British fracking protests ongoing

July 31, 2013 at 8:13 AM

LONDON, July 31 (UPI) -- British energy company Cuadrilla Resources defended its environmental commitment amid ongoing demonstrations against fracking in the country.

Cuadrilla aims to start an exploration program in the village of Balcombe, near the southeast coast. Chief Executive Officer Francis Egan said Wednesday the drilling program posed no threat to the environment.

"We've no intention of ruining the countryside and we won't ruin the countryside," he said Wednesday.

The British broadcaster reports two demonstrators glued themselves together to protest the campaign in Balcombe. They are protesting against the perceived dangers of hydraulic fracturing, a controversial drilling practice seen as a threat to the environment.

Cuadrilla said last week it was not employing the drilling practice, known also as fracking.

Energy company IGas said parts of the country may hold as much as 170 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, prompting the government to extend tax breaks to explorers.

Advocacy groups say the government is moving too fast in an effort to duplicate the exponential increase in U.S. natural gas production from fracking.

"It's time to pull the plug on the U.K.'s dirty fossil fuel addiction and develop clean energy that won't cost people all over England their green and pleasant land," Friends of Earth said in a statement.

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