Help keep Surrey extreme energy free free
You can help keep Surrey free of fracking and unconventional oil and gas extraction technologies.
The Government has given extreme energy extraction its blessing and is taking steps to make it easier for companies to set up drilling operations – initially to test drill, finally to frack. In fact, they give very generous tax breaks to extraction companies.
You can write to your MP and ask what their position is on extreme fuel technologies. Also ask then if they fully understand the risks of extreme fuel extraction. This website makes it very easy to find out who your MP is and write to them: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/
Licenses and permits
In order to explore for, or extract, oil, companies need a number of different licenses and permissions. These are subject to public consultation so you can read the applications and have your say at each stage.
The Government Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) issues licences to explore for oil – and then to extract it – to companies. You can write to DECC to ask if any licences has been issued for your area. HERE is the link for DECC.
Before drilling can commence the company must obtain planning permission from the local minerals planning authority – in our case, this is Surrey County Council. The County Council will consult the Parish and District or Borough Councisl where drilling will take place, as well as other bodies including the Environment Agency. The Planning Officers will will read through the application documents submitted by the company and advise the Councillors on the Planning Committee, who will decide whether or not to grant planning permission and what conditions to impose.
The planning guidance that Planning Officers and Councillors rely on for their decision-making have not been adjusted to take account of extreme extraction technologies in detail. While some Councils may take into account ‘material considerations’ such as groundwater or air pollution, many do not. In addition, there is NO legal requirement as yet for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The Environment Agency also has a role in regulating extreme energy technology. All onshore oil and gas drilling will require environmental permits from the Environment Agency, depending on the methods used and the geology of the site.
All oil and gas exploration involving drilling a borehole or involving any kind of well stimulation will need a mining waste permit. This will cover the management of wastes which may include drill cuttings, spent drill muds and drill fluids, flowback fluids, waste gases and any wastes left underground.
Another permit will be required if large quantities of gas are to be flared and for groundwater activities depending on the local hydrology. Oil and gas drilling is also likely to require a permit for managing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) wastes, for example flowback water, sediments and scales.
Write to the Environment Agency HERE, voicing your concerns about extreme fuel extraction and to find out about and comment on applications for permits.
In order to drill, companies also need permission from the Health and Safety Executive.
Once all these permissions are in place, DECC will then issue a drilling licence.
Use your voice
You can also help by being you. Your voice counts – speak out against extreme energy and help raise awareness of the risks in your community.
Our LINKS page will take you to many websites and Facebook pages of ordinary people who have got together to fight fracking and other forms of extreme energy in their community. Visit often to be updated on their efforts and successes.
Write to your local paper and tell them what your concerns are.
Befriend community protection groups
Many of the areas affected by shale gas drilling have a website or at least a Facebook page. Get involved, join the debate and post any questions you may have.
Raise people’s awareness and encourage people to get involved with public meetings, protests and events such as anti-fracking concerts, rambles or cycle rallies. And if drilling is taking place near you, consider peaceful direct action.
Get up a petition
Fracking affects everyone in the community as well as communities miles away. A petition is a good way of amassing voices of opposition. Local residents, businesses, farmers, golf-courses, sports and youth clubs or Churches all have a stake in a clean, safe living space. Gather as many signatures as you can and hand them to:
Your local Council
The Prime Minister
Your local paper