Letter: Protecting our health and environment

Insurance cant cure contaminated water, as thousands of people in Northern Ireland are all too aware.
Insurance cant cure contaminated water, as thousands of people in Northern Ireland are all too aware.

Speakers at the oil and gas conference at Scarborough Spa seemed to think money solves everything. ‘Don’t worry if it is not successful,’ was Third Energy director John Dewar’s flippant conclusion to a question about restoration and safety: ‘It is part of our licence to go and clean it up. We have insurance.’

But insurance can’t cure contaminated water, as thousands of people in Northern Ireland are all too aware: reservoirs in County Antrim are closed over feared contamination following drilling at Woodburn Forest. In a too familiar tale, campaigners who warned the drilling wasn’t safe were branded ‘alarmist’ and ‘economic vandals’ trying to hurt a ‘legitimate’ business.

So-called alarmists are now the majority in Britain. Less than a fifth of us consider fracking a legitimate business, while over four fifths back renewables. And this despite a near news blackout.

Thankfully, the news trickles through. Readers may have heard of the two Pennsylvania families recently awarded over $4.2m in damages for ground water contaminated by fracking, for example.

The conference drooled over ‘the size of the prize’ as though fracking were a done deal. But Frack Free Scarborough won’t allow contamination of the aquifer that feeds our town. That’s why several hundred people gathered outside the Spa on a cold working day at very short notice. It’s why we give out leaflets, put on films and public meetings and stand with placards outside Third Energy owner Barclays Bank. Anyone who wants community health put before industry profit can join in. Come and watch the film made by a Ryedale couple who visited fracked communities in Pennsylvania, tonight, Thursday, at 7pm in the library. Comment online on the KM8 fracking application at Kirby Misperton. Or join our action group. Find us on Facebook.

Frack Free Scarborough

John Atkinson

Sea Cliff Road

Holbeck