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Green motion highlights fracking dangers for Sheffield.

Green Party is not for shaleSheffield’s Green councillors are putting a motion against fracking at the full council meeting on September 4th. Fracking is the controversial method of getting gas from shale rock by injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into the shale in order to fracture it and release the gas locked inside. The process has been the focus of protests in Balcombe in Sussex where Green MP Caroline Lucas was arrested. South Yorkshire has been identified as a possible target area for fracking.

Energy and climate change spokesperson Peter Garbutt comments :

” The Green Party are against fracking for many reasons. Most experts believe fracking won’t lead to the cheaper energy bills the Government are promising because the market doesn’t work like that. It will cause disruption to communities close to a rig, with a large number of diesel lorries passing through day and night. It will put water resources under pressure because the amounts used are very substantial and cannot be reclaimed afterwards. It also risks contaminating water supplies. “

He continues :
Peter Garbut speaking at the NUT NASUWT rally 27.6.13
“Fracking won’t cut our climate emissions, as claimed, because methane, a far worse climate gas than C02, will escape into the atmosphere. We believe there are far more jobs can be created in reducing demand for energy by insulating homes and workplaces, and in growing the renewable energy sector. This motion seeks to steer Sheffield down that route.



1 – The motion submitted reads :

18. Notice Of Motion Given By Councillor Robert Murphy

That this Council:

(a) notes the presence of shale gas and coal bed methane in the Sheffield region;

(b) notes the recent mass protests against shale gas drilling in both Lancashire and West Sussex;

(c) notes the controversy about both the supposed benefits of extracting on-shore gas resources and the local environmental impacts;

(d) notes the recent evidence that 60-80% of world fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground if average global temperature rise is to remain within 2 degrees;

(e) believes that there is also compelling evidence that UK shale gas and coal bed methane would form part of that 60-80%;

(f) notes that the large amounts of water needed for hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas (known as fracking) would reduce water supplies in this region, which are also threatened by the impact of climate change;

(g) notes the well-documented risk of groundwater contamination as a result of fracking, which would exacerbate the pressure on water supplies and put residents at risk;

(h) notes the unavoidable increase in noise, visual intrusion and air pollution from heavy traffic in communities close to fracking sites;

(i) therefore welcomes the work of the Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene in developing a Council policy on shale gas and coal bed methane extraction;

(j) will seek to attract to the City appropriate funding for projects which increase energy efficiency, sustainability and self-sufficiency, stabilise energy bills, and create jobs in the green economy; and

(k) directs officers to send a copy of this motion to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and the Minister of State for the Department for Energy and Climate Change and to all Sheffield MPs.

Topics: City Wide, Climate Change, Council, Energy, Featured, Fracking, Peter Garbutt, Rob Murphy

There are 2 Responses to Green motion highlights fracking dangers for Sheffield.

1st September 2013

I think we need more evidence either way on this, I grew up next to a Pit village and it has to be a cleaner option than coal mining. As a country we need to use more renewables and wind isn’t reliable enough. We are far to reliant on the Middle East, the reasons why we have stuck our noses in far too many times with illegal wars or meddling in foreign policy there.

21st September 2013

Fracking is just too risky. We need to spend the time and money on renewables-wind, solar, tidal power, wave power,hydro-electric.

Locally why aren’t there a series of mini-hydro schemes on our fast flowing rivers and streams? Weren’t there plans for something like this on the River Don between Sheffield and Rotherham, for something at Kelham Island, at Dam Flask and at Malin Bridge? with all the weirs we have couldn’t an archimedes screw be fitted to them all?

Why don’t Wednesday and United have solar panels on the stand roofs, or the Council on Moorfoot building?

Scotland and Wales both seem to be moving faster than England on this. If we are to oppose fracking then Communities need to embrace wind.

But there do need to be other things. I’ve just filled my dustbin with garden waste. For me a compost heap is not practical. If all green and food waste were collected and every council area had a plant to deal with it the couldn’t this be used to make methane gas? I saw somewhere the other day that only one/fourteenth of gas created from rotting rubbish is currently utilised?

Nationally-and you may not agree with me here-it’s disappointing that the plan to do something with the River Severn tidal flows seems to be going nowhere. Cardiff and Swansea both have plans to do something in their waterfront areas-and Scotland doing things in the Orkney Isles. So why not tidal baarages across the Severn, at Morecame Bay and the Wash?

Sometimes difficult decisions have to be made-you can’t please everybody all of the time. I think we could easily surpass the current target of 15% energy generated by renewables with a concerted national effort-which would create a lot of jobs as well-and that something like 30% is entirely possible.

However-there would need to be something else-and you might not like this either-but I think that will have to be nuclear power.

If we did all this we could be more self reliant, cut our imports bill and improve our Balance of Payments position.