Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/818/18931

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 July 2014

Fracking: short-term profit before safety

Barton Moss anti-fracking protesters, March 2014, photo D Murphy

Barton Moss anti-fracking protesters, March 2014, photo D Murphy   (Click to enlarge)

Matt Kilsby, Salford Socialist Party

A recent major study - released by the British Geographical Survey and Environment Agency - has raised fresh concerns over the potential of fracking to contaminate our drinking water. Meanwhile scientists in the US have said that fracking wastewater wells are directly responsible for turning Oklahoma into the earthquake capital of America.

Fracking - or hydraulic fracturing, to give it its full name - involves drilling and injecting over one million gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals - including lead, uranium and mercury - deep into the ground. This process fractures shale rocks to release natural gas.

Unsurprisingly, the fracking industry and its cheerleaders in government have rushed to dismiss the reports and still insist that the process is safe.

They tell us fracking will be heavily regulated. But at the same time, the Con-Dems, without a whimper of opposition from the Labour Party, are busy hammering regulatory bodies, such as the Environment Agency, and throwing workers on the dole.

Polarisation

It appears that public attitudes to fracking are becoming more polarised. Promoters say fracking could make Britain energy self-sufficient, drive down gas prices, create skilled jobs and boost local economies.

But a YouGov poll last month found that public support for fracking has fallen below 50% for the first time, with 31.4% now actively opposed. And whenever exploratory drilling begins in a new area, the gas companies are welcomed with protests, marches and pickets.

On Sunday 11 July, more than 150 people marched through Beverley in Yorkshire to protest against Rathlin Energy's plans to begin exploratory drilling.

In Salford we are no strangers to protesting and marching against fracking. And while iGas have vacated the drilling site at Barton Moss for the time being, we must be prepared to launch another campaign when they submit plans to the council to start fracking for real.

Only a concerted and united campaign from trade unionists, campaigners, environmentalists and local people opposed to fracking will defeat it and force the Labour council to refuse the permissions and the government's bribes.

Fracking is also likely to feature prominently in the general and local elections next year, when the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is planning to stand in every council ward in the city and at least one of the parliamentary constituencies.

Socialist alternative

Apart from the Reality Party, fronted by Happy Mondays music celebrity Bez, TUSC was the only party in Salford that was firmly against fracking and stood shoulder to shoulder with campaigners telling iGas that they aren't welcome in our city.

Demonstration against fracking on Barton Moss in Salford, 12.1.14, photo M Kilsby

Demonstration against fracking on Barton Moss in Salford, 12.1.14, photo M Kilsby   (Click to enlarge)

In stark contrast, the Labour council has granted licenses and planning permissions to allow iGas to drill in Barton Moss. Just like it cut every job and attacked every public service that the Con-Dem government has told it to.

As socialists, we think that the dash for gas and the fracking industry shows how broken and utterly crazy the capitalist system is. Even if fracking was 'safe', it is the most wasteful and insanely resource intensive process. This is because the bottom line for the capitalists - and the three main parties in Westminster that do their bidding - is short-term profit, regardless of any environmental and economic factors.

Only democratic socialist planning can properly safeguard the environment by building an economy based on our needs and by investing in sustainable and green energy sources.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 9 July 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Super-rich flash cash at Tory bash

After 10 July - build workers' movement

NSSN - Organising the resistance

Junk Juncker, Cameron and the anti-worker EU

New Tory attacks on trade union strikes

Super-rich Tory MP profits from evictions

Coulson faces prosecution over Tommy Sheridan

Emergency: Con-Dems don't care

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu government fuels protests


Socialist Party workplace news

Unite conference reflects growth of socialist ideas

Argos workers strike for work-life balance

Locked-out pathology staff "cannot give in"

NSSN supporters back striking Tyneside Safety Glass workers

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

NHS: No to cuts!

Help fund the fight against the 1%

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Reading the revolution

Exposing Ukip's lies in Bracknell


Readers' comments

Fracking: short-term profit before safety

Labour rejects rail renationalisation

Robert Service's historical prejudice on Liverpool

Britain's non-investing, cheap wage bosses


 

Home   |   The Socialist 9 July 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Fracking:

triangleFracking mess

triangleClimate change protest in London on 12.4.19, photo Mary Finch

triangleToxic fracking gets the go-ahead while protesters jailed

triangleAnti-fracking protesters jailed

triangleFracking companies backed by government and courts

Profit:

triangle3bn green pledge: not enough for climate or jobs

triangleTories put profit before lives

triangleTwo-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

triangleSocialist planning is the alternative

Gas:

triangleNewham gas workers' strike threat

triangleNewham gas workers to strike

Socialist:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The collapse of stalinism

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The socialist case for nationalisation

Council:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Environment:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Energy:

triangleEnergy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

Salford:

triangleSalford 'no-cuts' budget includes cuts and tax rises

Barton Moss:

triangleSystem change to save the environment

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

8/7/20

School

TV: The school that tried to end racism

8/7/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

8/7/20

Racism

Books that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

1/7/20

TV

From slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

1/7/20

US

Readers' opinion

1/7/20

Socialist Party

I left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

24/6/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

24/6/20

Covid

A timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

17/6/20

Windrush

Tears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

17/6/20

Grenfell Tower

Three years on: No justice for Grenfell, no peace from BLM

17/6/20

Film

Film: Da 5 Bloods - entertaining but politically constrained

17/6/20

Profit

Two-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

17/6/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

17/6/20

Socialist Party

Why we joined the Socialist Party

10/6/20

Racist

Readers' opinion: Things will never be the same

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999