“The benefits of Fracking have been wildly exaggerated” according to Sylvia Howells, the delegate from the Banbury & Bicester CLP, speaking at a rally at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester last week.
She continued “There is growing concern amongst residents in North Oxfordshire about the health and environmental impacts of fracking, and we are opposed to it.”
“The roads and infrastructure of North Oxfordshire are already finding it difficult to cope and the extra heavy traffic generated by fracking, on top of traffic from the recently completed incinerator at Ardley can only make matters worse.”
Even if the UK exploits every opportunity for shale gas it will only supply 1-2% of our demand for gas and result in over 9000 wells in the shale gas areas. UK wells would need to be far more productive than the most productive in the United States to achieve even that figure.”
At the rally, Barbara Keeley, Labour MP for Worsley and Eccles told the rally that the increase in air pollution had resulted in a rise in the incidence of asthma and other respiratory complaints from people living close to exploration wells in her constituency and that the increase in heavy traffic meant that people were having problems buying and selling homes as a result.
The British Geological Survey was quoted as saying that groundwater and water courses may be contaminated the not just by the shale gas itself, but from the ‘cocktail’ of additives to the water necessary to frack the rock (many of which are carcinogenic), and from the flowback of saline water into our groundwater and rivers with serious implications for both farming and wildlife habitat.