Category Archives: News

Groundbreaking Study Confirms Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes

A groundbreaking study published Tuesday in Seismological Research Letters has demonstrated a link, for the first time, between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas and earthquakes.

The reportHydraulic Fracturing and Seismicity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, confirms the horizontal drilling technique (which in essence creates an underground mini-earthquake to open up fissures for oil and gas extraction) is responsible for earthquakes, above and beyond what is already canonized in the scientific literature.

 

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The Iron Fist In The Iron Glove?

Last week was a cause for some celebration as Cheshire and Rotherham Councils refused fracking applications whilst Greg Clark seemingly put up further barriers to Third Energy’s plans to begin fracking operations at Kirby Misperton. At the same time our own Lancashire County Council, supported by its planning officer, Fylde Borough Council, all the affected Parish Councils and both MP’s, announced that it is to recommend refusal of Cuadrilla’s latest traffic mitigation proposals at the re-opened Public Inquiry on 10th April. We wondered how Mrs. May and her party would react to these setbacks, surely, they couldn’t overturn every refusal as they spread across the country? The answer has not been long coming. This government has no intention of heeding the wishes of the people nor listening to the decisions of their elected representatives. Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (and he bears this title without a trace of irony or embarrassment), and his department’s Select Committee will seek ‘Submissions’ as to whether fracking applications should be treated as National Infrastructure under the 2008 Planning Act, thus being decided by him alone and by-passing the tiresome and unnecessary procedure of democracy.

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What a Fracking Week!!

As Winston Churchill famously said, “This Is Not The End – It Is Not Even The Beginning Of The End, But It Is Perhaps The End Of The Beginning.”

The beginning of the month saw the previously unprecedented action of two of the Fylde’s Conservative MP’s – Mark Menzies and Ben Wallace – write letters objecting to Cuadrilla’s traffic mitigation proposals saying that the Roseacre Wood development “Must Not Be Permitted.”

Lancashire MP's Letters

 

The setbacks continued as last week saw a massive thumbs down for fracking right across the country start here in the Fylde.

On January 18th Fylde Borough Councillors followed the MP’s lead and voted unanimously to reject Cuadrilla’s latest proposals, sending a clear and unequivocal message to both the company and to Lancashire County Council.

Fylde Borough Councillors Say No

 

Then last Wednesday – 24th – Lancashire County Council’s Planning Committee followed the advice of their Planning Officer in agreeing that to allow Cuadrilla’s HGV traffic onto the country lanes around the Roseacre Wood site would pose such a severe risk to  road safety that it could not be countenanced under any circumstances and voted – again unanimously – to maintain their position, joining the other parties at the re-opened Public Inquiry objecting to Cuadrilla’s ‘Mitigation’ proposals.

Lancashire County Council Say No

These successes alone would have given cause for celebration but the good news continued as Surrey County Council found that an application by Angus Energy to drill at its Brockham site was invalid and was thrown out.

Invalid Application

Then last Thursday 25th (will it become known as Thunderous Thursday?) the previously seeming unbreachable wall began to crumble as firstly Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who had been widely expected to give the green light to Third Energy, enabling them to begin fracking at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, announced that he was delaying any decision until Third Energy had filed their overdue accounts for 2016 (as they are required to do by law). He further announced that he was adding 2 further financial checks for all fracking companies before giving the go-ahead.

Minister Delays Kirby Misperton Decision

On the same day Rotherham Councillors unanimously voted to reject INEOS’ application to begin operations at its Harthill site

INEOS Application Refused

Reaction to INEOS Refusal

And Cheshire Councillors voted 10 – 1 to refuse permission for I-Gas plans for gas testing at Ellesmere Port

I-Gas Not Welcome In Cheshire

Reaction to I-Gas Refusal

Surely this must give our Frack-Happy government a headache. Will they finally accept that WE SAID NO to fracking or does Theresa May really believe that she can ride roughshod across the country, overturning every local decision with impunity?