Friday, 4 October 2013

PRESS RELEASE Fracking under the spotlight at public meeting - Thursday 10th October - Huddersfield Town Hall

A public meeting on ‘Fracking and the clean energy alternative’ will take place in Huddersfield next week. The Green Party event will include speakers from Friends of the Earth and No Dash for Gas as well as Kirklees councillor and Energy spokesperson, Andrew Cooper. The meeting that will be chaired by Councillor Julie Stewart-Turner, will be held at 7pm on Thursday 10th October at Huddersfield Town Hall. The meeting will be an opportunity for members of the public to find out more about the dangers that fracking poses to the environment and dispel some of the misconceptions about its potential impact on energy prices and security. It follows a summer of protest in Balcombe over this unconventional fossil fuel. In the past month high profile figures such as the economist Lord Stern and the ex-Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir David King have expressed concerns about fracking. Sir David King has spoken out about the ‘enormous environmental consequences’ of developing fracking while Lord Stern spoke of the ‘baseless economics’ of the government’s claim that it will reduce energy prices. Fracking will not provide a reduction in energy prices as we have seen in the United States. The US is essentially an isolated market. By contrast, the UK is plugged into an integrated European market where gas is sold to the highest bidder, whether inside or outside the UK. Experts say that even a huge increase in the amount of domestic gas the UK produces would be likely to dent the wholesale gas price. Nor is it clear that it is a ‘green fuel’. Studies have shown that fracking can have a higher global warming impact than coal due to methane emissions. It is also likely that fracking will be a distraction from the primary task which is fully developing the green economy by investing fully in renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, fracking causes environmental damage through water use and water pollution as well as geological disturbance. All are welcome at the meeting to express their views and provide questions for the panel about this important issue about the UK’s energy future

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