Sheffield’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 :
“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.
— natalieben (@natalieben) September 5, 2013
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.