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