Anti-fracking demonstrator chains himself to drilling rig

Anti-fracking demonstrator at Daneshill
Anti-fracking demonstrator at Daneshill
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An anti-fracking protestor has scaled a drilling rig and chained himself to it at a Doncaster area gas plant this morning.

Police have been called to the Daneshill gas drilling site near Lound after a man, named by protest organisers as Will, climbed the derrick and draped a banner with the words “No Fracking” from its summit.

A protest camp has also been established across the road from the site.

Pete Kennedy, campaigner for Frack Free South Yorkshire, said: “Will has locked onto the rig following grave concerns about the impact of gas extraction on the environment and local communities.

“His action comes days after the International Panel on Climate Change report called for a quadrupling of the use of renewable energy sources, and massive reductions in fossil fuel use.

“Billions of pounds will be spent on building the infrastructure for this dash for dirty gas - which will lock us into another generation of fossil fuel use. This money would be much better spent on leading the clean, green energy revolution that we desperately need.”

The action also comes a few weeks after the MP for Bassetlaw, John Mann, criticised Daneshill owners Dart Energy on his website, saying: “Following their track record in Australia I do not consider that Dart Energy is sufficiently good to merit the trust of the local community and their dealing over this particular application has re-enforced that doubt.”

Dart have been granted a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) to extract coal-based methane from the ground.

According to campaigners, Dart are proposing to drain water from the coal seam at Daneshill by removing fluid and releasing trapped methane to be captured and used to generate energy.

Earlier this year a Dart spokeman said: “A vertical coal bed methane well may be drilled with the objective of extracting a core from the coals to enable lab testing of methane content.”

“There are no current plans to drill a shale exploration well on the licence.”

Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, was first used in the USA in 1947 and has since spread across the globe but has met with fierce crictism.

Opponents point to environmental risks, including contamination of ground water, depletion of fresh water, air and noise pollution, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface and even earthquakes.