Protesters say no to fracking in demonstration outside Bolton Town Hall
ANTI-FRACKING campaigners staged a protest outside Bolton Town Hall to “reclaim power and energy”.
Bolton Friends of the Earth were out in force on Saturday in Victoria Square and at their campaign stall in Deansgate to drum up support for the Global Month of Action on Energy.
The group are calling on Bolton Council to say no to fracking and were urging residents to sign their petition against new licences to drill at sites across the UK.
Elizabeth Shepherd, campaign co-ordinator, said the council have the power to block fracking coming to Bolton.
Ms Shepherd, aged 65, from Great Lever, said: “Fracking is the use of more fossil fuel but it is not renewable energy and we need to prevent climate change.
“In America where they have been using fracking for many years there is evidence of it causing air pollution and contamination from the chemicals they use.
“The areas under consideration for fracking in the UK include Bolton which is why we’re out here today. People need to know that it could be a reality.”
Shale gas extraction, or fracking, involves the hydraulic fracturing of the ground using high-pressure liquid containing sand and chemicals to release the gas.
Critics argue that the process may cause earth tremors.
Energy company IGas is due to start exploratory drilling on land in Irlam in Salford this month.
Work at the site, which is off Barton Moss Road and close to the M62 motorway and Barton aerodrome, is set to last 12 weeks.
Fracking and why it is controversial
- Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.
- The term ‘fracking’ is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing and refers to how the rock is fractured apart by the high pressure mixture.
- It is so controversial because extensive use of fracking in the US has prompted environmental concerns.
- The first is that fracking uses huge amounts of water that must be transported to the fracking site, at significant environmental cost.
- The second is the worry that potentially carcinogenic chemicals used may escape and contaminate groundwater around the fracking site.
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