Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Hundreds Halt Fracking Operations in UK Community

Energy
Hundreds Halt Fracking Operations in UK Community

350

By Nicolò Wojewoda

I often ask myself: how much longer can the rogue forces of the fossil fuel industry continue wrecking our planet with impunity? Yesterday, I was reminded of our movement’s recurring answer to that question: not for long, if we can help it.

In the early hours of the morning, anti-fracking activists and community members in Balcombe, Sussex, UK, successfully halted the first day of explorations for a new shale gas development by famed (infamous, rather) fracking company Cuadrilla. Over 250 people united in a powerful, peaceful, joyful blockade—that eventually convinced the trucks containing the initial fracking equipment to abandon the site.

This is community power at its best. Campaigners in Balcombe, just like those in frontline communities around the world (in the U.S., Indonesia, Argentina and elsewhere) had been calling attention to the dangers of fracking for over a year. This week, when Cuadrilla’s license for exploration and development was approved, activists quickly mobilized to organize a Great Gas Gala, inviting people in Sussex and neighboring areas to converge on Balcombe and oppose Cuadrilla’s efforts.

Yesterday's protests are set in the context of a recent announcement by the UK government proposing a 50 percent tax cut for companies involved in shale gas extraction, the most generous tax regime for fracking in the whole world. The proposal is very much in line with the dreaded “dash for gas” that Chancellor George Osborne announced at last year’s unveiling of the budget.

It is in opposition to these efforts that groups like Frack Off, No Dash for Gas and many of our partners and allies around the country, are mobilizing public awareness and opposition, in a genuine effort to shift the power in our energy systems and put our communities and their people back in charge. The Global Power Shift UK team will be working in the upcoming months on helping build that large, inclusive movement—one that represents community interests, leverages our diversity and builds on our shared vision of a people-powered future that solves the climate crisis once and for all.

The fight in Balcombe is not over yet. Yesterday’s exploratory fracking attempt was the closest to London to date, where a lot of the finance for these operations comes from and where the tangled webs of power and influence are carefully threaded between consenting politicians and short-term profit oriented fossil fuel corporate executives. Impunity for them and their climate-wrecking efforts? No longer. Real resistance is brewing in their backyard.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Reindeers at their winter location in northern Sweden on Feb. 4, 2020, near Ornskoldsvik. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP via Getty Images

Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan, experienced some of their warmest temperatures on record in the summer of 2020. Ken Ilio / Moment / Getty Images

Heatwaves are not just distinct to the land. A recent study found lakes are susceptible to temperature rise too, causing "lake heatwaves," The Independent reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Starfish might appear simple creatures, but the way these animals' distinctive biology evolved was, until recently, unknown. FangXiaNuo / Getty Images

By Aaron W Hunter

A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.

Read More Show Less
U.S. President Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office as he signs a series of orders at the White House in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2021. Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

President Joe Biden officially took office Wednesday, and immediately set to work reversing some of former President Donald Trump's environmental policies.

Read More Show Less
Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

In many schools, the study of climate change is limited to the science. But at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, students in one class also learn how to take climate action.

Read More Show Less