Frack Off! 500 ft high Banner Drop Off Blackpool Tower

6.08.2011
Early Saturday morning anti-fracking [1] campaigners climbed 500 feet to hang two banners [2] from the iconic Blackpool Tower raising awareness about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas spreading to the UK. The two climbers was were later arrested by police when they descended, but not before having their lives risked by Blackpool Tower workers who attacked them with a pressure washer while they dangled hundreds of feet above the ground.

Blackpool Tower is five miles east of the first fracking test well in the UK. The group is highlighting the issue and launch of an anti-fracking direct action campaign centred around the website http://www.frack-off.org

Nathan Roberts, one of the climbers, said “There are so many things wrong with this unconventional method of gas extraction, it's hard to know where to start! It has been linked with poisoned water supplies, earthquakes, leaking gas and even radioactive contamination - and that's before you even get to the effect it will have on the climate. It’s unbelievable that they think they can get away with it. We can’t let this happen.”

Sami Jones, another climber, said "We hear a lot about energy shortages, but really we need to be investing in researching sustainable energy sources, rather than finding tiny pockets of non-renewable gas and destroying our planet in order to get to them."

He continued, “The UK fracking industry is in its infancy. We must act now if we are to stop it in its tracks. It's bad for Lancashire, it's bad for the UK and it's bad for the planet."

Cuadrilla Resources [3] have been forced to temporarily suspend their exploratory test site at Preese Hall test well [4], near Blackpool following the outcry over two earthquakes in the vicinity, have in the meantime drilled another well and are presently moving their drilling rig to a third site. France, the states of New York and New Jersey, the Canadian province of Quebec and the Swiss canton of Fribourg have all recently banned fracking. Fracking needs to be stopped in the UK.

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For more information go to www.frack-off.org

Notes:
[1] Hydraulic Fracturing (or ‘fracking’) is a method used to free otherwise inaccessible gas trapped in rock. Wells are drilled and 'fracking fluid,' consisting of millions of gallons of water, sand and a toxic cocktail of patented chemicals, is injected into the rock under high pressure to crack it. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens and many are never recovered ( http://1.usa.gov/ftCV8J).
Fracking fluid also leaches radioactive elements and toxic chemicals like arsenic out of the rocks making disposing of the fluid a big problem. Fracking in the United States has already resulted in numerous spills of these fluids. Contaminated irrigation water could affect food supplies. Geologists have found a correlation between earthquakes and Fracking ( http://www.sott.net/articles/show/232634-US-Fracking-Operations-Cause-Th...).[2] The banner reads "FRACKING IS COMING TO THE UK. WE CAN STOP IT. WWW.FRACK-OFF.ORG”.
[3] Cuadrilla is a Shale Gas Exploration & Production Company ( http://www.cuadrillaresources.com)
[4] Preese Hall Test Well ‘is the second earthquake to strike Lancashire since April, and experts say it may be a result of the controversial practice, a process of drilling for natural shale gas which involves injecting water and rock-dissolving fluids underground at extremely high pressure to break apart hard shale rocks and release gas.Cuadrilla Resources, the company carrying out the fracking at Preese Hall, Weeton, close to the Fylde coast, said it had suspended operations to examine data collected by the British Geological Survey before deciding whether it was safe to resume. Neither quake was large enough to cause any structural damage’ ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/01/blackpool-earthquake-tremors-ga...)

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