The Green Party of England and Wales has condemned plans by the energy firm Cuadrilla Resources to begin drilling up to 400 wells in Lancashire to extract shale gas in a process known as 'fracking'.
Cuadrilla claims that fracking could provide 5,600 jobs in the UK.
But the Greens insist that, in addition to posing many extremely serious environmental concerns, it would not create as many jobs per kWh as investment in renewable energy.
They said that the jobs likely to be created by fracking are highly skilled, so although there would be some stimulation of the local economy, most of the jobs would not be filled by local unemployed workers. They pointed out that the local economy could also be hurt by this fracking, not helped, if a pollution incident occurred in the agricultural area.
Fracking is a highly controversial process that has led to many problems in the US, including polluting drinking water, causing illness, and lcontributing to earthquakes.
“Saving energy in homes is much more important than risky industries like shale gas, and would create many more jobs,” insisted Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party spokesperson on energy, “Our government talks about saving energy in homes, but then we drill when we should be reducing fossil fuels”.
He added, “A truly green Government would get its priorities right by investing in energy efficiency now rather than more exotic ways of extracting fossil fuels".
Blackpool Greens have opposed this fracking since February when they demanded a moratorium on drilling, citing the numerous health hazards and dire environmental consequences. The Chair of the Blackpool Green Party, Philip Mitchell said, “There has been little interest at any level of government in public safety and the impact on the Lancashire countryside".
The controversial drilling has led to extensive protesting, including last weekend’s protest camp and march to the drilling site.