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Michael Fallon warns that fracking will spread over south of Britain

The energy minister has warned that fracking could occur across the south of the UK, including Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex

Exploratory drilling began last week in Balcombe, West Sussex, to the dismay of certain residents, a number of whom protested. Around 30 campaigners were arrested.

Speaking to Westminster colleagues at a private meeting, energy minister Michael Fallon warned that this is just the beginning, with geologists currently surveying large parts of the south – many of which are in close proximity to villages.

Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey and Kent could be affected

Speaking about the shale gas reserves he said: “It’s from Dorset all the way along Hampshire, Sussex, East Sussex, West Sussex, perhaps all the way into a bit of Surrey and even into my county of Kent. It’s right there.

“The beauty of that… is that of course it’s underneath the commentariat. All these people writing leaders saying, ‘Why don’t they get on with shale?’ We are going to see how thick their rectory walls are, whether they like the flaring at the end of the drive!”

Protests to grow stronger

Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron has spoken out against fracking, predicting that the opposition to the controversial drilling process will grow even stronger than the campaign against wind farms.

Farron said he is “greatly worried” by the dash for gas and labelled the policy short-sighted, warning that “we will all be left to live with the consequences”.

“I am afraid the Government has seen flashing pound signs, and has not considered the long-term threats fracking poses to the countryside,” he said.

Concerns over use of fracking

The technology used in fracking can cause earth tremors, Farron warned, and buried nuclear waste could also be affected, especially in the Lake District, where his constituency is located.

The politician said he has already raised his concerns with Ed Davey, his party’s energy minister, and said is planning on doing the same with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

During fracking, a hole is drilled thousands of feet underground, and water and chemicals are then pumped in at high pressure in order to crack the rocks and release trapped natural gas.

Read more

Ex-minister labels fracking ‘biggest threat to countryside after housing’

Energy company begins drilling amidst anti-fracking protests

  • Mark Fryer

    That’s the problem with this site their numbers a way out. I had the same issue with energy quotation saying they could save me xxx£ year if I switched, problem is they don’t tell you that the saving is based on standard rates. Chances are u are on a better rate to start with so may be no saving at all; be carefull and crunch the numbers!

  • Kasey Cassells

    Hi Paul, sorry for the mistake in the article. This has now been removed.