Greenpeace Erects Fracking Site at Prime Minister's Estate
Campaigners object to David Cameron's push for drilling bonanza with backyard protest
As British Prime Minister David Cameron prepared for the announcement of a controversial new fracking law in the UK, Greenpeace activists gave the leader a taste of his own policy early Wednesday when they set up a mock fracking operation at his country estate.
"David Cameron wants to rob people of their right to stop fracking firms drilling under their homes – surely he won’t mind if we kick off the under-house fracking revolution below his own garden." —Greenpeace
Police were called after the activists, wearing hard hats and day-glo vests, erected security fencing around Cameron's cottage in the Cotswold hamlet of Dean, Oxfordshire. Signs were posted that read: "We apologise for any inconvenience we may cause while we frack under your home," and ordered complaints to be directed to the PM's office.
“David Cameron wants to rob people of their right to stop fracking firms drilling under their homes – surely he won’t mind if we kick off the under-house fracking revolution below his own garden," wrote Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Simon Clydesdale in a statement.
After police ordered the removal of the "fracking site," Greenpeace issued this tweet marking the irony of the events.
Fracking @David_Cameron's house has been stopped. Police are right: no one should frack under someone's garden without permission— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) June 4, 2014
The group also released this video of the action:
During her annual address, the Queen of England announced the new legislation—dubbed the "Fracking Law"—hours after the protesters were ordered away.
"My government will introduce a Bill," said Queen Elizabeth II, "[that] will enhance the United Kingdom’s energy independence and security by opening up access to shale and geothermal sites and maximising North Sea resources."
Current laws of trespass require that land and homeowners give permission for shale oil and gas drilling under their land, but the government is expected to end this requirement to push for more widespread fracking in the UK.
Greenpeace posted information about the Queen's speech and the protest at Cameron's estate on their website while urging people to leave their personal comments on the new legislation.
“The Prime Minister is about to auction off over half of Britain to the frackers, including national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty like the Cotswolds," Clydesdale continued. "Having failed to reassure people that fracking is safe or good for Britain, Cameron is now railroading it through with a ‘bungs and bulldozers’ approach."
“As ministers chase their imaginary energy Eldorado, the real solutions to boost our energy security, like slashing energy waste and backing renewables, are being sidelined," he added. "We’ll all pay a price for their shale craze.”