Opinion: Please do not start fracking here

Janet Barnes.
Janet Barnes.

This is an issue that has been worrying me for some time. I live in the East Riding of Yorkshire, ‘God’s own country’ as the locals call it and I can understand why – we have large areas of beautiful countryside.

Now we are at risk in terms of our health and environment.



It speaks volumes that many other countries have banned fracking. These countries include France.

In France fracking contravenes their environment charter which acknowledges that care for the environment and care for future generations are intimately connected.

Fracking has also been banned or suspended in Scotland, Germany, Bulgaria, New York state, Washington DC, parts of Canada etc and even Texas where fracking began.

What is fracking?

Fracking involves drilling deep into underground rocks then injecting a mixture of water, sand and toxic chemicals into the rocks and shale in order to fracture them and release pockets of oil or gas.

Who is affected by fracking?

A large part of the north of England has become the ‘sacrifice’ but ultimately we will all be affected.

What’s the problem?

A large percentage of the chemicals injected into the rocks cannot be recovered.

It is possible for these to contaminate drinking water.

Added to this fracking can cause minor earthquakes which further increase the probability that chemicals will leach into our drinking water. The fracking companies may even drill under our houses and we are powerless to stop them. This will affect house prices. The industry is ‘self regulating’.

Surely an independent body should be the regulators?

It is not only the chemicals that can cause problems, gases may escape, polluting our air and adding to global warming.

I wonder kind of world are we creating for our children?

What would be a better 

We could get all the energy from renewable resources such as wind power, tidal energy, or solar power, if governments would back them. At the moment, fracking would appear to governments to be the cheaper alternative but I cannot help thinking that this might be ‘short term gain for long term pain’ in terms of health and environment costs.

What can I do to help?

Write to your MP and MEP expressing your concern

Sign or create a petition

Sign up with Greenpeace-https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/fracking-signup or other groups campaigning, for updates on fracking campaigns and ways you can help

Put up posters in your window at home, at work, in your local community centre or on your local notice board.

Join an action group-there are many local action groups. My local action group is ‘HEY Frack Off’ (Hull and East Yorkshire)