Campaigners from Somerset have organised their own protest to coincide with a demonstration in London calling on the government to ban a controversial method of extracting shale gas and methane from beneath the land. Fracking involves forcing water and sand at high pressure into rock deposits deep under ground to create tiny explosions which release shale gas.
– John Sauven, Greenpeace
"Two thirds of England, including large swathes of countryside is now under active consideration for a risky, polluting, expensive form of fossil fuel extraction".
The technique, which has been linked to some minor earth tremors, has already prompted widespread protests in the USA where the industry is much more developed.
Across Britain a series of exploration licences have already been granted. Four of these are in Somerset and include the Mendips.
– Statement from Britain & Ireland Frack Free
"The credentials of the 'greenest government ever' are already in tatters and to allow fracking in the UK would be the final nail in the coffin for Cameron's green agenda".
But supporters of fracking say it has huge potential to fill the energy gap after North Sea gas deposits run out. Last year the British Geological Survey which says there are abundant supplies of shale gas deposits started it's own study to establish the risks of fracking amid concerns the process could contaminate groundwater supplies.
Anti fracking campaigners are now waiting to see if George Osborne gives the industry his support in his autumn statement on Wednesday.