Well done Medact for an excellent meeting on fracking and health in Haywards Heath. Superb speakers, Dr Sutcliffe (Medact), a GP Tim Thornton from Ryedale and Dr Warhurst (Chem trust). I was astonished to hear the list of illnesses that people are frequently found to develop living in oil and gas fields. Harm to the unborn child and normal reproductive function were particularly worrying, although Tim Thornton highlighted that children are also susceptible to nosebleeds, itchy rashes, severe headaches and dizziness caused by neurological problems. I was also shocked to hear the chief executive officer of Horse Hill Developments talking about the sheer numbers of wells proposed for the weald. He talked of deposits that extend over 1,200 square miles so you can have incremental step outs over quite a large area, drilling a lot of wells close to each other back to back in an industrialised process. This may not be termed as ‘fracking’ as proposed in the north, but it is not so far removed in my view.
No matter what the process underground, living among flares in an oil or gas field is harmful. I agree with former UK climate envoy, John Ashton, in his final statement ‘In the matter of unconventional oil and gas, we have a government that is the enemy of the people’.