4 Jun 2014

David Cameron… you just got fracked (by Greenpeace)

Campaign group Greenpeace turns David Cameron’s country home into a fracking site.

Greenpeace activists wearing hard hats and high-vis jackets arrived at the prime minister’s cottage in Dean, Oxfordshire, and blocked the front door with security fencing.

A sign on the blockade read: “We apologise for any inconvenience we may cause while we frack under your home”.

Greenpeace said the stunt was a protest against legislation expected to be announced in the Queen’s Speech, which the charity says will clear the way for fracking firms to drill under people’s land and property without their permission.

Fracking won’t deliver energy on a meaningful scale for years. Simon Clydesdale

Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Simon Clydesdale said: “David Cameron wants to rob people of their right to stop fracking firms drilling under their homes – surely he won’t mind if we kick off the under-house fracking revolution below his own garden.

“The prime minister is about to auction off over half of Britain to the frackers, including national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty like the Cotswolds. Having failed to reassure people that fracking is safe or good for Britain, Cameron is now railroading it through with a ‘bungs and bulldozers’ approach.

“Fracking won’t deliver energy on a meaningful scale for years, if ever, by which time we’ll need to have moved away from dirty fossil fuels and towards high-tech clean power if we’re to head off dangerous climate change.

“As ministers chase their imaginary energy Eldorado, the real solutions to boost our energy security, like slashing energy waste and backing renewables, are being sidelined. We’ll all pay a price for their shale craze.”

The campaigners also brought a giant cheque for £50, which they said is the maximum compensation ministers are willing to pay to individual home and landowners for allowing companies to drill under their property.

A recent YouGov survey found three-quarters of people in Britain oppose ministers’ plans to strip people of their access rights to clear the way for fracking, the charity said.

The government argues thatBritain needs more “home-grown energy” and that shale gas development will bring jobs and business oportunities to the UK.

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said last month: “We are keen for shale and geothermal exploration to go ahead while protecting residents through the robust regulation that is in place.

“These proposals allow shale and geothermal development while offering a fair deal for communities in return for underground access at depths so deep they will have no negative impact on landowners.”