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The ASSIST surveys found Opposition to fracking reached 66% in July 2020

Support for fracking has declined over the past decade and opposition has become more deeply entrenched, a new study of public attitudes in the UK has concluded.

Findings of studies on public attitudes to fracking. Source: ASSIST project

The research, by academics at Exeter and Edinburgh universities, found that high awareness of shale gas, now about 80%, had not led

to greater support for the process.

Trust in the shale gas industry has been very low and the debate about fracking had become increasingly polarized, the authors found. The more knowledgeable people were about fracking the more likely they were to hold stronger views, both for and against.

But while strong factions have become entrenched, the authors found, a significant minority of people remain undecided.

The study, by the ASSIST (Attitudes to Shale Gas in Space and Time) Project, examined four sets of national surveys carried out between 2012-2020. They included the government’s quarterly Wave Tracker, the most recent set of results of which were released today (see section below headed Latest government survey finds 34% oppose fracking). The researchers also used a multi-year survey for ASSIST. Unlike other surveys, this questioned the same people each time.

Key findings

Continue reading The ASSIST surveys found Opposition to fracking reached 66% in July 2020

UKOG abandons injunction on slow walking protests

The company behind oil drilling in southern England said today it would ask the court to remove slow walking, a well-used protest tactic, from the injunction order, first issued nearly three years ago.

In a statement, UKOG said the revised interim injunction would apply soley to Horse Hill in Surrey and would cover only trespass and obstruction of the site entrance.

Click on link below to see full report

UKOG abandons injunction on slow walking protests




Ryedale MP U-TURN

MANY of us in North Yorkshire have strong feelings about fracking, which is unsurprising as we would be living with the consequences for decades to come. In the past our Conservative MP, Kevin Hollinrake, actively supported fracking; something that dismayed many of his constituents who care about the environment and the legacy we leave for future generations.

So, I was delighted when Mr Hollinrake revealed his fracking U-turn, at a recent public meeting hosted by Ryedale Environmental Group, stating that he thought that “the time for fracking has passed”. I wholeheartedly agree with the view expressed by Mr Hollinrake at that meeting: that renewables are now a more economically and environmentally viable alternatives to fossil fuels.

Can we now look forward to hearing our MP express his support for a formal ban on fracking in Parliament? We hope so. However, I remember his dismissal of Marcus Rashford’s appeal for the Government to provide free school meals in the holidays only to then welcome the idea when the Government U-turned and provided money to local authorities.

I urge Mr Hollinrake to honour his words and hope that he will campaign and then vote to ban fracking once and for all.

Angela Cole, Westow.



Kristina Marusic discusses the health effects of fracking on “In This Climate”

“People in communities with fracking are fearful about the exposures they’re facing from the industry.”

EHN’s Pittsburgh reporter Kristina Marusic recently appeared on the podcast In This Climate to discuss the impacts of fracking in southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond .  She shared the story of a community in Braddock, Pennsylvania, that’s been fighting to stop a fracking well from being drilled on the property of a U.S. Steel mill. 




Cornwall HORROR: Almost 50 earthquakes reported in the region


CORNWALL has been struck by close to 50 earthquakes caused by geothermal operations in the region.

The area has recorded 43 earthquakes in the last 50 days according to the British Geological Survey. Recorded from November 9, some of the shakes have caused residents to be terrified over the tremors as seen by comments from the Lanner Life Facebook group. Several people said they felt the “earth tremor” and it “scared the life out of them”, Cornwall Live reports.

Such was the size of one of the shudders felt in some Cornish villages that an investigation was launched into the work of a geothermal energy plant.

The United Down Geothermal energy plant drills into the ground to extract heat for local homes and businesses. Due to this, it has caused minor quakes on the seismographs in the region.  Although over 40 earthquakes have been reported in the area, many are regarded as minor with the largest registering a magnitude of 1.7 on December 8.

This was the earthquake caused by the geothermal power station and caused shockwaves to be felt in the Frogpool, Lanner, Carharrack, Penhalvean and St Day. The latest earthquake was registered on December 18 with five different seismic incidents recorded between 11.20am and 1.05pm.

Concerns have also been levelled at the earthquakes caused by fracking operations. Due to the tremors caused by the drilling, anti-fracking campaigns have sparked across the country to stop the drilling.

Earlier this month, the UK’s only franking firm Cuadrilla relinquished its permission to test drill in Lancashire. Barbara Richardson, of campaign group Frack Free Lancashire, said: “We think this is very significant and also very welcome. “We just want to know when they will restore the site back to its original state. “We really think they are finished here.”





RAG AGM 27th January 2021


RAG AGM   27th January 2021


Happy New Year!                                                                                                                  RAG AGM   27th January 2021                                                                                  Elswick Generating Station                                                                                        Preston New Road                                                                                                              Thank you

A very Happy New Year to all our RAG supporters. We hope you and your families enjoyed all the festivities and have remained safe and well. 

This year, due to Covid, we will be having our AGM via Zoom, on the evening of 27th January.

Agenda items so far:
    Election of Committee
    Election of Officers
    The future of RAG
    Elswick Generating Station

If you would like to register to take part by Zoom (instruction available if required), or have any items you wish to raise on the Agenda, please reply to this email. 

Committee Members needed
If you would like to join the RAG Committee please put your name forward by replying to this email.  If necessary, election to the Committee will take place at the AGM. 
We will be looking for two new Officers, to be elected from the Committee

After many years of acting as our Chair, Barbara Richardson is stepping down from the post, although not the Committee, this year after putting enormous amounts of time and energy into RAG from the beginning.   We are very grateful for her commitment and quite understand her desire now to relax and enjoy her new garden.

Rosemary Conlon has moved to Yorkshire and therefore resigned from the Committee.   She also has been involved from the start, serving most recently as Treasurer, and deserves our grateful thanks for all her work and best wishes for her new home. 

Elswick Generating Station
2020 was a very quiet year with the continuing national moratorium on fracking.   The only significant matter for RAG was Cuadrilla’s application for an extension to their planning permission at the Elswick Generating Station on Roseacre Road which was, unfortunately, approved by LCC despite opposition from local Parish Councils and residents, concerned about the access of HGV’s to the site.   No work has yet taken place. 

Preston New Road
There has been no further work at Preston New Road.  Cuadrilla has surrendered its permit to drill and frack, saying it will apply for the relevant permissions at this or other sites as and when the moratorium is lifted.
The company is maintaining a small team for ‘limited analysis of prospective areas of its licenses’, presumably still trying to prove fracking can be done safely.

Thank you
We would like to thank you all for your ongoing support. Remember to keep checking our website and Facebook pages for any news items. 

on behalf of the RAG Committee

Stay safe.

2020 review of the year.

2020 was a frack free year in the UK because the shale gas industry failed to persuade ministers to lift blocks on the process.

Other key projects planned for 2020 were cancelled or delayed by the Covid-19 outbreak and low oil prices.

In this review of the year, we’ve picked out key events and developments. The red links in the text will take you to the original DrillOrDrop news articles. Please let us know what we have missed.




What to watch 2021




Earth tremor report casts doubt over future of fracking

Anti-fracking protesters say that the return of the industry in England is in doubt after a report into the crucial issue of tremors shows they may be impossible to predict.



Studies commissioned by the Oil and Gas Authority and carried out by the British geological Survey on the Preston New Road fracking site in March 2020 were an attempt understand the subsurface and surface impacts of the induced seismicity experienced during the operations. They concluded that “it is not yet possible to accurately predict the seismic response to hydraulic fracturing” and that “Where induced seismicity has occurred, mitigation measures have shown only limited success, and there can only be low confidence in their effectiveness.”

The Government put a moratorium on fracking in November 2019 following the swarm of tremors caused by the two wells drilled and fracked at Preston New Road site near Little Plumpton, and has said this will not be lifted until “compelling scientific evidence” can be produced to show that fracking tremors can be better predicted and controlled.

One tremor, on the August bank holiday measured 2.9 on the local magnitude scale and was felt across the Fylde. Campaigners who believe fracking damages the environment and is a risk to neighbouring property, said this report by the regulator shows that no such science exists and that tremors will always be unpredictable and potentially damaging.

But Cuadrilla the firm which has drilled at several sites between Blackpool and Preston in a bid to explore and then commercially harvest natural gas trapped thousands of feet below ground in the Bowland Shale rocks, says the report offers hope in that the induced tremors were relatively weak and in line with those allowed in other industries such as quarrying or geothermal energy sites. The report also stated that fracking from the second well interacted with a previously undiscovered vertical fault line underground which sparked the largest seismic events. 

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said: “It is clear from this report that the fracking industry is struggling to provide any kind of scientific evidence base to justify the resumption of fracking”. The report shows that not only are they struggling to predict seismicity, but also that they have no way of acting on those attempts at prediction in time to stop damage to property. “To make matters worse it now transpires that, in spite of the much-vaunted “detailed” 3D seismological survey undertaken by Cuadrilla, they still managed to frack into an unexpected fault at Preston New Road, triggering the 2.9Ml quake that led to the current moratorium. “This report confirms our opinion that this industry must not be allowed to put the safety and well-being of our local community at risk.”

Continue reading Earth tremor report casts doubt over future of fracking