All posts by rowland

Why We Should Keep Lancashire Frack Free

Why We Should Keep Lancashire Frack Free

At the end of January Lancashire County Council will decide whether Cuadrilla can resume its controversial fracking operations for shale gas. Fracking was suspended across the UK back in 2011 after the company’s attempts to frack in Lancashire triggered several earthquakes.

A lot has changed in the four years since the attempts to frack Lancashire. The UK Government has gone “all out for shale”, with the Department for Energy and Climate Change making up to 60% of the UK potentially available for fracking. And George Osborne has shown that he is determined to see fracking happen under UK soil. He has set about creating a tax regime he’s described as “the most generous in the world” and is planning to offer local communities financial incentives to ’embrace’ fracking.

While the Government’s gone into fracking hype overdrive Friends of the Earth has found that much has also changed on the ground in areas threatened by fracking. In Lancashire the local community has rallied against the fracking proposals. Residents have formed groups like Frack Free Lancashire and Residents Action on Fylde Fracking. And we have worked with them to inform residents about the dangers fracking would bring to their community.

These groups have sprung up because they recognise that fracking is a risky technique that threatens water supplies and all that people love about their local environment. Fracking also produces climate-wrecking dirty fossil fuels when experts are telling us that we need to shift to clean energy. Despite the Government’s best attempts to convince people otherwise, fracking won’t help lower our energy bills or create nearly as many long term jobs as renewables.

Lancashire Council now has an opportunity to say ‘no’ to the dinosaur age of fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy, which offers genuine solutions to the UK’s energy crisis. The Council can turn its back on controversial fracking and kickstart a renewable energy revolution in Lancashire that would create sustainable jobs and tackle climate change – without the need to trespass beneath residents’ homes and businesses.

If the Council finds itself dazzled by Cuadrilla’s heavy lobbying efforts and the short term financial incentives being touted by the Government and grants permission, it risks causing long-lasting environmental, economic and social damage. Last month New York State imposed a ban on fracking – Lancashire should do similar.

Earlier this week Friends of the Earth released a new film giving an insight into what ordinary people in Lancashire really think about fracking. The film demonstrates the utter contempt that local residents and businesses hold for the idea of fracking in Lancashire.

These people are on the frontline and these planning decisions represent a significant moment in the battle to stop fracking across the UK. If the Council refuses the application it will raise serious doubts on whether any community in the UK would have to accept an extreme form of fossil fuel extraction on their doorsteps and under their property.

You can help to protect these despairing residents and stand up to the might of the fossil fuel industry and government by signing this petition. By standing beside these normal people whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by the fracking proposals you will be saying no to fracking and protecting Lancashire communities both present and future.

Green watchdog accused over ‘shocking’ investment portfolio that includes fracking

Environment Agency investing pension fund in industries it regulates is ‘clear conflict of interest’

The fund is investing in two companies financially intertwined with fracking giant Cuadrilla, the company that has been the subject of fierce protests in Lancashire and West Sussex. The first is Centrica, which is investing £60m in Cuadrilla’s Lancashire operations and the second is Riverstone Energy, which owns 44 per cent of Cuadrilla.


Read the full report here….

Cuomo on fracking ban:



“I am not going to put the health at risk for jobs”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today defended the state’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing, saying the state can’t jeopardize the public’s health for the jobs the drilling could create.
He called the presentation at a cabinet meeting Wednesday by acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker “powerful” as Zucker laid out the case against fracking and warned that he wouldn’t let his kids near fracking wells.
“When the public health commissioner says, ‘I wouldn’t let my family live in an area that is doing high-volume fracking,’ that is very sobering, and frankly, that is enough for me,” Cuomo told reporters today. “Because if the state health commissioner doesn’t want his kids living there, I don’t want my kids living there, and I don’t want any New Yorkers’ kids living there. “So that really took my breath away that comment, and I thought it was very powerful,”
He added that, “I am not going to put the health at risk for jobs. I’m not going to make that choice. I believe we can have jobs, and they can be in healthy communities, and we don’t have to run the risk of hurting our children or creating health hazards to create jobs. That’s a false choice.”
“I don’t want to choose between jobs and health, nobody wants to make that choice.”

UK Government “encouraging not subsidising” shale????

Speaking at the regular meeting of the Liaison Committee, Prime Minister David Cameron said that the government was not offering subsidies to shale operations, but merely providing tax-based incentives to encourage the industry to develop.

Mr Cameron has previously stated that the coalition would go “all out” for shale gas as reserves are estimated to potentially supply the UK for thirty years.

He advocated carbon cuts but only in the cheapest ways possible, as to not pass heavy increases in energy onto consumers and views shale gas as a key element of diversifying the UK energy sector.

Read report……..

Fracking is out in New York.

Breaking: NY rules against hydrofracking

Posted by • December 17, 2014 • 12:41 pm

New York’s health and environmental commissioners today rejected the prospect for hydraulic fracturing in New York, saying that health risks, the potential of local bans and limited available land would outweigh the benefits of the controversial drilling technique.

The conclusions by the state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker brings to an end the state’s uncertainty over whether it would proceed with fracking. The state has had a de facto moratorium since 2008.

Continue reading Fracking is out in New York.

Lancashire CC Planning Hearings

Lancashire County Council have once again changed the dates of the hearings for Preston New Road & Roseacre Wood.
  Template letter for your objections to (LCC/2014/101)….
  Template Letter for your objections to (LCC/2014/102)….
 Use the templates by all means, but please try and add your own words in order to make it more specific.
You do not need to live in Lancashire to object.
Please note that following a review of the shale gas planning applications and feedback from likely objectors and speakers, it is now proposed that the shale gas planning applications will be heard in the order in which they were received, meaning that the Committee will first hear the Preston New Road applications (LCC/2014/0096 & 0097), followed by Roseacre Wood (LCC/2014/101 & 102).
The Preston New Road applications will be heard on Weds 28 January 2015 and the Roseacre Wood applications the following day.
The running order of the 30 minute presentations will also change.  The Preston New Road presentations will be heard on Friday 23 January 2015 and Roseacre Wood presentations on Monday 26 January 2015.
The revised schedule is as follows:
Friday 23 January 2015       2:00pm –  30 Minute Presentations (Preston New Road)
Monday 26 January 2015    1:00 pm – 30 Minute Presentations (Roseacre Wood)
Committee meeting
 Wed 28 January 2015         10:00am – Committee meeting re: Planning applications LCC/2014/0096 & 0097  (Preston New Road)
Thurs 29 January 2015        10:00 am – Continuation of Preston
New Rd (if required) followed by :
Planning applications  LCC/2014/101 & 102 (Roseacre Wood)
Friday 30 January 2015       10:00am – Continuation of Roseacre Wood (if required)

An understanding of the environmental and public health impacts of shale gas development

Conversations on the negative environmental and public health impacts of shale gas development continue to play out in the media, in policy discussions, and among the general public. But what does the science actually say? While research continues to lag behind the rapid scaling of shale gas development, there has been a surge of peer-reviewed scientific papers published in recent years. In fact, of all the available scientific peer-reviewed literature on the impacts of shale gas development approximately 73% has been published since January 1, 2013.

See more at:

MPs warn ministers to improve fracking regulation

Infrastructure Bill gets 2nd reading

A typical Stupid comment from Peter Lilley (Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden)

” Why on earth is it a sin to drill a hole a mile from where we live and separated from us by a mile of rock, when we do not prevent people from walking through woods as long as they cause no damage? I think we can dismiss the trespass argument. Of course, if there is damage on the surface from such activities, it is right and proper that people are compensated for that disturbance.”

Read Report here…