Category Archives: Environment & Energy

Misleading claims from Igas on fracking water usage | Refracktion

misleading claims from Igas on fracking water usage

We addressed the commonly made, but misleading, claim that fracking uses the same amount of water as a golf course in our post back in 2013. It seems the Royal Society had blithely published this “factoid” citing the report “Gas Works? Shale gas and its policy implications” by Simon Moore 2012 as its source for this information. However, it turns out that Moore’s report relied on a PR document from Chesapeake Energy in America entitled ‘Water Use in Deep Shale Gas Exploration’

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No conditions proposed on 59 drilling licences near top wildlife sites | Drill or Drop

the government don't care about wildlife, they just want to get on with fracking

The government proposes to issue 59 oil and gas licences in areas close to the UK’s most important wildlife sites with no conditions on the activities of operators.

The licences make up just under half the blocks that will be released following a public consultation currently underway.

Most are in Yorkshire, the East Midlands and Lancashire. Many are within a few kilometres of ecologically-sensitive areas, such as the Wash, Humber Estuary, Flamborough Head, North York Moors, Gibraltar Point and the River Derwent.

Another 73 licences (55% of the total), which either contain important wildlife sites or are within 1km, will be issued with conditions. This could prohibit exploration, development or production at or the near surface in part of the block.

The details are included in consultation documents published earlier this month by the Oil and Gas Authority, an agency of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The consultation runs until the end of September.

Together, the 132 licences make up a second tranche of blocks to be issued under the 14th Oil and Gas Licensing Round. They underwent an assessment because they were within 10km of wildlife sites protected by the Habitat Regulations.

These sites include:

  • Special Protection Areas, designated to protect Europe’s rare and vulnerable birds, such as Liverpool Bay
  • Special Areas of Conservation, designated to protect Europe’s rarest habitats and species, such the River Wye
  • Ramsar Sites, designated to protect internationally-important wetlands, such as the Severn Estuary

The assessment under the Habitat Regulations looked only at the impact on the habitats and species of the sites.

The first tranche of licences, comprising 27 blocks, were not included in the consultation because oil and gas developments were not regarded as having any likely significant impact on the wildlife sites.

Granting a licence gives an operator exclusive right to search or drill for oil and gas. But it does not give permission to drill. If permission were granted under planning and environmental permit regulations other conditions would be likely.

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Fracking to be allowed in protected wildlife areas after Government u-turn | Telegraph

fracking dangerous poisons water


Fracking will be allowed to take place in hundreds of precious wildlife sites after the Government abandoned its pledge of an “outright ban” on the practice in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Department of Energy and Climate Change said it had now decided it would be “impractical” to ban fracking in the sites, which are designated by law to protect rare species and habitats.

Ministers in January announced that they would introduce “an outright ban on fracking in National Parks, SSSI and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)”.

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US EPA report confirms fracking pollutes water

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 08.23.47

Despite investigation weakened by oil and gas industry obstructionism, EPA confirms what communities living with fracking have known for almost a decade |

June 4, 2015

Washington DC — In a watershed moment, today EPA announced fracking does pollute drinking water with the release of  the draft final version of its study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources. Congress commissioned the study in 2010 in response to increasing public questions about the risks posed to drinking water by the unconventional oil and gas boom. In 2004, an EPA study concluded that hydraulic fracturing does not threaten drinking water. From that conclusion, Congress exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The 2004 study was maligned within the EPA and by independent scientists. The current study was intended to revisit the conclusions of the 2004 study. “Today EPA confirmed what communities living with fracking have known for years, fracking pollutes drinking water,” said Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel. She continued, “Now the Obama administration, Congress, and state governments must act on that information to protect our drinking water, and stop perpetuating the oil and gas industry’s myth that fracking is safe.”

Please click here to continue reading the Earthworks article.

Visit the EPA website to read the report in full – please click here

World Health Organisation on fracking: Outlining serious health/environmental hazards

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To read the WHO’s SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH SECTORAL BRIEFING in full please click here.

VIDEO: Voices from the Gas Fields | The film the government does NOT want you to see

This is the film the UK & Australian Governments do NOT want you to see! Documenting the accounts of families living with the hydrocarbon industry as a neighbour, this hour long documentary is shocking, as it reveals the day to day pollution these people live with – pollution of water, air, light and sound, some of the the basic human requirements needed to survive. The blind eye that the authorities and the hydrocarbon industry turn to these families living conditions, and the complete disregard to the environmental damage done to the bush by this, is truly disgraceful.

I have not seen another film like it, telling us, warning us how really dreadful life is living amongst the gas wells. I have a huge respect for the families in Australia that held onto their land and shared their stories with us. It was especially moving when Brian Monk speaks directly to the audience near the end of the video, very powerful indeed – we would be very wise to listen and act accordingly.

This film should be distributed and shown as widely as possible so we can learn and act. Full credit to Ian R Crane and his colleagues for turning around this moving, informative, high quality film in less than four months since his return from Australia. Thank you Ian and the families from Australia for the absolutely invaluable insight this film gives.

We need to take heed of the “Voices from the Gasfields” so these honourable families have not stayed loyal to their lands in vain

Fracking: what is the British government trying to hide?

Decisions over the onshore drilling need to be taken with the facts in the open, not pushed through Parliament in a rush 

Fracking holds dangerous threat to drinking water

By John Ashton

We shouldn’t need a report by Medact to tell us what fracking means for our health. We have a Government led by politicians we elect to represent us in the public interest.

We have Government Departments and regulatory agencies we pay for with our taxes to act in the public interest. Fracking for shale gas on the scale proposed by the Government would transform our nation. The direct physical impacts alone would be experienced by millions.

We should not embark on this without a strong national consensus based on full, rigorous, and transparent consideration of all the implications, particularly the implications for health.

Otherwise this project will end in tears.

If our leaders think any great endeavor is in the national interest, they have an obligation to promote a full, rigorous, and transparent debate, as a basis for building a national consensus. Government departments and agencies that exist to serve the public interest have an obligation to ensure that such debate is built upon the best possible understanding of what will be involved.

On fracking, alas, our leaders and our public institutions are letting us down.

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Salford could become TOXIC FRACKING CENTRE as Peel Holdings opens new gas division | Salford Star

Barton Moss Salford March and Rally 26th Jan 2014 (11)


Salford could become the North West centre of the fracking industry as Peel Holdings has announced the creation of a new Gas and Oil business “looking to maximise the economic and supply chain benefits to the North of England from the emerging shale gas industry”.

The Peel Group is already heavily involved with IGas Energy, subject of huge anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss last year, and the company’s Port Salford could become central to its plans.

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Scotland announces moratorium on fracking | The Guardian

Moratorium on planning consents for unconventional oil and gas extraction is hailed as ‘huge victory’ by anti-fracking campaigners

Scotland’s energy minister Fergus Ewing announced a moratorium on unconventional oil and gas extraction. Photograph: Ken Jack

Scotland’s energy minister Fergus Ewing announced a moratorium on unconventional oil and gas extraction. Photograph: Ken Jack

The Scottish government has announced a moratorium on all planning consents for unconventional oil and gas extraction, including fracking.

Welcomed by campaigners as “a very big nail in the coffin for the unconventional gas and fracking industry in Scotland”, energy minister Fergus Ewing told the Scottish parliament on Wednesday afternoon that the moratorium would allow time for the government to launch a full public consultation on the controversial drilling technique, and to commission a full public health impact assessment.

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Fracking could carry unforeseen risks as thalidomide and asbestos did, says report | The Guardian

Fracking in Texas : toxic chemicals used for production of natural gas in the Barnett Shale

The world could tackle climate change with energy efficiency and renewable energy alone but vested interests in the fossil fuel industry stand in the way, says report. Photograph: Julie Dermansky/Corbis

 Historic innovations that have been adopted too hastily with grave unforeseen impacts provide cautionary examples for potential side effects of fracking, says report. Fracking could carry unforeseen risks in the way that thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos did, warns a report produced by the government’s chief scientific adviser.

A chapter in the flagship annual report produced by the UK’s chief scientist, Mark Walport, argues that history holds many examples of innovations that were adopted hastily and later had serious negative environmental and health impacts. The chapter is written by Prof Andrew Stirling of the University of Sussex. The controversial technique, which involves pumping chemicals, sand and water at high pressure underground to fracture shale rock and release the gas within, has been strongly backed by the government with David Cameron saying the UK is “going all out for shale”.

But environmentalists fear that fracking could contaminate water supplies, bring heavy lorry traffic to rural areas, displace investment in renewable energy and accelerate global warming. The chapter in the report produced by the chief scientific adviser appears to echo those fears. “History presents plenty of examples of innovation trajectories that later proved to be problematic — for instance involving asbestos, benzene, thalidomide, dioxins, lead in petrol, tobacco, many pesticides, mercury, chlorine and endocrine-disrupting compounds…” it says.

“In all these and many other cases, delayed recognition of adverse effects incurred not only serious environmental or health impacts, but massive expense and reductions in competitiveness for firms and economies persisting in the wrong path.”

Fracking provides a potentially similar example today, the report warns: “… innovations reinforcing fossil fuel energy strategies — such as hydraulic fracturing — arguably offer a contemporary prospective example.”

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Fracking won’t cut bills and ministers ‘oversold’ shale gas benefits, experts say | The Telegraph

Engineers at work on the drilling platform of the Cuadrilla shale fracking facility on October 7, 2012 in Preston, Lancashire

Ministers must “stop banking on this idea that shale is going to be plentiful and cheap”, Government-funded UK Energy Research Centre says

Fracking won’t cut energy bills and ministers have “oversold” the benefits of UK shale gas exploration, Government-funded experts have warned.

In a report on Wednesday, academics at the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) said shale gas had been wrongly “heralded as the solution to our security of supply concerns”.

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EU Fracking Boom Becoming Less Likely |

Anti-Fracking EU

‘The farmers understand – the corporations using fracturing liquid that poses a threat to ground-water reservoirs have a tendency to waltz in, make their money, and leave, while their children have to grow up on poisoned land’

Pro-fracking campaign in the global media is fading fast. A year or two ago the extraction method suitable for the Arizona desert was presented as a key component of the EU’s energy security policy by high-ranking officials in the European Commission. Many large corporations that announced an influx of investment into Eastern European fracking projects between 2010 and 2013 are now gradually reducing the scope of their planned work. Their decision was prompted by environmental and political problems that receive insufficient coverage in the industry media. It’s becoming clear that fracking technology can’t be brought to the EU “as is” from the United States.

Recently published data by Rice University, Texas indicates that simple recycling of the tainted waste water is not safe, writes. A year or two ago supporters of hydraulic fracturing used to preach about “green innovations in the shale revolution” with the passion of small-town televangelists, but now, after the publication of new data, they have switched tactics and simply remain silent about environmental problems. Yet concerned citizens of New York City are more aware. “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.

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Igas share price drops another 7% after latest episode of Fracking Nightmare

– iGas Stock Price heading South
– iGas: From Barton Moss to Ellesmere Port Protection Camp
– Magellan ‘Back Door’ exploratory Well in Surrey
– David Montagu-Smith, Rathlin Energy & a Conflict of Interest
– Simon Pook, Activist Solicitor : The Rise of Corporate Policing

Salford’s Anti-Fracking Diary Dates:

Wednesday 3rd September 7pm-9pm
Public Meeting: Barton Moss Community Energy
Irlam Steel Recreation Club, Liverpool Road, M44 6AJ

Sunday 7th September 2pm-4pm
Barton Moss Reunion SolidariTEA Party
Barton Moss, off Liverpool Road

Sunday 21st September
People’s Climate March, Manchester

Thursday 25th September
Frack Free Salford Launch (tba)

Monday 29th September 7pm-9pm
Public Meeting: Barton Moss Community Energy
Eccles Gateway, Community Room 2, Barton Road, Eccles M30 0TU

For more information on these events please click here to see the original article with full details on the Salford Star website.

Audit of fracking fluids highlights data deficiencies | Chemistry World

fracking chemicals dangerous and toxic to health

A US survey of almost 250 chemicals used in fracking has identified potentially harmful compounds and exposed a lack of information about them that is hampering efforts to understand fracking’s environmental impact…
What information is the government not releasing, what has it to hide?
Keep Britain Safe, keep saying NO to Fracking until it is BANNED

 Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, involves pumping high-pressure water into shale formations kilometres beneath the ground to break the formations apart, releasing the gas and oil they contain. In the US, fracking operations have regenerated the domestic oil and gas industry, boosting production and driving down energy prices. The US chemical industry has also benefited from cheaper feedstocks, such as ethene, giving it a competitive edge over other regions.Governments and chemical companies in other countries are hopeful that fracking might be similarly fruitful outside the US. However, the potential environmental costs of fracking have also brought criticism and resistance from campaign groups and the public. In particular, the effects of chemical additives used as part of the fracking process have raised concerns – formulations whose precise ingredients are often protected as proprietary information.

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