Fracking protests spread through Britain

Aug. 19, 2013 at 8:27 AM
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LONDON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A British environmental group said demonstrators managed to close the offices of energy company Cuadrilla Resources to protest a hydraulic fracturing campaign.

Campaigners with advocacy group No Dash for Gas staged a weekend sit-in at a drilling site operated by Cuadrilla in the West Sussex village of Balcombe. The company said last week it was suspending some of its operations there following the advice from local police.

No Dash for Gas said it was organizing its Reclaim the Power campaign to express their concern about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the country.

"Twenty protesters have shut down the headquarters of Lichfield-based fracking company Cuadrilla by blockading it with their bodies," the group said in a statement. "This is part of a day of action planned by the Reclaim the Power' camp in solidarity with the people of Balcombe, West Sussex, and against the government's 'dash for gas'."

British Prime Minister David Cameron came out in support of fracking, saying it could provide a substantial source of economic stimulus to the nation's economy. Critics fear some of the chemicals used in the controversial drilling practice could find their way into drinking water supplies.

Cuadrilla was quoted by the BBC as saying it was dealing with "a small number of protesters" inside its office. Six campaigners glued themselves together at the London headquarters of Bell Pottinger, a public relations company hired by Cuadrilla. The BBC said Monday protests were relatively peaceful.

Cuadrilla said it was in the preliminary stages of drilling for oil at Balcombe. It would need another permit if it decides to conduct a fracking campaign there.

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