Green Party fracking fear

Sheffield Green Party's Councillor Rob Murphy.
Sheffield Green Party's Councillor Rob Murphy.
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Green energy such as solar and windpower should be developed in Sheffield, rather than any controversial ‘fracking’ for shale gas, according to Green Party councillors.

Coun Rob Murphy, who represents Sheffield Central, will present a motion to tomorrow’s full meeting of Sheffield Council supported by ward colleague Coun Jillian Creasy.

Coun Murphy said the council should ‘seek funding for projects which increase energy efficiency, sustainability and self-sufficiency, stabilise energy bills, and create jobs in the green economy’.

He added: “There is well-documented risk of groundwater contamination as a result of fracking, which would exacerbate the pressure on water supplies and put residents at risk.”

Coun Murphy said he also feared that water supplies could be put at risk because of the amounts of water required for fracking - hydraulic fracturing - in which water is pumped underground at high pressure to fracture rocks and release the gas within.

Sheffield Green Party energy and climate change spokesman Peter Garbutt said: “The Green Party are against fracking for many reasons.

“Most experts believe fracking won’t lead to the cheaper energy bills the Government are promising because the market doesn’t work like that.

“It will cause disruption to communities close to a rig, with a large number of diesel lorries passing through day and night. It will put water resources under pressure because the amounts used are very substantial and cannot be reclaimed afterwards. It also risks contaminating water supplies.”

He added: “Fracking won’t cut climate emissions as claimed, because methane, a far worse climate gas than carbon dioxide, will escape into the atmosphere. We believe more jobs can be created through reducing energy demand by insulating buildings, and growing the renewable energy sector.”