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.
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.”
The UK government is going ahead with its plans to commence fracking across more than half of the country, hoping that it will boost the economy and provide an abundant supply of natural gas.
Critics of the process argue that it contaminates groundwater and damages the environment and public health. A grassroots resistance movement has emerged to fight the introduction of fracking in the UK, and it appears to be gaining momentum throughout the country.
VICE News travels to Blackpool, Lancashire, to see the fractivists in action. The seaside resort town is at the center of a David and Goliath battle between local residents and the energy company Cuadrilla over fracking in the region, which is believed to have one of the largest shale gas reserves in the Northern Hemisphere.
Watch the video Download Here!
A video on the impacts of Shale Gas on a local community
Hannah Petersen (TC) :
The recent confidence in shale gas was likely premature, according to several new reports published in the US. In particular a study from the University of Texas claims the US boom will tail off by 2020 and not keep going to 2040 as previous less thorough analyses have predicted. To anyone who has been closely following the industry in recent years, this difference in predictions will not be surprising, of course.
A new report, issued the same day the latest round of global climate negotiations opened in Peru, highlights the fracking industry’s slow expansion into nearly every continent, drawing attention not only to the potential harm from toxic pollution, dried-up water supplies and earthquakes, but also to the threat the shale industry poses to the world’s climate.
The report, issued by Friends of the Earth Europe, focuses on the prospects for fracking in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe, warning of unique hazards in each location along with the climate change risk posed in countries where the rule of law is relatively weak.
“Around the world people and communities are already paying the price of the climate crisis with their livelihoods and lives,” said Susann Scherbarth, climate justice and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe. “Fracking will only make things worse and has no place in a clean energy future.”
Legal challenge to Government’s £2.5bn subsidy scheme for fossil fuel industry
The Government may be forced to suspend a £2.5bn annual subsidy scheme designed to keep the lights on as cheaply and as greenly as possible following a legal challenge in the European Court of Justice, which claims it amounts to an “unlawful subsidy” for the fossil fuel industry.
Energy minister Matthew Hancock was warned that the government's scheme risked increasing greenhouse gas emissions (Getty Images/Ben A.Pruchnie)
The legal challenge follows a warning to energy minister Matthew Hancock by the Government’s official climate change adviser that the consumer-funded subsidy scheme contained “design faults” that risked increasing greenhouse gas emissions and pushing up the UK’s collective household bill by as much as £359m in the first year alone.
With Britain set to generate increasing amounts of electricity from intermittent renewable sources such as wind, the new subsidy scheme aims to prevent blackouts by paying fossil fuel stations to be on standby in case energy supplies falter.
The scheme, which is known as the “capacity market” and due to launch in 2018, also aims to maintain electricity supplies by paying companies and households to reduce their energy use at peak times.
But it violates state aid rules because it gives fossil fuel generators much better terms than households and companies, whose contribution to keeping the lights on is actually much more environmentally friendly because it involves reducing energy use, according to the lawsuit, filed by Tempus Energy, a new electricity supplier.
Currently, little is known about the levels of chemicals that people are exposed to from fracking operations, making it impossible to assess the real risk. Photograph: Andrew Cullen/Reuters
People living near fracking operations should be monitored to assess the risk of chemicals to human health, say scientists.
Chemicals have been linked to various health effects, ranging from poor semen quality and endocrine problems to miscarriages and low birth weight, very little is known about the levels of chemicals that people are actually exposed to from fracking operations, making it impossible to assess the real risk.
“The civil and political implications of fracking development in the UK will only intensify as anti-fracking protests proliferate alongside exploratory activity”.