Dear Mr Davies
I know your PR company monitors this website, so I am sure that you will see this letter. In The Times (Saturday, February 15th), you referred to me as being an unpatriotic, selfish, Nimby because I am opposed to your proposals to drill for oil and gas in Fernhurst.
I think there is nothing unpatriotic or selfish about having legitimate concerns over the potential environmental and health impacts that this activity could have. In fact, I believe I have a social responsibility to point out these risks; there is strong evidence from studies by Duke, Colorado and Cornell Universities and the American Association of Paediatricians of adverse health impacts on those living near to fracking sites.
Neither are those who oppose your plans, depriving the country of energy security or the economic benefits you claim. Using your own figures, each well (and you claim to want only three or four in production) would, over its lifetime, supply just three days of the UK's oil or gas consumption. I have yet to understand why we suddenly need energy security. Almost all of our gas imports come from Norway and Qatar, both friendly countries, and the USA will start exporting soon. Personally, I would prefer food and water security. As for the claimed economic benefits, not even the Government is any longer trying to claim that domestic gas prices will come down, and any jobs that are created will almost certainly be taken by skilled foreign workers. Meanwhile it is the taxpayers who will have to pick up the extra costs of road repairs and environmental clean ups. The only people who will gain financially are you, Mr Davies, and your US private equity backers.
As for being a Nimby, of course I don’t want this to happen within 300m of my house (which would be illegal in Texas), but neither I do I want it anywhere. And I suspect that you would not welcome fracking anywhere near your £2.4m home in Buckinghamshire. I believe this is the wrong site for any number of reasons, and 2000 other local residents, visitors to the National Park, the National Trust, CPRE, and our local MP, Andrew Tyrie, who have all submitted objections, agree with me.
You say “the geology is not moving”. This may be the one thing we agree on. But you must also be aware that the right geology also covers at least 2/3 of the country. Celtique has four exploration blocks in the Weald over 1000 sq km, so why do you insist on having a site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in what is currently a tranquil rural location? Mr Davies, you seem to think that the rolling hills and ancient woodlands of our Sussex countryside are fit for one thing only – screening for noise and visual pollution from the fracking sites that you want to pepper them with.
Marcus Adams, Fernhurst