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Paul McMahon - Fracking Moratorium Imperative

Paul McMahon - Fracking Moratorium Imperative

On Tuesday night the Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board unanimously passed a motion asking for a briefing from the Ministry of Economic Development and Environment Canterbury regarding permits for the controversial process known as "fracking" and calling for a moratorium, now an independent report in Britain links the process to 50 earthquakes in the Lancashire area in northern England.

One permit has already been granted in Canterbury by the Ministry of Economic Development for Coal Seam Gas exploration, extracted by fracking, and another, for an inland area straddling the Selwyn and Waimakariri districts, is being processed. The permits would also require a resource consent from ECan, currently run by government-appointed commissioners.

Fracking injects millions of litres of water at high pressure with sand and toxic chemicals into shale rock under the ground to fracture it, but it is not the fracturing that has been found to have caused the earthquakes. The independent report into the earthquakes in Lancashire has concluded it was the massive amounts of water getting in between the rock in a fault and effectively lubricating it.

Spreydon-Heathcote Board Member Paul McMahon, who brought the motion at Tuesday's meeting, now believes "it is beyond reckless and bordering on insanity to allow fracking to take place within Canterbury" without categorical proof that it will not cause further earthquakes in the already stricken province. "This is not moon-man scaremongering stuff, this is hard science: the energy industry needs to stop thinking about the money and listen to reason," he said.

"It is incomprehensible," says McMahon, "that any government, local, regional, or central, would allow fracking to occur in an area in which there have been so many earthquakes so recently and where there may still be more unknown faults. I do not like the idea that somewhere out in rural Canterbury there is someone with a permit that might effectively allow them to unwittingly lubricate a faultline. A moratorium on fracking is the only sensible option."

The Report: http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/news/news/
New Scientist:
The Independent:
Map of the permit areas in Canterbury: http://goo.gl/temxM


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