Fracking CEO may rethink his plans to drill for gas in Stonebridge
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The chief executive of a fracking company has said he will not explore sites in Brent in the event of huge opposition.
Nick Grealy, ceo of London Local Energy (LLE), has said he will apply for a licence to explore fracking opportunities in the borough once the Oil and Gas Authority opens its 15th Onshore Licensing Round, the date of which is not yet known.
He has identified Artesian Close, in Stonebridge, as an area he would like to “drill a hole in the ground”.
Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central, and environmental groups are urging Brent Council to throw out any proposals it receives, which it has said it will.
Cllr Lia Colacicco, chair of Ms Butler’s “Green Cabinet”, has set up a petition to stop LLE from fracking which has so far gathered 49 signatures.
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Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial process used to extract fossil fuels locked in rock formations thousands of metres below the earth’s surface.
A mixture of water, sand and chemicals is injected deep underground at high pressure to fracture the rocks and release the shale gas or shale oil.
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Mr Grealy, whose company is six weeks old, said: “All we are trying to do is produce natural gas. It should be best for the environment, best for the climate and something we should pay ourselves, not Qatar.”
He added: “There are 218,000 people in Brent, and 8.4 million in London. You and me and Friends of the Earth all own that gas. We have a very considered plan to sell people, give people, provide people, something they use every single day of the year.
“I’m not going to go where I’m not wanted, there are plenty of other places in London.”
Ms Butler said: “I won’t let any company put the health of my residents and students at risk, not on my watch, I am urging Brent Council to throw this laughable proposal out immediately.”
Cllr Colacicco added: “If LLE think the residents of Brent are going to put up with seismic testing and the contamination of their drinking water in order for LLE to make profits at our expense, then they have seriously underestimated us.”
Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala, who represents Stonebridge, said: “I am very concerned about the prospect of fracking happening in Stonebridge as it’s in such a built up area. We don’t know if this track is safe or not and people rightly have safety concerns.
“We should be investing in clean energy for the future and using that to provide jobs and opportunities for our community, especially young people.”
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, lead member for environment, at Brent Council said: “Any approach by would-be-frackers is not welcome.”
To sign the petition visit bit.ly/2sXyZBr.