Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Earthquakes - in Holland.

Running through the hundreds of reports that came in to Schiste Towers this year, one of our team reminded me that the Daily Telegraph ( no less ) reported last July serious earthquake activity in close proximity to fracking activities in the Netherlands. Trivialized by politicians and industry pundits elsewhere the link is proven ( literally thousands have occurred in the USA ) and a very serious matter for homeowners who suddenly find their property entirely worthless.

Read the report here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/10162343/Earthquakes-from-onshore-gas-drilling-threaten-a-disaster-warn-residents-of-Dutch-city.html?fb

By the way, if you are at all concerned that fracking may sooner or later occur directly under your UK property why not enter your postcode on the following page: http://www.wrongmove.org/ A legal challenge is still possible but soon it may be too late. Licences are being issued as we write.

Thinking of investing in shale gas?

If we believe all the hype there are trillions of cubic metres of shale gas just waiting to be accessed beneath European soil. Of course, we don't. The grossly inflated figures are merely a device to convince gullible/greedy politicians and investors alike.

One industry clown with experience of the American scenario recently compared the UK potential to that of Texas. He failed to mention that two factors in particular will impede progress over here. The first is that for the most part European shale beds lie approximately 1.5x deeper that than those in the US and in the UK for instance, population density is circa 3.5x that of rural Pennsylvania. Both factors have huge implications for net profitability.

Finally, do be careful who you run with. Several of the front-end prospectors are 'shell-like'. We heard of one recently with public liability cover set at a mighty £37,000 pounds!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Sussex, Surrey and the rest of the UK.

We have just received notification of the formation of a new site carrying excellent data/videos and FACTS + news and up to date information of immediate interest to those living in Sussex but surely of relevance to all UK residents.

Click the link: http://www.frackfreesussex.co.uk/

Sunday, 29 December 2013

FACTS. If you never read another thing.......................

The awful truth is now beginning to emerge from the USA. If you never read another thing on fracking, please read the following article: http://www.nationofchange.org/groundbreaking-report-calculates-damage-done-fracking-1380897256

Now try if you can to translate that into fracking proposals for the UK for instance. Then do something!

If you find our articles and links helpful please help us to increase the circulation as widely as possible by linking to Facebook for instance and/or send the following link: www.schistehappens.blogspot.com
to as many friends and contacts as possible. Incredibly, there are still those who seek to make light of this appalling issue. Thank you. Ed.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Xmas round up......

We take this opportunity of collating several snippets/observations. Noted:

Europe has ( so they tell us ), vast reserves of shale gas particularly in France and Poland. Apologists claim that a similar boom to that being experienced in the USA could occur here. One clown even compared the Texan experience to the Sussex location. We feel they miss the point - widely.

In Europe shale strata are located far deeper in the ground than in the US which has direct implications for environmental and public health risks ( not to mention the safety of operatives ) and of course the small matter of increased extraction costs.

Economic incentives are extremely limited ( notwithstanding the ridiculous tax breaks announced by Cameron's 'last chance saloon' administration. In the US owners of land likely to be accessed by fracking companies share the profits because the resources underground belong to the property owners. In Europe, it is generally the host government that reaps the benefit ( notwithstanding the paltry sums now being offered in the UK to threatened communities ).

In mainland Europe, population density is roughly 3x that of rural Pennsylvania and this has obvious implications for logistics ( up to 500 truck movements per well just for earth removal ), noise and visual desecration not to mention flares and airborne methane. From this it will be seen that profitability ( in the final analysis ) will be way down. Of course, once the share price ( on the back of unsubstantiated  claims concerning likely resources 'sous-sol' ) have risen sharply and then fallen just as sharply - who cares.

For the record. Hydraulic fracturation is currently banned in France, the Czech Republic, suspended in Belgium, Ireland, Bulgaria and neighbouring Romania.

France - Anti-Gaz de Schiste collective reforms.......

We note in the current issue of La Depeche that the collective 'Non au gaz de schiste permis de Cahors' ( No to the shale gas permits for Cahors ) based in Labastide Murat held ordinary and extraordinary meetings on the 14th December and proceeded to amend the articles and name of the association to ( in English ) "No to shale gas Quercy - Rouergue" ( NGSQR). The General Assembly closed with the screening of Josh Fox's documentary Gasland 2 which was found to have the same impact ( if not more so that Gasland 1). The meeting took account of the previously identified permit areas of Cahors ( 5,750 sq/Km ), Beaumont-de-lomagne ( 10,500 sq/km and the recent incursions at Brive.

Link to the brief report here: http://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2013/12/20/1778958-labastide-murat-les-anti-gaz-de-schiste-restent-vigilants.html

And still we talk to those who say 'It will never happen here'. Continued vigilance is essential. Ed.

Friday, 20 December 2013

UK - Sign petition to Minister Pickles

The UK Government has completely failed to act in a democratic manner in relation to fracking.


They have failed to Consult Communities ( on the process and in the matter of planning guidance ).

Have sidestepped existing legislation and will now proceed to drill under private homes and have seemingly abandoned their previous claim ( 'Greenest Govt Ever' ) to tackle Climate Change in planning.

If any of this concerns you please read and sign the attached petition from FOE to Minister Eric Pickles. Read and sign here: http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/climate/press_for_change/government_fails_communities_41573.html#.UrNzgwHp2e8.email

PLEASE consider passing this link ( and www.schistehappens.blogspot.com ) to friends and contacts. Better still why not SIGN UP on our main page in order to receive regular updates. Thank you.

France - Mining Law reforms ( finally) for 2014

At the time of the drafting of the loi Jacob banning hydraulic fracturing in July of 2011 there was a great deal of debate about the implications of fracking taking place against the background of the Napoleonic loi minier (mining law). Accordingly, provision was made at the time for a complete review of the terms and scope of the law. We can report that the final recommendations have been made and the proposals will be placed before the French Parliament in early 2014.

Unfortunately the review has only dealt with 'allowed activities' and of course since July 2011 - fracking has not been allowed.

We are hoping to have an accurate translation with key points soon and will announce any relevant changes as they come to hand.

UK - 'Fracking is fine' report written by climate sceptic.

The Conservative 'Centre for Policy Studies' report can be read here: http://progressive.org/frackademia-report-written-by-converted-climate-skeptic


Thursday, 19 December 2013

UK - Man with dog on a bit of string?

In the UK it seems that protest, however legitimate is a dirty word ( thanks to the constant negative reportage in the tabloid press ) and deemed to be the exclusive domain of 'hippies', 'travellers', 'activists' and assorted others. Frequently we are told that all is well (!) until the 'troublemakers' take over. When government specifically instructs MPs to ignore legitimate protest and rides roughshod over the basic democratic rights of citizens we really ought to be grateful to those who first alert us to the problems ( there are many ) and then put themselves to some inconvenience and at times in danger to thwart the worst ambitions of those intent on maximising profit at the expense of the environment and in this case public health.

One more example here as fracking licences begin to be processed: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/18/manchester-fracking-protesters-park-bus-igas

UK - Who actually wrote the Government's fracking report?

We referred in our last post to the UK Dept of Energy and Climate Change Committee's Fracking report/assessment and wondered just who had been responsible for the content.

Seems it was these guys: http://koppersgainesville.com/2013/06/14/sandra-watts-kennedy-on-amecs-canadian-scandal/

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

UK - Is your house in affected areas?

Major UK insurers are refusing to indemnify properties in areas likely to be fracked. Remember that horizontal fracking can extend the range of a well/frack site by up to 3km ( and soon to be 5km ) so even if operations seem to be some distance away the underground activity could be occuring ( illegally unless you have given permission ) right under your house.

Enter your postcode here: http://www.wrongmove.org/ to see if you live in an area likely to be affected. Government are processing licence applications right now so please bring this to the attention of anyone who may be affected. Thank you.

PS Please also circulate the link to www.schistehappens.blogspot as widely as possible. 

UK - Fracking - 'Without risk'. Govt Report says so.

We have now read all 174 pages of the recently published Department of Energy and Climate Change Committee report 'Strategic Environmental Assessment for further Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing'. There are few, if any surprises least of all that the panel chaired by John Gummer ( now styled Lord Deben ) concludes essentially that fracking is 'without risk'.


We wonder just how they side-stepped the mountain of evidence to the contrary freely available ( and for some time now ) emanating from the US ( in spite of the widespread suppression of reports by successive administrations ) and elsewhere relating to sickness, animal deaths, worthless properties, traffic hell, ruined infrastructure and landscape desecration. Easy peazy.

UK - Fracking bonanza. But exactly which areas are threatened?

BBC report here on analysis of exactly which areas, North and South are likely to yield the most gas ( and disruption, pollution, landscape desecration and noise ). Read the report/watch the video presentation here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25424687

Thousands of wells on up to 60% of UK land mass and scores of daily tanker journeys: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/17/fracking-huge-impact-uk-shale-gas-industry-revealed

Up to half of Britain to be offered up ( by the UK government ) and circa 50 trucks past your front door every day. Read the Daily Telegraph report here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fracking/10523069/Half-of-Britain-to-be-offered-for-shale-gas-drilling-as-fracking-areas-face-50-trucks-passing-each-day.html

Just one year ago many in the UK were telling us that they were 'confused' by this issue and that maybe there were arguments in favour. We are quite sure that minds will be firmly made up 'ere long.

Better get out there with that new digital camera and snap all your favourite views, before they are gone forever!

Ed. We are now seeking improved/wider circulation for our reports. Many links to the site on eg Facebook but we would still like to give greater access to this information. If you find these reports helpful please consider circulating them to all those affected or interested on your contacts list. Better still, why not Sign Up ( 100% safe ) as a supporter of Schistehappens ( see link top right of this page ). Thank you.

Monday, 16 December 2013

UK - 17m wind turbine provides photo opp' at Manchester frack site

Imaginative protestors have managed to transport a 17m wind turbine blade to the Manchester
( Barton Moss ) site where fracking protestors are gathered. Full marks of course, except that the message will be lost on the government who clearly do not have a coherent and consistent energy policy and on many of the public who are 'confused' by fracking and are probably unsure as to where wind lies in the overall energy policy (sic) mix. Nice move nonetheless and the images have been syndicated across several European journals.

Read the report here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/16/fracking-wind-turbine-blade-manchester-drilling

France - Mining Law reforms sidestep question of fracking.

The recent report dealing with reforms to the loi minier or French Mining Code have sidestepped the issue of hydraulic fracking/fracturing dealing only with 'permitted activities'. Under the current legislation ( loi Jacob of July 2011 ) fracking is not allowed in France.

Read a report here ( in French but an easy matter to copy and paste the material into Google Translator ): http://www.la-croix.com/Actualite/France/Le-nouveau-code-minier-tire-les-lecons-de-la-controverse-sur-les-gaz-de-schiste-2013-12-10-1073987

So, the mess that pertained at the time when the Sarkozy government secretly allowed permits for areas like Cahors in 2010 remains.

UK seeks to sidestep upcoming EU environmental safeguards

Yet another excuse for the UK to whinge about Brussels as the EU proposes new environmental and public health safeguards in the event of widespread fracking. Read the report here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10518120/New-EU-fracking-law-plan-threatens-Britains-shale-gas-boom.html?fb

David Cameron has declared fracking 'safe' and with 'minimal environmental impact'. Now he would know wouldn't he?  The chairman of his so called Energy and Climate Change Committee ( or something on those lines ) Lord Deben is categorical in this respect. This from the former John Gummer who forced his daughter to eat a hamburger to prove that it was 'safe' at the height of the BSE scare.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

UK - Who led Cuadrilla to believe.................?

Who led Cuadrilla to believe that they would be welcomed with open arms by the British public as they seek to frack up the countryside and garner all those sumptious tax breaks?

We can only wonder. See how the Chairman of said concern sees it by clicking this link: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geoffreylean/100250427/why-the-fracking-industry-admits-it-is-getting-smashed-by-public-opposition/

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Fracking reality - The Texan experience translated in UK terms.

If you have even the slightest doubt as to just how life would be affected if fracking were to come to a location near you take just 5 minutes to read the following article and maybe a further 9 minutes to watch the video ( always assuming you can put up with the front end advertising for car hire ).

Real life testimony from residents of Ponder in Texas and commentary on just how such horrors are likely to affect the UK  ( and perhaps France in due course ).

Read the article and watch the video by clicking this link:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/14/fracking-hell-live-next-shale-gas-well-texas-us

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

UK - 'Press ahead with fracking' - Climate change advisory body.

'Britain should press ahead with fracking, the chairman of the Government's climate change advisory body said yesterday.

Lord Deben dismissed claims by Green Groups that fracking would cause significant damage to the environment, adding that Britain needed to drill shale wells to reduce reliance on foreign imports of fossil fuel'. 

If you subscribe to Rupert Murdoch's pay wall on-line ( we don't ) then you may read the full article here: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article3945591.ece

We do wonder just how a so called Climate Change Advisory body could possibly be proposing the continued use of fossil fuels in the first place of course. Needless to say, much of the gas produced will not be for home consumption and will simply be sold to the highest international bidder. Lower fuel/utility bills? Right.

Monday, 9 December 2013

UK ( again ) - Commentary from Cuadrilla

Read in what low regard those appointed to frack up large chunks of the UK hold the environment and ipso facto it's citizens by clicking the following link...................


Saturday, 7 December 2013

UK - Fracking up Cheshire - BBC report

Here we go..............Dart Energy suggest that 'fracking opponents will be pushed aside'. Read the BBC report here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25268627

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

World Fossil Fuel Reserves growing - BUT.....

Interesting interactive pages here from data collated by Oil Change International setting out just why, in spite of growing reserves we simply should strive to leave them in the ground.

Read and interact with the article here:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/interactive/2013/nov/26/why-fossil-fuel-reserves-growing-oil-carbon

Friday, 29 November 2013

UK - 'Fracking will not bring down fuel bills' - Lord Browne.

Fracking supremo and former BP Chief, mastermind of the Government's so called Royal Society of Engineering ( almost certainly created to whitewash the image of fracking ) and Chairman of Cuadrilla Resources ( main player at Blackpool and Balcombe ) has contradicted UK Government claims that fracking will bring down domestic energy bills..........................

Mind you, he also said that fracking was 'existentially important'. But then again, he was  speaking at the LSE! Still working on that one - Ed.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

France - MPs ( two of them ) back Shale Gas testing. But then......

Read how two French MPs appear to be acting as salesmen for the Shale Gas Industry here in The Connexion:http://www.connexionfrance.com/MPs-shale-gas-report-parliament-Bataille-Lenoir-15252-view-article.html

Bad timing. Wrong country. At least for the duration of this Presidency.

Friday, 22 November 2013

French Scientists Advocate Testing for Shale Gas

Just as we anticipated many moons ago, the lobbyists for the DIRTY INDUSTRY are beginning to break down the resistance and in spite of all the readily available evidence world-wide concerning health risks, environmental desecration and the sheer lunacy of extracting yet one more fossil fuel at this late stage in the game are seriously suggesting that 'safe' and 'regulated' approaches to shale gas extraction may be adopted. Lunacy.

Read the report in The Connexion on-line here: http://connexionfrance.com/Academie-Sciences-shale-gas-Candel-15236-view-article.html

If this matter concerned you three years ago it should surely alarm you now.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

WATERLESS FRACKING - really? That's not the point.

In the November 25th issue of Time Magazine in a section devoted to 'The 25 Best Inventions of 2013' we read the following piece of nonsense.............


Waterless Fracking

The debate over fracking is a debate over water. Greens figure that fracking fluid could contaminate water supplies. Solution: lose the water. Canadian company Gasfrac uses gelled liquid petroleum rather than water to frack wells. The gel evaporates underground, eliminating the risk of contamination. Energy companies save money, and greens save their breath'.

We probably cannot expect better from a magazine that routinely carries several whole page ads by the likes of Chevron, claiming to have the best interests of the environment at heart.

Either these people are extremely stupid, or they are very clever and actually believe their own hype and expect us to believe it to. Water usage and contamination is a major concern but it is only one. As we have said so often, logistics, noise, landscape desecration, airborne methane and much, much more is a real concern. Shale Gas is yet one more fossil fuel that we should not be extracting at this crucial point in time. Shale Gas is not an 'interim solution' it does not have emissions lower than coal when all factors are considered and is not 'natural'.

The link between climate change, the burning of fossil fuels and warming-induced catastrophes such as that just witnessed in the Phillipines are now beyond doubt and yet the 'dirty industry' ploughs on regardless. Even UK Prime Minister D.Cameron has linked climate change to the events in the Phillipines and yet his own approach is to back fracking 100% whilst cutting support for investment in renewable sources. Is he missing the point like Gasfrac or could he just be very clever. Hang on............

Read Dave's contribution here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/16/david-cameron-climate-change-typhoon-haiyan

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Fracking tragedy looming for the UK - and just who cares???

Fracking 'is safe... and it's coming soon' - Declares Minister Michael Fallon - report in the Daily Telegraph here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fracking/10437394/Fracking-is-safe...-and-its-coming-soon.html

Households “right across the South” should prepare for gas fracking to begin in their areas, a senior minister warns

Households “right across the South” should prepare for gas fracking to begin in their areas, a senior minister has warned.
Michael Fallon says that in the next few weeks, a study by the water industry will conclude that fracking will not contaminate the water supply.
He told The Telegraph that places such as Wiltshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex will become centres of the potential source of energy. The Conservative minister, who has posts at the business and energy departments, said Britain had the scope to emulate US states such as Texas in exploiting shale gas.
Mr Fallon also pledged to block wind farms, saying that only one in three sites is being approved following planning restrictions.
In other comments, he said energy bills would be “pegged back” when the Coalition cuts green levies on power next month, and that the Conservatives could fight the next election on a promise to reduce taxes for lower-paid workers by increasing the income tax threshold above £10,000.
 Mr Fallon was this week named minister of the year by The Spectator magazine because of his successful management of the Royal Mail privatisation.
He will now focus on trying to win wider acceptance for fracking.
Fears about the process are “myths” and it could provide “the most exciting home-grown source of energy we’ve seen for years”, he said. Fracking is a method of extracting small pockets of gas trapped in rocks by pumping in pressurised water. Advocates say it could produce large amounts of cheap energy, but critics fear it will cause environmental damage.
Water UK, which represents water companies, expressed fears about fracking earlier in the year and began a study.
Mr Fallon said its report will conclude that fracking is largely safe, and will say there is no risk of contamination of water supplies. The report will be part of a drive by the Government to dispel fears about shale gas, which have led to protests against energy firms considering fracking — protests backed by some Tory MPs.
The water industry study follows research from Public Health England which said last month that fracking did not pose a serious medical risk.
“There are genuine concerns, but there are also myths and we are tackling them,” Mr Fallon said.
Shale gas exploration has so far been concentrated in the North, but Mr Fallon said the South could also be in line for fracking. Next year, the British Geological Survey will publish a map of the “southern basin” of England, identifying sites most likely to be rich in shale gas.
“It’s right across the South we’re talking about: Wiltshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, into Kent,” said Mr Fallon, the MP for Sevenoaks. Ministers have reduced the regulatory barriers to fracking, clearing the way for the industry to spread across the country, he said, adding: “There is shale in the Midlands too.”
Mr Fallon said he had discussed fracking recently with Rick Perry, the governor of Texas. He admitted that the state had little in common with the Home Counties, but said: “He was telling me about the number of new businesses that shale had brought to Texas — technology companies, energy companies, lots of new jobs.
“There are differences, but the potential is there and we should check it out.” 

We comment as follows:

a. We wonder just what has persuaded the Water Supply Industry to change its mind. Massive evidence to the contrary is widely available in spite of the embargo on EPA reports out of the US largely resulting from the continued sidestepping of the Clean Water Drinking Act first introduced by Bush/Cheney & Co. We wonder if the Industry is still as concerned as it seemed to be just six months ago about the massive quantities of clean water required. We understand that supplies are to be sold to the frackers at a lower rate than to domestic consumers.

b. Wiltshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex. Cameron has told MPs to ignore the legitimate concerns of voters in these areas.

c. Wind farms. The 'Greenest Government Ever' is now effectively blocking the exploration of renewable sources ( having already exhibited an antipathy to the solar industry ) whilst fully supporting its chums in the fossil fuel industry. Cutting green levies on power next month is just one more sign. As ever, closer and closer to the American model.

d. Fallon named 'Minister of the Year'!  First of all by The Spectator - so no surprises there and then for his 'successful management' of the Royal Mail privatization. Hardly a measure of competence we would have thought. 

e. 'Focus on trying to win wider acceptance for fracking'? What? By steamrollering it through no doubt.

f. The myth of 'myths'! The largely ignorant/indifferent UK populace will easily be convinced.

g. Mr Fallon said that the UK Water Report concludes that fracking is 'largely safe'. Bizaare. At least, bizaare to anyone who takes the trouble to spend even 30 minutes doing serious internet research. 

h. WHO are Public Health England we wonder? 'Fracking does not pose a serious medical risk'?!!! Just what was the basis of their research we wonder?

j. 'Ministers have reduced the regulatory barriers to fracking'. Ah, but we though that it would only be carried out with 'adequate regulations in place'. Which applies?

k. 'There are differences ( between Texas and the UK )'. Well yes, minister there surely are!

l. Jobs - lots of them. The bulk of them temporary and those at the well head  assuredly unhealthy.

Friday, 8 November 2013

'David Cameron was wrong........................................'

Here in the Daily Telegraph ( yes, we read that one too ) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fracking/10433041/David-Cameron-was-wrong-to-raise-publics-hopes-on-fracking-says-energy-expert.html?fb we see that UK PM D.Cameron actually got over-excited about the prospect of fracking bringing down utility bills.

Much of what the industry claims is underground can never, ever be extracted and in any case, much of what is finally extracted will be sold abroad to the highest bidder. By then of course, the countryside will be devastated.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

UK Government - Fracking can be done safely!

UK Government declares that fracking poses no significant health risk if carried out safely: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/fracking-is-safe-says-governments-own-health-body-8916189.html

In that case, we can only conclude that they don't have the remotest idea of what is involved.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Fracking now defining democracy - USA

In a recent televised interview with documentary film maker JOSH FOX it became clear that over 15 million Americans now live within one mile of a frack site ( with all the implications for noise, water pollution, visual desecration, declining property values and worse ) and that in Pennsylvania alone the current total of 6,000 wells is set to increase to 180,000. When wells become exhausted it is necessary to frack and frack all over again.

Imagine what that would mean on mainland Europe with a population density of something in the order of 3.5x.

The interview with JF appears at the beginning of the following video......................http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WA4lK3uXOoE

Fracking is an assault on democracy. In 1:1 interviews with Pennsylvania residents we found that in many areas public participation in planning meetings is now denied and where property values have plummeted to zero gas companies buy up the otherwise worthless houses/land but only in return for a lifetime gagging order on the residents involved. This recently extended to two children aged under ten years of age. The Clean Water Drinking Act was sidestepped by the Bush/Cheney ( Halliburton ) administration and although Obama has officially re-instated this fundamental legislation the EPA are still experiencing 'difficulties' in supervising the chemicals deployed in fracking fluids.

Footnote. The UK government recently invited the Halliburton organization to tender for large areas of countryside scheduled for fracking and French Gas company GDF is set to frack all over the Bowland area. GIves 'Made in England' a whole new twist - read the report here: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2013/10/28/Shale-needed-for-diversity-Dart-Energy-chief-says/UPI-54431382965052/

In five years time we will wish that we had listened.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

UK - National Trust - Fence sitting yet again;

It would appear that the National Trust is once again having trouble deciding just where it stands on ethical matters ( remember Stag hunting? ).  Perhaps a little in depth research will reveal that many of their historic piles ( not to mention precious remaining coastline now in their care ) will not best be enhanced by lines of 50m derricks ( and all that goes with them ) along the perimeter.

Excellent summary here by environmentalist George Monbiot: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/oct/24/dame-helen-ghosh-fracking-wind-turbines-national-trust

If they have any doubts at all perhaps they might spend just 6 minutes viewing Dr Colborn's video ( linked in our previous posting ).

Fossil Fuels - The Toxic Reality

This short ( just over 6 minutes ) video on You Tube presented by eminent hydrocarbons expert Dr Thea Colborn makes very clear the link between our continued use of fossil fuels ( way past their sell by date ) and a whole range of airborne chemicals, many of them carcinogenic resulting from emissions during the fracking process and elsewhere.

Click the following link to find out more:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7A7WwRUAB7U

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

BRIVE PERMIT ( Dordogne+ ) Cancelled!

The Connexion reports this morning that Environment Minister Philipe Martin has cancelled the Permis de Brive awarded to Messrs Hexagon Gas ( English owned ) in 2010 on the basis that suffient safeguards were not in place. Good man.

Read the short account here: http://www.connexionfrance.com/Shale-oil-gas-Brive-Dordogne-Sarlat-Martin-Batho-15150-view-article.html

We have long suspected that the intention was to proceed to full blown fracking - and not just for oil.

Shale Gas Bubble- The reality.

We have long suspected that the whole shale gas 'revolution' is just one giant money-making scam. Depleting resources, wildly exaggerated 'estimates' of reserves simply in order to raise share prices and convince gullible politicians , the consequent relentless drilling to maintain supplies and more.

The reality........................


Romania rejects fracking

Click the link to read how public outrage in Romania has led Chevron to depart: http://rt.com/news/chevron-gas-search-romania-329/

At least temporarily.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Today in Toulouse......................

As we announced on the 11th October, today was International Day Against Hydraulic Fracking or Journée Internationale Contre la Fracturation Hydraulique. Demonstrations took place as follows:-

In France, 8 mobilisations in major centres (your Schistehappens Team attended the one in Toulouse)
In the US, 79 mobilisations in 21 States
In other countries, 30 mobilisations (16 countries including, Canada, the UK,, Australia etc).

In France, manifestations occurred in Beziers, Essonne, Etampes, Lille, Montelimar, Montereau-Fault-Yonne, Paris, Saint Claude, Toulouse and Villebon.

At Toulouse, manif' speakers from all the main anti-fracking groups and local collectifs spoke to the assembly stressing that in spite of the recent positive decision relating to the loi Jacob by the Constitutional Council much remains to be done not least the cancellation of many existing permits including the one for Brive. Calls were also made for the cancellation of the Commission of Inquiry set up under the terms of the law and charged with researching 'alternative methods'. Those present were left in no doubt that the resistance is growing just as industry lobbyists seek to convince politicians.

Monday, 14 October 2013

28,000 jobs - most of them extremely unhealthy

Proof positive that those in close proximity to fracking fluids risk very serious health problems. Video in English but with French commentary. Not difficult to get the message however.

Click the link:http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/environnement/gaz-de-schiste/video-gaz-de-schiste-les-etats-unis-ne-doutent-pas_432926.html

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Departing Shell boss - biggest regret = SHALE GAS!

Read how the newly departed boss of SHELL views the company's venture with US shale gas: http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2013/10/07/us-shale-gas-project-biggest-regret-for-outgoing-shell-boss-2/

Shale drillers offered water cheaper than UK residents

Today we read of the latest incentive to fracking companies from the UK government. Companies are to be offered water supplies at a cheaper rate than UK residents this in a country of frequent drought and where Water Boards have already expressed their concern.

Read the report here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-08/shale-drillers-offered-water-cheaper-than-u-k-residents.html

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Expensive English Shale Gas..................

One has to wonder just why the UK politicos are quite so keen to plaster the country with unsightly derricks, pollute the water and ruin the roads all the while promising lower fuel prices when in fact it has long been understood that the cost of extraction ( including ludicrous policing costs, repairs to damaged infrastructure etc; ) will be way higher than in the US.

We have pointed out on more than one occasion that population density in mainland Europe is in the order of 3x higher than that in rural USA and the UK is probably the worst case scenario. Just why are the politicos and petroliers so keen therefore to proceed, all the while promising lower fuel prices? Simple, they make wild, unfounded claims about likely underground resources and do everything they can to talk up share prices never once mentioning the problems associated with extraction. Neat.

Here is the low down: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-02/u-k-s-shale-gas-costs-seen-limiting-price-curbs.html

Friday, 11 October 2013

Saturday 19th October - International Anti-Fracking Day

Today's decision by the Constitutional Council in response to the challenge to the loi Jacob by Messrs Scheupbach must not cloud our vision. There are still dangers ( see our last post regarding the Commission of Inquiry report due next month regarding the scope for exploration and exploitation ).
As one of our team is fond of saying - 'It ain't over 'til its over'. He is so right.

The battle continues and Saturday 19th October will be International Anti-Fracking Day. In this area a manifestation/demonstration will be held in Toulouse.

Assemble - Place Arnaud- Bernard, 14-17h. Wear black. Parking Jean d'arc.

So far, so good.....................

Today we report that the French Constitutional Council have rejected the challenge to the anti -fracking law AKA loi Jacob of July 2011. In short, the French have declared that they do not want American corporations seeking to define French law. Vive la France and so far so good.

Short report here from The Connexion newspaper: http://www.connexionfrance.com/Fracking-hydraulic-fracturing-shale-gas-Conseil-Constitutionnel-Schuepbach-15120-view-article.html

HOWEVER, this does not mean that there will be no possibility of exploration/exploitation on French soil and it is important to remember that the Commission of Inquiry set up under the terms of Christophe Jacob's law makes its final report next month.

Environmental lawyer Daniele Favari has laid great stress on this aspect and we include a link to her comments here ( in French ) with a link to her petition to President Hollande. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION. This matter is by no means resolved. ( For an approximation in English, simply copy and paste the article into Google Translator ).

La décision rendue par le Conseil Constitutionnel le 11 octobre 2013 confirme l'interdiction de la fracturation hydraulique mais PAS CELLE DE L'EXPLORATION ET L'EXPLOITATION DES GAZ DE SCHISTE alors que d'autres techniques (2ème génération) sont en Recherche & Développement chez les industriels et que certaines (fracturation au propane/mousse de dioxyde de carbone) déjà opérationnelles, bien que toutefois très onéreuses. Il n'en demeure pas moins que la fracturation hydraulique reste autorisée au sein de la Commission ad-hoc (article 2 de la loi n° 2011-835 :  "Il est créé une Commission nationale d'orientation, de suivi et d'évaluation des techniques d'exploration et d'exploitation des hydrocarbures liquides et gazeux. Elle a notamment pour objet d'évaluer les risques environnementaux liés aux techniques de fracturation hydraulique ou aux techniques alternatives."
D'ores et déjà, sitôt connu la décision du Conseil Constitutionnel, les industriels ont d'ailleurs contre-attaqué en appelant de nouveau à la création de cette Commission.
Par une décision du 11 octobre 2013, le Conseil Constitutionnel a confirmé l'interdiction de la fracturation hydraulique. Or, le recours à cette technique subsiste au sein de la Commission de suivi et d'évaluation mise en place par l'article 2 de la loi n° 2011-835. Par un précédent envoi, nous vous avions demandé d'abroger le décret qui l'a mise en place et votre réponse n'a pas satisfait à notre demande.
Par cette pétition, nous appelons le Président François Hollande à respecter ses déclarations - lors des deux Conférences environnementales et celle du 14 septembre 2012, notamment - de l'interdiction de la fracturation hydraulique en abrogeant le décret qui l'autorise au sein de la Commission chargée de mettre en oeuvre "des expérimentations aux fins de recherche scientifique" (article 2 de la loi n° 2011-835 du 13 juillet 2011) et dont l'opposition vient d'appeler à la constitution (proposition de résolution de Christian Estrosi, enregistrée à l'Assemblée Nationale le 19 octobre 2012) :http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/14/propositions/pion0304.asp
Je relance donc la pétition mise en ligne
et vous remercie de la faire circuler.
Danièle favari, Juriste en droit de l'environnement, Invitée de l’atelier sur l'exploration et l'exploitation du gaz de schiste dans l'Union européenne et son impact sur l'environnement et la politique énergétique du Parlement Européen.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Back on the barricades?

The French Constitutional Council will rule on Scheupbach Energy's challenge to the validity of the loi Jacob of July 2011 which bans fracking here in France - on 11th October. That's Friday. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Halliburton - remember them.........

Halliburton to frack up the UK.........................http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-us-oil-giant-halliburton-lined-up-as-potential-fracking-partner-8859873.html. And at the same time Messrs Cuadrilla seem all set to pull out of their disasterous venture near Blackpool...........

Just the early stages in the gradual transformation of the 'Sceptered Isle' into a giant dog's dinner we feel.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Living is easy with eyes closed......................

In the past week 20,000 frack sites and oil and gas installations have been destroyed by massive flooding in Colorado. The implications must be obvious to all. 20 inspectors for 50,000 frack sites. Go figure.

See the short video report ( under 3 minutes ) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75h8Ilma8JI&feature=em-share_video_user

Never mind, in the UK they are 'certain' that fracking can be done safely ( never any floods there are there! ) and the upcoming Commission report here ( November ) is believed to say the same for France.

Hot enough?

So just why are we pushing so hard to burn yet one more fossil fuel?

Click the link to decipher the riddle: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/27/ipcc-world-dangerous-climate-change

Friday, 27 September 2013

'Natural Gas' installations - aerial views. The reality.

Have you ever wondered just what so called 'natural' gas / fracking operations might look like from the air?

Click here to see the reality :http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/chemicals.photos.php

We feel that image number 14 ( btm left of the page ) might make a really nice desktop image / screensaver.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

WATER - Just imagine..................

It is sometimes difficult to envisage the sheer volumes of water that will be transported, contaminated and then either laid to evaporate onto the surrounding countryside or re-injected back into the frack 'hole' after each frack operation. In 'Blackpool' the operation there deployed and spoilt over 2 Billion litres. Hard to imagine is it not. If that is hard to imagine, try this for size:https://twitter.com/sandyd68/status/382762311187824640/photo/1

That is correct. 

'If fracking is allowed in New York State, the wastewater generated is equal to the water volume cascading over Niagara Falls for 35 straight hours. So, imagine standing in front of Niagara Falls for 35 hours. Now imagine that all the cascading water you see is radioactive and full of toxic chemicals, and your job is to figure out where to put it so that it won't come in contact with any person or any other body or water or the soil or the air. FOREVER.'

Sandra Steingraber Phd.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Fracking in UK - significant risks to livestock and food chain.

Today we break our rule ( hey, we make the rules around here!! ) and feature a report in today's Independent (The) newspaper regarding conclusive research carried out by Cornell University's Professor Robert Oswald relating to serious and significant risks to UK livestock and therefore the food chain based on findings in six US states.

The Independent - Tuesday, 17th September 2013

'Fracking sparks food safety concern as expert warns of serious risk to livestock'

"Professor Robert Oswald says his findings of deaths and deformities in American livestock are so alarming that Britain should halt the practice 'until its impact is fully assessed."

"Fracking for gas and oil in the British countryside poses such a significant risk to livestock that a moratorium should be imposed on the industry until its impact on food safety can be assessed, a leading researcher has warned."

Read the report by clicking this link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/fracking-sparks-food-safety-concern-as-expert-warns-of-serious-risk-to-livestock-8822746.html?printService=print

Editors note: 

Please refer to our recent article gving specific details of the type and amount of chemicals typically deployed in fracking - and be apalled.

Note also, our earlier report where we mention the concern expressed by the French Agriculture Minister relating to the possible effect upon the food chain.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

US - Draft FRAC Act before Congress.

Today we read of a draft FRAC Act currently before Congress seeking to................

a. Require disclosure of the chemical constituents used in the fracturing process, but not the proprietary formula.

b. Repeal a provision added ( by the Bush Administration ) to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempting the industry from complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act ( SWDA), one of America's landmark environmental and public health statutes.

We wish them well and wonder if a similar disclosure clause might be introduced in mainland Europe. Ed.

Read the full report here: http://degette.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&id=1056:degette-hinchey-and-polis-introduce-frac-act-to-ensure-safe-drilling&catid=76:press-releases-&Itemid=227

French anti-fracking law faces uncertain future....................

Hydraulic fracturing is banned in France - for now. Read here how the law (loi Jacob - July 2011) may face an uncertain future and how we may all soon be back at the barricades ( click the link ) : http://www.english.rfi.fr/france/20130913-gaslands-director-toursfrance-anti-fracking-law-faces-uncertain-future

Friday, 13 September 2013

A primer on the rapid decline in production of fracked oil - and gas.

" Back to the question of whether hydraulic fracturing could help export energy from the US. Sounds fine except for the small matter of  - depletion.

Fracked wells age very quickly. The initial production is very high and so is the rate of depletion. The point is, a newly fracked well may produce 1,000 barrels per day, but this falls by sixty per cent the next year, thirty five by the third and fifteen per cent by the fourth. Oil/gas companies should replace forty to forty five percent of the current production each year to maintain/increase production. For now at least, the number of wells and cost of production can keep pace with profits because of the higher oil prices. But what happens when the price comes down? The depletion rates will make the wells non-viable and the search for new supplies will continue elsewhere. Roughly, the US ( for example ) will need more than 9,000 wells at more than $50 billion to counterbalance the declines.

The number of operating wells in the US has been increasing rapidly while the corresponding productivity ( considering all the wells in the US ) has declined. There are about 9,000 wells in North Dakota ( analysts expect the number to go up to 50,000 by 2030 ). The state produced more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day in May, a new record. This averages 89 b/d from each well in N.Dakota, hence the need to constantly add new wells in order to maintain a sustainable level of output. The parallel implication for fracked gas is clear. Ed.

Also, in the case of Bakken, the wells are cheaper compared to the deepwater offshore wells but cost three times those of conventional wells. This is because the wells must be drilled vertically for a distance of nearly two miles, then angled to hroizontal like the branches of a tree to more than three miles......................."

Thank you for this piece to our contributor 'Bob'. Ed. 

Read the full article by clicking the link below....................


Bakken's high depletion rates means more drilling, more often. Shale: High depletion rates in Bakken By STEVE AUSTIN for OIL-PRICE.NET, 2013/09/04 If you can, you could term it delusion, the theory that Shale gas is the answer to all problems in terms of energy. Just extract the gas, ship it across the pipeline and export the excess, or so goes the popular theory (boom. How easy!). Let's call this 'Sale for Energy Security Theory' or SEST) If you believe in SEST, here's a simple task for you: Take a towel or cloth soaked in water. Wring it. Note the amount of water that comes out. Now, wring it again. Okay, once more. How many drops of water did you get in the third time? Two, three? This is precisely what's happening in the Bakken. Imagine that there aren't buckets of oil underneath the Bakken but towels soaked with oil. And it is only recently that we figured out the technique called "fracking": how to wring a towel full of oil. The first time oil companies twist the towel, a stream of oil comes dripping out. Success! Then second time around, surprise: just a few drops, and the third time and subsequent times... nothing. This is what high depletion rates mean and this is what is happening.

Bakken's high depletion rates means more drilling, more often. And this is precisely what will happen with fracked gas. More derricks, more trucks, more noise, more airborne methane and more toxic chemicals pumped into the ground.

Shale: High depletion rates in Bakken By STEVE AUSTIN for OIL-PRICE.NET, 2013/09/04

If you can, you could term it delusion, the theory that Shale gas is the answer to all problems in terms of energy. Just extract the gas, ship it across the pipeline and export the excess, or so goes the popular theory (boom. How easy!). Let's call this 'Sale for Energy Security Theory' or SEST)
If you believe in SEST, here's a simple task for you: Take a towel or cloth soaked in water. Wring it. Note the amount of water that comes out. Now, wring it again. Okay, once more. How many drops of water did you get in the third time? Two, three? This is precisely what's happening in the Bakken. Imagine that there aren't buckets of oil underneath the Bakken but towels soaked with oil. And it is only recently that we figured out the technique called "fracking": how to wring a towel full of oil. The first time oil companies twist the towel, a stream of oil comes dripping out. Success! Then second time around, surprise: just a few drops, and the third time and subsequent times... nothing. This is what high depletion rates mean and this is what is happening.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Energy giants feeling threatened by renewables.

We read today how European energy giants such as GDF Suez, Enal, Gas Terra Dutch and others are feeling threatened by the steady expansion of renewable sources including wind and solar and how they have been appealing to the EU to severely limit its support. Of course they have. They represent dirty 'traditional' sources for which the future is far from unclear.

Read the report here: http://alalumieredunouveaumonde.blogspot.fr/ . 

Or here in English: http://www.photon.info/photon_news_detail_en.photon?id=80471

Depressing is it not?

Saturday, 7 September 2013

FRANCE - focus

With our next post we shall return to all matters Gaz de Schiste 'en France' and technical/data based articles relating to fracking from around the world. UK coverage is aplenty elsewhere and those in need of factual back up may return to our recent feature on the chemicals deployed ( see post of 27th August - click 'Older posts' at the foot of this page ) and of course our comprehensive treatise - A Dozen Devastating Denials which may be accessed with just one click on our Home Page at www.schistehappens.com. and which will provide you with answers to just about any fracking related issue.

In the meantime, we await the final report of the Commission of Inquiry set up under the terms of the loi Jacob of July 2011 and charged with investigating alternative methods to fracking. We understand that the report is likely to find that the process can be carried out 'safely' so no surprises there. Also, we await the ruling of the Constitutional Council on the challenge to the loi Jacob deeming it 'unconstitutional' and President Hollande's response. Both in October we understand.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Ed Davey ( who?!) says fracking not evil.

UK Minister Ed Davey has declared that fracking 'is not evil'.

Read the article here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/05/fracking-not-evil-ed-davey

At the close of the article a survey revealed that of those polled ( UK ) 77% said that they 'knew nothing or little at all' about the fracking process. We wonder why.

Excellent UK made documentary dealing with the FACTS.

If you are in any doubt whatsoever about what the eventual outcomes might be from fracking do please watch the following UK made documentary dealing with the results in the USA. Coming to a venue near you soon.........................unless you stop it of course.

Click the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEB_Wwe-uBM

Of the 5 million gallons of fluid used to frack each single well, 75,000 are toxic ( and usually secret ) chemicals. Radon gas and radium are now believed to be released routinely during the process in certain areas. Hard to believe? Watch the video.

UK - Wakey, wakey.....................

We are surprised and yet, we are not surprised.

The Daily Mail ( yes, the Daily Mail! ) reported yesterday that the DCLG ( Department for Communities and Local Government) is to 'allow fracking companies to frack horizontally under people's homes without telling them, if Government plans go ahead'

WHY does this come as a surprise to people? Anyone who has spent even 30 mins seriously researching the fracking process via the Internet ( as opposed to watching pointless debates on TV and absorbing biased press reports )  will know that the horizontal aspect is that which makes it all viable for the oil and gas companies in the first place. Horizontal fracking takes place over a distance of several kilometres and it is normal to frack radially ie in several directions centred on the main vertical well over time as gas bearing seams become exhausted.

We are amazed. This is what the fuss ( or should have been ) has been about from the very outset. Even now, there are those who pointedly resist watching 'that film' ( by which they mean the excellent GASLAND  documentary by producer Josh Fox. The film has been around for over three years and tells all and GASLAND P2 is shortly to be released here in mainland Europe. Full version of the original movie can be seen here on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phCibwj396I There really is no excuse for not knowing what is involved and the widespread ignorance and 'confusion' in the UK resulting from even a cursory study of the basics of the fracking process is one of the reasons why George Osborne et al have been able to steal up on the population and take them by surprise.

If you have ANY questions about the process itself, you will find them answered here...............

http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/whats-fracking  This is an excellent page of FACTS.

Other descriptions include...................http://www.eawag.ch/medien/publ/fb/doc/fb_fracking_e.pdf

and.................. http://shalestuff.com/education/fracking/fracking

There really is no excuse for not knowing the basic procedure. THIS is why we have all been so excited from Day 1 ( here in Europe, from late 2010 ).

Oh, by the way, here is the Daily Mail article ( E&OE! ).

Read the article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2410694/Fracking-firms-drill-homes-telling-owners-Green-groups-fury-horizontal-drilling-plans.html

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

UK - Balcombe. Surprise, surprise...............

Pretty well as we forecast....................

BBC News reported on 3rd September 2013, 16.54 GMT that 'Oil Exploration on hold after fracking protest'

Pretty much as we predicted, after a policing cost ( in total ) of £3.7 million, scores of abstentions by local police ( the picture lower down the page is of police from the 'Met' ), weeks of disruption for the village and no doubt a less than profitable exercise for those nice people at Cuadrilla.....................
'...........exploration will cease in a village at the centre of an anti-fracking campaign by the end of September after plans to extend the current work were withdrawn'.


So, it's back to the drawing board lads. Perhaps a little bit of careful thought on the part of UK Prime Minister 'Dave Cameron' and his pals in the 'dirty' industry might have (easily ) forseen this mess.

And this is just the first real example of what happens when Middle England finally gets excited.

Well done to all those who inconvenienced themselves ( residents, mums with kids,MPs, celebrities and yes, even the so called 'activists' who care more for the environment than money). Government can try to force this sort of thing on communities, it can waste millions on irrelevant policing, tell local authorities to 'ignore protest' but in the final analysis........

Monday, 2 September 2013

France - two things...............

Quick reminder that here in France, although President Hollande has given his word that there will be no fracking for the duration of his period of office, October will see the publication of the final report of the Commission established under the terms of the loi Jacob of July 2011 charged with researching alternative methods to fracking. We expect them to report that fracking can be carried out 'safely'.

Also in October, we can expect the verdict of the Constitutional Council on a recent challenge to the legitimacy of the loi Jacob. Of course, if it is ultimately deemed 'unconstitutional' it is by no means certain that this will affect Monsieur le President's stance.

We will report both items here at Schiste Towers in due course.

Finally, we understand that film-maker and shale gas campaigner JOSH FOX will visit France on the 5th and 7th September to promote/launch GASLAND - 2 in Europe. Details as we have them.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

'To a venue near you soon Dave.........'

Our closing remark in our very last blog and then what do we find in our copy of The Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Times but this...........................

Click the link below to see just how close the frackers could come to the man who would wish it on much of rural England.

Read the article here: http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/10638819.Fracking_could_come_to_the_Cotswolds_within_two_years/?ref=erec

Maybe he thinks that it really is of little consequence. We spoke to one noble Lord recently for instance who assured us that 'they' would never frack under his house. He clearly did not understand the horizontal nature of the process.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

UK - 10 Downing Street

We never thought we'd see the day when we re-printed an image from one of the UK tabloids, but there always has to be a first time.

View the image here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2390811/Mac--shale-gas-drilling.html

Coming to a venue near you soon Dave.

Friday, 30 August 2013

UK again - Tory MPs threaten to 'man the barricades'.......

We recently published contrasting images of protestors in Balcombe, Sussex with a view to restoring balance at a time whereby to protest against anything at all in the UK is to run the risk of being deemed an 'activist' or even 'troublemaker'. Today we read that certain Tory MPS are threatening to 'man the barricades' if fracking comes to their constituencies. Of course, we are under no illusions, but this could just be D.Cameron's next best big mistake.

Read the link/article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/08/27/fracking-tory-risible_n_3821237.html

NETHERLANDS - Cuadrilla to lose licence.......

We understand that there is a possibility that fracking enterprise CUADRILLA may lose their permit to frack in Boxtel, Netherlands.

Translation from the report which we carry ( in Dutch ) in the link below.

" The council of Boxtel two weeks ago asked Minister Henk Kamp ( Economic Affairs ) to withdraw the license for test drilling for shale gas in ( the county of ) Brabant. The license was granted to the British Company Cuadrilla (who have been at the centre of controversy in Blackpool and more recently Balcombe, Sussex) in 2010 when not all the necessary information and knowledge was available, argues the town.

"The license granted is unfounded", said council a spokesman in a statement on Friday.

The letter was sent before the minister published on Monday a study dealing with the risks associated with shale gas extraction. So far, the municipality has received no comments from Minister Kamp."

Read the article ( in Dutch ) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYcZ6s3z1jg

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

More Earthquakes - albeit not in the UK - yet.

A recent wave of small earthquakes in and around the Eagle Ford formation in Texas was probably the result of extracting oil and in some cases water used for hydraulic fracturing, according to a recent study.

Read the report here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-27/texas-earthquakes-linked-to-oil-extraction-by-fracking.html

We are reminded of the 1,500 minor earthquakes deemed to have been caused by the re-injection of contaminated fracking water in Arkansas shortly before the UK government's Energy and Climate Change Committee made it's umpteenth 'fact-finding' visit over there. Seems to have been lost on them.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The CHEMICALS.............

There is a great deal of confusion out there. Of course there is. That is precisely what governments, lobbyists and oil and gas companies want. They use TV, so called 'respectable' newspapers and other means to spread contradictory reports and send their preferred versions to every possible outlet including for instance, Brussels. Because TV watchers and newspaper readers have no easy way of checking out data/reports and because many have an often lifelong allegiance to one source or another the task is made that much easier for our fracking friends.

For some time, the chemicals deployed in fracking were a top secret and the mix was not allowed to be revealed in order to protect so called 'commercial interests'. In 2011 however, the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce published the following report which we posted shortly afterwards.

We think that the time has now come for another outing for the data. Click here to Read the US Senate  report.

Dr Theo Colborn has devoted herself to revealing a range of problems associated with accessing so called 'natural gas'. In the following link you will find interesting data relating to airborne chemicals. 


Here, Dr Colborn details the chemicals commonly used in drilling:-

http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/chemicals.fracturing.php and next she examines the pit chemicals.....................


Next, she details the link between certain chemicals deployed and health issues..................

http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/chemicals.multistate.php Please pay particular attention to Dr.Colborn's detailed spreadsheet on this page ( Excel format ).

Finally, Dr.Colborn gives an overview of Natural Gas Drilling from a Public Health Perpective

Read the link here: http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/chemicals.journalarticle.php

Our scientific advisor here at SchisteHappens also comments that..............

'Of the most commonly used chemicals, Methanol is a violent poison, that is converted by the body, into formaldehyde which is a nerve and brain poison as well as a carcinogen. In sufficient quantities it will cause blindness and death. Ethylene glycol is converted into oxalic acid which will react with calcium to form calcium oxalate which will chrystalize out into the kidneys causing kidney failure. This a fraction of the likely outfall from the deployment of the scores of toxic chemicals commonly deployed in the fracking process'.

Finally, for the benefit of our many bi-lingual readers we attach a report from the University of Montpelier. Click here to Read the report in French.

Here at Schiste Towers we frankly could not care less if they used orange juice - the plain fact is that they should not be extracting yet one more fossil fuel at this crucial time.

There is a mass of data in this, our latest report to readers, but it is all verified and factual data that cannot be denied by the industry. Please take the time to access the detailed reports and then circulate the information and links as widely as possible. Of course, all you have to do in fact is send the link www.schistehappens.blogspot.com to friends! Easy peasy!

Thank your for continuing to access SchisteHappens. We are not doing this for fun!!


Monday, 26 August 2013

France - optimistic? Perhaps, but then........

France tends to be the exception to the rule on many issues ( Iraq War comes to mind ) and to date the nation as a whole has shown it's total opposition to the abomination of fracking. The message has not gone away and opposition runs deep. With every passing week, adverse reports from the US, Poland, the UK and elsewhere add to the dossier and this does not go un-noticed here.

European Green Party spokesman Guillame Vermorel is an optimist. He forecasts that in the year 2025, there will still be no fracking 'en France'.

"The subject will not even ( in due course ) be an issue. President Hollande has declared his total opposition until at least 2017 and by then, we will have witnessed the adverse effects in many other countries and additionally the non-profitability of shale gas 'through the operations conducted in the US and Poland in particular. Meanwhile, "we can can expect heated debate in France if the government chooses to protect the interests of the industry". Particularly for the Ardeche region however, here we have the sun, wind, water, a love of people and their territory and they have an environmental conscience. What a model".

Rough translation (very) ,but that gives the gist of it..........................E&OE.


France - protest continues...........

Just in case you thought that protest here had subsided, the attached article ( in French ) shows just how opposed our compatriots are to even the idea of 'exploration' as allowed under the terms of the loi Jacob of July 2011: http://www.lanouvellerepublique.fr/France-Monde/Actualite/Environnement/n/Contenus/Articles/2013/08/23/Pressions-sur-le-gaz-de-schiste-1586364

Lib Dems blast shale gas plans - Ouch!

UK Lib Dems appear not to agree with their coalition partners: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=6286538326473621905#overviewstats/src=dashboard

Should put a stop to it!

Brave people............

The following video gives an oversight of the action taken by a complete cross section of brave citizens ( and closes with the completely unnecessary heavy handed police action somewhat reminiscent of the UK Miners Strike ) at Balcombe in Sussex.  

Time to be counted - for all of us.

View the link here: http://vimeo.com/72845389

US - the reality - or what we can expect next.

Five years since fracking began in the USA, 3 years since the release of the compelling and award-winning documentary GASLAND ( or 'that film' as many sceptics in the UK term it ) and now just 15 minutes viewing of the following ( disturbing ) video linked to the shortly to be available GASLAND 2 to bring yourself up to date with the anti-democratic events relating to fracking and the dirty industry in the US. Essential viewing.

Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhIPMTTyEVI

Saturday, 24 August 2013

France - Carbon Tax and no to GM crops and fracking

Short report in The Connexion here announcing the new Environment Minister's intention to introduce a new Carbon Tax and re-affirming his opposition to both GM crops and............Fracking.

Read the article here...........................


Lower fuel bills - how?

David Cameron is absolutely certain that fracking will lead to lower fuel bills. Quite just how he arrives at that we would love to know. 'Because many in the Gas Industry are deeply sceptical about just how fracking will lead to lower gas prices'.

Add into the mix, the industry acknowledged view that fracking in mainland Europe will be far less profitable than in the US due to a population density in the order of 3x, the cost of (clean) water from the commercial water boards and the ridiculous cost of policing and security. We wonder just how Dave...............................


Answers on a postcard.

And not a drop to drink.....................

Ever wondered if Water Boards will consider private domestic consumption over selling obscene quantities of that most essential of fluids to fracking companies?

Here's the answer: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/11/texas-tragedy-ample-oil-no-water


The BBC reports that policing the Balcombe anti-fracking protest has so far cost £2.72 million  and could easily exceed £3.7million in due course. Peanuts of course, when compared to the rake-off for government, 'petroliers' and investors, BUT should government be spending taxpayers money on this scale to support the extraction of another dirty fuel at a time when every single penny should be directed towards the absolute inevitability of renewables? Oh, and then there are the tx breaks given to the frackers.

Read the report here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-23796432
including macho pic of British Bobbies armed with tasers, tear gas and God knows what else. Getting close to farce.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Confused? Bewildered? Not sure who to believe?

Faced with the recent, continuing onslaught of debates (pretty pointless at this late stage), pro and anti articles in the UK press and on TV, you may be forgiven for wondering just who you can believe in or trust.

Is it nice old Uncle Fred who used to work for one of the large Oil and Gas concerns and now receives his pension and newsletter from them, is it the good 'ole BBC ( if you previously thought of the Beeb as a Left slanted organisation, this article may surprise you somewhat: http://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-how-biased-is-the-bbc-17028 ) or maybe one of the 'quality' national newspapers owned by the Murdoch empire? Perhaps your local MP who will swear blind that he does not have significant tranches of Oil and Gas shares in his personal portfolio?

Perhaps the only people we can sensibly listen to are those who do not stand to make a great deal of money out of exploiting yet one more fossil fuel at this critical time and whose lives have been ruined, quite literally by living cheek by jowl with this apalling process.

Read one such report here: http://frackingwestvirginia.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it-what.html?m=1

We promise that if you take the time to read the article ( and watch the short, but powerful VIDEO testimony of one citizen whose life has been ruined - literally ) and then try to imagine just how this sort of activity will fit into the UK countryside, you will no longer be confused.

Nothing to fear.....

If UK legislators are so keen to impress upon the populace that fracking can be done 'safely'
(whatever that could possibly mean) then presumably they will have no problem incorporating the pre- and post fracking, standardised sampling of local water supplies.

See how it works in Illinois here: http://www.environmentallawresource.com/2013/06/articles/water/illinois-governor-signs-fracking-legislation/

PLease let us know the minute you here of this happening.

A tale of two ( very different ) cultures....................

We are becoming increasingly aware of the extent to which the UK Press is keen to reinforce the notion that all protestors are somehow evil, unwashed and anti-societal. That of course, would be our view of those who seek to desecrate the landscape, bribe politicians and poison the water but hey, ho.

Compare if you will, two recent images from 'respectable' daily newspapers..............
No sign of the hundreds of respectable, middle class citizens living right in Balcombe and surrounding villages there then?

Ah, here they are......................

But then that photo appeared only a couple of times before the continuing deluge of hippy/traveller/Swampy type shots. Could it be that the British are now so used to imagining that ' there's nothing you can do about 'it'' or is it just that Middle England has become so intimidated by heavy handed police tactics ( and what is their presence costing the taxpayer we hear you cry! ) and notions of 'respectability' that they are frozen in the headlights?

Compare and contrast if you will the situation en France where legitimate protest ( albeit policed but in an entirely different way ) is seen entirely differently - cross party, cross class (!), all-age. Here we see Maires in the Ardeche pictured when 20,000 marched against the (then) very real threat of fracking, proudly wearing their sashes of office.........................

Two cultures indeed.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Stop Obama!

The Huffington Post reveals just how extensive President Obama's plans are to frack some of the most beautiful regions in America including the Glacier National Park. And when the fracking finally has to stop Mr President - what will you have? Certainly you will have total responsibility for years of wasted opportunity in terms of investment in essential renewables and additionally a desecrated landscape.  

Has anyone seen an aerial view of Pennsylvania?

Read the report here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-ruffalo/stop-fracking_b_3786370.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

PM does not expect any more wind farms.....................

UK PM David Cameron said recently that he 'Did not expect there to be any more wind farms in the British countryside'. Of course not David, just lots of lovely derricks and methane flares and trucks galore - at all hours. Read here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23770629 how fracking is not to be included in an audit of the impact on the environment of power-generating infrastructure. 1,200 for the Sussex Downs if industry estimates of likely reserves are to be believed. Realisable reserves of course are an entirely different matter.

Cameron's fervour reminds us of Blair getting right behind GM crop generation at one point. Nemesis? Unlikely that fracking is now going to actually add to the number of safe seats that he can count on.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

UK - PM chooses fracking rather than 'greening'.

The almost fanatical, religous fervour which appears to be driving UK Prime Minister D.Cameron to support fracking is in inverse proportion to his support for/interest in renewables. Shame on you Dave.

Read more here : http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/21/david-cameron-fracking-green-investors

Another fossil fuel - why not?

'The longer we continue to rely upon fossil fuels...............................'

Read here http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/aug/21/climate-change-extreme-heat why we should think again and why the entire fracking debate is about much more than the veracity of reports of flaming taps etc.

Concern for the 'energy poor' - UK Government!

We read today in that most respectable of journals (!) The Times (London Times that is) that..........

"Protestors against fracking risk worsening the plight of the 5 million households struggling to pay energy bills, Britain's fuel advisor ( Tzar?! ) has warned. Ministers have a 'duty' to promote the extraction of shale gas because of the potential it has to drive down the cost of energy, according to the Chair of the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group ( we kid you not ). Derek Lickorish (!) says that 'the voice of the fuel poor has been lost in the current frenzy at Balcombe, Sussex where the energy Company Cudarilla has been targeted by anti-fracking protestors".

The Times then chooses to publish the article beneath a carefully chosen image of hippy/traveller type protestors that the UK public have come to know and love. Well done The Times - let's perpetuate the myth that the only people who have the courage to protest are those with dreadlocks and rings through their noses.

Here is the lead to the article: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article3848589.ece

SEVERAL THINGS occur to us Mr Lickorish.

1. Since when did this government care one fig about the 'energy poor'?

2. For how long might fuel prices be 'driven down' ( love it!) if the best estimates of the realisable, proportion of the massive reserves ( industry estimates that is ) run to months only?

3. Is this promise of fuel price reduction as valid as the one made when UK utilities were first privatised?

4. Cuadrilla have not been 'targeted', it is they who have targeted communities and they and their pals in government who are in a frenzy about the likely 'take'.

5. Ministers have a 'duty' to promote the extraction of shale gas. NO they do not Mr Licorish, they have a duty to invest heavily in renewable sources and not extract/promote yet another fossil fuel - for profit. Come to that, they have a 'duty' to drive down the obscene profits and subsidies awarded to perhaps the most polluting industry on the face of the planet.

6. Perhaps The Times has a 'duty' to illustrate such a biased piece of lobbying propoganda with an image depicting a proper mix of protestors. The protest 'mix' includes all ages and political leanings and properly so - this matter affects us all.

Well done The Times. Mr Murdoch will be proud of you ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Times ).

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The very heart of the matter.............

We can argue about flaming taps, earthquakes, employment (!), logistics, 'interim energy(sic)' and more but in the end it's about political power, influence - and cash. The Independent reports here
how senior industry figures sit at the very heart of the UK coalition government.

No connection we hear you cry?!!