ONE of Hampshire’s members of the European Parliament has called for the county to remain frack free after reports suggested that shale gas drilling could be on the horizon.

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, has been supporting anti-fracking campaigners across the south east and is calling for Hampshire to reject applications He said: “It’s no wonder that a number of campaigns have already sprung up across the south east as concerned residents realise the potential dangers of fracking.

“I am doing all I can to raise awareness of these controversial plans and I will support Hampshire residents who are concerned about this happening on their doorsteps.”

Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technique which involves injecting toxic chemicals, sand, and millions of gallons of water under high pressure directly into the ground to release natural gas in shale deposits. There are concerns that this mixture of toxins and sediment, along with any natural gas released, can leak to the surface and enter rivers and groundwater in the process.

Mr Taylor said: “Despite what the fracking firms are communicating this new ‘dash for gas’ is misguided and potentially very costly.

“The evidence from the USA suggests that fracking can pollute water sources and cause significant disruption to local communities. Fracking has also been linked to earth tremors in Lancashire, which became the first location in UK to undergo fracking 2011.

“To top it off the evidence suggests that fracking won’t even help cut our energy bills.”