Fracking myths

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The anti-fracking protest near Balcombe in West Sussex has been hijacked by an activist mob who are repeating the old 
discredited lies (your report, 20 August). One protestor said it was his 14th demonstration and funded by welfare benefits.

The total number of aquifers polluted by either fracking fluid or methane gas as a result of fracking in the US is zero.

Two recent peer-reviewed studies concluded that groundwater contamination from fracking is “not physically plausible”. The film Gasland showed the methane coming out of a water tap being set alight. This was an entirely natural gas contamination of water. The BBC described fracking as releasing “hundreds of chemicals” into the rocks.

Fracking fluid is 99.51 per cent water and sand. The remaining 0.49 per cent are chemicals, all of which are in your kitchen, garage or bathroom.

As for earthquakes, Durham University’s definitive survey of all induced earthquakes concluded that “almost all of the resultant seismic activity from fracking was on such a small scale that only geoscientists would be able to detect it”.

The government and the media have done a poor job of challenging the Frack Off rent-

Clark Cross

Springfield Road


People of polarised views tend to seek out evidence which supports their claims, in extreme cases producing Kripkean dogmatists (I believe this; therefore all contrary evidence is false).

This certainly appears to be the case with latest denial of reality from the climate change zealots, those opposed to fracking for gas as a method of addressing our energy needs.

The main allegations levelled at such shale gas production are that it has polluted aquifers in America; produces more methane than other methods; uses massive amounts of water; introduces hundreds of toxic chemicals and causes damaging earthquakes.

Every one of these objections appears to have been authoritatively dismissed.

No cases of US aquifer contamination have been recorded out of two million or so fracking operations.

The amount of water involved in the US is apparently 0.3 per cent – less than that used in irrigating golf courses.

The BBC reported that the process released “hundreds of toxic chemicals” into the rock. From what I’ve read elsewhere, however, fracking fluid comprises 99.51 per cent water, with the remaining 0.49 per cent harbouring only 13 chemicals, all of them used domestically.

The folly of blind rejection of a valid means of securing energy supplies has surely reached its zenith with the involvement of Caroline Lucas in the context of a case where fracking is not even an issue.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road