Anti-fracking pavement art draws in the crowds

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Anti-fracking campaigners in East Dunbartonshire were out in force recently to step up their protest against the controversial drilling method for extracting oil or gas from the ground.

The campaigners believe structural damage would occurr to properties as well as serious issues of pollution and water contamination if fracking is allowed to go ahead in East Dunbartonshire.

Local artists Tricia Durham and John Main created a ‘frack-quake’ pavement art which generated a lot of conversation with passers-by outside the Kirkintilloch Regent Centre.

April 1 was the fifth anniversary of the Blackpool ‘frack-quake’ when a magnitude 2.3 earthquake occurred, followed by a magnitude -1.5 quake just over a month later.

Ruth Dunster of Torrance Against Fracking said: “I wish this was a prank but unfortunately it’s not. After the April 2011 earth tremor and another one soon after, work was halted at a frack field near Blackpool.

“Magnitude 2.3 is not life-threatening but it is significant, and with old mining works underground it’s impossible to predict how the ground will shift.

“The fracking company Cuadrilla later admitted the quakes were most likely related to their operations, and in many parts of the USA near frack fields, the frequency and severity of earthquakes has increased dramatically.”

‘Fracking’ (short for ‘hydraulic fracturing’) is the heavy industrial process used for extracting oil or gas by means of high pressure chemical-laced water.

Ruth added: “The large natural gas reserves under most of East Dunbartonshire make it a prime site.

“The danger is not at the initial exploration and gas extraction phase, so things will seem fine OK at first - but the ground becomes seriously unstable when waste water is ‘fracked’ back into the original underground workings.” 

“We could expect structural damage to properties along with the serious issues of pollution and water contamination if fracking goes ahead in East Dunbartonshire.

“The effects on health and property are probably far worse than most people realise, and we are right in the middle of a drilling and exploration license that’s already been purchased by fracking company Ineos Upstream. That’s why we’re informing the public now, before the industry’s plans get the go-ahead.”

Dan McMahon from Kirky Against Fracking added:“This issue has really spurred me into action. I just can’t believe these companies want to do this here.

“There are communities from Australia and America speaking out about water pollution, foul odours and constant noise that come along with hosting this industry.

“I just don’t see how this can be worth it. We have beautiful scenery and wildlife here and from the climate side of things, there is no case for this at all.

“Scotland just closed its last coal-fired power station and we have a rare chance now to consider what the future will be. I can’t accept that we are going to continue to warm the planet just to keep some shareholders happy.”

Large numbers of local groups across Scotland and in East Dunbartonshire now have facebook pages giving more information, usually with the words ‘against fracking’ or ‘frack off’.

For more information email taf.torrance@gmail.com or Kirkyagainstfracking@gmail.com