Among the many attempted fracking projects being pushed forward in Britain this year, Preston New Road has been a site of particularly strong resistance. Site owner Cuadrilla, run by a former BP executive and backed by private equity giant Riverstone Holdings, has repeatedly tried to railroad communities into accepting the imposition of dangerous gas mining despite sustained resistance.
In a statement today green direct action group Reclaim the Power reports that the firm is going ahead with preparatory work despite ongoing blocks — and warns that bosses are jumping the gun if they think the dispute is over:
Cuadrilla have made an arrogant move towards fracking today by beginning preparation work around the site in Lancashire at Preston New Road. This is despite community opposition and pending legal challenges. This is their first in a series of steps to try and roll out a fracking industry in the UK.
As Reclaim the Power, our message is clear– we will not allow the development of a new climate and community wrecking industry. We will stand with the people of Lancashire and everyone fighting fracking across the country and beyond, we will put our bodies on the line to prevent this from happening. The democratic process has failed us, and now is the time for direct action.
Despite overwhelming public opposition and being rejected by Lancashire Council, 2016 saw the government grant permission to frack at a site in Preston New Road, Lancashire, with approval of a second site expected in the future.
There are still plenty of obstacles for Cuadrilla to overcome before they can start fracking. Today’s actions show their misguided presumption that fracking will go ahead and utter naivety to the movement that will resist them.
With fracking also given the go ahead in Ryedale, North Yorkshire, and the possibility of drilling beginning in Nottinghamshire at Easter, resistance is growing. A protection camp has already been set up in Yorkshire, and across the country support for fracking is at an all time low, with more people than ever galvanised to take action.
Reclaim the Power is ready to fight this on the ground– whatever the fracking industry is up to, we have our own plans to resist them every step of the way.
Early this year, we’ll be continuing to mobilise and train hundreds of people to take action – large numbers have already indicated they are prepared to join us. We will also be working with other groups to coordinate direct action, plus gearing up for our own set of actions around the country at a crucial moment this Spring.
We will show a united front against fracking across the UK; we can stop this destructive industry before it gets started.
* In related news, fracking company Third Energy has been caught out failing to fill in its returns for Companies House. Campaigners have noted that perhaps it’s not wise to give the go-ahead to crack open Britain’s bedrock to a firm which can’t manage its own finances.
Reclaim The Power is calling for support and bodies to keep up the pressure on Caudrilla and other fracking firms.Click here for more information and to sign up be kept in the loop. Reclaim the Power is a UK based direct action network fighting for social, environmental and economic justice.