A Total petrol station in Bolton has been closed down today by around 30 anti-fracking protesters in response to the French company’s recent announcement to invest £30 million into UK shale gas extraction. Four individuals have attached themselves to the petrol pumps using superglue and bike D-locks.
One of the protesters Kerry Johnson, 38 from Bolton said, “Fracking is banned in France but Total think it’s okay to extract profits from shale gas in this country instead. Just like Cuadrilla and iGas, Total’s investors should know they’re in for a rough ride.”
Another protester at the Total forecourt, John Bingham from Salford said, “Fracking is a huge threat to the health of local communities and will exacerbate global warming. If we’re serious about stopping climate change we need to keep existing fossil fuels in the ground and move to renewable energy systems.”
This week, Total announced it had bought a 40% stake in two shale gas exploration license in the UK with Dart Energy, Egdon Resources and iGas. It is one of the first major oil companies in to put money into shale gas in the UK.
Opposition to the fracking industry has been focussed at the Barton Moss site in Salford, where iGas are currently conducting exploratory drilling. Last Sunday 12th January, around 800 local residents, trade unionists and environmentalists attended an anti-fracking solidarity demonstration – and protesters have camped out since November, delaying iGas trucks from entering and leaving the site. Previously, campaigners have used a 57 foot wind turbine blade to blockade the iGas site entrance as well as locking themselves to a large orange bus. Locals from Cadishead, Irlam and beyond support the camp daily with supplies of food, blankets and firewood.
The campers have vowed to stay at the site as long as iGas continue with their operations.
For media enquiries contact Sophie at Frack Free Greater Manchester 078213 152 54