You will have seen the footage from Balcombe, where fracking company Cuadrilla have been running an exploratory borehole in the search for shale gas and oil.
Actually what I’ve seen reminds me of the road protest movement of the 90s.
It’s the same unconventional alliance of green activists, twitchers, hippies, druids, romantics and middle class Tories worried about property blight.
It seems as if something similar is on its way to Kent.
Not shale gas, this time, but coal bed methane, referred to as “the evil twin of shale gas”, being even more polluting.
If you ask Kent County Council, they will tell you that there are no planning applications for fracking in Kent.
That’s because Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd, the company making the applications, is planning on exploration rather than actual fracking.
But they wouldn’t be making the applications if they didn’t expect to extract.
Coastal Oil and Gas are partnered by the inaptly named Eden Energy.
The applications are for Tilmanstone, Shepherdswell and Guston, on the Kent coalfield.
As I remember, these were some of the villages involved in the Miners’ Strike back in the 1980s.
Two possibilities spring to mind: either they will sell it to the villagers as work to replace their lost jobs down the mines or, if there are no jobs available, these villages will have been picked because they would never vote for the incumbents at KCC anyway.
You might wonder why we should be worried here in Whitstable?
The reason is that a large percentage of our water comes from the Chalk Aquifer of East Kent.
Even exploration carries a high risk of irreversibly contaminating the supply.
France has held a moratorium on fracking, while Germany has invested heavily in renewable energy.
Britain, on the other hand, is blindly following the USA and inviting investment from fracking companies.
We are desperately wringing the last of the fossil fuels from the earth and, almost certainly, doing irreparable damage in the process.
If you want to object you must do so in writing to KCC before the 15th November 2013.
For more information go to www.eastkentagainstfracking.org.uk
Or sign the anti-fracking petition here: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/we-oppose-exploratory-drilling-for-coal-bed-methane-in-east-kent-1
From The Whitstable Gazette.