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drilling, Fracking & Gas Extraction In Surrey

The UK government has set a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The United Nations tells us this is not good enough. We have perhaps 11 years before we see irreversible climate change. 

In spite of this, Surrey County Council (SCC) ignores its commitment to reducing the council's carbon footprint, and continues to recklessly endanger the health and livelihoods of Surrey residents.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in their refusal to ban exploitative extraction of oil and gas in the county. 100 fossil fuel companies are responsible for 70% of global carbon emissions. Yet SCC continues to grant these companies licenses to drill or frack at the expense of their constituents. 

The warnings from the UN are clear. If we wish to avoid the collapse our life-supporting ecological systems, and of society itself, we must reach carbon neutrality by 2040. To do this there is no option than to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Granting licenses to extract more is completely incompatible with this target. 

The truly sad part is that we have all the technology that we need to make our county carbon neutral. The only thing we lack is the political will, and a competent County Council who are not beholden to corporate interests. To find out how you can join us in ensuring SCC live up to their obligation to ensure a safe, clean future for Surrey residents, please get in touch with XR Guildford.

What is Fracking? 

There are various types of exploitation under way in Surrey, with others being explored. They include traditional drilling, acidizing, and fracking. Fracking has been the most controversial in news headlines in recent years, due to the long list of pubic health and environmental risks.

Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking' is a controversial practice used to extract shale gas. The fracking process uses slickwater - a mixture of water and sand under high pressure - combined with a mix of chemicals (several of them highly dangerous) to open up new or existing cracks in the rock. 

This allows drilling companies to extract shale reserves several up to several miles from the drill site. 

The fracking process can use 15 million litres of water per well, taking from the water sources of the local residents. In times of drought fracking companies across the globe are often not forced to abide by water restrictions, further increasing the water shortage for residents. 

Map of oil and gas exploration and drilling sites in Surrey from Frack Off
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oil & gas sites around Guildford

Why Is Fracking Bad?

Firstly, it release high amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas between 25-80 times more potent at trapping the earth's heat than carbon dioxide. This contributes significantly to global warming and climate breakdown. 

Secondly, a mix of chemicals that are toxic to human health are being pumped directly into the ground. These chemicals leach into our ground water, significantly increasing the risk of our drinking water becoming hazardous. On top of this, the areas around fracking sites show significant increases in air pollution, due to increased construction work, transport, and  from the fracking process itself.

Thirdly, the well lines are drilled horizontally for very long distances. Despite fracking companies claiming that this is safe, there is a huge increase in the number of earthquakes recorded around fracking sites. The Dutch government recently confirmed fracking and drilling  to be the cause of a cluster of earthquakes in Groningen. Sadly, our government and SCC refuse to investigate this further, one again prioritising corporate interests above the health, property, and livelihood of Surrey residents.

There are explorative drilling operations underway in Horse Hill. The surrounding area, Newdigate in particular has already seen numerous earthquakes since the second phase of drilling began. Additionally, several local residents, as well as livestock, have suffered unexplained nosebleeds

Speak with your local Extinction Rebellion or find an anti-fracking group and lend your support to stop this unmitigated destruction of the Surrey countryside.

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