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Few rules to protect from fracking, British protester says

  |   Feb. 26, 2014 at 8:10 AM
LONDON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The British government doesn't have the safeguards in place to address all of the issues related to hydraulic fracturing, a protest leader said Wednesday.

Natalie Hynde, an activist arrested after protesting against hydraulic fracturing in the West Sussex village of Balcombe, wrote in the Guardian newspaper the British government was moving the economy in the wrong direction.

"This is a time when we should be meeting our climate change obligations, not worsening the situation by injecting a chemical cocktail of carcinogens into the earth's crust," she said in an article published Wednesday.

Drilling sites for energy company Cuadrilla Resources in Balcombe were the scene of summer-long protests last year. Cuadrilla's program was seen as a prelude to a hydraulic fracturing campaign, though the company hasn't yet moved ahead with the controversial drilling practice.

Critics of hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, say some of the chemicals used in the process are harmful to the environment.

"Nothing is in place in the U.K. at the moment to deal with all the radioactive toxic waste water that we're left with after the land has been fracked," Hynde said.

The British government enacted fracking legislation in 2012 after minor tremors were reported near Cuadrilla fracking operations in Lancashire.

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