Monthly Archives: April 2014

Local lad Jason Wingard creates Barton Moss documentary – Please watch and share

Filmed at Barton Moss, local Jason talks to residents of the camp and local people visiting the site, to gain their views on fracking and why it’s so important to research and share information with people you know. Please watch this video and share it with the people in your life.

Peaceful protectors Dan & Tristan both found ‘NOT GUILTY’ of public order offences following unlawful Barton Moss arrests

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Justice prevails: Supporters outside court celebrating the ‘not guilty’
verdicts of Tristan and Dan’s trials

28/4/14: A fantastic day for those involved with the Barton Moss anti-fracking protests, inhabitants of the earth and those who care about the safety and future of their drinking water…

Two of the Barton Moss protectors who were arrested for public order offences, Dan – charged with a Section 4 public order offence and Tristan, charged with a Section 5 public order offence, were both acquitted today at Manchester Magistrates Court. Once again highlighting the fact that saving the planet, despite whatever GMP do or say, is NOT a crime.

Local authorities have ‘conflict of interest’ on fracking investments | The Independent

A demonstration opposing fracking outside Salford Council HQ

Councils that will play a key role in deciding the future of fracking in Britain have investments worth millions of pounds in companies behind the energy extraction method, The Independent can reveal.

The Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF), which invests on behalf of Salford and Trafford councils,  holds shares in Henderson Group, a major investor in IGas, another fracking exploration company that is conducting shale-gas tests in the Salford area.

Please click here to be taken to original article (link will open in new window).

‘Straight From The Horse’s Mouth’: Former Oil Exec Says Fracking Not Safe | MP News

Retired Mobil VP confirms technology is dangerous and untested.

In a message “straight from the horse’s mouth,” a former oil executive on Tuesday urged New York state to pass a ban on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, saying, ‘it is not safe.’

“Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed,” Louis Allstadt, former executive vice president of Mobil Oil, said during a news conference in Albany called by the anti-fracking group Elected Officials to Protect New York. Up until his retirement in 2000, Allstadt spent 31 years at Mobil, running its marketing and refining division in Japan and managing Mobil’s worldwide supply, trading and transportation operations. After retiring to Cooperstown, NY, Allstadt said he began studying fracking after friends asked him if he thought it would be safe to have gas wells drilled by nearby Lake Otsego, where Allstadt has a home. Since that time, he’s become a vocal opponent of the shale oil and gas drilling technique.

“Now the industry will tell you that fracking has been around a long time. While that is true, the magnitude of the modern technique is very new,” Allstadt said, adding that a fracked well can require 50 to 100 times the water and chemicals compared to non-fracked wells.

He also noted that methane, up to 30 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, is found to be leaking from fracked wells “at far greater rates than were previously estimated.”

Please click here to read original article.

Family awarded $3 MILLION after court finds fracking left them sick with horror side effects | MailOnline

Severe: Emma would wake up covered in blood because of the nosebleeds she suffered which began in 2008

 

  • The Parr family of Decatur, Texas, first complained of falling ill in 2008 – after Aruba Petroleum began fracking operations near to their ranch
  • Bob and Lisa Parr and their daughter Emma developed nosebleeds, nausea, rashes and asthma
  • Some of their livestock were born with deformities after the Parr’s land was contaminated
  • They launched a lawsuit against the energy firm – which went to trial
  • The jury sided with the Parr family – a first in fracking lawsuits in the US

A Texas family have won a nearly £3 million judgement against an oil giant after claiming that fracking operations near their 40-acre ranch left them suffering severe health side-effects. In what is believed to be the first successful legal action against a shale operator, Bob and Lisa Parr sued Aruba Petroleum for damages for a raft of illness they and their daughter Emma have suffered from for almost six years. They convinced a jury that the company’s hydraulic fracturing operations had contaminated their water and land in Decatur leaving them suffering nosebleeds, nausea and rashes.

Please click here to continue to the full article  (link will open in new window)

EVENT: Campaigners are gearing up to make their voices heard during a Government minister’s visit to Blackpool.

Please click on image for more event details

On Thursday April 24th, energy minister Michael Fallon will be in Blackpool to knit supply chains for the shale gas (fracking) industry. The Government and the industry are hell bent on pushing this PROVEN UNSAFE technology on us. This will result in the industrialisation of the beautiful Fylde Coast, the contamination of our water and air with known carcinogenic and radioactive materials, and irrevocable damage to our health, our homes and our environment.

The promise of jobs and cheaper fuel bills are wildly exaggerated and the ‘benefits’ disprovable so easily. Lord Browne CEO of Cuadrilla has himself admitted that fracking in England will have very little impact on our bills. Any temporary jobs created will be hugely overshadowed by the losses to the traditional Fylde Coast industries of tourism and agriculture. Anti fracking groups from all over the Fylde and around the country will be at Winter Gardens to raise awareness and voice our objections at their plans to sell off our health and our countryside so that an elite few can make a fast profit then ‘frack off’, leaving us nothing but their toxic mess to deal with.

Tina Rothery, of Residents Action on Fylde Fracking, claims 13 Fylde coast-based groups and more than 100 from other parts of the country will be staging the demonstration during the visit. She said: “Michael Fallon is coming to try and win over our Lancashire businesses, but we are inviting people to show their opposition. “We are asking people to show it in their own peaceful way, and people are travelling here from the south.

“Deep down I’m expecting a huge number of demonstrators. He (Fallon) is trying to convince businesses that this (fracking) will be profitable for them, but they will be the ones left with the mess.” Alongside the protests, Ms Rothery says the Fylde coast groups will have a variety of stalls open informing people of what campaigners say are the dangers of fracking – the process of pumping chemicals deep in to the ground to extract shale gas from rocks.

Campaigners say one of the stalls, co-ordinated by Fleetwood’s anti-fracking group, will include people being asked to drink water which has come into contact with chemicals used during the fracking 
process. Ms Rothery added: “The people inside are going to be finding out what this is all about.

“They are going in to pose their own questions and we don’t doubt there will be 
people inside who see through their promises. “We have got to be outside to make sure that before they walk in they understand the truth of the industry before the PR machine kicks in.”

Only by standing together can we stop this. You can add your voice to the ever growing number of ordinary folk saying “We don’t want your poisonous industry here or anywhere”.

Winter Gardens, Blackpool. 97 Church Street, FY1 1HL Blackpool. 

24th April 2014, 8.15 am onwards – all day presence planned. 

Government changes tresspass law in further boost to fracking agenda

Cuadrilla shale fracking facility, Preston

The Home Office has confirmed that the trespass law will be changed to facilitate fracking…in other words, companies will be able to drill and frack under our homes and land without our permission, and will be able to install pipes to transport the gas under private land without fear of breaking trespass laws. Once again this illustrates that the ‘GOLD STANDARD’ rules and regulations are merely a myth, and the government is willing to alter them not for our benefit, but to facilitate corporate greed.

Barton Moss Protection Camp receives nomination for Observer Ethical Award

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The Barton Moss Community Protection Camp has been nominated for the Observer Ethical Awards 2014 in the Local Hero category.

The Observer states that the category is to `give local heroes the recognition they deserve‘…

‘Who has worked tirelessly to conserve their local or global environment? Who has galvanised or inspired their community toward change? From campaigners to conservationists, we’re looking for those hard-working volunteers who strive to build a better nation for all of us. Who has been leading the way to protect your neighbourhood and to enhance your standard of living?’

A statement from camp reads:

‘Amazing news! We just found out that the camp has been nominated for the Observer Ethical Awards 2014 and made it to the top 5 in the shortlist for the Local Heroes category! Big thank you to everyone who made it possible.’

For more information about The Observer Ethical Awards please click here.

 

 

‘Balcombe Five’ cleared of anti-fracking protest charges | The Guardian

 

Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP, has been found not guilty of obstructing a public highway and a public order offence during high-profile anti-fracking protests.

As she and four co-defendants walked free from court, she said: “The action we took was for all of our futures” as she pledged to continue to fight against fracking.

Please click here to read The Guardian’s article in full (link will open in new tab).

Methane emissions from fracking vastly underestimated by EPA – study

AFP Photo / David McNew

The Environmental Protection Agency is under fire for underestimating the amount of methane gas emitted during natural gas operations, including fracking, thanks to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The study has 13 co-authors from several academic and research institutions, and used an aircraft to identify large sources of methane and quantify emission rates in southwestern Pennsylvania in June 2012. The authors discovered that emissions rates per second were 1,000 times higher than those estimated by the EPA for the same time period.

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VIDEO | Final Walk-out: Local Hero Kevin shows GMP their intimidation doesn’t work!

On day 140 of the Barton Moss anti-fracking awareness campaign, local resident Kevin was determined to let both iGas & the Greater Manchester Police know that their intimidatory tactics are doomed for failure.

Also featuring the infamous Inspector David Keyhoe, let loose on the public after a brief spell away from Barton Moss, despite being under investigation for his ‘unlawful arrest’ of a legal observer whom he accused of drink-driving, falsely stating he had just admitted it to him even though it is evident on the footage that Keyhoe clearly fabricates this on film! The video footage from that day is available here. During the filming of the final walk-out Keyhoe is filmed admitting to the months of accusations from protectors, stating that indeed, GMP ‘are here to intimidate’.

 

‘Caroline Lucas deserves a medal, not a criminal record, for opposing fracking’ – Ken Livingstone | The Guardian

Caroline Lucas court case

Caroline Lucas arrives at Brighton magistrates court facing charges of obstruction outside Balcombe gas fracking site.

The Green MP is Britain’s leading voice of reason on climate change, yet a stand against shale gas has put her in court

This week a court in Brighton will deliver its verdict on the Green party MP Caroline Lucas who is being prosecuted for causing an obstruction outside the Balcombe gas fracking site. The possibility that one of the most sensible politicians in parliament could receive a criminal record, rather than the medal she deserves, for standing up against greedy energy bosses tells us everything we need to know about the topsy-turvy state of British politics on the environment.

In fact the past few weeks have been an object lesson in why Britain desperately needs more politicians like Lucas – that is, if we are to emerge from this recession with a chance of improving ordinary people’s living standards rather than being locked into an outdated fossil-fuel economy and a desperate struggle to cope with increasingly dangerous climate change.

Please click here to continue to original article on The Guardian.com (link will open in new window).

 

 

 

Ohio: Direct links between fracking and earthquakes confirmed | Alternet

A high pressure gas line crosses over a canal in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation where gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on the verge of a boom on March 23, 2014 near Lost Hills, Calif.

Ohio has been investigating recent tremors near Youngstown, in the northwestern part of the state. The geologists found that the high-pressure injection of water and fracking compounds into the underground rock formation known as the Utica Shale have likely stressed a previously unknown fault. Please click here to continue reading (link will open in new tab).

The 10 Scariest Chemicals Used In Fracking | Business Insider

fracking well

In 2005 the Bush administration and Congress used the study to justify legislation of the “Halliburton loophole,” which exempts hydraulic fracturing from Safe Drinking Water Act. Legislation also exempted the practice, used in 90 percent of U.S. natural gas wells, from the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.

ProPublica investigations, however, found fracking to be the common thread in more than 1,000 cases of water contamination across seven states, including dozens of cases of well failures in which the concrete or steel meant to protect aquifers cracked under high pressure.

A 2011 congressional report on the chemicals used in hydraulic fracking, states that the 14 leading hydraulic fracturing companies in the U.S. injected 10.2 million gallons of more than 650 products that contained chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or listed as hazardous air pollutants.

Please click here to read original article

Salford City Council maintains silence over fracking

A Salford resident holds a reminder for Salford Coucil, referring to the translation of their motto,
‘SALUS POPULI SUPREMA LEX’

On Tuesday 8th April, Salford Council held a cabinet meeting at the town hall in which members of the public were welcome to sit in on the ‘debate’ on the fracking issue, something which had been at long last made possible as the result of 3,000 signatures collected in a petition to oppose fracking and unconventional gas extraction on Barton Moss, Irlam.

However, Salford Council, in the meeting led by Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart, point blank refused to engage in any discussion, stating that there would be ‘no further debate’.

Considering the five months of activity at Barton Moss, the huge press attention it has attracted, and the awareness about the dangers of fracking which increases by the day, it is staggering that not one of our so called ‘representatives’ of the people has visited the site at Barton, and the council refuses to engage in discussion on such a crucial issue in our city.

Please click here to read Salford Star’s report on Tuesday’s meeting.

What do you think about Salford Council’s latest silent declaration of ignorance? Please feel free to leave comment and express your thoughts.

Salford Council Forced to finally discuss Fracking | Salford Star

No Fracking In Salford

OVER 3000 SIGN ANTI FRACKING PETITION

Anti Fracking Rally
Tuesday 8th April
Outside Salford Civic Centre from 9:15am

Having received a petition signed by over three thousand people opposed to fracking in the city, Salford Council’s Cabinet is being forced to discuss the issue.
The public is welcome to attend the Cabinet meeting from 10am and before this there will be an anti-fracking rally outside Salford Civic Centre in Swinton from 9:15am.

During the four months since IGas set up its exploratory drilling site at Barton Moss, not one single Salford councillor or the Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart, has said a word on the issue in public.

In private, however the councillors are telling people that they can’t speak about fracking because it would stop them taking part in a subsequent vote when planning permission is sought to actually frack in Irlam later in the year.

Please click here to continue to original article (link will open in new window).

UK scientists cite pollution fears due to insecure well barriers | RT News

Photo by FFW

Photo by FFW

A report on fracking has warned it is “likely” that planned wells may leak and damage the surrounding environment in the UK. Scientists also noted there was not enough information in the public sphere to accurately predict the effects of mass fracking.

The research by Durham University draws attention to a number of concerns with the British government’s plans to expand the exploitation of shale gas across the UK. Fracking is a technique used to extract shale gas trapped deep underground. In order to release the gas, chemicals are blasted at high pressure into fissures in the rock. The practice was discontinued in the UK back in 2011 after a number of small earthquakes close to the northern city of Blackpool were found to be linked to fracking. The British government is now championing fracking as an answer to rising gas and energy prices, but researchers have urged caution, citing previous cases when mass exploitation has resulted in pollution.

“It is likely that well barrier failure will occur in a small number of wells and this could in some instances lead to some form of environmental contamination,” warned the study, which was published in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology.

Please click here to continue reading.

Germany’s Environment Minister: ‘Make Fracking Illegal’

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Germany’s environment minister has called for the controversial gas extraction technique known as “fracking” to be made illegal. Her comments came ahead of an emergency energy summit.

The country’s 16 state premiers were set to meet on Tuesday evening in Berlin in an attempt to smooth over disagreements around the financing of the country’s switch over to renewable energy, known as the Energiewende. Fracking involves blasting water mixed with sand and chemicals at high pressure into rocks, releasing the gas.

“Unlike the USA, our country is densely populated and small,” Hendricks told the Passauer Neue Presse on Tuesday. She added that not only would a successful commercial fracking industry in Germany be “wishful thinking” but that “a rethinking of our energy policy should take us away from fossil fuels – no matter where they come from.”

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Barton Moss: Policing in the absence of democracy

A protector holds a sign with a message for Greater Manchester Police

A protector holds a sign with a message for Greater Manchester Police

Violence has been a running theme within the policing of anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss. Individual officers are acting with impunity. Is this reflective of a policing strategy seeking to disrupt the protests on behalf of vested interests?

On January 14th Dr. Steve Peers, a legal observer at the anti-fracking ‘protectors’ camp at Barton Moss, was filming three police officers arresting a protester. Video he took (click here) shows one of the officers realising they were being filmed, walking up to Steve and pushing him backwards onto the floor. Shortly afterwards another officer walked up to him and jostled him away from the arrest, pushing him down the road. This officer then started repeatedly asking if Steve had been drinking alcohol before aggressively asserting that he had and loudly claiming that Steve had admitted to doing so. Steve was then arrested for refusing to submit to breath test.

Steve does his legal observing with a video camera permanently mounted on a hard-hat that he wears, so it is inconceivable that the officer did not realise he was being filmed as he made this vindictive and wrongful arrest on a totally false charge. This is the strangest part of the whole incident: why was the police officer not concerned that this brazen abuse of power was being caught on camera? Did he really have such confidence in his impunity?

Click here to continue reading (link will open in new window).

fracking crazy?

France Upholds Ban on Fracking | The New York Times

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BRAVO, FRANCE! In a huge blow to fracking, France’s highest court has just upheld the country’s ban on fracking, defeating a legal challenge from an American company.

Schuepbach Energy, a US-based company, tried to overturn the French Parliament’s decision to ban fracking, but the high court’s ruling ensures that fracking will have no place in France. The stunning defeat is the latest reminder that unlike the US, fracking is facing an uphill battle in Europe, where growing unease over environmental concerns has led a number of governments to rein in the practice.

To read the featured article from the New York Times, please click here (link will open in new window).

Fracking to go ahead under homes even if owners object | The Telegraph

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Ministers admit they are looking at overhauling trespass laws to make it easier for energy companies to explore for shale gas

Fracking will be allowed to take place under homes without the owners’ permission, under plans being considered by the Government.

Ministers have admitted that they are looking at overhauling trespass laws to make it easier for energy companies to explore for shale gas, amid concern that efforts could otherwise be stymied by lengthy and costly court proceedings.

The plans, expected to be published for consultation in coming months, are likely to be the most controversial yet in the Prime Minister’s attempts to encourage fracking.

Click here to continue to article (link will open in new window).

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Barton Moss fracking test drilling finds gas in shale rock | BBC News

IGas began exploring potential energy reserves beneath the area in November

IGas began exploring potential energy reserves beneath the area in November – Picture by BBC

 

Gas has been found in shale rock at a test drilling site in Salford, an energy company has said.

IGas said it had detected the gas in samples from its test well at Barton Moss.

Drilling will now stop while the samples are analysed, which is likely to take six months, the company said.

Click here to continue reading (link will open in new tab).

MI5, GMP and the battle of Barton Moss | CNN

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“The mindset of violence within Greater Manchester Police has to come from the very top, from Peter Fahy. He must be instructing his officers to use violence against peaceful protesters.” – Dr Steven Peers, legal observer of Barton Moss Protection Camp.

Over 120 arrests have been made so far at the daily Barton Moss anti-fracking protests, and the protester’s solicitor, Simon Pook, feels that Greater Manchester Police is targeting key members of the group: “You can clearly see them being pointed at by the chief officer at the back of the police line, then they are singled out for arrest. The officers walk up to them, take hold of them, pull them to the ground and they’re arrested. But, for what is the arrest?”

Click here to continue to original article (link will open in new window).

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