Category Archives: UK Fracking News

UK fracking decision is nothing short of hypocrisy | The Guardian

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 Cuadrilla Resources drilling pumping equipment at Preese Hall farm, Lancashire. Photograph: Alamy

Cuadrilla Resources drilling pumping equipment at Preese Hall farm, Lancashire. Photograph: Alamy

Damian Carrington

Spot the difference. Fracking, which is climate-polluting and unproven in the UK, gets “all-out” government backing, with ministers steamrolling over local opposition. Onshore windfarms, proven to be low-cost and low-carbon, get undermined by the government, with local opposition given power to block applications.

The decision by the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, to overturn Lancashire council’s rejection of Cuadrilla’s plan to drill four fracking wells in the county is, therefore, nothing short of hypocrisy.

It is a vital win for the nascent UK shale gas industry. But these are merely the opening skirmishes. To really know if fracking can provide significant gas for the UK, hundreds – if not thousands – of wells need to be drilled. Given the hand-to-hand combat that accompanies even single wells at the moment, the frackers still have an uphill struggle.

But the government has their back. It has promised cash handouts to local people in fracking areas: compensation or bribes, depending on your point of view. Yet why are the same incentives not offered for windfarms? A key underlying reason for opposition to turbines is the feeling of invasion of a community which derives no benefit from the development.

Ministers cannot say they did not know. The government’s own public opinion poll shows nearly eight in 10 people agree that renewable energy developments should provide direct benefits to the communities in which they are located. The poll also shows 81% in support of renewables, with 4% against. Contrast that with fracking: 19% in favour and 31% against, with the rest undecided.

So why does the government persist? The heady fracking fumes drifting across the Atlantic from the US, where shale oil and gas have transformed the energy market, are intoxicating. Ministers initially argued that fracking in the UK would cut energy bills, only to discover than no one else agreed with them.

Please click here to continue to full article on TheGuardian.com

Community Resistance WIN: IGAS abandons Cheshire Fracking sites | FrackFreeLancashire

No fracking in Upton

Via Frack Off @ frack-off.org.uk

Massive victory for the anti fracking community!

Years of tireless community campaigning, public meetings, companies bought and sold, a two year community protection camp and an eviction that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. IGas have temporarily thrown in the towel.

This is by no means the end of the fight to protect this part of the North West from fracking, but it’s a massive delay and a massive victory. Faced with this level of local and regional opposition the industry needs to try something else. What that will be and when is anyone’s guess. But for now – it’s time to celebrate!

Announcement on IGas Website: http://www.igas-engage.co.uk/project-upton-heath/

Frack Free Dee Coalition Website: http://www.frackfreedee.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Frack-Free-Dee-Coalition-212828988927545/?fref=ts

Twitter: @frackfreedee

Ministers plot to foil anti-frackers | The Telegraph

Exclusive: Leaked Cabinet plans propose letting unelected planning inspectors, rather than councils, give the go ahead for shale gas wells to boost production

Communities could lose the right to block fracking wells as part of a Cabinet plan to create a shale gas industry within a decade, the Telegraph can reveal.
The 10-page plan, leaked to anti-fracking campaigners, sets out a timeline for the expansion of the shale gas industry in Britain.
The Prime Minister blamed a “lack of understanding” about the process for some of the opposition to it, and insisted they would be addressed once people could see functioning shale gas wells in the UK.
LACK OF UNDERSTANDING DAVE!? We understand it completely – lots of money for you and your friends, whilst causing devastating, irreversible damage to our water, air and land. We UNDERSTAND the absolute nightmare people are having to live (and die) with in the USA and Australia. We UNDERSTAND that drilling a huge hole into the ground, pumping it with gallons upon gallons of water and toxic chemicals is never going to be a good idea. We UNDERSTAND that ‘addressing’ the completely justified warnings and concerns about fracking AFTER you’ve fracked the land really means that it is much easier to ask for forgiveness rather than our permission.
Please click here to continue to the original article on The Telegraph website

Upton eviction: ”We won’t have our health and environment ruined just to make a small number of people a large amount of money.”

Upton anti-fracking camp

Anti-fracking protesters evicted from Cheshire camp

Demonstrators had locked themselves in tunnels to try to frustrate attempt to take over site in Upton

Police and bailiffs have evicted protesters from the UK’s longest-running anti-fracking camp, which activists have fortified with tunnels, treehouses and a moat, months after the high court ordered them to leave so drilling could begin.

Anna Davis, an activist with Frack Free Dee, said police had blocked the road leading to the protest camp, ostensibly to guarantee public safety while it was being used by vehicles involved in the eviction. She said she and fellow activists would try to use country footpaths to reach the site, which police are unable to legally block. Karen Harris, an Upton resident and member of Frack Free Dee, said: “We surveyed our neighbours and over 85% do not want this industry here or anywhere else. There is no community consent for this work to take place and we’ll be doing everything we can to defend ourselves.”

“There is a school within 500 metres of the site and houses within 200 metres. We’re not stupid, we can look to America for 10 years’ worth of evidence as to what fracking means for communities. We won’t have our health and environment ruined just to make a small number of people a large amount of money.”

To read full article from The Guardian please click here

No insurance cover if you live within FIVE miles of a fracking site | The Independent

no insurance near fracking site

Householders could face an insurance double-whammy if they live within a five-mile radius of shale gas exploration sites

As householders across the UK continue the great flood clean-up, many are battling with insurance companies. Some are discovering that they now face an insurance “double whammy” – especially if they live in one of the areas covered by the new fracking licences announced by the Government before Christmas.

Many of the UK’s best known insurance companies will not insure against fracking-related damage, an investigation by The Independent on Sunday and the campaign group Spinwatch has found.

This could include contamination caused by polluted water from a fracking site being spread during exceptional flood events and could also include groundwater contamination from underground fracking operations. Companies representing two thirds of the UK insurance market will not insure against damage caused as a result of fracking, or else have exemptions covering potential pollution of water from the controversial technique. This means tens of thousands of people will find it difficult to insure themselves against fracking-related damage to their property or land.

Please click here to continue to original full article on TheIndependent.co.uk

 

Government’s “spectacular U-turn” on fracking regulations

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 09.48.23The government has been accused of a spectacular U-turn on protection for the UK’s finest landscapes from the effects of fracking. A committee of MPs had expected to debate a ban on fracking from the surface of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. But the Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom, told the committee the regulations dealt only with what happened below ground.

Please click here to continue reading the original article on drillordrop.com

The report the UK government didn’t want you to see: the social impacts of fracking

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The UK government Dpartment for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it redacted huge swathes of a Defra report because the information as not rigorous enough – even though it was written by an economic advisor in the department’s Rural Communities Policy Unit, exchanges between Defra and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) reveal.

The emails obtained through FOI request, show that Defra was worried that green groups would use information it considered inaccurate to strike a blow against the government’s amendments to the Infrastructure Bill, which was changed to allow fracking under people’s homes following a consultation in Summer 2014.

The unredacted report, finally published in full in July this year – showed the impacts of fracking on houses and jobs in local communities, as well as health impacts from water, noise light and air pollution.

Please click here to continue reading original article

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.

Please click on this link to continue reading original article

”De Facto Ban on Fracking in Wales” – and what it could really mean… | Bridgend’s Green Leftie

 

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  • The UK Government will no longer issue licences for gas extraction in Wales, at the request of the Welsh Government.
  • This appears too give Welsh Government the power over granting such licences, if it sees fit.
  • It also would appear to give them the power to impose a moratorium or ban if it so decided.

Notice the big “ifs” in these statements.

Despite what you might read in some papers (e.g. The Daily Post) this news does not represent a ‘de facto fracking ban’ at all.

In fact this news only goes to underline the fact that until these powers are transferred, the supposed moratorium on fracking in Wales simply does not exist – despite the misreporting of the vote in February, tabled by Plaid Cymru, to agree to the principle of a moratorium. Labour’s Planning Minister, Carl Sargent, was shamelessly spinning these events in claiming the powers to impose a moratorium, called out by Gareth Clubb from Friends of the Earth Cymru…

First Minister Carwyn Jones has never said more than he would ‘consider a moratorium’ if he ever had the powers to impose one. Well, the Welsh Labour government no longer has the option of sitting on the fence and using its default “It’s all Westminster’s fault” position. We should be able to expect an unambiguous statement of policy and intent regarding fracking and dirty fossil fuel technologies, from all the Parties aspiring to have a say in government in Wales after next year’s Assembly elections.

Please click the following link to continue to the original source of this article, a blog post from Bridgend’s Green Leftie.

‘We will fight their appeal’ says resident, of Cuadrilla’s plans to overturn Lancashire’s Fracking decision

Cuadrilla to Appeal Lancashire’s Refusal of Fracking Applications

Cuadrilla the evil fracking company

Shale gas developer Cuadrilla will be appealing against Lancashire County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for its proposed exploratory drilling sites at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road.

After six months of delay, the council rejected Cuadrilla’s planning application for both sites last month. While environmental campaigners hailed this as a major victory, the threat of an appeal has been looming in the background ever since; councillors were advised at the time that their rulings would likely be subject to appeal.

Bob Dennett, one of the founders of Frack Free Lancashire, told DeSmog UK: “This is not unexpected. Personally, I expected them to take a little bit longer to announce that they were going to an appeal but they have done it. We are ready for it.” Dennett added that the group is planning to fight against Cuadrilla’s appeal. “It’s safe to say that we have sufficient grounds to fight their appeal and we have the legal teams lined up ready to do it.”

You can click the following link to continue reading the original article on desmog.uk

 

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)”.

Please click here to continue to original article on the Telegraph website.

Huge Victory for Lancashire and the UK as Councillors vote NO to Cuadrilla fracking plans

fracking refused in Lancashire

On a day which has huge implications for the future of shale gas extraction in the UK, Lancashire Council councillors have voted NO to  Cuadrilla’s fracking application at Preston New Road. After months of demonstrations, awareness-raising, and strong opposition not only from local communities but people throughout the UK and all over the world, it seems the councillors have held their integrity and recognised the serious impact fracking would have on the land, water and people. The past week has seen demonstrations made up of locals, families, celebrities, supporters from throughout the UK, and politicians descend on County Hall, Preston, whilst the councillors considered the application.

Last week, councillors refused Cuadrilla’s application to frack at the Roseacre site but Cuadrilla stated their intentions to perform ‘seismic monitoring’ at the site, which was later suspected to be stage one of their plans to turn Roseacre into a nuclear waste dumping ground.

Cuadrilla tried their best to bully, intimidate and pressure the council into approving the application, incorrectly ‘warning’ them that a refusal would result in huge legal costs from Cuadrilla. But despite the threats, over the weekend, a second leading QC emerged with information which proved that the council were very much within their rights to refuse the application without financial repercussion. Which, in a so-called democratic society, seems ridiculous to consider otherwise.

Cuadrilla will inevitably choose to appeal the council’s decision. But the fact that it has today been REJECTED is hugely significant in the fight against the government and corporations who want to ‘frack the life out of the country’. Community resistance, solidarity, and the truth about fracking is more powerful than the corporations and their money, we said we would STOP them and today, we have.

Vivienne Westwood against fracking in Lancashire

Vivienne Westwood speaking on Tuesday 23rd June 2015, outside Lancashire County Hall in Preston where Lancashire County Council decide whether to give the shale gas firm, Cuardrilla, a license for fracking. © Jonathan Nicholson/NurPhoto/Corbis.

Lancashire fracking decision and Cuadrilla’s charm offensive | F.O.E

Fracking in Lancashire

Whether or not fracking happens in Lancashire remains on a knife edge.

But while we wait for the decision, expected at a County Council meeting on Monday, it’s worth remembering just how much the Westminster Government and Cuadrilla have thrown at making it happen.

•    David Cameron said that we’re going ‘all out for shale’;
•    George Osborne has been getting all Machiavellian to make fracking happen;
•    Amber Rudd, the new Energy Secretary, is a fan;
•    The media, many of which support fracking (Mr Murdoch has interests in fracking) and when they can’t dismantle the anti-fracking messages, they attack the messengers instead.

Most importantly though, Cuadrilla’s been on a charm offensive and has been dishing out some of its plentiful investment to Lancashire organisations and ventures  ahead of seeking permission to frack, including:

•    Fylde Rugby Club
•    Lowther Pavillion
•    Windmill Youth Development Group –
•    Layton Juniors Under 13 football team
•    Weeton Village Hall
•    Elswick in Bloom

This unquestionable big-heartedness has not been restricted to these PR-friendly ventures. Cuadrilla also bank rolls the fracking hype machine that is the North West Energy Task Force (NWETF). The NWETF has been very busy trying to drum up support for fracking in Lancashire and this culminated in its recent Faces of Shale campaign which found 10 (ten!) people in Lancashire to support fracking.

Despite all of this activity the majority of Lancastrians still don’t want to see fracking in their county. Opposition keeps growing with thousands of residents, hundreds of businesses and local unions all against the fracking plans. And last week showed that Cuadrilla has also failed to convince a majority of the councillors to approve their plans.

All that time and money spent and Cuadrilla still can’t sell fracking to this clued-up public. They don’t buy the claims of no environmental impact and the hype about job creation and lower bills.

Of course, it’s not just Lancashire and it’s not just Cuadrilla – others have got their beady eyes on some other prime spots. But for now, the priority is to stand with the people of Lancashire to stop fracking in the county.

You can help by attending the rally at County Hall in Preston on Monday 29 June or by sending a message of support.

Lancs Demo: The Frack Stops Here | Details

Preston Fracking Demo

LANCASHIRE needs you (now more than ever) – please join us to make this matter:

From Tues 23rd to Fri 26th June, Lancashire County Council will be deciding on whether or not to approve two of the biggest fracking tests ever contemplated in the UK. If allowed to happen, each site would have 4 horizontal wells, producing tens of millions of gallons and radioactive and toxic waste and opening the door to thousands more wells to be drilled across Lancashire, and the rest of the UK.

On the first day (and on subsequent days), concerned communities from around the UK will descend upon Lancashire County Hall in Preston for a peaceful show of solidarity and resistance. This is a huge deal that has implications for the entirety of the UK. It’s also a great chance to showcase the strength and solidarity of the of the UK anti-fracking movement by standing with the people of Lancashire!

If you live in the 60% of the UK that has been made available to fracking companies, this is also your chance to highlight the threat to your community and the resistance taking place where you live! Get involved and come to Lancashire, if you can! If you can just come for one day the first one is likely to be the most important in setting the tone for the days that follow.

For more info and details about this event please click here to visit the Facebook page.

Parents threaten to remove children from school 1 mile from Lancs fracking site if application approved

Wheeton School no to fracking

Cuadrilla’s Fracking Plans Threaten Fylde Primary School

Parents at Weeton St Michael’s are concerned about the impacts of fracking and the industrialisation it entails. Their children’s school is just one mile from Cuadrilla’s proposed fracking site at Preston New Road near Little Plumpton. They have already gathered over 200 signatures on a petition they plan to submit to Lancashire County Council.

Lancashire County Council Avoid Discuss

Claire, whose daughters attend Weeton St Michael’s, said if the application is granted several parents would remove their children from the school. “The main reason parents decided to group together and petition the county council is the lack of information on the potential risk factors of a primary school being one mile away from an industrial operation.”

“No dialogue has been entered into with parents and they were unhappy with the response from the Governors and County Hall continually stating they are unable to discuss it.”

“The prevailing wind is south-westerly, and therefore most of the time, the fumes from any fugitive gas emissions, the many diesel compressors and generators will blow polluted air directly over the school and according to a recent journal, may well exacerbate respiratory and skin conditions.”

Please continue to original article on frackfreelancashire.org.uk

Barton Moss fracking: High levels of contamination found at site, court hears | Salford Star

COURT HEARS OF TOXIC CONTAMINATION AROUND IGAS SALFORD SITE

At Manchester Magistrates Court today, a District Judge heard expert evidence of contamination around the IGas exploratory drilling site in Barton Moss. Initial findings showed dangerously high levels of toxic PAHs and the hearing concerned the need for the experts to get new samples for further analysis. IGas and Peel Holdings have so far refused access to the site.

Today was a preparatory hearing in relation to defendants who face 51 charges connected to the anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss last year.

Barton Mss Fracking Igas contamination

With previous press restrictions lifted today, some of the details have emerged about massive toxic contamination around the controversial IGas exploratory drilling site, the scene of huge anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss last year.

At Manchester Magistrates Court, District Judge Prowse acknowledged the “enormous public interest” in the case and the “dangerously high concentrations” of PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) found from samples taken near the IGas site.

PAHs include acenaphthylene, anthracene, benz[a]anthracene and chrysene – toxic carcinogenic substances which have major affects on human health, as well as on livestock and crops.

Expert witness for the defence, Dr Aidan Foley, told the court he had tested for 16 compounds but needed to go back to the site to get more samples so that he could fingerprint the actual source of the contamination. Both Peel Holdings, the owners of the land, and IGas, which rented its site from Peel, had refused access.

Barton Moss fracking protestors contamination iGas

Dr Foley named a number of sources from where the contamination could have come from, including the M62 which goes past the site, historical dumping, Barton Aerodrome or from plant and machinery used at the IGas drilling site… “Would the logical conclusion be that it must have come off the site?” asked the Judge… “Yes” replied Dr Foley.

To continue reading the original article on the Salford Star’s website please click here.

 

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)

PEEL HOLDINGS JOINS FRACKING MARKET WITH NEW OIL AND GAS DIVISION

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.

Please click here to continue reading original article on the Salford Star website.

Barbara Keeley abstains from voting for Moratorium on Fracking #InfrastructureBill

Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley and Eccles South, abstained from voting for a moratorium on fracking on the day of the vote, January 26th 2015. This is despite her claims of concern and opposition against the drilling for shale gas on numerous occasions.

For a complete list of how each of the MPs voted please click here.

From Barton Moss to Scotland…Solidarity unites us all

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The Scottish government has today announced a moratorium on fracking, this news follows a demonstration on Sunday 25th January held outside Ineos, the chemical giant who last year announced its plans to invest a huge £640m in shale gas exploration. People from all over the UK travelled to Grangemouth in Scotland to unite in opposition against the dirty and dangerous plans proposed by Ineos. Salford people including residents from Walkden and Swinton made the trip to demonstrate their opposition and show solidarity to the people of Scotland, and stated ‘We came here to send a clear message to Ineos – fracking is not wanted here or anywhere, and no amount of money from greedy corporations will ever change the fact that fracking will never be anything but unsafe, toxic and dangerous, and the people won’t be fooled – and we certainly won’t go away! It was great to see just how much opposition from the locals there is in this part of the UK, as well as the people from all over who turn out en masse in support. It was a really inspiring, encouraging, and positive day.’

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Salford people demonstrating outside Ineos, Grangemouth, Scotland. Photo by FFW

Scottish residents demonstrate their feelings of opposition, Grangemouth, Scotland

Scottish residents with their messages to Ineos and the fracking corporations. Photo by FFW

 

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.

Please click here to continue to the full article on TheGuardian.com

Government faces fracking setback as MPs call for total ban | The Independent

Cross-party committee says that fracking for gas should be suspended in the UK because it poses significant health risks to locals

The Government is today facing a backbench rebellion over legislation to make it easier for energy companies to frack for shale gas, as an influential committee of MPs demands a total fracking ban.

A number of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are preparing to defy a three-line whip and vote in favour of amendments to the Government’s Infrastructure Bill that would effectively impose a moratorium on fracking in the UK.

The rebels include the former Cabinet minister Caroline Spelman and Home Office minister Norman Baker as well as a significant number of other MPs with constituencies in potential fracking zones who are worried the issue could cost them their seats in May.

The backlash comes as a report from the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee concludes that fracking for gas should be suspended in the UK because it poses significant health risks to locals and makes it virtually impossible for the country to meets its carbon reduction targets.

Please click here to continue to full article on The Independent website

Fracking not fit for purpose say MPs as Salford case adjourned until March | Salford Star

SALFORD MPS URGED TO VOTE FOR FRACKING PAUSE NEXT WEEK

Salford MPs – Hazel Blears, Barbara Keeley and Graham Stringer – are being urged to support a cross party vote for a moratorium on fracking across Britain on Monday when the Infrastructure Bill comes before Parliament.

The motion, backed by Bolton Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas amongst others, would put a pause on fracking for up to two and a half years while the risks are assessed. Meanwhile a potential dynamite court case surrounding the IGas site in Salford has been adjourned until March.

To continue reading the full article on the Salford Star website please click here

Bin the Infrastructure Bill #binthebill | TalkFracking.org

Bin the infrastructure bill - fracking

The Infrastructure Bill has been making its way through Parliament since June this year.  The Bill was launched in the House of Lords on 5 June, where it had its third reading on 19 November.  It was then quietly moved to the House of Commons, with its first reading on 20 November.  But how does it relate to fracking and why should you care?

Drilling Under Your Home Without Consent

In particular, this is the Bill that the government is using to allow companies to frack underneath your home without your consent. For a bit of background, under current UK law, any oil and gas company that wants to drill on your land or underneath your home must first inform you and seek your permission.  Greenpeace became aware of this ancient land right and started their WrongMove (1) campaign. Through the campaign, the village of Fernhurst successfully blocked (2) Celtitque Energie’s proposed drilling site.  This was a major victory for the UK anti-fracking movement and provided a way for landowners to protect their land from oil and gas exploration.

However in June, the government announced that they were thinking about changing the trespass laws.  Under the newly proposed laws, oil and gas companies would not have to seek permission to drill under anyone’s land.  Cuadrilla’s CEO Francis Egan said that this change to the trespass law was needed otherwise, fracking companies would find it very difficult to operate (3).

A public consultation was held on the proposed change to the trespass law.  Despite 99% of respondents saying that they were against the change to the law, the government added this additional legislation to the Infrastructure Bill. To add insult to injury, an additional amendment has been added that allows fracking companies to install infrastructure and deposit “any substance” in the earth – again, without a land/home owners consent or knowledge.

Please click here to continue to more information on TalkFracking.org

Fracking & Polyacrylamide: Crucial research by Prof. David Smythe | TalkFracking.org

Cuadrilla say the only chemical they use during #fracking is Polyacrylamide, which they claim is completely safe.  However, Polyacrylamide is made of Acrylamide; a highly toxic chemical. Even the smallest amount of water contamination can lead to cancer, nerve problems and decrease of lifespan.  http://www.davidsmythe.org/frackland/?p=66 #TalkFracking

Crucial research by Prof. David Smythe…this is essential information to counter the ‘only safe chemicals’ BS constantly repeated by Lord John Browne, Francis Egan, Gerwyn Llewellyn Williams and other ‘Mother-Frackers!’

#TalkFracking
Cuadrilla say the only chemical they use during fracking is Polyacrylamide, which they claim is completely safe. However, Polyacrylamide is made of Acrylamide; a highly toxic chemical. Even the smallest amount of water contamination can lead to cancer, nerve problems and decrease of lifespan.

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.”

Please click here to continue reading original article on TheGuardian.com

 

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Fracked-up water supply? THIS is the ‘Gold Standard’ of safety promised by IGas

fracking igas safety

The original source of this photo is from a BBC North West Tonight news report which you can view by clicking on the below video. Let’s remind ourselves of the BBC’s landlords – Peel Holdings. Let’s remind ourselves of Igas’ landlords here in Salford and Ellesmere Port, where this footage was recorded…yes, Peel Holdings! The report is described as ‘misleading’ and ‘biased’ in the following description:

A completely misleading biased report on fracking in Ellesmere Port by BBC Northwest Tonight on the 15/12/2014. There is a media blackout on reports on fracking. Its amazing this report was aired the day after hundreds of anti-fracking protestors from around the UK attended a solidarity day at the only UK live fracking site. IGAS the site owners have obviously had an overwhelming influence over the control of the content and its intention is to lead the public into a false sense of security over fracking. There is no reference to environmental impact or pollution or the risk associated with fracking. Please Google ‘fracking’ to build an unbiased opinion.

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”.

Please click here to continue to original article on The Telegraph website.

Barton Moss fracking protester cleared of obstructing police after court rules GMP got the law WRONG | M.E.N

Barton Moss fracking wrongly arrested by GMP Greater Manchester Police

Garry Henesy ”Fracking is very dangerous for the environment, and this case exposes how police are being used in protecting this industry.”

 

An anti-fracking protester convicted of obstructing police after chaining his neck to a bus has had his conviction dramatically quashed. An appeal panel ruled Greater Manchester Police got the law wrong when they arrested activist Garry Henesy, 35, outside Barton Moss, Eccles a week before Christmas. Mr Henesy had attached himself by the neck to a door handle inside an orange single-decker parked outside the entrance of the Barton Moss Road site in protest at energy company IGas’ test drilling for shale gas, and refused to release himself when officers entered the vehicle.

The makeshift blockade led to works vehicles queuing as they were prevented from getting in. Police arrested Mr Henesy on the basis that his refusal to unlock himself meant he was obstructing their efforts to safely move the bus – which officers believed was ‘obstructing a highway’. Mr Henesy was later charged and convicted in his absence.

However, it later emerged that Barton Moss Road is actually a private road, which means police had no duty to move the bus on. A Manchester Crown Court appeal of conviction heard the inspector tasked with moving the bus on had been given incorrect legal advice. Richard Brigden, defending Mr Henesy, said: “There’s no duty in law to remove an obstruction, under the Highways Act, on a private road. Would you not think it an absolute farce for an officer to get the law wrong, and you then to be charged with obstructing him, because you ignored his erroneous order?”

Ruling there was ‘no case to answer’ and quashing the conviction, Recorder Brian Cummmings QC said: “The whole police approach was based on the belief that the road in question was a highway – unfortunately, from the point view of the police, it has now been established that Barton Moss Road, being a private road, was not and is not a highway.”

Mr Henesy, from Brighton, was one of over thirty people protesting on and around the bus – including others on the roof and chained to the underside.Speaking after the case, he said: “I knew the police were out of their jurisdiction, and didn’t really feel the need to acknowledge them when they came onto the bus, because I believed what we were doing was right. ”Fracking is very dangerous for the environment, and this case exposes how police are being used in protecting this industry.”

GMP declined to comment when approached by the MEN.

This article can be found on the Manchester Evening News website by clicking here.

East Yorkshire gas-drilling site making locals ‘sick from noxious smells’ | The Guardian

Toxic smells from Fracking site

 

“The smell is hideous, very distinctive, pungent and nauseous. It comes in waves. It started last week and has continued since. It fades in and out. The area where they are drilling is very rural and the smell drifts easily a mile away,” says Debbie Stabler who lives 400m from the drill site near West Newton, near Aldbrough in east Yorkshire.

“Depending on the wind, it has at times reached villages like West Newton and Withernwick,” said Stabler, who with others have also complained about gas flaring and light pollution from the round-the-clock operation.

Please click here to continue reading original article on The Guardian’s website.

Liverpool Demo: Standing up to say NO to fracking

don't frack liverpool

 

 Great pic from last Wednesday’s anti-fracking demo in Liverpool.

Liverpool is surrounded by all three fracking technologies – Shale gas/oil, Coal Bed Methane and Underground Coal Gasification. Rural communities who live in the surrounding area are getting organised, this is a chance for those that live in or near the city to show some solidarity with those threatened communities and to let it be known, WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET THIS HAPPEN!

See all North West fracking licences here: http://frack-off.org.uk/extreme-energy-fullscreen/

Preston New Road Community Protection Camp: http://frack-off.org.uk/preston-new-road-community-fracking-blockade/

Belcoo Community Protection Camp: http://frack-off.org.uk/belcoo-community-fracking-blockade/

West Newton Community Protection Camp: http://frack-off.org.uk/west-newton-community-fracking-blockade/

Crawberry Hill Community Protection Camp: http://frack-off.org.uk/crawberry-hill-community-fracking-blockade/

Upton Community Protection Camp: http://frack-off.org.uk/upton-community-fracking-blockade/

New UK fracking licensing threat: http://frack-off.org.uk/new-uk-fracking-licenses-confirmed/

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

THIS EPISODE:
– 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

How about asking the people whether we want #fracking to be allowed in UK? E-PETITION

10497102_10152415091942779_233444565288801553_o

You can sign this petition demanding a referendum by clicking here

Fermanagh listens to its residents…take note Salford Council

fermanagh

This evening, on the back of intense community opposition and resistance, Fermanagh District Council have voted against the national government’s fracking policy.

Tamboran has licences on both sides of the border (Fermanagh and Leitrim) and are trying to construct a site at Belcoo, where it wants to drill a shale gas exploration well. The local community has been mobilising to resist.

Belcoo Community Protection Camp:
http://frack-off.org.uk/belcoo-community-fracking-blockade/

‘No Fracking’ message appears on Humber Bridge

No fracking on Humber Bridge Hull

With the government now opening up more areas to extreme energy extraction, anti-fracking campaigners in East Yorkshire brought the issue to public attention this Sunday by unfurling banners on the iconic Humber bridge. The message “No Fracking” was visible from the A63, and from the river.

The action was organised by Frack Free East Yorkshire Coalition and was attended by people from West Newton and Crawberry Hill anti-fracking camps – two sites where extreme energy company Raithlin Energy are operating in the area – as well as activists from Frack Off London, who were visiting the sites in solidarity with local campaigners. Each campaigner held one letter of the message.

Pippa Hockey from Frack Free East Yorkshire Coalition said “We are trying to raise awareness about not just what is going on locally but nationally and internationally. Despite what Rathlin is saying we are worried that there will be fracking in this area. It’s not just about the villages near the well sites, the aquifer they’re drilling through covers most of East Yorkshire, potentially affecting 900 000 people. We just want people to educate themselves as to what fracking entails. Please, once you know you’ll want to stop it. Educate yourself.”

Charlie Walker from Frack Off London said: “We’re grateful for the Yorkshire warm welcome we received on our visit, and seeing an active extreme energy site in operation with our own eyes has really brought home the horrors of industrialisation of the countryside that this energy policy would bring, if we allow it to happen. It’s clear that there is no social license for these activities here, and we were pleased to help with the Humber bridge banner to highlight this”.

For more information, visit the Frack Free East Yorkshire website

Ireland: Hundreds turn up to stand up against threat of fracked future | BBC NEWS

Ireland fights back against fracking

Several hundred people have taken part in an anti-fracking protest in County Fermanagh.

The protest took place on Monday evening at a site near Belcoo, where a shale gas exploration company has announced plans to drill an exploratory borehole to collect rock samples.

Please click here to continue to original article via the BBC news website.

West Sussex Council turns DOWN fracking bid | The Guardian

community fightback

Refusal of Celtique Energie thought to be the first time a council has rejected a planning application by a shale company.

West Sussex County Council’s planning committee refused the application by Celtique Energy for oil and gas exploration near Wisborough Green, a conservation area just outside the South Downs National Park. The refusal, thought to be the first time a council has rejected a planning application by a shale company, was welcomed by local campaigners and environmentalists who feared that the exploration would lead to controversial fracking for oil or gas.

Please click here to continue reading original article on TheGuardian.com

Farmer’s fracking warning via huge roadside signs | Blackpool Gazette

fracking farmers

Huge roadside signs have been erected by a farmer to raise awareness of what he calls the ‘frightening prospect’ of fracking.

Please click here to continue to original article on the Blackpool Gazette website.

BEZ HANDS TOXIC DAVYHULME COMMUNITY PROTECTION CAMP BACK TO PEEL HOLDINGS | Salford Star

Bez and protectors at toxic Davyhulme site

DAVYHULME ANTI-FRACKING CAMP TOO TOXIC FOR PEOPLE

Last night, Bez joined around fifty anti-fracking protectors to dramatically hand back to owners Peel Holdings land near the Trafford Centre that has been occupied for the last few weeks.

“The air pollution is so bad that everyone’s become ill so people have got to leave and we recommend that people stay away” Bez told the Salford Star “The people using the Trafford Centre’s sports facilities should be warned about the consequences of being in the area for too long – we need it investigating…”

It was only a couple of weeks ago that protectors created a new anti-fracking camp in the shadow of the Trafford Centre, underneath Barton Bridge in Davyhulme. In the days that followed Peel Holdings, which owns the land, and United Utilities, which leases the land from them, have been to court to win a possession order, and over the past few days protectors have been heavily fortifying the Camp to fend off eviction teams.

Please click here to continue to original article on the Salford Star website.

 

MUST WATCH: Fracking Nightmare…At West Newton, East Yorks

Local residents in East Yorkshire were shocked by the sudden arrival of 50+ trucks at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton Frack site; finally realising that they have been duped by the industry Mother-Frackers! Meanwhile, Humberside Police demonstrate that they are little more than Corporate Enforcers…refusing to facilitate any peaceful protest against the UK Government Fracking Agenda! If Terrorists were poisoning our water supply, there would be outrage…but apparently it’s OK when the corporations do it!

New Anti Fracking Protection Camp in Trafford | Salford Star

Photo by Stephen Speed | Salford Star

Photo by Stephen Speed | Salford Star

NEW ANTI-FRACKING CAMP SETS UP UNDER BARTON BRIDGE

A new anti-fracking camp has been set up in across the Manchester Ship Canal in Davyhulme, under Barton Bridge, a few hundred yards from the Salford border.

Fracking company IGas is applying to Trafford Council, seeking an extension to its planning permission for coal bed methane extraction, similar to the permissions the company obtained before it started drilling at Barton Moss. The proposed site, owned by Peel Holdings, was lawfully occupied by protectors on  Monday.

Please click here to continue reading original article on SalfordStar.com

Paul McCartney calls for fracking ban | Eco-Watch

paulFI

Paul McCartney is the latest high-profile public figure to lend support to the growing anti-fracking movement.

A host of celebrities—including Sir Paul McCartney, actress Helena Bonham-Carter and singer Thom Yorke—have added their voices to the growing call for a fundamental rethink of the UK government’s shale gas strategy.

Kicking off a major new campaign, “We Need to Talk About Fracking,” more than 150 high profile names from the world of music, film, art and science, are calling for a moratorium on shale exploration until a “genuinely independent, balanced and thorough public debate is held into the potential dangers” the industry holds for the country.

The campaign has also been backed by green businesses, executives and NGOs including Lush Cosmetics, Solarcentury founder Jeremy Leggett, Trillion Fund, Triodos Bank, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Friends of the Earth.

The group is arguing that regulations are being changed to accommodate fracking without sufficient public debate as to the risks associated with the activity.

Please click here to be taken to original article on ecowatch.com

Sound familiar? Sussex Police under fire for ‘criminalising’ fracking protests | The Guardian

Police "criminalised fracking protests"

Force accused of misusing section 14 orders last year with just 29 convictions resulting from 126 arrests at Cuadrilla site.

Most of the people arrested during a summer of demonstrations against fracking in Balcombe have been acquitted, leading to accusations that police tactics in a £4m operation criminalised peaceful protest.

Lydia Dagostino, the solicitor who acted for most of the defendants, claimed many believed the policing operation was used as a blueprint for the future policing of anti-fracking protests. She said: “Who knows if there was some kind of directive given about how they tackled this …”

“What they did criminalised protest. They used the section 14 orders and bail conditions, which were imposed on everyone and which stopped them from going within miles of the site, to stop them from protesting. It was like an injunction by the back door. If you turn up – new to protest – and you think you are going to be sitting down singing the anti-fracking anthem and then see people being arrested and handcuffed, it is quite shocking and frightening and puts you off being there.”

Speaking at a performance and accountability meeting Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, asked acting Chief Constable York:

“My concern is, have police learned from this? If you go on Google there are blogs from four years ago with similar stories about the use of Section 14. Are forces actually learning? The other issue is that the arrests were made as a tactic to criminalise protesters.”

Source: The Guardian. Please click here to go to original article on the Guardian’s website.

Government drive for fracking ‘losing thousands of Tory votes’ | The Telegraph

The Government’s drive for fracking is losing the Tories thousands of votes, George Osborne’s father-in-law has said, launching a withering attack on ministers’ attempts to “bribe and cajole” rural communities.

Lord Howell of Guildford, the former Tory energy secretary, said the Coalition’s strategy for shale gas was “seriously flawed.”

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

‘Make fracking national priority’ Lords have financial interests in industry | Greenpeace

A Lords committee which is calling for fracking to be made an urgent national priority includes at least five members with interests in the global industry – according to an Energydesk analysis of parliamentary registers.

The report by the House of Lords Economic Affairs committee bemoaned the slow pace of the UK’s shale gas development so far and called for ministers to take a leading role in advocating development.

The committee is made up of appointed Lords who do more than opine on government policy – holding interests and positions across industry. We thought we’d take a look at their positions and investments in energy. Please click here to continue to original article (link will open in new window).

Fracking trespass law changes opposed by 74% of British public, poll finds | The Guardian

Signs at the anti-fracking protest camp set up at Barton Moss in Salford where energy company iGas has built a vertical test well to assess the suitability for shale gas tracking

Move to allow shale gas companies to drill under homes without owner’s permission is widely-opposed, YouGov survey says

The government faces widespread opposition to plans to change trespass laws to allow shale gas companies to drill under homes without the owner’s permission, a poll has revealed.  More than 45,000 people around the country have joined legal moves to block energy companies from fracking under their properties, but a change to the trespass laws could allow companies to explore for shale gas without needing their permission. The survey found that 73% of Conservative voters and 70% of Liberal Democrat supporters did not agree with changing the law to make it easier to drill under people’s homes.

Please click here to continue to original article on The Guardian website.

Shale gas and public health – the whitewash exposed | Ecologist

Public Health England accused of gross scientific misconduct for their inadequate and ill-researched report on the impacts of fracking. When iGas come back in September, the community of Salford needs to be ready for them. If we tolerate this, our children are next.

Public Health England is guilty of gross scientific misconduct, writes Paul Mobbs, for its apparently deliberate whitewashing of the public health impacts of fracking. But it’s all part of a pattern of maladministration that reaches to the heart of government.

Last October, Public Health England (PHE) released their draft report on the health impacts of shale gas. They looked at all the evidence on the likely effects of shale gas production – usually referred to as ‘fracking’ – on public health. Please click here to continue to original article (link will open in new window).

Fracking tests may be carried out in Boothstown and Astley, as well as Glazebury | Leigh Journal

Leigh Journal: The area where the tests may be carried out

FRACKING tests may be carried out in Glazebury, Astley and up towards Boothstown, it has been confirmed.

A private company has written to Wigan Council to inform them of its intention to carry out ‘three dimensional seismic survey’ work within the borough. The controversial fracking tests are taking place across the country, with large scale protests ongoing at the Barton Moss site, close the M62 in Manchester.

Steve Normington, director of economy and skills at Wigan Council, said: “We’ve been formally notified by a private company that they intend to do survey work to map the geological structure of an area that includes a small part of the borough.

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

 

 

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).

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. 

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