Anti-fracking protesters to gather for demo

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Protesters opposed to the controversial extraction process known as fracking will stage a demonstration at a site earmaked for work later today.

Demonstrators will gather at Daneshill Energy Forest from 4pm Sutton-cum-Lound to protest at proposals put forward by Dart Energy - even though the firm is not considering fracking, which involves fracturing rock to release energy resources.

Pete Kennedy, spokesman for Frack Free South Yorkshire said: “We attended the demonstration against Dart Energy to send a strong message that risky unconventional techniques of gas extraction are not welcome.

“While this site is over into Nottinghamshire, the potential damage and pollution will not stop at the border. South Yorkshire could well be impacted by the adverse effects from the site.”

Dart have been granted a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) to extract coal-based methane from the ground.

According to campaigners, Dart are proposing to drain water from the coal seam at Daneshill by removing fluid and releasing trapped methane to be captured and used to generate energy.

Added Mr Kennedy: “There are a number of concerns. The methane can escape through natural cracks and faults in the ground - leaking gas and water contaminated with naturally occurring radioactive substances into the surrounding countryside. This puts humans, farm animals and wildlife at risk. The drilling operation will involve industrialising the countryside and increase heavy lorry traffic movements in the area.

“We must leave these dirty fossil fuels in the ground, not risk our countryside and future to make quick profits.”

Earlier this year a Dart spokeman said: “A vertical coal bed methane well may be drilled with the objective of extracting a core from the coals to enable lab testing of methane content.”

“There are no current plans to drill a shale exploration well on the licence.”

Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, was first used in the USA in 1947 and has since spread across the globe but has met with fierce crictism.

Opponents point to environmental risks, including contamination of ground water, depletion of fresh water, air and noise pollution, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface and even earthquakes.