Why anti-fracking groups are calling for protests at Tour de Yorkshire 2019 – Yorkshire Post letters

THIS letter comes from a number of anti-fracking groups who are opposed to energy giant Ineos taking over the sponsorship of Team Sky ahead of this week’s Tour de Yorkshire.

Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe with former Tour de France winner Chris Froome and cycling supremo Sir Dave Railsford (right) at the launch of the Tour de Yorkshire.

From: Frack Free Harrogate District; Harrogate Green Party; Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrats; Yorkshire and the Humber Region Friends of the Earth; Plastic Free Harrogate; Frack Free Selby; West Newton Monitoring Station; Frack Free United; Frack Free York and villages; East Yorkshire Frack Free; Frack Free Scarborough; Haxby and Wiggington against Fracking; Frack Free South Yorkshire; Frack Free Yeovil; Frack Free Exmoor; Weald Action Group; Frack Off London; Bolton against Fracking; Talk Fracking.

FROM May 2 to 5, some of the finest UK cyclists will ride in The Tour de Yorkshire under their new banner of Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky).

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The Tour is a source of great celebration and multiple benefits to Yorkshire but we believe that this sponsorship by Ineos tarnishes cycling as a sport.

Former Tour de France winner Chris Froome will line up in this week's Tour de Yorkshire in which Team Sky have been renamed Team Ineos.

We are facing a climate crisis of massive proportions.

Ineos Industries has earned a reputation as a major polluter and greenhouse gas emitter.

It breached air and water quality standards at Seal Sands on Teesside 176 times in four years and is currently lobbying the Government to defer compliance with regulations.

Ineos holds 21 licences, covering much of Yorkshire, to frack for shale gas, with the primary purpose of manufacturing yet more plastics.

Does the UK need more plastics and more fossil fuel exploitation?

If we are serious at all about tackling our climate crisis, we need to change our direction of travel radically.

Ineos appears not to grasp this. It should not be allowed to align itself with sport and healthy activity, especially involving young people.

We have excluded the tobacco industries from sports sponsorship. Fracking, plastics and fossil fuel expansion should similarly be restricted.

Cycling, whether for leisure or competition, encourages a healthy lifestyle and fitness for all ages.

We urge everyone with an interest in cycling and in reversing the causes of our climate crisis to let their views be seen and heard during and beyond the Tour (without causing any disruption to the race) to detach Ineos from its sponsorship of this wonderful sport.