Mark Ruffalo and Colin Firth lead celebrity open letter telling David Cameron to stand up against fracking by Hamish MacKay, March 15, 2016, Mirror
In a letter handed to the Daily Mirror, celebrities urged the PM not to allow fracking in communities that have already rejected it
Mark Ruffalo, Colin Firth and Vivienne Westwood are among celebrities to have written an open letter to David Cameron urging him not to allow his government to impose fracking on communities that have already rejected it.
Lancashire residents and councillors voted overwhelmingly against planning applications by energy company Cuadrilla to drill for shale gas at two sites last year.
But the decision was then taken out of their hands, with Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark now making the final call following a public inquiry, which ends tomorrow.
Both Labour and environmental groups have accused the government of ignoring the wishes of local communities and imposing fracking upon them.
Tony Bosworth, Friends of the Earth campaigner, told the Mirror: “This could be the start of a slippery slope. If Government ministers sitting in Westminster overturn Lancashire’s rejection of fracking, then democratically-taken decisions elsewhere could be under threat too.”
Ahead of Clark’s announcement, numerous celebrities have written to Cameron urging him not to allow what they fear will be Government overturning a democratically reached verdict for the benefit of major energy companies.
Open letter to David Cameron:
Dear Prime Minister,
Lancashire residents and their locally elected representatives in the County Council voted overwhelmingly – just months ago – to reject the fracking applications by Cuadrilla. You have said communities would have a voice in whether fracking would happen near them, but now their decision is at risk of being overturned by your Government following the planning inquiry, which finishes tomorrow.
We are writing to ask that you keep your promise to let local voices and councils decide about fracking applications. We join the tens of thousands of people who have signed Friends of the Earth’s petition urging you not to overturn Lancashire’s local, democratic decision.
In the United States fracking has caused thousands of cases of groundwater and surface water contamination, made many people sick, has been linked to infant health issues, serious air pollution problems, and more. Lancashire knows the impacts of fracking first-hand, having experienced earthquakes the only time fracking has been done in the United Kingdom five years ago. Since then, science has revealed that fracking poses significant public health and environmental risks and harms. Last year, New York State banned fracking after performing the first public health review.
When fracking can cause such damage, it should not be forced on communities that do not want it. France, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Ireland, and parts of Canada, Spain, and Switzerland, Scotland and Wales have all banned or suspended fracking while the risks are examined. England should look at the risks and take heed as well.
We urge you and Communities Secretary Greg Clark to respect Lancashire’s decision and let their rejection of fracking stand.
Mark Ruffalo, Colin Firth, Livia Firth, Vivienne Westwood, Taron Egerton, Rupert Friend, Aimee Mullins, Bianca Jagger, Felicity Blunt.
[Refer also to:
Lucy Cooke from Ireland, Ian Roberts from Lancashire, Ernst from Canada (on her 2013 speaking tour of the UK and Ireland) in front of Cuadrilla’s pretend mitigation straw bale wall (Encana installed one too at Rosebud, Alberta Canada) at the company’s quake-inducing frac site Annas Road, Lancashire, UK