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:

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:

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:

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:

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:- and next she examines the pit chemicals.....................

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

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 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:

Lib Dems blast shale gas plans - Ouch!

UK Lib Dems appear not to agree with their coalition partners:

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:

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:

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:


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
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: ) 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:

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:

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:

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: 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 :

Another fossil fuel - why not?

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

Read here 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:

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 ( ).

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?!!

Fracking - a manly, tough thing?!

George Monbiot appears to hit the nail right on the head here: when he refers to the 'Unbridled machismo' associated with fracking.

True George, but it is also about grabbing as much money as 'we' can whilst the going's good and to hell with the consequences.

Monday, 19 August 2013

BALCOMBE - signifier for the entire UK?

Protest grows at the Balcombe fracking site. Increasingly it is becoming clear that the mix of protestors - ordinary concerned citizens and activists is a powerful formula and the impact of the Balcombe protest is likely to be felt in other threatened areas ahead of any actual activity by the likes of Cuadrilla. One step too far for Cameron and Co perhaps?

Read the latest report and view the video here:

PLEASE remember to circulate this link to friends and family and post links to Facebook and Twitter whenever possible. This activity must be stopped.

Read how Lobbyists forced fracking on the UK

We were not the least bit surprised to read in The Independent exactly how industry lobbyists convinced the UK government that fracking up the countryside would be a jolly good, whiz bang idea.

Read the report here:

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Fracking - for the birds????

Here is just one example of how fracking proposals in a 'compact' environment like the UK will increasingly lead to a wide range of conflicted interests. There is no doubt that excessive airborne methane and the noise and disturbance caused by the horrendous logistics involved in this process are not likely to sit happily with the aims and objectives of bodies like the RSPB nor for that matter the National Trust, Water Boards and many more. Just a matter of time.

Quite simply, we should not be doing this - anywhere. Those who argue for 'cheap fuel' and 'interim energy' clearly do not give a damn about the environment or future generations. There are not two sides to this argument - definitif.

Read the BBC report here:

Friday, 16 August 2013

Make our day

We are made aware on a daily basis of the extent to which people ( especially in the UK for instance ) are confused and bewildered by the conflicting reports carried on national TV and in the press largely as a result of mischievous lobbying. Large volumes of neutral, factual data are available via a simple internet search but still, for many this is not the way that they gather news and form opinions.

Please help us to spread the word that fracking is BAD NEWS - full stop by telling your friends and family about or better still ask them to SIGN UP on our Home Page in order to receive regular updates. Thank you.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Environment Agency cover up - UK

Read here how Environmental Protection Agency (sic)  officials were fully aware of the risk of contamination to aquafers in Sussex and yet chose to 'finesse' their sentences in consultation with ministers.

Click the link to read more:

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

New data - levels of arsenic in groundwater near fracking sites.

This report ( also carried in respected journal 'Scientific American' ) confirms what has long been suspected:

Never mind - we've all been promised cheaper gas prices!

France - current situation / update

We have recently been made aware of the need to clarify/re-state the current situation viz-a-viz fracking in France. The situation is quite clear - at least until the end of the current Presidency.

1. Hydraulic fracking/fracturation was banned by the Sarkozy government in July of 2011 (loi Jacob). The 5 Permis for exploitation granted by Minister Borloo in late 2010 were cancelled under the terms of this law. No permits for fracking are currently valid.

2. A Commission charged with investigating alternatives to fracking was established under the terms of this law. In it's interim report it stated that it believed that the process could be carried out 'safely' with 'adequate regulation' but did not come up with any viable alternatives. The final report is due in October 2013.

3. President Hollande has repeatedly stated that he will not allow fracking in France 'on his watch' - most recently in his Presidential address on 14th July. This means that there will not be any activity at least until the end of his period of office.

4. Exploration and investigation of possible alternatives will continue under the terms of the loi Jacob but EXPLOITATION will most definitely not be allowed. In the meantime major French concerns such as Total are 'playing away'.

Individuals may well have mangled versions of all of this including some minor local politicians. The Conseil General of the Lot and the Conseil General of the Midi-Pyrenees are 100% opposed as are the majority of large communes.


Flaring - just one apalling side effect/by product...................

Flaring is one by product of the gas extraction process - post fracking. One thing out at sea or in the wilds of Pennsylvania perhaps, but 50m from one's home?

Read here how obscene wastage ( not to mention visual desecration ) is caused in the USA:

Cuadrilla likely to move on from Balcombe................

As we originally forecast, it is now believed that Messrs Cuadrilla will eventually move on from the troubled Sussex site slap bang in the middle of the Home Counties. The company told the BBC that
'While Balcombe is "ideal" for exploration, other sites' better transport links ( ie fewer (?) protestors and less population density perhaps ) are more suited to production"

Right, so its back 'up north' then is it gentlemen?

Read the report here:

With God on our side...................

The Church of England has now ( rightly ) suggested that fracking 'threatens God's Creation' and as such it is opposed to the process. Read here how it is advising parishioners:

We just need to know now what the National Trust thinks and that should put a stop to it!!!!!

UK - Cuadrilla - a total PR disaster

Read here : how Messrs Cuadrilla's disasterous approach to Public Relations could quite easily lead to the nascent industry being snuffed out in the UK in due course. Always assuming that is, that the government's naive and arrogant  support for widespread fracking can be reined in.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Cameron even edgier................

PM tells the nation that it 'must accept fracking for it's own good and that 'damage to the countryside will be minimal'. Right.

Read the Daily Telegraph article here:

Wait a minute......................

We rushed to press yesterday before checking that our new/revised version of A Dozen Devastating Denials - UK version was actually in place at We apologise for this and will send out a fresh alert just as soon as we have it in place. In the meantime, much of the original document stands so please do check it our.

Facts, data, denials - new document.

Due to the widespread misunderstanding and confusion relating to the true nature of hydraulic fracking or fracturation and it's horrendous ramifications caused largely by mischievous lobbyists and the worsening situation in the UK we have now produced a completely revised version of our Dozen Devastating Denials document entitled A Dozen Devastating Denials - UK. This may be accessed by returning to our home page at : and clicking the link in yellow at the top right of the page which reads: 'Click here to see the old site' and then once on the new page click the clearly marked link with a Union Jack alongside it.

If you like what you see/read(!) PLEASE send to as many friends/contacts as possible. It is vitally important that the lies and exaggerations be challenged.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Preference is for Solar - not fracking.........................

Perhaps the UK PM has been accessing the web pages of Business Green magazine?

A survey shows that 'Three quarters of the UK public agree that government should support solar energy and almost two thirds back the encouragement of wind farms - whilst shale gas remains unpopular'

Click here to read the article:

Cameron 'quaking' over reaction to fracking plans?

First signs of edginess from UK Prime Minister as levels of protest in the UK intensify.................

Now that politicians are coming to understand the full implications of their blanket policy, perhaps for the first time ( several senior ( very ) politicos that we spoke to some months ago had any idea of the full extent of the actual fracking process and one even told us that it could never occur under his house ie he did not understand the HORIZONTAL aspect, nor the distances involved and yet was in a position to influence policy )) it would appear that they are not quite so confident.

Assurances from Mr Cameron of 'safe' or 'adequately regulated' activity simply serve to point up the vacuum. Health and Safety Executive meetings with Messrs Cuadrilla took place as many as five times prior to the Blackpool incidents but not once on site. When a well casing failed in the Fylde the fact was not reported to the authorities for over 5 months. 'Safe'? 'Regulated'.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Back to France as soon as significant news breaks - we promise.

In the meantime, we will continue to post a wide range of fracking and 'transition energetique' articles in an attempt to ensure that the momentum achieved over two years ago when La France Profonde was first threatened by the fracking phenomenon. Here:
 we find that even fund managers in the UK are become concerned about the 'inadequate and inconsistent' policies for climate change that are putting jobs and pensions at risk ( never mind the planet eh, or even future generations ) but it's a start perhaps.

Meanwhile, the UK Government invests in - shale gas! Worse, it diverts tax breaks to already subsidized industries and has no coherent plan for investing in renewables. It's probably already way too late but it would nice to see them make a gesture - wouldn't it?

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Arrogance of government.................

Read here: how ministers are advising local councils in the UK to ignore legitimate, democratic protest from/by concerned communities.

Business as usual then.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Would you want these guys in your back yard?

The following report from The Guardian dated 03/08/2013 paints a devastating picture of one UK shale gas 'exploiter'. Always, it is an 'oversight' or the fault of 'the contractors', never actually them/their fault.

If we are to believe that fracking can be done 'safely' ( sic ) with 'proper regulation' then operators
( and their political masters ) will have to try a great deal harder than this:

Depressing to say the least.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Likely shale gas reserves for 'just a few months'.......

Click here to watch an excellent, short video ( just under 5 mins) setting out the reality of likely UK reserves. In fact ( data is supported by Industry figures and US research - itemised at the close of the video ), likely to be 'just enough for a few months'. Ah yes, we say but that is more than enough time to excite investors and get the share price up. And then who cares.

We care. And for those who wonder why we are currently monitoring the ever greater awfulness of the UK situation at the moment, the plain fact is that these figures merely serve to illustrate that which lobbyists, politicos and others fail to point out whilst talking of the trillions of cubic metres that they claim lie below the earth's surface. The sheer non-feasibility of retrieving even a fraction of it in a densely populated country like the UK ( or a much larger country like France ) as compared to the rural US makes a nonsense of promises of 'gas independence' for 40 years or more ( itself a travesty ). There are untruths, exaggerations and plain old fashioned lies. This industry does it best.

It's about the SHARE PRICE stupid! And only that.

Compare and contrast ( with France ) - Interview with Balcombe resident

Interesting, impassioned, responsible response from Balcombe resident to interviewers questions. 

Hear the remarkable response here:

A great shame that the UK public remained in the dark on this one up to the point where George Osborne gave carte blanche to his chums in the Oil and Gas Industry to frack in up to 60% of rural UK. With the Daily Telegraph and even the Daily Mail clambering on board now there may still be time for effective protest.

A recent post on a UK national blog ( someone like James Rees-Mogg we seem to recall ) suggested that residents should not become 'activists' but fight the frackers in the courts and in a legal (!) and ' professional ' way. Is he kidding! Does he suggest that threatened residents should oppose the 'dirty industry' in this way when they themselves break every rule in the book?!!!

This abomination should be opposed/obstructed at every turning. No apologies given. As 'Balcombe Resident' suggests this is the Industry that has the single worst environmental track record of the past 50 years and is currently working flat out on a world-wide basis to break even it's own abysmal historical best.

It is not about a 'policy of transition energetique'. It's about GREED and only GREED.

If this issue concerns you please give this page the widest possible circulation ( contact lists, Facebook, Twitter ) and refer friends and interested parties to: Thank you.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Oops- I meant the North West declares Noble Lord!

Postscript to our most recent post - the Noble Lord Howell actually meant the 'desolate wastelands of the NORTH WEST'.

That's a relief - not many voters up there eh?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!