Extreme weather just stopped a UK fracking company in its tracks. Irony overload.

Alaniss Morisette Ironic with Cuadrilla Resources fracking logo
Steve Topple

Bad weather put a stop to a fracking company’s operations in Lancashire on 13 October – before they’d properly even begun. A fossil fuel company? Being stopped by extreme weather? Which climate scientists say is getting worse due to fossil fuel burning-induced climate change? Surely there must be some mistake?

It’s like ra-a-ain, on your fracking day…

Preston New Road, near the village of Little Plumpton, is at the centre of a row over fracking. Cuadrilla has permission to explore and drill the site for shale gas, which has pitted it against local people. But its operations have been dogged by numerous scandals. These include:

  • Campaigners and local councillors accusing private security and police at the site of using “disproportionate force” and trying to “provoke violence” – something both groups deny.
  • Political interventions from shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, and its co-leader Jonathan Bartley.

In July, the government officially gave Cuadrilla the go-ahead to start extracting shale gas. The decision was met by more protests from locals. Then, a legal challenge from local resident Bob Dennett stopped Cuadrilla in its tracks. He argued that the local council’s “emergency response planning and procedures” at the site were not good enough.

But Dennett’s legal challenge was dismissed by a judge, who said his claim was “unarguable”. So, Cuadrilla was set to start work on Saturday 13 October.

It’s a free ride when the climate’s already paid…

Sadly for the fracking firm, this happened:

Twitter reacted accordingly:

People pondered if God helped stop Cuadrilla:

The culprit for Cuadrilla’s woes was Storm Callum, which had been battering Lancashire. The irony is staggering. Because campaigners often criticise fracking’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. So, for companies like Cuadrilla, the effects of their work could end up biting them on the backside.

It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take…

A spokesperson for campaign group Frack Free Lancashire told The Canary:

Cuadrilla now claim that ‘poor weather’ has delayed the commencement of fracking in Lancashire. Which is ironic, because the north of England… is not famed for its sunshine and heatwaves.

There are still glaring and dangerous omissions within the emergency protocols. These should be in place to protect local and vulnerable residents.

Campaigners are still pursuing this through the courts. Because we will not allow ourselves to become a sacrifice for a dirty and dangerous industry. One that has been forced upon us.

Resistance to fracking will be ongoing and sustained; as will exploring every legal avenue possible.

Who would have thought it figures?

Cuadrilla will reportedly resume work on 15 October. So, Storm Callum only provided some temporary respite from this company’s environmental carnage. But rest assured, Frack Free Lancashire and others will continue to make another kind of storm around this dirty industry.

Get Involved!

Find out more about Frack Free Lancashire’s climate crisis event. Follow the group on Twitter.

Featured image via Green Party – screengrab and Cuadrilla Resources – YouTube

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