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Mark Ruffalo wades into oil dispute

Mark Ruffalo has added his name to a campaign launched to stop the drilling of an oil well in Northern Ireland.
Protesters contacted the actor and clean water activist after officials gave a company the go ahead to drill in Woodburn Forest near Belfast.
They are concerned its proximity to a reservoir will cause chemicals related to the drilling process to contaminate the water supply.
In a letter to Northern Irish politicians, written on behalf of his Water Defense foundation, The Avengers star accused the officials of not properly scrutinising plans for the prospective oil well.
“It is extraordinary that on this sensitive site there has been no public scrutiny through the planning process and there has been no Environmental Impact Assessment,” Mark wrote.
“We (Water Defense) implore you to protect your citizens by protecting their water. The small amount of oil and gas that can be extracted from that site pales in comparison to the nightmare that contaminating the water supply for over 131,000 residents in your community would cause.”
Bosses at Infrostrata, the firm behind the controversial oil well, have said that they have taken measures to ensure the water supply is not contaminated.
Ruffalo is also lending his voice to residents of Lancashire, England, who are fighting to prevent drilling and fracking in their neighbourhoods.
In an online post about his concerns, the actor and activist wrote: “Fracking is an extreme form of oil and gas extraction that leads to water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes, illness, exacerbates climate change and turns communities upside down.
“I’ve seen it firsthand in the state of Pennsylvania, where hundreds and of families have had their water turn brown and toxic. Nosebleeds are common. So are persistent rashes, trouble breathing, headaches, vomiting, hair loss and much more. At first, in 2008 and 2009, when I first visited affected residents these symptoms were anecdotal; now more than five-hundred scientific studies confirm the harms of drilling and fracking.”
Mark also used his recent night out at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTAs) to send a stern message to British Prime Minister David Cameron.
He said, “Lancashire County Council has since rejected two fracking applications, through long democratic processes that included many public consultations and expert testimony… and now the people of Lancashire decisively oppose fracking.
“Unfortunately Prime Minister, David Cameron, supports fracking. Yet he vowed that local people would not be cut out or ignored, and that fracking decisions must be made by local authorities in the proper way. In June 2015, Lancashire County did just that and decided: No fracking!
“Then, in November, Cameron indicated he would break his promise, announcing that the central UK government would make the final decision about whether fracking should go ahead in Lancashire. Instead of listening to local voices as promised, his ministers in London will have the final say, and will likely make a decision about Lancashire in the next month or two.”

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