New Gas in the UK: Battlegrounds set at Balcombe and West Burton

Images from the Balcomb fracking protest
The community campaign against Cuadrilla at Balcombe, Sussex, is at a critical point.
Photos from Frack Off.

As the drilling equipment rolls into rural Britain the public debate has begun, accompanied by frequent TV news reports balancing academic consensus against industry bravado.

Scientific and economic clarity on the disastrous impact of New Gas drilling and fracking has arrived. Now in the light of the public eye, the movement against is growing ever faster.

This week in the sleepy village of Balcolme in the Weald Valley, Sussex, the local community has been making a stand to lock the gate to gas firm Cuadrilla.

Sky News have rolled into Balcolme and we’re going to hear a lot about it over the next two weeks. You can follow daily updates at Frack Off and on Twitter at #balcombe, or get a free bus down to join them.

Map of new gas drilling in the UK
New Gas drilling in the UK, from the Frack Off film Doreen’s Story.

Have you seen this map of Britain? Most people will be looking at it to see how near these unsettling blankets of colour come to their home. According to George Osborne, it is a picture of vast untapped treasures which must be acquired as soon as possible. To environmentalists, it’s a battlefield: these are the villages and fields where we will make our stand against New Gas.

The climate change direct action movement is as always, ready to lead the way. After their reprieve in the courts, the group No Dash for Gas are asking you to join them at West Burton Power Station, Nottinghamshire for a weekend action camp from 16-21 August: Reclaim the Power. This is the time when we lock the gate to New Gas drilling. Time to get involved.

Other New Gas developments this month:

• Dart Energy appear to be losing their grip after the loss of their European Director and being told they will have to wait over a year for the Scottish Government to consider their appeal against the planning decision on their proposals in Falkirk and Stirling.

• Renowned journal Science publishes new research showing that underground water injection (as practiced in fracking) has a much greater capacity to cause earthquakes that previously thought.

• A follow-up to Oscar-nominated Gas Land premieres on US TV, and in the UK Frack Off’s short film Doreen’s Story has made waves.

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