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Anti-fracking protest in Preston

Posted on - 27th April, 2014 - 3:30pm | Author - | Posted in - News, Preston City Centre

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A peaceful anti-fracking protest was held on the Flag Market in Preston on Saturday.

A small group of protesters demonstrated against Cuadrilla’s plans to extract shale gas in the area. They want to see Preston as a frack free city.

Banners and leaflets suggested that we will no longer live in a green and pleasant land as our countryside will become industrialised and the oil companies will take the profit, leaving local communities to suffer.

This comes soon after Government Minister Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Business and Energy met with representatives from North West businesses in Blackpool to discuss the drilling process benefits.

The Energy Minister discussed with businesses the benefits extracting shale gas in the area could bring.

He even suggested that Preston could become the nation’s fracking capital.

Addressing the conference he said: “here’s an opportunity for the town that is ready to seize it.

“There is a huge opportunity here for the town that wants to bring this together and embrace the potential of shale.

“This is an industry that’s going to develop in clusters. We’ve seen what happened in Aberdeen – a very small fishing harbour which has been transformed into the oil capital of Europe and one of the great oil centres of the world.

“There’s huge potential here for a town in Lancashire, Blackpool or Preston possibly, to be the centre of a whole new industry.”

Preston City Council have reacted positively to shale gas extraction in the area saying they would be “frack friendly.”
However, recent developments may put everything on hold.

The National Grid has said it may take legal action over Cuadrilla fracking activity in the arae if operations disturb its underground pipelines or overhead transmission lines. They warned Cuadrilla off planning to drill underground near to any of its overhead electricity pylons or nearby high-pressure gas pipeline.

In a recent statement they said: “National Grid formally objects to these activities pending further consultation.”

However, they offered to drop the company’s opposition if Cuadrilla agreed to foot the massive bill for re-routing the major gas pipeline.

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