Following Thursday’s meeting in Balcombe with WSCC, I’m afraid residents came away with as many questions as those with which they arrived.
What was clear was the fractured method in which the process of allowing a drill company to come in and the way that responsibility for each part of the process is split up between many different agencies.
I seemed to find out more about what WSCC did not have responsibility for than what they did.
We are often told that there are ‘stricter regulations’ in this country controlling the development of the oil and gas industry than has been seen in the US; concerns were raised last night that we have not, in Balcombe, seen evidence of this.
We have, however seen evidence of lack of monitoring by WSCC.
We have also - to our detriment - witnessed first hand Cuadrilla being left to ‘self-regulate’.
Within the Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association, research has lead to genuine concern that something potentially so damaging is taking place close to residents.
Of more concern to wider readership may be the plans to multiply numbers of wells by the thousands.
To make this industry pay in America, wells typically number 8-15 per square mile.
We will certainly not be the only ones effected as the years go by.
Haywards Heath now has the opportunity of two pending by-elections; I hope voters will find out where their candidates stand on the issue of unconventional oil and gas.
Sussex residents can support us in our response to the new consultation with WSCC by writing to them and signing our online petition http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/balcombe-drilling-cease-the-oil-exploration-activities-of-cuadrilla-in-balcombe