Have you ever noticed how opponents of shale gas and fracking demand that the industry behaves transparently and in compliance with all known rules, but then seem to think that the same standards don’t apply to them and their actions?
A number of complaints have been made to the Advertising Standards Agency about the claims against fracking circulated by opposition groups across the country; in every single case, rather than defend their claims, they have chosen to try and avoid the spotlight of damaging publicity by agreeing not to repeat them and hoping the issue goes away quietly.
Consider what a fracking company must do in order to explore for gas - once it has identified what it thinks is a suitable location, it has to agree access rights with the legal landowner before it can move in and begin operations - anti-fracking activists, as we’ve seen this last week, simply turn up and take any field they like to host their protest camps.
A fracking company must obtain planning permission to build any structures on site, with planning officers and councillors scrutinising plans and imposing conditions on things like equipment height and visual appearance - campaigners, on the other hand, build unsightly towers out of wooden pallets with no such oversight or care for the blot they create on the local landscape. And if a resident makes a complaint to a fracking company, it and the relevant authorities have to act responsibly, investigate and resolve - activists at the Kirby Misperton protest camp simply dismiss residents’ concerns as trivial, saying “it’s not about you.”
The double standards and hypocrisy are astonishing, and used to great effect by fracking opponents in trying to persuade the public to their cause.
Hopefully, the truth and facts will soon prevail when Third Energy gets fracking and locals can see for themselves that it’s not that different to the oil and gas activity seen across the Vale of Pickering for decades.