UK Methane and campaign group Frack Free Somerset will be debating plans for hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as “fracking” or “fracing”) and coal bed methane exploration in Bath and North East Somerset at a debate hosted by the Bath People’s Assembly.
It’s to take place on Thursday 14th March at the Friends’ Meeting House, York St., Bath at 7:15 for 7:30 to 9.00pm.
UK Methane have previously submitted an application to undertake coal bed methane exploration at Hicks Gate near Keynsham and now plan to submit applications for coal bed methane exploration in Somerset, and for full production, including shale gas extraction, at Hicks Gate.
Proponents of these fuel extraction technologies claim that they are safe, may benefit the economy and provide a cheap fuel source in a time when people are struggling to pay their fuel bills, however the plans have been the cause for concern for some, amidst reports of air and water pollution, earthquakes and health impacts.
A spokesperson from Frack Free Somerset said “We are looking forward to having an open debate about fracking, as we feel every local person has a right to be fully informed about fracking and coal bed methane extraction. Once fracking takes place contamination of land and water is inevitable. You cannot do it safely. Communities in the United States and Australia are working tirelessly to stop Coal Seam Gas drilling while contending all of the negative impacts on their health, land and communities. We have an option in Somerset to prevent it from starting in the first place.“
Gerwyn Williams of UK Methane commented, “We submitted a planning application for Coal Bed Methane exploration, (not shale gas and nothing to do with fracking), at Hicks Gate. This application was withdrawn. We have decided not to re-submit an application in BANES until the end of 2013/early part of 2014 for production which will include shale gas. Central government has carried out enough work to prove that shale gas production is safe and has recently lifted the moratorium on fracing.”
Entry to the debate is free and there will be time allotted for members of the public to put questions to both groups. Doors open at 7.15pm and the debate will start promptly at 7.30pm. There will be a voluntary collection to cover the cost of the room.
The Bath People’s Assembly is an independent democratic non-affiliated body for discussion, debate and the formulation of ideas and proposals on local, national and global issues and policies.
Its purpose is to give all people of Bath a stronger democratic voice. It invites people of all ages, genders, abilities, races, and religions to come and work together to put democracy into action.