Fracking - this is a critical moment for the country

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This is a critical moment for Britain.

The government’s plans to introduce fracking will change the UK forever.

Both the Prime Minster David Cameron and energy minister Michael Fallon have told us to get ready for fracking. Already over 60 percent of the country will be licensed for fracking and planning rules are being changed to allow for central government to override community objections.

The government is telling us that fracking is safe even though it is banned in several European countries and American states. There is substantial evidence showing that fracking causes water stress and risks water contamination and soil contamination, earth tremors and a threat to human, wildlife, bird, fish and livestock health.

We know that this technology will not bring down fuel bills and will not provide a jobs boom, but it has the potential to leave a damaging environmental legacy for future generations.

We need to talk about fracking. We in Eastbourne & District Friends of the Earth believe that the government must suspend fracking immediately while a genuinely independent, balanced and thorough public debate is held into the potential dangers this industry holds for the UK.

We are handing in a petition to East Sussex County Council before its full council meeting in Lewes on July 15, calling on ESCC to refuse applications to frack anywhere in East Sussex, at least until that full public debate is had. We hope your paper, and its readers, will support this crucial debate.

Andrew Durling,

Eastbourne & District Friends of the Earth, Pevensey