Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Flash for Fracking!

I am loathe to mention it, but Fracking has been in the news for much of this week. Flashy has trumpeted increased handouts for local communities who sign up with free monorails for all and a statue/oil painting of himself by a leading portrait painter of their choice.

I am a little uneasy over the way that this is being rammed home by Government, with pressure put on agencies who are there to regulate and licence any fracking operation. Anyone who objects is painted as an ideological Neanderthal. I may be a neanderthal and do occasionally drag my knuckles along the floor, but I continue to fly in the face of tofu, vegans and all those with hair made of muesli who promote pan pipe music and would have us return to the dark ages.
I understand that it makes sense to explore a source of cheap fuel to aid a recovering economy, a little seismic activity would add a certain frisson to the day but consideration towards an increasingly valuable water supply particularly in the south east must be paramount.

I have said it before and I will say it again, we just don’t understand the “water” thing in this country. There has been talk of a looming “energy crisis” for a few years, well it may be difficult to comprehend given current conditions, but the South East of England is sleep walking into a “water crisis”

Currently, EU law offers more protection to our groundwater supply than our own laws. Flashy repeatedly churns out the mantra that the relevant safeguards are in place to ensure protection to the environment from any fracking operation. As I stated a few weeks ago the agency charged with regulating and licensing groundwater abstraction is, on many levels, a dichotomy that also extends to departmental performance. Some departments are thoroughly efficient and carry out great work, while others, if subject to inspection, like a school or hospital, would be classified as failing. The agencies who stood by while a water company pumped filtered sewage for months on end down a SSSI and allowed a derisory fine for Europe’s leading packer and bagger of salad for sending a thousand litres of diesel down the same stream will be asked if they think it’s ok to frack in this valley, while Flashy looms, stick in hand, invoking the economy.

I have little confidence that they will demonstrate sufficient fortitude to offer any real resistance to bully boy tactics and the fracking juggernaut.

A Fracking company are already embedded, deep cover, on at least three sites in the catchment area of this river. Igas the funky fracking company (anything with the prefix “i” is pushed as the way forward these days, it used to be “organic” or “wild”) from the north have three CBM sites that could be used for fracking in the future. If it can be carried out sustainably in this valley with no use of local groundwater, get on and have a look, if groundwater levels are measured with a fracking friendly ruler and large scale abstraction is licensed, the river will be impacted upon and this ideological neanderthal will do his addled nut.


Anonymous said...

It's not just water abstraction for fracking that may present problems but it's the injection of chemicals with that water into the geology that may present problems. The long term effects of this sort of purposeful pollution of our geology -which is largely unique to this part of the World- is unknown and a bit like dunking witches shouldn't be undertaken.

Test Valley River Keeper said...

Thanks for the comments,

I think I made mention of that elsewhere in this written rubbish, several times last year.

I think the phrase was:

"This could be the equivalent of pissing in a fast diminishing well"

But I do like your "witches" analogy