Frack Free Somerset responds to government fracking licences
1st September 2015
Frack Free Somerset is strongly opposed to the government’s 14th Unconventional Gas and Oil Licensing Round, which was announced in the middle of August, when many people were away on their summer holidays. This new bonanza sees around 1,000 square miles of England licensed to fracking companies, and here in Somerset and neighbouring Wiltshire, up to 121 parishes potentially affected by the new license blocks.
Previously these Petroleum Exploration Development Licenses (PEDLs) targeted the Mendip Hills, but a strong campaign from local groups working in collaboration with Frack Free Somerset, demonstrated that there was no social license for fracking in these areas, and the PEDLs were relinquished. However, the new licensing round now targets a substantial area along the Somerset coastline, including Weston-Super-Mare and Hinkley Point, as well as an area to the east of Frome, including the towns of Warminster and Trowbridge.
The 11 new PEDLs in Somerset and Wiltshire are at this stage prospective, requiring assessment under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, and are subject to a very short consultation process initiated by the government. Ending on 29th September 2015, the public is invited to submit their comments via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/habitats-regulations-assessments-of-14th-onshore-oil-and-gas-licensing-round
With a stream of peer-reviewed scientific evidence from the U.S and Australia, where fracking companies have been active for some time, Frack Free Somerset is deeply concerned about the air pollution, water contamination, toxic & radioactive waste and health effects that affect the communities in which unconventional gas and oil extraction has been imposed. Furthermore we believe that the Precautionary Principle, which states that where there is a threat of harm to health or the environment that precautionary measures should be taken even if some causal relationships are not fully established scientifically, has not been fully taken into account in the government’s assessment
Members of Frack Free Somerset stand in solidarity with all communities affected by fracking, and will be working in close collaboration with people across the county, as well as members of Keep Wiltshire Frack Free, who are now mobilizing in response to the new threat. The newly formed Warminster anti-fracking group will be having their first meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday September 2nd at the Masons Arms 34 East Street BA12 9BN and there are plans for meetings and events in Trowbridge and Frome in coming days and weeks.
Frack Free Somerset will endeavour to update our website with listings. But please do visit the Facebook pages and blogsites of local groups for all the latest news and events. You can also join our campaign and lend us your support by signing up at www.frackfreesomerset.orgPosted on: September 1, 2015