The effects of fracking could be as dangerous as asbestos, thalidomide, or tobacco toxins, the UK’s leading scientist has warned, claiming the government has adopted the process without considering the side effects.
Lord Browne: fracking will not reduce UK gas prices!!!!
In August, Cameron said: “If we don’t back this technology, we will miss a massive opportunity to help families with their bills … fracking has real potential to drive energy bills down.” In July, Osborne said: “This a real chance to get cheaper energy for Britain … a major new energy source that can reduce energy bills.”
Lancashire Day celebration event and call to keep county frack-free
For immediate release: Tuesday 25 November
Contacts: Helen Rimmer 07940 006783, Jane Thomas 07714 076049 (Friends of the Earth)
Photo opportunity 12-1pm Thursday 27 November, outside County Hall, Preston
Resident groups from across Lancashire are gathering outside County Hall, Preston, on Thursday (27 November, noon) to celebrate Lancashire Day and call on politicians to protect the future of the county by supporting a Frack Free Lancashire.
The Frack Free Lancashire alliance of over thirty community groups (1) will be highlighting Lancashire’s unique environment, natural heritage and local economy that are at risk from fracking.
Drilling company Cuadrilla has applied to drill and frack eight wells at two sites in rural Fylde (2), and have promoted proposals for 4000 wells in the Bowland shale in the county (3).
Taxpayers to fund fracking boreholes across UK – Guardian
23 Sunday Nov 2014
Snouts in the trough: Martin Rowson’s Guardian cartoon goes straight to the heart of the matter – fracking isn’t about ending the energy crisis, or even extracting shale gas in a reasonable way; it is about GREED.
Hundreds of government-funded boreholes are set to be drilled across Britain to try to persuade the public that a looming shale gas boom can be developed safely, according to the Observer
Sensors in the boreholes would detect possible water pollution or earthquakes caused by fracking and the information would be made public.
“We will be taking the pulse of the sub-surface environment and will reveal if things are going wrong, but also if they are going right,” said Professor Mike Stephenson, director of science and technology at the British Geological Survey, which would drill the boreholes. “The aim is to reassure people that we can manage the sub-surface safely.”
The plan, called the energy security and innovation observing system, will cost taxpayers £60m-£80m. It is awaiting final approval from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where energy minister Matthew Hancock, a fracking enthusiast, holds another ministerial post.
However, the Green party MP Caroline Lucas accused the government of subsidising “dirty” energy firms. “There’s no justification for using public money to help the fracking industry pull the wool over people’s eyes. It’s another desperate attempt to quell legitimate public concern and may further undermine public trust,” said Lucas, who in April was found not guilty of public order offences after an anti-fracking protest in Sussex.
Local residents in East Yorkshire were shocked by the sudden arrival of 50+ trucks at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton Frack site; finally realising that they have been duped by the industry Mother-Frackers! Meanwhile, Humberside Police demonstrate that they are little more than Corporate Enforcers …
Are you a foodie, farmer, fisherman , forager, grower, chef, whole food shop, farmers market, community garden, wholesaler, restaurant, café, pub, supermarket, vineyard, brewer, butchers, bakers, grocer?
Will you help to keep LANCASHIRE FOOD FRACK FREE?
Water companies have issued stark warnings over the government’s plans to allow shale gas exploration across half of the UK mainland.
Britain’s fracking push facing resistance from nation’s heartland
The Conservative Party is in pursuit of a shale gas boom like that in the U.S.
LONDON – The ruling Conservative Party is lining up investors to kick-start fracking across swathes of rural Britain and challenge opposition from the village halls and country estates in its political heartland.
Britain got 95 bids for onshore oil and gas licenses this year, after 60 in the last round in 2008, Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said. Celtique Energie, Ineos Group and IGas Energy were among bidders, as interest in hydraulic fracturing grows even after protests stalled earlier projects.
That’s testament to the Conservative-led coalition’s drive to emulate a U.S. shale gas boom that profited producers, cut energy bills and created scores of overnight millionaires.
Britain offers tax breaks to explorers and plans to change laws on trespass to allow drilling under land without owners’ consent. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says he’s proposing the world’s most generous tax system for shale.
“There’s clearly a large amount of interest in license applications despite some of the negative press coverage, local opposition campaigns and environmental concerns,” said Caroline May, a lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright in London who has advised U.S. operators seeking to enter the British market. “There is a determination to see shale gas succeed.”
In the affluent village of Fernhurst, nestled in West Sussex’s rolling green hills 40 miles southwest of London, 70-year-old Aphra Peard is having none of it.
“It’s terribly dangerous,” Peard said in the village community center, where she was finishing off a woolly hat with her knitting group. “If they’re successful, there’ll be a well every 2 miles. Every well needs 4 acres of heavy industry with traffic going backwards and forwards.” The trucks threaten houses in the village like hers built 350 years ago, she said.
The local South Downs National Park Authority declined an application by London-based Celtique, which won a British license in an earlier bidding round, to drill at a site at Fernhurst after receiving about 5,000 objections to its plans.
Michael Pearson, the fourth Viscount Cowdray, whose estate hosts the competition for polo’s most coveted trophy, is among opponents. Pearson, a Buddhist whose great grandfather struck oil in Mexico in the 19th century, has obtained a preservation order for ancient oak trees lining the access road.
Even the area’s Conservative lawmaker, Andrew Tyrie, wrote to the national park planning officer to voice locals’ concerns.
Celtique, which partnered with Magellan Petroleum Corp. of the United States, on Tuesday said it was considering its options for Fernhurst, after the company filed an appeal over a rejected application in the nearby settlement of Wisborough Green.
“While the government takes seemingly positive steps in support of the shale-gas concept such as the trespass law, the reality is the onus is on the explorers to go out and show the public that it technically works and is safe,” Mark Wilson, an oil analyst at Jefferies Group in London, said by phone.
High population density in Britain relative to the U.S. and the lack of the mineral rights laws that enriched American landowners make it harder to win over local communities.
Cuadrilla Resources, faced with protests over plans to drill at Roseacre village and Preston New Road in England’s northwest, is considering ways to curb trucks coming into its project. It is studying recycling waste water on site, as well as seeking permission to use alternative routes.
The government sees such efforts and its argument that the United Kingdom needs to secure low-cost energy supplies winning the day.
“I am not prepared to pass up a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity,” Hancock, a Conservative lawmaker, said as he opened the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas on Friday. “Shale gas is an enormous opportunity for the U.K. and one that we simply can’t afford to miss out on.”
Just as the UK Government is stirring up public anger against human rights, writes Anna Grear, its fast-track development of shale gas and oil shows that we need these legal protections more than ever. A new report shows how the ‘dash to frack’ is endangering our most cherished rights – to health, water, security and life.
“Human rights exist to protect ordinary people from state action threatening certain core human interests – and fracking makes us all vulnerable”
The Lancashire County Council Cabinet will be asked to:
– Receive the report on the initial health impact assessment of the proposed shale gas exploration sites in Lancashire;
– Authorise the Director of Public Health to take the necessary steps to address the potential influence of shale gas exploration activities on the health and wellbeing of local communities.