Fracking: if you haven’t heard of it yet, you’re probably about to. It’s the process of blasting water and chemicals deep underground to extract shale gas and last week, the chancellor George Osborne announced that the UK will become the "most generous" tax regime for shale gas extraction in the world.
Osborne’s ‘dash for gas’ is scaling up - but fracking is incredibly dangerous. In Lancashire, it’s caused small earthquakes. In parts of America, fracking has resulted in contaminated drinking water.
Most damagingly, pouring tax payer’s money into shale gas now means less investment in renewables and clean energy. Green MP Caroline Lucas has said that fracking is “incompatible with the climate change targets of the UK. Shale gas is a high-carbon fuel."
George Osborne would like us to think that this is all sewn up. But fracking isn’t an established industry here yet - and there’s a huge amount still to be decided. There’s lots that 38 Degrees members could do together to stop fracking, but first we need to know how ambitiously we should plan and how much money there is to spend.
Are you in? Could you make a pledge today to chip in just £3 or more to make this possible? If you’re standing behind this, here’s a first list of ideas for what we could do together:
Commission expert reports into the murky legislation - and then campaign to fix it
Publish every MP’s opinion on fracking, so local campaigns know what they’re up against
Push local councils to declare themselves ‘frack free’
Support local community campaigns with small grants, campaigning advice and outside experts like lawyers for court cases
Learn from successful anti-fracking actions in other countries
There’s lots more than that, too. This could be the next big climate and energy campaign for 38 Degrees. We have the numbers and the energy to take this fight to fracking companies across the country: but there’s no point making grand plans unless we know that we’re all behind this - and that we’ll have the money to be successful. This won’t be a quick win, but we’re ready to go - if enough of us want to.
Can you pledge £3 today to support what could be the next watershed environmental campaign? To find out more and pledge please CLICK HERE
Thanks for being involved,
Becky, Susannah, James and the 38 Degrees team
BBC News: What is fracking?: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23314874
The Guardian: George Osborne unveils ‘most generous tax breaks in world’ for fracking: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/19/george-osborne-tax-break-fracking-shale-environment
BBC News: Fracking ‘likely cause’ of tremors: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-15550458
Duke University: Higher levels of stray gases found in water near shale gas sites: http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/news/higher-levels-of-stray-gases-found-in-water-wells-near-shale-gas-sites
The Guardian: Fracking companies should not get tax breaks, says No 10 adviser http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jul/18/fracking-tax-breaks-peter-lilley
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