Events in June 2019 and beyond about UK fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigning
- Public inquiry into Ineos plans for shale gas exploration at Woodsetts in South Yorkshire
- UK Onshore Gas and Oil Summit
- On yer bike protest at Ineos plans to close the Bo’ness Road at Grangemouth
- Groundswell events on climate change solutions
- Heather Stroud talks about campaigning and standing up to power
- Mam Tor banner drop in protest against fracking
WITH THANKS TO RUTH AT DRILL OR DROP
New proposals by Ineos have emerged for a 3m high noise barrier running for more than 100m alongside its site earmarked for shale gas exploration in the south Yorkshire green belt. Residents in the village of Woodsetts have described the barrier as the “Great Wall of Ineos” and complained that it would “fence them in”.
The barrier was not part of the original planning application for the Woodsetts site, which was turned down twice by Rotherham Borough Council in January and September 2018
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A High Court judge ruled this morning that the government does not have to carry out a new public consultation on its planning policy on fracking.
Mr Justice Dove was responding to a call by lawyers for anti-fracking campaigner, Claire Stephenson, who won a case against the local government secretary in March 2019. (DrillOrDrop report)
The case concerned the revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which sets the basis for planning decisions and included government support for fracking.
In his original ruling, the judge quashed paragraph 209a of the NPPF.
Ratcliffe defended his company’s operations, saying Ineos have pioneered new methods of recycling plastic.
On fracking, he said the majority of environmental groups he has met with are “ignorant” of the facts, and said it was a cheap source of energy. “I think it’s outrageous the government have listened to a noisy, minuscule minority instead of looking at the science,” he said.
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Fracking is an environmental catastrophe, photo Casey Hugelfink.
The government’s fracking tsar, ex-Labour MP Natascha Engel, has quit six months into the job. She claims rules the government has been forced to adopt, which mean fracking must be suspended every time a 0.5 magnitude tremor is detected, means that campaign groups “were driving policy”. She says that the government is “pandering to what we know to be myths and scare stories” about shale-gas extraction.
But the ‘myths’ are real, and fracking continues to only be pushed by big business despite complete condemnation by climate scientists, campaigners and trade unionists.
Engel claims the rules effectively mean a ‘ban’ on fracking. But the government has long been a supporter of fracking and has helped its big-business mates push ahead with it wherever possible. The new government rules are a welcome response to pressure.
To ensure a real ban on the dangerous practice we need proper democratic control by working-class people of land and resources as part of a socialist plan – in the interests of the working class and the environment.
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Barclays said it is exiting the British gas fracking industry after gas developer Third Energy, in which the bank owns a significant stake, agreed to sell its onshore gas activities to a division of U.S.-based Alpha Energy.
Third Energy had planned to frack at the Kirby Misperton site in Yorkshire, northern England, last year but failed to receive government consent after a crack down on the financial status of fracking firms.
Third Energy Holding Limited said on Thursday it had signed a sale agreement with Alpha Energy owned York Energy UK Holdings Ltd, for its onshore business, including Kirby Misperton.
“The deal confirms that we no longer have the stake in the fracking site”, a Barclays spokesman said via email, adding that the bank had planned to offload the stake for some time.
Fracking, or hydraulically fracturing, involves extracting gas from rocks by breaking them up with water and chemicals at high pressure.
It is fiercely opposed by environmentalists who have raised concerns about potential groundwater contamination and say extracting more fossil fuel is at odds with Britain’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Cuadrilla, the only company to have fracked for gas in Britain, had to halt operations several times last year at its Preston New Road site in northwest England due to seismic events.
Alpha Energy is a U.S.-based oil and gas asset business.
The sale is subject to regulator conditions being met, a statement from Third Energy said.