With the cost of policing protests at its test drilling site in Sussex spiralling out of control, energy firm Cuadrilla has decided to try Plan B. Starting next week, it will begin fracking for oil and gas in a large and equally immobile site, the Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles. There are some major logistical challenges to overcome.
'Eric Pickles's skull is too thick even for tungsten carbide drills to penetrate,' commented site engineer Clive Summers. 'We therefore plan to drill down through his neck, then pump millions of gallons of water and sand into the rock-hard layers around his stomach. We will, however, avoid the area around his guts. These contain vast quantities of crude policy, but they are almost certainly too contaminated.'
Preliminary studies suggest that there are over 1 billion cubic metres of recoverable gas inside the cabinet minister, enough to power all the industrial estates in his Brentwood & Ongar constituency for 20 years. The only downside of a successful exploration would be that Pickles would lose so much weight that the current craze for drawing cartoon versions of him on your thumb would no longer be feasible.
Some hard-line environmentalists have criticised the Pickles-fracking project as short-termist. They believe that if Pickles were to be fed enough curry, he could be converted into an anaerobic digestor producing biogas that would last for the rest of his life and be a rich source of sewage sludge for growing biofuel feedstocks. Pickles himself, however, favours being fracked.
'I've long been the scourge of local governments standing in the way of government policy, so it would be wrong of me to oppose this,' he told reporters. 'All I'd say is please be careful where you frack. In my case, it's not so much NIMBY as NIMBP. You really don't want to go there, in any sense of the word.'
Hat tip to Al Opecia