Fracking - let the public be the judge

Robin Hanbury’s letter (March 1) claims that the free public meeting at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday, March 7, at 7pm about shale gas fracking in Sussex will not present the facts about fracking and will instead contain ‘a lot of emotive and passionate pleading’. Leaving aside Robin’s apparent clairvoyance, he declines to explain why the meeting will be as he describes.

He further claims that the UK government has done all the necessary cost-benefit analysis of fracking and has decided it is safe.

I think the public are entitled to do an analysis of their own and to decide upon the basis of the facts whether or not the risks of fracking are acceptable to them and whether or not the government has done a good enough job of investigating fracking. After all, fracking may well take place very near you if you live anywhere in Sussex, so how much each of us in Sussex knows about fracking matters a great deal.

Interestingly, Robin admits there are risks to fracking. What are they? How big are those risks? Is any level of risk to our water supplies acceptable? What has happened in other parts of the world where fracking has been carried out widely? The meeting on March 7 will look at those questions among others and leave it to the audience to judge for themselves and to ask tough questions of our guest speakers, if they wish.

Robin is very welcome to come along and ask those tough questions himself and to find out if ‘emotive pleading’ rather than facts dominates the meeting. That way he would discover for himself how the meeting actually went rather than rely upon ungrounded assumptions.

Andrew Durling

Co-ordinator, Eastbourne & District Friends of the Earth, Pevensey