Dawn was surprised to receive an invitation by London Local Energy to discuss fracking – not in a remote area, but in Harlesden, at the heart of Brent Central. The invitation came with a glossy seven page press release which failed to even mention the word fracking once, just skirting around it.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the controversial process used to extract fossil fuels locked in rock formations thousands of metres below the Earth's surface. A mixture of water, sand and chemicals is injected deep underground at high pressure to fracture the rocks and release the shale gas or shale oil.
Brent Council, under Council Leader Muhammed Butt was the first in the country to declare itself frack-free in 2013, so this approach by LLE to prepare the way for a license application for an industrial site in Harlesden NW10 is a disrespectful move.
Dawn Butler MP stated following her rejection of any meeting request:
They will need more than PR and spin to get this round me and the residents of Brent. These proposals would place the facilities right next to hundreds of homes in Harlesden and just a stone’s throw away from a local primary school.
I won’t let any company put the health of my residents and students at risk, not on my watch, I am urging Brent Council to throw this laughable proposal out immediately.
Brent Friends of the Earth said:
Friends of the Earth is calling for fracking to be banned in the UK. In the US and in Australia fracking has contaminated drinking water. New York State, France and a number of other countries and American States have banned it. Scotland and Wales have also stopped all fracking while they further examine the risks And we know that any process which involves extracting and burning more fossil fuels will make climate change worse. That is a huge danger. So let’s not do it. The plans suggested may be better than importing gas as we are currently doing but not better than renewables. We should be concentrating on developing renewable energy, and reducing energy use.
Speaking against LLE’s proposals, Chair of Dawn Butler MP’s Green Cabinet, Cllr Lia Colacicco, said:
If LLE think the residents of Brent are going to put up with seismic testing and the contamination of their drinking water in order for LLE to make profits at our expense, then they have seriously understimated us. This is not about house prices. Our children’s health is not for sale. We have started a petition to the Government in order to highlight the strength of local opposition. If you want to prevent a license to drill being granted then please go to http://bit.ly/2sXyZBr