else in the borough may follow.

Without fully comprehending the implications of such testing operations, Labour Salford Council granted planning permission to Peel Holding who own the land for coal bed methane drilling in 2010.

As a consequence, Barton Moss local residents are now facing the prospect of having to deal with potentially serious environmental damage to their neighbourhood caused by fracking on their door step. 

To follow Barton Moss protest, visit www.salfordstar.com

The same mistake must not be allowed to be made in Bury! 

Labour MP Hazel Bleaze representing Salford Constituency and Middlesex Constituency Labour Party have now given their support to their local residents' protests, but the position of the national Labour Party remains ambiguous. 

The Church of England and Friends of the Earth have come out firmly against shale gas exploitation. 

Green Party candidate for the 2014 European Elections Peter Crannie has given his full support to the North West protestors and said:

" The Green Party is the only political party to oppose "fracking" with election candidates standing on the platform "Stop Fracking Now" in areas such as Blackpool. In the protests at Balcombe in Middlesex, our MP Caroline Lucas was arrested for voicing her strong opposition to this dash for gas which favours corporate profits at the expense of local people" 

Bury Greens have now launched a pre-emptive campaign with a petition calling on Bury Council to declare the whole of the Borough a "Frack Free Zone".

According to wrongmove.org.uk, a site which invites residents to input their own post code and check for themselves, it would appear to be "bad news" for much of the Borough. 

The United Nation Environment Pogram has concluded: "fracking may result in unavoidable environment impacts even if (gas) is extrated properly"

 What is bad about "Fracking" ? 

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking"  exploits oil and gas from deep geological rock layers or shale of coal which are fractured using a fluid mixture of toxic chemicals and sand at very high pressure. The released hydrocarbons come to the surface together with potentially radioactive waste. Each time fracking is carried out, millions of  gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals have to be pumped deep into the grounds. Some will remain underground with the real danger of water tables becoming polluted whilst much of it comes back to the surface and has to be disposed of. This creates mahem in and around the drilling area with a massive number of trucks used day and night to transport the gas and pollutated waste. Flares stacks also burn off unwanted gasses on every site and cause noise/light pollution and toxic emissions. 

What is more, such operations are extremely expensive, requiring large quantities of steel, concrete and drilling equipment. At an estimated cost of £5-£10 million per shale gas well in the UK, facking comes with no guarantee of success. In the US, many wells have failed to make a return.

There is no guarantee therefore that shale gas will result in reduced energy bills for consumers, whilst home insulation, energy conservation and investments in renewable sources of energy will. 

Manchester Climate Change Tyndal research centre also warned : " Carbon dioxide from burning this new source of fossil fuel could take up over a quarter of a global emissions budget that offers a reasonable chance of avoiding 2 degrees Celsius warming. In the UK, if just 20% of the reserves identified under Lancashire were to be extracted and burnt, this would result in emissions of over 2,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, representing around 15% of the Government's greenhouse has emissions through to 2500".


If you wish to know more about shale gas and coal bed methane extraction, we recommend you visit the most authoritative site on the subject:


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