Jerome Ferrier, the President of the International Gas Union (IGU), has warned that “You cannot duplicate [the US experience] in Europe. Politicians are hesitating to accept shale development.”
The IGU president spoke to the BBC at the World Gas Conference in Paris and complained that community resistance to shale in the UK and Poland was hampering development and there was “no way” fracking would occur in France.
Other countries, such as Germany, Romania and Bulgaria, have all placed moratoriums on fracking. This was a “pity”, he said.
In the UK, for example, two controversial fracking applications are continuing to meet stiff community resistance. Later this month, the long running application by fracking giant, Cuadrilla will be determined by Lancashire County Council.
Lancashire will be consulting other local councils, one of which is Preston, whose councillors vote this afternoon. According to the local press, the local council looks set to object to Cuadrilla’s fracking plans.
One of those who will vote against fracking is Deputy leader of Preston Council, Councillor John Swindells: “I will be joining to protestors at County Hall, I very, very much object to fracking,” he said.
Although Preston City Council may say no today, the crucial vote is still on the 23 June when Lancashire County Council votes on whether to allow Cuadrilla’s drilling to go ahead.
Meanwhile local resistance to fracking is also growing in North Yorkshire where over 1,000 residents from the community of Ryedale have now urged the local County Council to prevent the fracking plans recently submitted by the company, Third Energy.
Their petition calls on the authority to “oppose fracking and all other forms of unconventional fossil fuel extraction in North Yorkshire, and that this anti-fracking position should be reflected in all decisions relating to mineral planning applications in North Yorkshire”.
A spokesman for the Frack Free Yorkshire campaign group said the petition “represents the huge amount of concern and opposition that people living in Ryedale have regarding the introduction of a fracking industry in this beautiful part of North Yorkshire.”
He added that: “Every country where fracking has taken place there is now huge opposition and unlike conventional gas it will not mean one or two wells, it will require hundreds and hundreds of wells. And we are not prepared to see the greed of one industry destroy this beautiful part of Yorkshire.”
And as communities step up the fight, it looks as is Jerome Ferrier will be proved right: there will be no shale revolution in Europe.
The people of Europe just won’t allow their communities and their beloved landscapes to be destroyed by the frackers.