Blackburn Diocese joins 'fracking' debate

Rev Chris Halliwell

Rev Chris Halliwell

First published in News
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

RELIGIOUS leaders have joined the ‘fracking’ debate by telling parishioners how to oppose hydraulic fracturing in Lancashire.

The Diocese of Blackburn has produced an information leaflet detailing the process of fracking - a method of shale gas extraction which works by blasting sand, water and chemicals underground to free up natural gas - and a list of pros and cons.

The Rev Chris Halliwell, Blackburn Diocesan Rural and Environmental Project Officer, said: “It may appear...that the church’s approach to an issue like fracking is negative, but this stems from a sincere conviction to take seriously the challenges of caring for God’s fragile creation.”

One of the Church of England’s ‘Marks of Mission’ is “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’, meaning they have to address an issue like fracking, which could potentially change the Lancashire landscape.

There are a number of fracking exploration sites in the county including on the Fylde and near Preston.

Fracking is already widely used in the US but not without controversy.

It is believed that the chemically infused water, used to ‘frack’, was either dumped illegally or left in ‘flow-back pools’ which evaporates into the atmosphere and eventually contaminates drinking water supplies.

However, Blackburn MP Jack Straw believes the method is safe and said: “Shale gas could underpin a revival in Lancashire’s economic fortunes.”

Rev Halliwell said fracking demonstrates a disregard for the integrity of creation and will only widen the gap between rich and poor, locally and globally.

“Fracking also...[contributes] to the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he said. “These levels are already dangerously high, and contributing to the reality of climate change.

“The Christian church would want to encourage all believers to approach the issue of fracking with prayerful humility, seeking God’s wisdom and understanding in respect of caring for our neighbours and the vulnerable planet we all share.”

Comments (4)

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4:37pm Tue 18 Jun 13

the usher says...

This is just typical of the Church of England. They try telling others how to perform and object yet they can't get their own house in order. Why don't they stick to the job they are paid to do instead of trying to be clever and sticking their noses in.
This is just typical of the Church of England. They try telling others how to perform and object yet they can't get their own house in order. Why don't they stick to the job they are paid to do instead of trying to be clever and sticking their noses in. the usher
  • Score: 1

7:47pm Tue 18 Jun 13

tinalouiseUK says...

Huge respect for anyone who takes the time to question and explore issues that are certain to have an impact on a community. Thanks to Rev Halliwell for sharing what he has discovered.
Huge respect for anyone who takes the time to question and explore issues that are certain to have an impact on a community. Thanks to Rev Halliwell for sharing what he has discovered. tinalouiseUK
  • Score: -2

7:35am Wed 19 Jun 13

BuckoTheMoose says...

Why would you oppose a cheap and efficient energy source like shale gas?

If you want to protect 'Gods fragile creations', oppose bird mincers.
Why would you oppose a cheap and efficient energy source like shale gas? If you want to protect 'Gods fragile creations', oppose bird mincers. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 2

11:30am Wed 19 Jun 13

mumof3 says...

Fracking uses a toxic chemical cocktail known as fracking fluid.
Companies using fracking fluid have resisted disclosing the contents of fracking fluid, claiming the information is proprietary. However, samples from well sites indicate that the fluid contains: formaldehyde, acetic acids, citric acids, and boric acids, among hundreds of other contaminants.
It has recently come to light that, despite the illegality of the action, companies have been caught using diesel fuel in the fracking fluid.
Fracking removes millions of gallons of precious freshwater from the water cycle.
Each well uses between two and five million gallons of locally-sourced freshwater which will be permanently contaminated by ground contaminants and toxic chemicals contained in the fracking fluid.
About half of this water returns to the surface, where it is stored in steel containers until it can be injected deep underground in oil and gas waste wells.
No one is entirely sure what happens to the other half of the water used in the process. Our best guess is that the water remains underground, though there are indications that at least some of this toxic cocktail makes its way back into the water supply.

DO your own research! Fracking is dangerous!
Fracking uses a toxic chemical cocktail known as fracking fluid. Companies using fracking fluid have resisted disclosing the contents of fracking fluid, claiming the information is proprietary. However, samples from well sites indicate that the fluid contains: formaldehyde, acetic acids, citric acids, and boric acids, among hundreds of other contaminants. It has recently come to light that, despite the illegality of the action, companies have been caught using diesel fuel in the fracking fluid. Fracking removes millions of gallons of precious freshwater from the water cycle. Each well uses between two and five million gallons of locally-sourced freshwater which will be permanently contaminated by ground contaminants and toxic chemicals contained in the fracking fluid. About half of this water returns to the surface, where it is stored in steel containers until it can be injected deep underground in oil and gas waste wells. No one is entirely sure what happens to the other half of the water used in the process. Our best guess is that the water remains underground, though there are indications that at least some of this toxic cocktail makes its way back into the water supply. DO your own research! Fracking is dangerous! mumof3
  • Score: -2

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