The benefits of fracking to the country is misguided and has a huge social cost which is not being factored into the Government’s ‘all out for shale’ policy.
I’m afraid that this dangerous process of extracting gas is one that the locality of Melton will not benefit from and the reasonably peaceful lives our local communities have now will be shattered by dangerous polluting gases from leaks, flaring, spillages, blowouts, industrial compressors and generators and the thousands of lorry trips to and from the site, in fact, they will feel the full force of living in an industrialised area.
The production rate of the well drops significantly in the first year, on average by 70 per cent, therefore to keep up with capacity and contract levels with the pipelines (an additional blight on the countryside) they have to drill, drill and drill. One well can turn into hundreds, hence thousands over a period of 10 years.
The Government keeps saying this is a cleaner fossil fuel with less impact on the environment. How can this be when; seven per cent of wells in America are found to leak methane straight away, 50 per cent of wells will leak within 15 years and all will leak in their lifetime? The one inch of cement that lines the casing deteriorates over time, or simply hasn’t bonded from the start.
We should also be concerned with the millions of gallons of carcinogenic chemicals that are added to the millions of gallons of fresh water that is used per well per frack.
The Government is anticipating a return rate (flow-back) of only 30 per cent. This means that 70 per cent of chemicals will stay in the ground. If this country fracks 10 per cent of the shale resources available then we could be looking at 77,000 wells. Do your sums, possibly billions of gallons of contaminated water and chemicals could be migrating to the local aquifer over time. These wells have to last a lifetime, yet the anticipated leakage rate is 60 per cent in 30 years.
Who will maintain these wells in the future, who will check to see if they are leaking above and under the ground? I suspect no-one.
Fracking is an environmental time bomb for both the public and the environment. Large scale shale production will create major climate problems.
If we are going to stop climate change from progressing we have to act now. We have an obligation to our children and future generations to leave our town and country in a better condition than it is now.
Poisoning the environment in order to stockpile more fossil fuels that we cannot burn is a gross act of negligence. Local government decision makers should seek out their conscience and do the right thing and say no to fracking.