The battle lines have been drawn over fracking. All political parties except the Greens have chosen to support extreme energy extraction, albeit Labour and Lib Dems want more regulations.
People have asked why we ‘stand in the way of cheap energy’ to the point where Green Party MP Caroline Lucas is prepared to be arrested while trying to stop fracking.
Well here’s why: Firstly the energy won’t be cheap. In North America flooding the energy-starved regional market with fracked gas has lowered prices.
But even if we sank the tens of thousands of wells across Sussex and the UK needed to tap our shale oil and gas reserves Deutsche Bank, Chatham House, and Ofgem are all predicting that it won’t make a dent on a European market well supplied from Russia, the Middle East and the North Sea and won’t bring down fuel bills.
Indeed the International Energy Agency predicts the price of gas will rise 40% by 2020.
And the price we’d pay for fracked oil and gas would be very, very high in other ways.
Each one of those thousands of wells would need millions of gallons of water and raise the risk of drought in the South East.
The waste water from fracking is known to contain uranium, radium, radon and thorium which can contaminate our water supplies and local environment. Millions of extra lorry journeys will blight our countryside.
And above all it distracts us from the real challenge; climate change, and from the real opportunity; to secure our energy future with clean power from wind, waves and sun.
It’s no surprise that fracking companies are desperate to persuade people otherwise.
If your readers wish to help us put pressure on the Government to ban the dangerous practice of fracking, they can sign our petition on the Green Party website. Quick link: http://bit.ly/1bznbG8
Cllr Alexandra Philips
Green Euro-MP candidate for the South East region