- Bassetlaw Against Fracking

As you know Bassetlaw against Fracking surveyed door-to-door the views of
your constituents. Maps of those village surveys were given to the Cabinet. We
found that over 80% of people did not want fracking in North Bassetlaw in spite
of all the promises of compensation from the industry.
So my first appeal to you is this. Please ensure that the County Council is advised
of the huge opposition that there is to potential fracking-and in spite of the
cleverness of the gas industry in saying these are only an exploratory well, we
all know what they have in mind. People do not want any start to the
despoliation of our countryside. And it does start with one well.
My second appeal is based on a detailed and thorough scientific report which
we commissioned into the structure of the geology underneath the site and its
relationship to our water for drinking, industry and agriculture.
. We commissioned independent consultant Emeritus Professor of geophysics
Dr David Smythe of Glasgow University to write this report
He states that “This application is flawed and threatens to contaminate
our water supply. He also says “there is no valid reason for the horizontal
well in this application.”
He further states that the Sherwood Sandstone group is the Principal
aquifer for water supply for the East Midlands. The applicant claims that
the site lies on the Mercia Mudstone Group, which is a minor aquifer. Prof
Smythe has demonstrated the site is in fact partially or wholly on the
Sherwood and that a newly recognised fault runs right through the site of
the proposed drilling. The applicant has also failed to mention the other
principal aquifer which is The Magnesian Limestone which lies at less than
500 m below the site. Prof Smythe states “The applicant has presented
highly misleading maps & cartoon sections in an effort to convince the
council there is no risk to the aquifers even though the site lies within
Source Protection Zones 3 at the surface and Zone 3C under the surface.
He states that the locality is cut by many faults which the applicant claims not
to have detected. There is no information as to the type of well casing program
In the Gainsborough Trough it is likely that some faults will leak poisonous
fracking fluids and methane-86 times more potent than CO2- sideways
and upwards both to the groundwater resources and up into the
biosphere. Also he has identified 27 other substantive errors in the
application. He says this is not a risk worth taking. Please advise the
county council to take this report seriously.
No UK shale basin like the Gainsborough Trough has yet been fracked
using intense blasting with water and sand and lubricants under huge
pressure in horizontal wells. Near Blackpool, the only place to have been
fracked so far, a minor earthquake was caused.
He urges that the application should be refused now on the grounds that
the proposed work has not been adequately described and that in crucial
respects it is misleading, revealing a poor understanding of the geology
and the hydrology of the licence area.
My second appeal to your common sense is that you request the County
Council to get further expert opinion on this report as it appears there is
a real danger to the drinking water and groundwater.
Last weekend we saw world leaders reach a historic agreement to set legal limits
to keep planetary overheating to a maximum of 2°C increase and prevent
prevent climate catastrophes that are already happening in places.. Our own
government will have to enforce these laws That will override many historic and
out of date planning criteria.
Tonight Bassetlaw councilors can lead the way and help reverse- by their advice
to the County Council the myth that shale gas can provide a bridge to a low
carbon economy in the UK.
Yes-burning gas in power stations does produce less CO2 than coal. That
assumes Carbon Capture and Storage, not fully developed, and now subject to
a real hammer blow by the government. The industry-funded Task Force on
Shale Gas has recommended to the government that fracking should get
underway to establish a clearer picture of how much gas there is in the UK.
Reason? They just don’t know.
But its chair, Lord Chris Smith, has criticised the governments’ decision to cancel
a £1 billion competition to develop technology for Carbon Capture and Storage.
He has questioned the medium-term viability of shale gas without it. Lord Smith
is the second person this week to link the future of shale gas to CCS. Yesterday,
Professor Paul Younger also of Glasgow University said UK fracking was no
longer viable with the cancellation of the CCS competition.
Assuming any benefits for climate change by substituting gas for coal, the gain
will be more than wiped out by fugitive methane leaks from shale gas
production according to the International Panel on Climate Change, because
methane is 86 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 over a 20 year
I beg you not to believe industry hype. You know in your hearts that your
grandchildren’s future depends on really grasping the nettle and saying “There
is no point in starting up a risky shale gas industry that will damage our
environment in North Notts and probably cause contamination of our drinking
water. “
We already have a bridge. 97% of our imported gas comes from Norway Holland
and Qatar. The shale gas industry is on its knees financially and is trying to get
out of places like Canada into the UK with a last gasp attempt to line its pockets.
It will take them hundreds of wells and at least 10 years to become economically
viable in Britain. We should be creating jobs and pressurising the government
not to reverse solar energy but to do far more with this and other sustainable
techniques like tidal power ground heat power and electric battery storage
development. That’s where the real jobs will come from.
I ask you to take a stand tonight. Join Lancashire and Sussex
County councils which have refused such applications. Please listen to the
voice of your own reason. and to realise that outdated planning criteria cannot
deal with this situation. Don’t let even one well start. Take that one small step
for Bassetlaw which will be part of one giant leap for mankind
-David Larder