Posts Tagged ‘frackoff’

Lancashire says NO to fracking

June 30, 2015

In what could well be the death blow to fracking, Lancashire has voted NO to fracking.

The fracking industry had hoped to get approval in Lancashire, then use that to gain leverage across the country.

Councillors ignored how their officials told them to vote, and for once voted how the people told them to vote.

Questions need to be asked, why officials were in bed with Cuadrilla.

Cuadrilla claim will impact upon energy security. Like everything else from Cuadrilla complete and utter nonsense. The amount of shale gas small, its impact negligible, it would also be sold on the open market, thus just as likey to be shipped to Europe.

Energy security will be achieved when we have locally owned and controlled power grids, fed by renewables.

FoE claim the success was theirs. It was not, any more than it was down to 38 Degrees (who also claimed the credit). The decision was won by the hard work of the people of Lancashire, supported by people across the country.

The vote was 10-4 to REJECT. Who were the four councillors who voted for fracking? Name and shame in order that they may be kicked out at the next elections.

Is the ConDem Government fracking us?

January 31, 2015

George Osborne has told his colleagues to intervene, intervene, intervene on behalf of fracking.

George Osborne has provided fracking with generous tax allowances.

David Cameron falls over backwards to promote fracking whenever he can.

A government acting for fracking, not the public, not the environment.

A government that censors a report on fracking.

A government acting for their paymasters.

A government in bed with the fracking industry.

Time to get dirty money out of politics.

Chris Smith is to carry out an independent study of fracking. This is the same Chris Smith who has suggested fracking take place in National Parks. The ‘independent study’ is to be funded by the fracking industry. So much for an independent study.

New York carried out an independent study, found fracking was not safe, and imposed a ban. So what use a study by Chris Smith funded by the industry?

Fracking is not safe, is bad for the environment:

  • pollution of ground water
  • high demand on local water sources
  • earthquakes
  • release of methane
  • industrialisation of the countrsyide

Fracking releases methane a greenhouse gas. Fracking opens up cracks in the rocks to release the fracked gas, toxic chemicals are injected into the fractures.

Fracked gas will be sold in Europe, it will have little if any impact on gas prices in UK.

Strange how ‘misinformation being spread’, the phrase used by David Cameron, is the same phrase used by his paymasters, same phrase used by apologists for fracking.

The only misinformation being spread is that by the fracking industry and its apologists.

No problems, been used for decades.

Not true, novel techniques, hydraulic fracking, horizontal drilling, toxic fluids. Not the same as conventional drilling.

Little evidence of water contamination or other problems.

Little evidence due to light touch regulation, little monitoring, exemption from reporting, exemption from protection of water sources.

And we do of course trust the industry.

We saw this with BP and Deepwater Horizon disaster.

We have seen it in the Amazon, with massive oil spills and toxic dumping by ChevronToxico.

The future lies with locally controlled and owned power grids, fed by renewables, with guaranteed feed-in tariffs, only the surplus fed into the National Grid. There are several hundred such schemes in Germany.

One such scheme is REPOWERBalcombe. Balcombe having seen mass anti-fracking protest a couple of years ago.

Such schemes of course attract generous tax concessions, as does fracking? Er, no.

Ban fracking

January 26, 2015

The gas extracted from shale deposits is not a ‘bridge’ to a renewable energy future – it’s a gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments. — Anthony Ingraffea

If we are serious about avoiding dangerous climate change, the only safe place for shale gas remains in the ground. — Kevin Anderson

With unequivocal scientific evidence that burning fossil fuels is the principal cause of [climate change], the EAC’s conclusions are a beacon of light in a sea of expedient half truths. — Kevin Anderson

Fracking is often touted as a bridge fuel, it is not. It release methane, making it as polluting as burning coal. it pollutes ground water, triggers earthquakes.

Despite the ConDem government falling over backwards to promote shale gas, by paying for drilling, generous tax regime, relaxing planning controls, only eleven wells are planned.

An example of how rotten and corrupt the CondDem government, where their paymasters call the shots, is the leaked letter George Osborne has sent to cabinet colleges calling for racking to be fast tracked.

  • £5 million of taxpayer funding to providing independent advice to the public
  • make available public land including MoD land for fracking
  • build on existing network of neutral academic experts available to provide credible evidence-based views
  • Secretary of State can at his discretion” take the power to overrule local planning decisions
  • responding favourably to requests from fracking industry
  • ministers make dozens of interventions to fast-track fracking a personal priority
  • intervene in local planning applications

Osborne expects to see rapid progress on his list of demands.

An example of so-called neutral academic experts is petroleum engineer Prof Quentin Fisher at the University of Leeds:

It is disappointing to see a government committee putting the ill-informed views of anti-fracking groups ahead of evidence-based scientific studies.

Unless evidence to the contrary, it is reasonable to assume Quentin Fisher is an ill-informed mouthpiece for Dirty oil, as his ignorant ill-informed comment would demonstrate.

I do not think Anthony Ingraffea, a lifetime in the oil industry, a pioneer of many the techniques, and one of the strongest critics of fracking, is ill-informed.

Commenting on the Osborne letter, Friends of the Earth campaigner Tony Bosworth:

This letter shows government and industry working hand-in-glove to make sure fracking happens. Such collusion with a highly unpopular industry will just make fracking an even more politically toxic issue. The government should follow other countries and call a halt so we can assess the risks to the environment, people’s health and our climate.

FoE should stop pussyfooting around. We do not need a halt we need an outright ban.

What the leaked letter shows, apart from George Osborne acting for his paymasters, is that we must get dirty money out of politics, where politicians like Osborne are whoring for Big Business and Dirty Oil.

Protesters have seen off fracking in Balcombe, and it now seems Lancashire.

Protesters have seen off fracking in Romania, Poland, New York.

The House of Commons Environment Audit Committee has today called for a halt to fracking.

Today sees Members of the House of Commons vote on The Infrastructure Bill, which will give a green light to fracking, and make a mockery of any democratic accountability.

Please sign the petition URGENT, calling on MPs to vote against.

Also please sign the petition calling for a global ban on fracking.

And please sign the Stop Fracking petition from Tessa Munt.

Fracking is not a bridge fuel, any more than deepwater, Arctic, tar sands. We know we have to keep 80% of known carbon reserves in the ground. The fossil fuels we can burn, are a bridge fuel. If we explore for more, we have built expensive infrastructure with a lifetime of decades. There will be pressure to recoup that investment. Already Dirty Oil has trillions of dollars of stranded assets. That investment should go towards creating a renewable future, local energy grids.

Stop fracking censorship

January 10, 2015

It is bad enough David Cameron is in the pocket of the fracking industry, that our rights to object to fracking are being taken away.

Now we have a report on fracking the ConDem government are refusing to release. Even Members of Parliament are only being allowed to see a redacted copy.

This can only mean one thing. The report shows fracking not to be safe.

In a discussion between Russell Brand and George Monbiot, the discussion was politicians are owned by their paymasters. We see a prime example. We must get dirty money out of politics, and make it clear to the clowns in Westminster, they are there to act for us.

The fracking report has been redacted, and please do not laugh, ‘in the public interest’.

Within the next couple of weeks MPs will vote on The Infrastructure Bill, which proposes controversial changes to our Trespass Laws that will erode our land rights, and pave the way for fracking. Two Tory MPs have already urged David Cameron to release the report in full. Other MPs have also asked to see the complete report, yet still it remains redacted. It’s crucial that what’s hidden in this report is released before the Infrastructure Bill is finally voted on in Parliament, so that MPs can properly understand impacts that fracking will have on our house prices and our communities.

We all deserve to see the censored material in this important document that our government is keeping from us.

Please sign the petition to David Cameron demanding that the fracking report is placed in the public domain.

To add insult to injury, the ConDem government is planning to spend £80 million of our money, to fund the oil industry to drill exploration holes for fracking. No money for public services, but money can be found for the rich oil and gas industry.

The UK already has the most generous tax regime for the fracking industry, now we are paying them to drill.

We know that we cannot keep global temperature rises to below 2C (and even 2C limit will lead to more extreme weather events), unless we keep 80% of known reserves in the ground. Why are we drilling for more? Ever more dangerous sources of carbon: fracking, deepwater, Arctic, tar sands.

Please sign the petition calling on the ConDem government to end any payments to the fracking industry.

Tell David Cameron to frack off

June 4, 2014
Greenpeace frack David Cameron

Greenpeace frack David Cameron

In the local and European elections two weeks ago, the mainstream political parties got a drubbing. What difference has it made? Seemingly not a lot, either they are not listening or they are showing their usual arrogant contempt for the people.

LibDems have a toxic leader who makes them unelectable. What are they doing about it? Er nothing.

Labour are still offering the same hated and discredited policies as the Tories.

David Cameron has offered an EU referendum sometime in Never Never Land. Ed Miliband has simply said never.

Zac Goldsmith and Caroline Lucas have been pushing for some time for the right of recall of MPs, ie the electorate can fire their MP. Measures were announced in the Queen’s Speech today. Measures that are not worth the paper they are written on.

The Day after the elections, David Cameron announced changes that would allow fracking under private property, those measures were included in the Queen’s Speech today. Imagine had those measures been announced the day before the elections, not the day after, imagine the Green Party had been given the same airtime as UKip?

When Greenpeace today set up fracking outside the home of David Cameron, they were asked by the police to desist. When protesters objected to fracking at Balcombe, they were asked by the police to desist.

The move to allow fracking under private property is an attack on democracy by the 1%, who own the political establishment lock, stock and barrel.

Please sign the petition opposing this relaxation of the law. Do you really want fracking under your house?

It must be made very clear to Members of Parliament, they are not there to act for the 1% nor is it an opportunity to get their snouts in the trough, they are there to act for the 99%.


May 9, 2014

Fracking is a new, unproven technology, that risks contamination of ground water.

You must accept fracking for the good of the country, David Cameron tells southerners

August 12, 2013

David Cameron to insist that people living in the south of England must accept fracking, as he sets out his argument for the controversial way of extracting gas in his strongest terms yet.

Prime Minister David Cameron says in today's Daily Telegraph: 'I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits: north or south, Conservative or Labour. We are all in this together.'

Prime Minister David Cameron says in today’s Daily Telegraph: ‘I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits: north or south, Conservative or Labour. We are all in this together.’

David Cameron is to insist that people living in the south of England must accept fracking, as he sets out his argument for the controversial method of extracting gas in the strongest terms yet.

The Prime Minister will use an article in The Daily Telegraph to make clear that people in the South as well as the North of England will have to allow fracking, insisting “we are all in this together” in the battle to find sources of cheap energy for Britain.

Mr Cameron set out the economic benefits including cheaper energy bills for millions, tens of thousands of jobs and windfalls for communities which are sitting on vast reserves of shale gas.

He also pledged that fracking would not damage Britain’s countryside and would only result in a “very minor change to the landscape”.

The British Geological Survey said in June that there could be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas in northern England alone.

The intervention will be seen as an attempt by Mr Cameron to repair the damage done Lord Howell of Guildford, a former Government adviser and George Osborne’s father in law, who said two week ago that gas fracking should only take place in the North East because it was filled with “desolate” areas.

Mr Cameron, who represents an Oxfordshire constituency, said that it was wrong to suggest that fracking should only be confined to the north of England, where fewer people live. He said: “It’s been suggested in recent weeks that we want fracking to be confined to certain parts of Britain. This is wrong.

“I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits: north or south, Conservative or Labour. We are all in this together. If neighbourhoods can really see the benefits – and get proper reassurance about the environment – then I don’t see why fracking shouldn’t get real public support.”

The technique, which involves fracturing rocks deep underground with water and chemicals to extract natural gas, has dramatically cut energy bills in the USA.

Ministers are hoping that it could do the same in the UK however campaigners and local people are bitterly fighting drilling.

Mr Cameron made clear that the potential benefits are too good to ignore. He said that fracking has “real potential to drive energy bills down”, adding: “It’s simple – gas and electric bills can go down when our home grown energy supply goes up.

“We’re not turning our back on low carbon energy, but these sources aren’t enough – we need a mix. Latest estimates suggest that there’s about 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas lying underneath Britain at the moment – and that study only covers eleven counties.

“To put that in context, even if we just extract a tenth of that figure, that’s still the equivalent of 51 years gas supply.”

There were also large rewards on offer to communities which find themselves sitting on vast reserves. He said: “Companies have agreed to pay £100,000 to every community situated near an exploratory well – somewhere where they’re looking to see if shale gas exists.

“If shale gas is then extracted, one per cent of the revenue – perhaps as much as £10million – will go straight back to residents who live nearby.

“This is real money that could be used for a variety of purposes – from money off the council tax bill to investment in local schools. It’s important that local people share in the wealth generated by fracking.”

Mr Cameron also insisted a drive to increase fracking in Britain would lead to the creation of more than 70,000 jobs in a North Sea oil-type boom.

He also tried to tackle the persistent argument that fracking was not safe and risked poisoning local water sources.

He said: “We must make the case that fracking is safe. International evidence shows there is no evidence why fracking should cause contamination of water supplies or other environmental damage, if properly regulated.

“And the regulatory system in this country is one of the most stringent in the world. If any shale gas well were to pose a risk of pollution then we have all the powers we need to close it down.”

Downing Street will hope that the article addresses the growing panic about what fracking entails for rural communities.

Last week Nick Herbert, a former minister who resigned from the Coalition last September, told The Daily Telegraph that fracking was the biggest threat to the countryside after the concern about the spread of unwanted housing developments.

Mr Herbert, who represents Arundel and South Downs, called on the Government to explain the risks, adding that a “fear of the unknown” was fuelling the concern.

Mr Cameron goes some way to dealing with these worries in his article by insisting that the British countryside is not going to be ruined by fracking.

He said: “One myth still remains – that fracking damages our countryside. I just don’t agree with this. Our countryside is one of the most precious things we have in Britain and I am proud to represent a rural constituency.”

Mr Cameron said people had to understand that the area which had to be set aside for the drilling equipment was relatively small.

He said: “I would never sanction something that would ruin our landscapes and scenery. For a start, shale gas pads are relatively small – about the size of a cricket pitch. But more than that, similar types of drilling have been taking place for decades in this country without any real protest.”

Two areas of Surrey and Sussex are estimated to hold hundreds of millions of barrels of recoverable shale oil – or more than a year’s supply for Britain.

Mr Cameron directed his comments to the people living in the South Downs National Park, which is one of the focuses for drilling.

This month energy company Cuadrilla started drilling at a site in Balcombe, West Sussex, despite protests, and attention is due to shift in the next few weeks to the South Downs National Park where a drilling application has been submitted near Fernhurst.

He said that the South Downs “is one of the most beautiful parts of Britain and it has been home to conventional oil and gas drilling since the 1980s. The huge benefits of shale gas outweigh any very minor change to the landscape.”

Lord Howell of Guildford said last month that “there are large, uninhabited and desolate areas, certainly in parts of the North East, where there is plenty of room for fracking, well away from anybody’s residence, and where it could be conducted without any threat to the rural environment”.

The peer was forced to apologise and insisted he “did not intend to suggest that the North East is desolate”. Days later, he revealed that he meant to suggest gas fracking should take place in the North West.

Published in The Telegraph.

According to David Cameron, we are all in this together. No doubt the same all in it together we are all in together for austerity, where real wages have fallen by more than 5%, this being more than real wages have fallen in the eurozone crisis countries of Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus, where the poor get poorer, see their benefits cut, where the rich get richer, where fat cats get fatter, and tax avoiders continue to avoid tax.

No doubt David Cameron relies on impartial advice from government advisor Lord Browne, who has a vested interest in shale gas exploitation through his association with Cuadrilla who are drilling at Balcombe in Sussex.

Cameron claims fracking is safe, that it will bring down energy bills. From where did he get these myths?

There is plenty of evidence that fracking is not safe. Nor is it likely to make a jot of difference to UK energy bills. At the height of the gas shortage, gas was being exported from UK to markets where a higher price could be obtained. To make a dent in prices, we would have to be drilling 1,000 wells a year.

Cameron in Bribery Blunder

August 11, 2013

This is what the fury’s all about: First photo of potential fracking site in heart of England that has sparked huge protests

August 8, 2013

* This rig has been drilling a six-inch exploratory borehole 3,000ft into the shale and limestone
*The controversial technique is expected to be used if fuel reserves are found at Balcombe, West Sussex
* Residents from Balcombe have made it clear they are opposed to any such thing
* According to Cuadrilla, which is licensed to carry out the Balcombe test drill, the operation will continue for two-and-a-half months

Surrounded by fields and woodland, this is the drilling rig that has sparked fierce protests about the future of Britain’s countryside.

Since Friday, it has been drilling a six-inch exploratory borehole 3,000ft into the Sussex shale and limestone in search of oil and gas.

Although there are no immediate plans to use fracking at the site, the controversial technique is expected to be deployed if fuel reserves are found.

Cuadrilla site at Balcombe

Cuadrilla site at Balcombe

Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressure to crack rocks and retrieve the natural gas trapped inside.

Opponents say the process causes tremors, noise and pollution.

If used, the night sky around the village of Balcombe in West Sussex could become lit up with ‘flares’ of burning gas similar to those seen on oil rigs.

Campaigners at the gate

Campaigners at the gate

Sussex countryside

Sussex countryside

Pictures of the Balcombe rig emerged as George Osborne declared it would be a ‘tragedy’ if Britain does not take advantage of shale gas exploration.

In a controversial intervention, the Chancellor distanced himself from comments made by his father-in-law Lord Howell last week, in which the Tory peer claimed that fracking should only take place in the ‘desolate’ North East.

Mr Osborne said: ‘It would be a real tragedy for Britain to basically allow this energy revolution to bypass our country.

Fracking protest at Balcombe in Sussex

Fracking protest at Balcombe in Sussex

Get the Frack Out of Sussex

Get the Frack Out of Sussex

‘It would mean we would have much higher energy costs than other countries, it would mean jobs would go to those other countries and businesses would go to those other countries, and we would all pay a very heavy price for that.’

But residents from Balcombe have made it clear they are opposed to any such thing.

More than 30 campaigners, including the daughter of singers Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies, have been arrested after clashes with police outside the site.

According to Cuadrilla, which is licensed to carry out the Balcombe test drill, the operation will continue for two-and-a-half months.

It is also looking to acquire up to six more sites for shale gas exploration.

Drilling could begin on two of these as early as 2014.

Despite living in neighbouring Kent, Energy Minister Michael Fallon is keen that the dash for gas extends across a vast swathe of the South.

He said there may be opportunities to exploit shale gas from Dorset, through Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
Yesterday Downing Street endorsed his enthusiasm.

Asked about the energy minister’s assertion, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘The PM has no reason to think that Michael Fallon is wrong about that.

‘The Prime Minister thinks that shale gas represents an exciting potential resource for Britain that could contribute to our energy security.

‘Fracking will only be allowed where it is safe and poses no risk to the environment.’

Mr Osborne made it clear that communities where shale gas extraction takes place will be compensated. He said: ‘We’ve designed a regime that is very generous for local communities where this activity might take place.’

But Craig Bennett, of Friends of the Earth, said: ‘Fracking poses a real threat to the local environment and causes more climate-wrecking pollution.

‘It’s little wonder communities across the country, including the Tory shires, are mobilising against it.’

'We're in luck. The fracking blocks our view of the wind turbine.'

‘We’re in luck. The fracking blocks our view of the wind turbine.’

Published by The Mail.

Although there are no immediate plans for fracking, and Cuadrilla has no licence to frack, Cuadrilla has made it clear it will apply for a licence to frack if it finds shale gas deposits.

Anyone who has travelled by train from Victoria to Brighton, or flown in or out of Gatwick Airport, will know the Sussex countryside of green fields, trees, small woodlands and bushy hedges. Fracking would turn this lovely landscape into a post-Apocalypse industrial hell. Plus pollution of groundwater, earthquakes, road traffic, noise, dirt, light pollution at night.

George Osborne demonstrates his ignorance of fracking matches that of his ignorance of economics.

Fracking will give a temporary respite in our insatiable demand for gas, is unlikely to bring prices down.

Osborne has given oil companies tax concessions that turns the principle of The Polluter Shall Pay on its head, into one where The Polluter Shall be Paid.

We need a secure energy policy that exploits renewable resources.

Children given lifelong ban on talking about fracking

August 6, 2013

Two Pennsylvanian children will live their lives under a gag order imposed under a $750,000 settlement

drill pipe at a shale gas operation in Pennsylvania

drill pipe at a shale gas operation in Pennsylvania

Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company.

The sweeping gag order was imposed under a $750,000 settlement between the Hallowich family and Range Resources Corp, a leading oil and gas driller. It provoked outrage on Monday among environmental campaigners and free speech advocates.

The settlement, reached in 2011 but unsealed only last week, barred the Hallowichs’ son and daughter, who were then aged 10 and seven, from ever discussing fracking or the Marcellus Shale, a leading producer in America’s shale gas boom.

The Hallowich family had earlier accused oil and gas companies of destroying their 10-acre farm in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania and putting their children’s health in danger. Their property was adjacent to major industrial operations: four gas wells, gas compressor stations, and a waste water pond, which the Hallowich family said contaminated their water supply and caused burning eyes, sore throats and headaches.

Gag orders – on adults – are typical in settlements reached between oil and gas operators and residents in the heart of shale gas boom in Pennsylvania. But the company lawyer’s insistence on extending the lifetime gag order to the Hallowichs’ children gave even the judge pause, according to the court documents.

The family gag order was a condition of the settlement. The couple told the court they agreed because they wanted to move to a new home away from the gas fields, and to raise their children in a safer environment. “We need to get the children out of there for their health and safety,” the children’s mother, Stephanie Hallowich, told the court.

She was still troubled by the gag order, however. “My concern is that they’re minors. I’m not quite sure I fully understand. We know we’re signing for silence for ever but how is this taking away our children’s rights being minors now? I mean my daughter is turning seven today, my son is 10.”

The children’s father, Chris Hallowich, went on to tell the court it might be difficult to ensure the children’s absolute silence on fracking – given that their ages and that the family lives in the middle of a shale gas boom.

“They’re going to be among other children that are children of people within this industry and they’re going to be around it every day of their life, that if they in turn say one of the illegal words when they’re outside of our guardianship we’re going to have difficulty controlling that,” he said. “We can tell them, they can not say this, they can not say that, but if on the playground…..”

The court transcripts were released in response to an open records request by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which first reported on the children’s lifetime gag order. The newspaper has been fighting for the release of all documents in the Hallowich settlement.

Campaigners say the secrecy has helped the industry resist more stringent environmental and health controls – by burying evidence of water contamination and health problems associated with natural gas operations. The Hallowichs’ lawyer, Peter Villari, told the court he had never seen a gag order imposed on children in his 30 years of practicing law, according to the released transcript.

During the proceedings, the attorney representing Range Resources, James Swetz, reaffirmed the company sought the gag order on the children. “I guess our position is it does apply to the whole family. We would certainly enforce it,” he told the court.

Williams Gas/Laurel Mountain Midstream and MarkWest Energy were also defendants in the case.

However, once that gag order came to light, two years after the August 2011 proceedings, the company told reporters it did not agree with Swetz’s comments. “We don’t believe the settlement applies to children,” a Range Resources spokesman told the Gazette. He went on to tell the paper that there was no evidence that the Hallowich family was affected by exposure to gas development.

• This story was amended on 5 August to include the name of James Swetz, the attorney for Range Resources.

— Suzanne Goldenberg

Published by The Guardian.

This is a measure of how desperate the oil and gas industry have become to stop the truth being told about their dirty operations, not only are they gagging adults, they are now imposing gag orders on children. Although it is difficult to see how effective these gag orders could be, a lifetime ban on children speaking the truth, when they were not party to the gagging order.

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