In a video interview with campaign group Friends of the Earth, Ruffalo questions Cameron’s credibility as a politician due to his continued “all out for shale” stance in the face of widespread opposition to the controversial drilling technique. (Scroll down for video).

“Mr Cameron, you’re making an enormous mistake – it’s a legacy mistake, because there is no fracking that can be done safely,” the actor said.

“Today, we are at the precipice of a renewable energy revolution. We had 200 countries from around the world all agree [in Paris] that it’s time to leave fossil fuels in the ground. We’re being told by almost every scientist in the world that we must leave at least 70% [of fossil fuels] in the ground if we have a chance at all.

“Not only that – your people don’t want it [fracking]. You have already told them once before that, if they didn’t want it, you wouldn’t push them to take it. You’re turning back on your words sir. What is a politician if he’s not credible?

“This is a wonderful opportunity for you to honour your people, to honour their will and take them into the renewable energy future of the world. Join us, and the rest of the world, in making this monumental transition to a cleaner, safer, more just world.”

Turning green

Ruffalo, who is nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film Spotlight, was involved in a successful campaign to ban fracking in New York, where the State’s Department of Health found that fracking posed a serious public health and safety risk to local residents. The actor, who is also well known for his portrayal as the Hulk, has written numerous guest blogs about climate change and the need for global governments place more emphasis on renewable energy.

A crucial decision is now looming on fracking in the UK. Cameron has previously stated that local government decisions on fracking applications would be respected. Many local authorities, including Lancashire County Council, have rejected this form of energy on the grounds that high-pressure fracturing of rocks to release gas risks health and environmental impacts and will undermine the country’s climate change goals. 

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Last week, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) released its quarterly review of public opinions of various energy sources, which revealed that 53% of those who said they knew a lot about fracking were against it, compared to just a third (33%) who said they were in favour of it.

But Cameron has called its decision on fracking in, meaning that the Government – not local people – will make the final decision on whether fracking actually goes ahead. MPs also recently voted to allow fracking to take place under national parks, despite the Government previously pledging an outright ban on fracking in protected areas.

Cameron’s ignorance

Friends of the Earth’s senior campaigner Donna Hume said: “Mark Ruffalo is right: Mr Cameron must listen to the people of Lancashire and not force this risky and unpopular industry on the county or anywhere else in England.

“David Cameron is indeed turning his back on the people of Lancashire by ignoring their local democratic decision to reject fracking. The Government admits that the more people know about fracking, the more they oppose it. That’s why Mark Ruffalo, who has seen the impacts of fracking first-hand, doesn’t want Lancashire to suffer the same impacts as so many states in the US.”

Public hearings on the Government’s fracking decision in Lancashire begin tomorrow (9 February). The hearings, which are part of a wider public inquiry, will continue for the next five weeks, with Friends of the Earth staging a public rally at Blackpool FC at 9am tomorrow.

Luke Nicholls

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