Tuesday, 30 December 2014

UK- UKIP reveals Energy 'policy'.

From the party that brought you 'Send them back to Bongo, bongo land' and ' UK flooding devastation is caused by the concept of gay marriage' and other such stunners, we finally have their last (?) word on enrgy and climate change. Oh yes, and fracking - they really want to get right on with it.

Read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ukip-green-policy-climate-change-is-open-to-question-says-energy-spokesman-roger-helmer-9949125.html

Every one a winner.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Schiste Happens 2014 End of Term Fracking Quiz!

You thought we'd forgotten didn't you. Not a chance.

Here we go - key to responses at foot of page.

1. Is fracking a form of :-

a. Self flagellation?
b. A lunatic strategy for ruining landscapes, aquafers/drinking water, personal health and more?
c. Cunning plan devised by politicians to make lots of lovely dosh and gain seats on the boards of O & G companies?

2. Who devised hydraulic fracking? Was it:-

a. A complete mad man?
b. Dick Cheney ( Halliburton )?
c. David Cameron's mum?

3. How many Americans live just 1 mile from a fracking site?  Is it:-

a. 15 million?
b. Three?
c. None?

4. How many litres of water are wasted/spoiled when making just one initial/exploratory frack? Is it:-

a. One?
b. None?
c. Between 6,000 and 600,000?

5. Which (sort of) European country is intending to frack in National Parks, has perhaps the worst road congestion imagineable and, now it's almost too late, over 250 anti-fracking groups? Is it:-

a. The UK?
b. The UK?
c. The UK?

6. Whick UK political party has clearly stated that it would withdraw issued fracking licences and take a long, hard look at this idiot policy? Is it: -

a. The Conservative Party?
b. The Labour Party?
c. The Lib Dem Party?
d. UKIP?
e. The Boy Scouts Association?
f. None of these?

7. What is the number one investment featured in the portfolios of UK Govt ministers after so called 'Aerospace'? Is it:-

a. Breakfast cereals?
b. Oil and Gas?
c. Old vinyl records?
d. Mass production of garden gnomes?

8. Which French Presidential candidate thinks it might be a whiz bang idea to suggest repealing his very own anti-fracking law and going full steam ahead with nationwide disruption? Is it:-

a. Asterix?
b. Marine le Pen?
c. Nicolas Sarkozy?
d. Nicolas Sarkozy?

9. By how much would you anticipate your gas/utilty bills reducing if widespread fracking took place? 

a. 10%?
b. 50%?
c. 'Don't give us all that crap again'?

10. Which EU country is banning specific, otherwise peaceful demonstrators from demonstrating against fracking even though they have not been charged with any offence? Is it: -

a. The UK?
b. The UK?
c. The UK?

11. How far can current fracking technology enable contractors to explore horizontally? Is it: -

a. 3km?
b. 5km?
c. Didn't know they could? Surely not.

12. Which EU country has recently changed property ownership rights via the trespass laws to enable fracking contractors to frack horizontally under one's property and worse, to use/store any (toxic) materials down there?  Is it:-

a. The UK?
b. The UK?
c. They haven't - have they? Surely not.

13. What causes earthquakes to occur remarkably often ( 3,000 in Arkansas ) in close proximity to fracking activity? Is it:-

a. God's wrath? The concept of gay marriage ( UKIP had the idea first of course ).
b. Forcing contaminated/used/spoilt fracking wastewater under ground and between tectonic plates at v.high pressure?
c. The thought of UKIP involvement in a future UK coalition government?

14. How many years energy 'independence' is the likely realisable yield of so called 'natural gas' likely to sustain the UK for? Is it:-

a. 15 years?
b. 50 years?
c. Just long enough to get the bloody share price up?!

Answers - may be found in the headings of all the recent posts on this site. SO, if you have been diligently following our output here at Schiste Towers you should have amassed a pile of points. Prizes?

A Happy and Frack-Free 2015 to all our readers. Ed.

Friday, 26 December 2014

UK Police ban innocent protestors. What price democracy?

The deliberate merging of the concept of peaceful and legitimate protest with clearly defined conventional terrorist activity is a strategy now adopted by certain police forces and notably in the UK. Difficult to decide if the notion of limiting protest in advance is merely a cost cutting measure ( the Balcombe anti-fracking demonstration policing cost in excess of £3million ) or something rather more sinister.

Read the full report in The Guardian newspaper here: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/25/revlealed-police-using-pre-charge-bail-muzzle-protesters

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

US - California needs 42 trillion litres of water and still the idiots frack.

California needs 11 trillion US gallons of water ( 42 trillion litres ) in order to recover from the current devastating drought. An initial fracking investigation can use between 6,000 and 600,000 US gallons.

They continue to frack and even on the San Andreas Fault.

Happy Christmas and a frack-free 2015 from all here at Schiste Towers.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

UK - University refuses police request to hand over seminar attendees details.

There was a time when policing was all to do with protecting the individual. You know, pursuing violent attack and rape claims, burglary and the rest. Ever since the Miners Strike in the 1970s we seem to have moved further and further away from that ideal to a situation where the aim would appear to be protection of the interests of multi-nationals.

We find that all rather depressing.

Once again, the excellent Guardian newspaper tells the tale:-


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

UK - 200+ groups deliver petition to D.Cameron.

Over 200 UK anti-fracking groups ( Frack Free Sussex alone has 10,000 + followers ) have delivered their petition to Prime Minister David Cameron seeking a halt to operations, current and projected until a full scale appraisal has been carried out.

Read more here: http://drillordrop.com/2014/12/09/200-uk-campaign-groups-urge-pm-to-ban-fracking/

Will it make any difference?

UK - Have you been identified as an anti-fracking 'troublemaker' - yet?

Why not check out the records held by fracking concerns and their security partners under the good old Data Protection/Freedom of Information Act. Democracy at work.

Read more/check out your status here: https://netpol.org/2014/12/09/fracking-private-security-sar/

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Male reproductive capacity at risk from fracking chemicals...........

Just one more aspect of this apalling process.................


The biggest bungs - League table of which industries are most generous

Here we go....................

These are the industries that bribe the most

These are the industries most involved in bribery, according to OECD analysis of more than 400 cases worldwide.
As this Statista graphic shows, the majority of bribes were in the extractive industries such as mining.
The OECD found that in most cases, senior managers were aware of the bribery.

Source - The Independent.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Fracking - A list of those harmed.

All too often one or two aspects ( proven ) of the fracking process that appeal to the sensationalist UK press have tended to distract us. These would include flaming taps ( documented ), airborne methane ( excessive levels ), earthquakes ( literally thousands in the US – documented ) and more. What is not so often highlighted, is the real harm caused to individuals living in close proximity ( as over 15 million US citizens now do ) to frack sites.
Here is a comprehensive ( though not exhaustive ) list..........................
Hard to imagine in the tiny land mass of the UK is it not?

Thursday, 20 November 2014

UK - The end of Scotland as we know it?

Complete idiocy ( what price tourism, or the natural environment for that matter ) and no the price of domestic gas will not come down ( Govt's own report refers ) and yes the jobs created will be a drop in the ocean and mostly highly unhealthy. Yes of course to a rising share price ( for as long as the lie lasts ) and board positions all round for ministers on side.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/20/chemicals-ineos-uk-fracking-investment-grangemouth

Thursday, 13 November 2014

UK - Govt to establish network of fracking colleges.

As if the mountains of data relating to fracking currently available worldwide were not enough the Cameron government are to set up a national network of so called 'fracking colleges'. Paid for by the very people who will suffer directly.

Read a perspective here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2831291/College-fracking-training-hub.html

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Fracking - a total financial fraud.

Ponzi schemes have nothing on the fracking fraud now being visited on millions of citizens world-wide. Beggars belief.

Max Keiser takes a little getting used to but he hit's the nail right on the head. If you watch nothing else today, do watch just the first half of this presentation...................


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Denton, Texas says NO to fracking. Texas?!!!

At last, a relatively small town in TEXAS has voted against fracking. Sign of the times, This, don't forget is a population situated right on the edge of the so called Barnett Shale 'play'. Lots of money floating around on the methane drenched airwaves no doubt but locals are clearly getting to grips with this now. Good.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/nov/04/denton-texas-us-slacker-capital-grows-up

Thursday, 30 October 2014

UK - Obnoxious gas fumes on N.Yorks moors. Just the beginning?

Of course, the gas companies deny it, but maybe this is just a hint of what it will be like when Cameron's mad das for gas kicks in all over the UK.......................


Eastern Ohio - 400 families evacuated as well head blows out.

Now, imagine that happening in little old UK.........................


UK - BBC and fracking - hmmm....

Independent enquiry ( yet another?!!) to be led by former Labour minister Chris Smith. Why an enquiry at all when mountains of evidence already exist in the USA and elsewhere. Given that the Cameron administration have granted licences to frack already and changed the trespass laws to enable fracking under homes + allow the deposition of toxic waste and allow any chemical to be used, this can only be a phoney PR excercise designed to calm the masses. Won't work.

Watch the nonsense here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=700719820017661&set=vb.559946007428377&type=2&theater

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

London - Fracking under homes and schools a strong likelyhood............

Now that Dave Cameron has 'liberated' the fracking fraternity by undemocratically changing the UK trespass laws the following scenario is more than likley...............


Impressed by this idiocy? Don't keep it to yourself, mail the link to as many friends and family as possible. It matters.

Monday, 27 October 2014

UK Democracy - contradiction in terms under the current government?

The government just declared war on the British people over fracking. It's going to allow companies to frack under our homes without our permission -- despite 99 percent of responses to a public consultation saying an emphatic NO.

Tell the government to ditch plans to frack under our homes without our permission.


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Scientists Just Discovered How To Determine If Water Contamination Comes From Fracking

 A team of U.S. and French scientists say they have developed a new tool that can specifically tell when environmental contamination comes from waste produced by hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. In peer-reviewed research published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology on Monday, the researchers say their new forensic tool can distinguish fracking wastewater pollution from other contamination that results from other industrial processes — such as conventional oil and gas drilling. Fracking is a controversial oil and gas well stimulation technique that uses a great deal of water, mixed with chemicals, to extract oil and gas from miles deep underground. Once the rock is fractured by the high pressure fluid, fossil fuels follow the fracking fluid to the surface. The disposal of this often-radioactive water mixture, known as “fracking fluid,” is widely considered to be one of the biggest environmental threats that fracking poses, along with the emissions of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide. There have been many claims of water contamination since the technique gained popularity in 2008, but it’s been difficult to determine if fracking was really the cause — mainly because fracking companies are not required to disclose what chemicals they use in the process (the mixture is often considered a trade secret). With the new tool, though, scientists no longer need to know the chemical make-up of the fracking fluid to determine whether it’s getting into the environment, Duke University geochemist Avner Vengosh told ThinkProgress on Monday. “This is one of the first times we’ve been able to demonstrate that, here, you have a spill in the environment, and yes, this is from fracking fluid and not from other source of contamination,” Vengosh said. “It’s a pretty cool way to overcome the issue of trade secrets.” In order to do this, Vengosh and a team of researchers from Dartmouth College, Stanford University, and the French Geological Survey among others created a tool that they say can trace the “isotopic and geochemical fingerprints” of the fracking process. In simpler terms, the tracer picks up what the researchers say is a unique, chemical fingerprint left behind by the fracking fluid injection process. The tracers track two elements — boron and lithium — which occur naturally in shale formations. When fracking fluid is injected underground, those two elements are naturally released along with oil, and the fracking fluid then becomes enriched with the elements. When the fluid comes back to the surface, Vengosh said they have an isotopic fingerprint that is different than any other type of wastewater, including wastewater from conventional oil and gas operations. “Many of the fracking operations today are happening in areas that have a legacy of 20, 30 years of conventional oil and gas development,” Vengosh said. “So when there’s contamination, [fracking companies] can say ‘Oh, it’s not us — it’s the legacy of 30 years of operations here.” “We now have the tools to say, well, sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong,” he added. As fracking has boomed across the United States, so has the use of water to do it. A 2013 report from Environment America showed that fracking wells nationwide produced an estimated 280 billion gallons of wastewater in 2012 — a huge number considering more than 55 percent of fracked wells are in areas experiencing droughts. Vangosh was also part of a research team that found there are more risks of drinking water contamination from fracking wastewater than was previously believed. In a peer-reviewed paper released last month, he and other scientists from Duke and Stanford found that even when fracking wastewater goes through water treatment plants, and is disposed of in rivers that are not drinking water systems, the treated water still risks contaminating human drinking water. That’s because there are generally drinking water systems downstream of those rivers, and treatment plants aren’t doing a good job of removing contaminants called halides, which have the potential to harm human health.

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/21/3581800/duke-fracking-waste-tracker/

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Nova Scotia to ban fracking.

Nova Scotia(n) political leaders refer to their 'having respect for those who place their trust in us'.


Bit like Cameron & Co eh?! Ed.

STOP CAMERON'S NEW FRACKING LAW - Sign the petition and circulate widely.

Stop Cameron's new fracking law!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

UK Govt to allow any substance to be buried beneath homes.

The following article demonstrates just how far we have come in recent years in terms of definitions of democracy. The Cameron Govt seem to think that they can ride roughshod over everyone’s rights in almost every area of life. Hopefully, this one will come back to bite them in the bum electorally in the not too distant future. Ed.

UK Government to allow fracking companies to use 'any substance' under homes 

Proposed amendment in Infrastructure Bill would make mockery of world class shale gas regulation claims, campaigners say Damian Carrington Tuesday 14 October 2014 The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/14/uk-to-allow-fracking-companies-to-use-any-substance-under-homes ---- The UK government plans to allow fracking companies to put “any substance” under people’s homes and property and leave it there, as part of the Infrastructure Bill which will be debated by the House of Lords on Tuesday. The legal change makes a “mockery” of ministers’ claims that the UK has the best shale gas regulation in the world, according to green campaigners, who said it is so loosely worded it could also enable the burial of nuclear waste. The government said the changes were “vital to kickstarting shale” gas exploration. Changes to trespass law to remove the ability of landowners to block fracking below their property are being pushed through by the government as part of the Infrastructure Bill. It now includes an amendment by Baroness Kramer, the Liberal Democrat minister guiding the bill through the Lords, that permits the “passing any substance through, or putting any substance into, deep-level land” and gives “the right to leave deep-level land in a different condition from [that before] including by leaving any infrastructure or substance in the land”. The trespass law change has attracted controversy before, when the government decided to push ahead despite the opposition of 99% of the respondents to its consultation. Author and activist Naomi Klein said it flouted basic democratic rights. Ministers were also accused of rushing legal changes through parliament at the start of 2014, which removed the need to notify each home in an areas of fracking plans. The new amendment permitting “any substance” was attacked by Simon Clydesdale, a campaigner at Greenpeace UK: “Ministers are effectively trying to absolve fracking firms from responsibility for whatever mess they’ll end up leaving underground. This amendment makes a mockery of the government’s repeated claims about Britain’s world-class fracking regulations. Far from toughening up rules, ministers are bending over backwards to put the interests of shale drillers before the safety of our environment and our climate.” Tony Bosworth, at Friends of the Earth, said the amendment would allow companies to dispose of fracking fluid, often contaminated with toxic metals and radioactive elements. “The government appears to be trying to sneak through an amendment which would allow fracking firms to reinject their waste under people’s homes and businesses. Reinjection has caused countless problems in the US and you have to question how far this government will go to make fracking a reality.” A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said: “Shale and geothermal have the potential to bolster our energy security, create jobs and growth and provide a bridge to a greener future. These changes are vital to kick starting shale and make sure it’s not delayed by one single landowner. These new rules are all part of our robust regulatory framework [making] sure public safety is always our number one priority.” “Operators must demonstrate that where any chemicals are left in the waste frack fluid this will not lead to pollution of groundwater. The Environment Agency will not permit the use of chemicals where these are hazardous to groundwater,” she said, adding that the amendment did not change the need for companies to obtain all the necessary planning and environmental permits. On the prospect of the new amendment being used to bury nuclear waste, the Decc spokeswoman said the amendment gave the right to put substances into deep-level land only in the context of exploiting gas and petroleum. But Ralph Smyth, a barrister at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the amendment was very loosely worded and risked unintended consequences. “This seems another example in the Infrastructure Bill where the rushing to remove obstacles has led to officials making it up as they go along, without thinking through the consequences,” he said. “Powers to alter deep-level land in any way under people’s houses or ‘putting any substance’ under schools or homes is surely going too far.” He noted that the Infrastructure Bill stresses the maximum economic recovery of gas and oil and that storing waste underground as part of drilling operations would increase the economic viability of fracking. Ken Cronin, the chief executive of fracking trade body UK Onshore Oil & Gas, said: “The onshore oil and gas industry is committed to baseline monitoring before, during and after any shale activity to ensure the highest safety and environmental standards. We need to study all of the additional amendments to the Infrastructure Bill in detail but any amendments that do not support high environmental and safety standards will not be supported by the onshore oil and gas industry.” If you have any questions about this email, please contact the guardian.co.uk user help desk: userhelp@guardian.co.uk. guardian.co.uk Copyright (c) Guardian News and Media Limited. 2014 Registered in England and Wales No. 908396 Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1P 2AP

Monday, 13 October 2014

62% of French citizens opposed to fracking - 32% 'mostly' opposed.

Recent survey by pollsters BVA for the journal 20 Minutes found that 62% of French citizens are hostile to shale gas operations, 31% somewhat opposed and as many again are strongly opposed. BVA Institute says that the topic unites the Left ( 80% of left-wing voters are against the exploitation of shale gas ), but divides the right ( 51% of right-wing voters are in favour ). Sociologically, women ( 67% ), 18-34 year olds ( 66% ) and upper socio-professional categories ( 70%) are the most hostile to the exploitation of shale gas. The conclusion is therefore that Sarkozy ( who promises a complete U turn in the matter should he be elected President ) "defends a largely unpopular idea".

On Sunday, Ecology Minister Segolene Royal re-iterated her promise that there would be no exploration or exploitation of shale gas during her tenure.

Read the report here in French: http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/environnement/gaz-de-schiste/une-large-majorite-de-francais-opposee-au-gaz-de-schiste_708677.html

Looks like Sarko could be advocating something which as the article suggests could even unite right and left. Ed.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Goldman Sachs question long term profitability of shale gaz ( oil prices prefer ).

Goldman Sachs have raised doubts about the medium and long-term viability of shale gas prices as seen against the likelyhood of oil prices shifting................


Industry leaks 3 billion gallons of contaminated frack water into Californian aquafers.

It's not as though legislators, regulators did not already know about this potentiality......


Never mind, they have it taped in the UK. 'Best regulatory practices in the world'. Sleep tight. Ed.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

UK - Glimmer of hope.................

No, Cameron and Co have not seen the error of their fracking ways (yet) but Glasgow University has become the latest institution to announce that it will divest 100% from fossil fuels.......................


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Dutch Government to extend fracking ban until at least 2016

We have just heard that the Dutch Government have voted to extend their fracking moratorium until at least 2016. Excellent news. More on this as we have it.

Also, here is a current list of the state of fracking - bans and authorisations around the world. Certainly not all plain sailing for 'les petroliers' in spite of massive lobbying and graft.

Read more at: http://keeptapwatersafe.org/global-bans-on-fracking/

Site recommendation - Frack news worldwide

We bring to your attention the pages of the excellent Ecowatch site to be found here at:


Saturday, 4 October 2014

UK: Nick Clegg backs fracking in East Midlands.

UK Deputy Prime Minister lends his support to the notion of fracking in the English East Midlands region. Mr Clegg refers to the 'new technology'. Funny that Nick, since most industry pundits tell us that they have been fracking for years and years ( without of course mentioning that only recently has horizontal fracking been possible ) hence the problems associated with earthquakes and democratic issues relating to the annulation of UK trespass laws.

Read more here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-29475435

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Monday, 29 September 2014

France - current situation.

As regular readers of these pages will know we try to provide balanced reportage and back up data from a wide variety of sources. We never forget however, that our original purpose when establishing Schistehappens was to inform English-speaking residents of fracking related events en France, wherever possible in their own language.

It is now more than three years since the the Sarkozy - led government gave in to massive pressure to cancel the permits for shale gas exploration and exploitation that Minister Borloo had signed ( in secret ) and place the loi Jacob ( albeit in much diluted form ) on the statute books. For this we were thankful but never remotely convinced that it would be the end of the matter. Unfortunately, many of those ex-pats who were excited at the time would appear to now believe that it 'could never happen in France'.

True to say that President Hollande has so far kept to his word and not allowed exploitation although he has of course been careful to point out that in essence he is not opposed to exploration ( along with the Constitutional Council ) and is open to 'alternative methods' of extraction. Needless to say these ( mostly amounting to methods involving propane - yet to be proven anywhere ) would all involve landscape desecration and massive logistics in order to extract yet another fossil fuel at this crucial point in our history and still represent a distraction of investment away from renewables.

Last week, Nicolas Sarkozy ( remember him? ) declared that he would resort to fracking if elected ( clearly no qualms there about repealing his own party's loi Jacob of March 2011) largely due to the jobs that could be created. In truth, the jobs would be a drop in the ocean numerically, be temporary and unbelievably unhealthy Nick. This week Environment Minister Ségolène Royal re-affirmed her party's opposition. Of course, this means ( at best ) a two year period of grace before a more right-wing (to whatever degree) administration once again takes over the stewardship of the country and be it N.Sarkozy or AN Other the chances are that the lobbyists will hold sway.

Here at Schiste Towers we anticipate that by then matters in the UK will be coming to a head and one can only hope that our French compatriots will take due note of the disruption caused. Ed

UK - Take 6% and get your water poisoned and your life ruined.

Latest whiz-bang idea to convince gullible citizens:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/28/british-firm-ineos-accused-bribes-bulldozers-approach-fracking Then there is the recution ( to zero in some cases ) in the value of your property and the notion that we should not be extracting yet another fossil fuel in the first place.

6% - Hmmm.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

France - In the meantime however..................

Today ( Sunday 28th September, 2014 ), Environment Minister Ségolène Royal firmly stated that 'Tant que je serai ministre, il n'y aura pas de gaz de schiste' ('For as long as I am minister there will be no shale gas '). The minister confirmed that this extended to both exploration and exploitation.

Read the statement here ( in French ): http://www.leparisien.fr/environnement/royal-tant-que-je-serai-ministre-il-n-y-aura-pas-de-gaz-de-schiste-28-09-2014-4170815.php

Thursday, 25 September 2014

France - If elected, Sarkozy will go all out for fracking.

Nicolas Sarkozy set out his proposals in Lille today for a second term in office. Last time he oversaw one of his ministers ( Borloo ) signing shale gas agreements in secret and then had his hand forced when the loi Jacob was passed in July 2011 albeit in much diluted format. This time we anticipate that he/ the UMP would seek to repoeal their own law in pretty short order. IF they are elected. Ed.

Here is the link in French: http://www.leparisien.fr/politique/en-direct-suivez-le-premier-meeting-de-sarkozy-a-lambersart-25-09-2014-4163875.php

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

US - Rockefeller Family to actively disinvest in fossil fuels.

Hard to believe, but the heirs to the Rockefeller family fortunes have announced that they
( already ) have disinvested completely in fossil fuels in common with many American universities and other organisations ahead of the UN Climate Change conference. Of course, it may simply be that they see better long-term opportunities in a rapidly growing renewables market, but let's wait and see. Remember, this is the family that gave birth to Standard Oil which in turn spawned Exxon, Chevron and other assorted horror stories.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/22/rockefeller-heirs-divest-fossil-fuels-climate-change

Saturday, 13 September 2014

A different kind of fracking?

This gentleman  ( who apparently has been asked to address the UK Labour Party Conference is obviously talking about an entirely new kind of fracking/shale gas extraction......................


He must be. It sounds nothing like the abomination that has ruined millions ( yes ) of lives, caused countless earthquakes and ruined umpteen communities across the USA and in Poland for instance. Nothing like the mess that has led to landscape desecration, water pollution on a grand scale, gagging orders ( even on children as young as 7 years old ) and widespread property devaluation in one case in Texas leading a judge to award plaintiffs $25 million alone. He must be. The fracking to which we refer involves the extraction of yet another dirty fuel which when everything is factored in is not at all 'clean' nor anything like 'natural'. He must be - surely.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

UK - Planning Committee turn down application to frack in National Park

South Downs National Park Authority rejects shale gas bid.

Planning committee turn down Celtique Energie application to explore for shale gas and oil near Fernhurst in West Sussex

Adam Vaughan Thursday 11 September 2014
An energy company’s bid to drill for shale oil and gas in the UK’s newest national park has been rejected.
On Thursday, the 11 officials on the planning committee of the South Downs National Park Authority voted unanimously to turn down an application by Celtique Energie to undertake exploratory drilling as a precursor to fracking at Fernhurst in West Sussex.
A spokeswoman for the SDNPA said: “The applicant had failed to demonstrate that exceptional circumstances exist and that it would be in the public interest for the activity to take place in a protected area.”
But while local residents who had opposed the application celebrated and waved placards outside the planning meeting in Midhurst, Celtique Energie immediately said it believed ministers would overturn the decision if it appealed the decision.
Geoff Davies, the company’s CEO, said: “We believe SDNPA officers appear to have made their recommendation and the committee appears to have made its decision based on a subjective and unjustified interpretation of planning guidance.
“The decision fails to take into consideration the importance of this project to the nation and the comprehensive steps Celtique would be taking to ensure that all exploration work would be done sensitively during the very temporary period we would be working in the national park.”
Environmental and rural campaigners were delighted with the planning decision. Brenda Pollack, south-east campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “This is a victory for common sense – there should be no place for shale oil or gas exploration in our national parks. But thousands of communities across the country still face the threat of fracking in their backyard.”
Simon Clydesdale, Greenpeace UK’s climate and energy campaigner, said: “With their second consecutive no to fracking, Sussex authorities have sent a clear signal that the county is not prepared to be the testing lab for this inexperienced and controversial industry.”
Emma Marrington, National Park campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which campaigned for the park’s creation, added: “We welcome the common sense decision not to allow industrialisation of the UK’s newest national park through oil and gas exploration.”
A rejection looked likely after the SDNPA planning officers earlier this month recommended the committee turn down the bid, on the grounds that Celtique Energie had failed to demonstrate the “exceptional circumstances” required for drilling in national parks. Earlier in the summer, local highway officials said the company had underplayed the impact from lorry noise.
A recent poll for the Guardian showed the majority of the British public think fracking in national parks should be banned.
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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

US - Thank you Hilary...................

Guardian report: 'How Hilary Clinton's State Department sold fracking to the World'.

Read the full ( depressing ) article here:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/10/how-hillary-clintons-state-department-sold-fracking-to-the-world

Thank you Hils.

Undafe Chemicals - Just how many more studies are needed?!

Yet more evidence here that totally unsafe chemicals are deployed in the fracking 'mix' yet do we really nee to know more:http://ecowatch.com/2014/09/08/fracking-wastewater-study/?

What we need is greater citizen involvement at all levels and more politicians with the guts and integrity to oppose this abomination.Ed.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

UK - Cuadrilla 'supports public's involvement'. Eh?!

Ah, now we see.......................


Actually, it's business as normal. Oh well.

Good luck to all the brave citizens now putting their lives on hold in that part of Lnacashire. Ed.

Friday, 5 September 2014

UK - A fair distribution of the gains (£££) from fracking up the land?

You know, it never even occurred to us that there would not be a fair and equitable distribution of the financial gains from the despoilation of UK landscape, water supplies and peace and quiet once the fracking fraternity ( not known for their sensitivity of course ) get going. Ed.

Reflect upon this here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/04/fracking-for-many-oil-wealth-exploited-for-few

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Pennsylvania - 243 cases of aquafer contamination - since 2008.

And counting...................

Official Environment Agency figures released:


UK - Majority of public not convinced.......................

Not convinced by Tory promises regarding.......................

a. Government will only fracking in National Parks in 'exceptional circumstances'

b. Changes to trespass laws.

c. Water consumptio and more........................

Not convinced. But it will make no difference. However, once this all kicks in the political landscape could be changed for decades and that is not wishful thinking on our part. Ed.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/04/ban-fracking-from-national-parks-say-majority-of-uk-public

Sunday, 31 August 2014

France - Advance warning - lecture: G d S and geology ( Périgord)

We have received advance notice of a lecture ( in French ) to be given in the village of Bouzac
( Périgord ) entitled 'Gaz de Schiste et géologie du Quercy et Périgord Noir' on Friday 17th October 2014 @ 20h 30 by Jean-Paul Liégeois - Geologist at the Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale à Tervuren et Professeur à l' Universiteé Libre de Bruxelles.

Essentially, the talk will highlight the many protential problems associated aith fracking in a limestone are such as this. Full details at www.bouzic-périgord.fr.

If you speak French or can be accompanied by a friend who does, this event promises to provide invaluable background information of immediate relevance to those living in this part of France.

Monday, 25 August 2014

UK - Labour Party seeks to amend Lords fracking bill.

Here we go......................


So, not actually against it then. If elected they might find this to be a suitable subject for one of their first 'U' turns as the evidence appears all around them. Ed.

San Francisco - 6.0 Richter Scale Earthquake

Read more here..................

Now, one would think that fracking in such a sensitive zone might be generally agreed to be a very bad idea. Oh no. Our friends in the Dirty Industry seem all set to continue.....................

Friday, 22 August 2014

France - 11th October - International Day Against Fracking

Advance warning is given by the Collective Nonauxgazdeschiste of a manifestation contre Gaz de Schiste on Saturday 11th October at a location to be announced nearer the time in the Gers Dept.

Information/renseignements from : nonauxgazdeschiste47@gmail.com

UK - Fracking - the bubble waiting to burst.

The shale boom is a bubble waiting to burst as economics of extraction falter and the trickle of bad environmental news starts to swell

Jeremy Leggett Monday 18 August 2014


The vision of an energy-independent Britain, free of the clear and growing problems of overseas fuel dependency, is deeply alluring. That is one of the reasons I set up a solar energy company 15 years ago. Today, Putin's Russia, Islamic State's Iraq, and a host of other actual and potential fossil-fuel addiction downsides mean we would be well advised to strive hard for that vision. What is becoming clearer with each passing month, however, is that the route to delivering energy independence is not the fracking of domestic gas and oil from shale. Indeed, it could be a route to derailing the vision.
Five sets of problems are emerging with the shale narrative: economic risk; local environmental cost; global environmental cost; social cost, and opportunity cost.

First, the economic risk. The US "shale boom" looks increasingly as though it will turn into one of those bubbles that we humans seem so good at inflating and then bursting. The oil-and-gas industry has been losing cash by the tens of billions, because high drilling costs mean most companies are spending more than they are earning from low-price fracked gas, even when high-price fracked oil is added to the equation. Wider US industry may have benefited from cheap gas in the short term, but production from all shale gas regions – save the Marcellus of Pennsylvania – has peaked already, and many of us reading the detail now see little prospect of the gas industry delivering growing production for many years more. Rather, the reverse.

Second, the local environmental cost. Once Dick Cheney freed fracking from scrutiny under America's Safe Drinking Water Act (the so-called "Halliburton Loophole"), back in the kick-off days for shale in the Bush years, bad news about contamination and health impacts should have been predictable. It has been slow to emerge, in part because of widespread use of gagging orders by the industry as part of compensation payments for wrecked farms and impaired health. But now a regular drip of bad news has started, soon likely to snowball as ever more people realise the reality behind the industry's mantras about all being well.

Third, the global environmental cost. Gas industry operations can and do leak methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from wellhead to hob. The question is, how much? Early research on fracking-related emissions by the rare university teams not cowed by oil-industry funding are worrying. Fracked gas may well prove to be worse than coal in greenhouse terms, over the full-life-cycle. And British shale basins are far more faulted than US shale basins.

Fourth, the social cost. It is likely that few British people as yet fully appreciate the tight well spacings, industrial infrastructure, water profligacy, toxic waste-disposal challenges, and lorry movements that are required for a typical US shale "sweet spot", and what the social cost of that would be if superimposed on rural Britain. Yet already local opposition is severe, even against single vertical unfracked test wells, which entail little waste, and few lorry movements. Planning for the first such was rejected by a council for the first time recently, in Sussex, with objectors "weeping with relief" in the chamber on hearing the decision.
Many such objectors are Conservative voters. The prime minister says he wants to deliver sufficient shale gas to drive down the gas price so far that large-scale manufacturing returns to the UK. He has little or no chance of getting that past his own voter base without committing political suicide, even if much of that gas proves extractable by fracking – which the British Geological Survey clearly has doubts about.

Fifth, the opportunity cost. There is a shovel-ready alternative to gas that can be developed surprisingly quickly, given the collective will: renewable energy and energy efficiency. Among this broad family is a star duo that the energy incumbency increasingly fears as an existential threat: solar and storage. Solar is a power source that is infinite and easy to tap, as opposed to finite and increasingly difficult to tap. Politically, the government's own opinion polls show that solar is outstandingly the most popular energy technology with the British public, year after year, miles ahead of fracking, even now, so early in the game. In the most recent poll, for DECC itself, support for fracking was down at just 24%.
The opportunity cost is that many leaders in the oil and gas industry, and their supporters in government, want actively to suppress this fast-growing global industry, with its fast-falling cost base – along with all the other clean-energy industries – so as to not put investors in gas off.
The fact that the oil-and-gas incumbency views solar as such a threat to their business models should tell us everything we need to know.

Jeremy Leggett is the founding chairman of Solarcentury, the UK's largest solar solutions company, and charity SolarAid. Before that, as an academic and oil industry consultant in the 1980s, he took research funding from Shell, BP, and other companies, for work on such areas as shale energy. He is author of The Carbon War and Half Gone.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Monday, 18 August 2014

Sunday, 17 August 2014

World - Scientific evidence against fracking mounts and mounts.............

The Oil and Gas ( or Dirty Industry as we prefer to call it ) used to be quite adept at trivialising the debate surrounding the entire questioin of hydraulic fracturation pushing notions of 'trivial' or 'insignificanct' earthquakes or suggesting that tap water had always been flammable in certain parts or citing shale gas as a 'clean' or 'transitional' source.  However, the evidence base/bank is now brim full with horror stories of cancers caused, explosions, displacement of populations, tumbling property values and more recently the publication of previously undisclosed toxic chemicals.

Here you may read about the mounting evidence: http://grist.org/climate-energy/why-the-scientific-case-against-fracking-keeps-getting-stronger/

Then ponder for just one moment what our politicians may have to gain personally ( bungs, rising share prices and a promise of future board membership of their favourite O&G concern ) and ask yourself just who you believe. Ed.

UK - 'Trouble at mill'. Residents not at all happy.

New demonstrations in Lancashire ( UK ): https://twitter.com/search?q=%23FrackFreeLancashire

We wonder what this will cost the public purse? Good - whatever it takes. Ed.

Friday, 15 August 2014

5,000 holes in Black(pool) Lancashire? Not if it can be stopped...............

Misquoted John Lennon there but it now seems that Lancashire is going to be the second significant protest location after Balcombe. Balcombe cost over £3.5 million to police and we wonder how local police chiefs and police committees will feel about the prospect here and the more so in the face of spending cuts. never mind, anything 'we' can do to support our 'chums' in the Dirty Industry........

Read more here:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/14/protest-cuadrilla-fracking-blackpool

N.Carolina Governor decides to ignore all the evidence.

North Carolina's Governor is pushing to frack the State in spite of massive evidence/data showing the fracking process to be unsafe - at best.

Read more here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-28792721

UK - Scots Minister unhappy about Westminster riding rough shod over people's property rights.

Quite right too: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-28792721

Westminster arrogance from the biggest bunch of mediocrity in the history of democratic government.

Monday, 11 August 2014

France - GASLAND - Check it out if only for revision purposes

If you missed a local screening of Josh Fox's award-winning GASLANDS documentary when it first did the rounds of towns and villages here in France you now have a second chance to watch it on French TV channel ARTE.

Click the link for details ( film will have English dialogue with French sub-titles ) ...................

Here: http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/048120-000/gasland

Scary the first time around, but now that the pressure is on and so much apalling (validated ) data has emerged from the US and elsewhere it seems so much more relevant and timely. Must see.

France - Institute Montaigne urges exploitation en France....

A recent report by the respected Institute Montaigne has urged that France should move to at least explore the potential for shale gas under it's soil. Not surpisingly industry lobbyists and here notably the Director general of Chemicals ( they don't use those do they? ) Group Solvay are right behind the proposal.

Read more ( in French ) here:http://www.lemaghrebdz.com/?page=detail_actualite&rubrique=Energie&id=65310

UK - Government censors results of house price survey in fracking areas.

They wouldn't do that - would they? Oh yes they have............................

From The Guardian

Environment Shale gas and fracking Fracking campaigners criticise 'censored' report on house prices Government urged to publish sections cut from study into impact of shale gas wells on local communities 

By Rowena Mason, political correspondent The Guardian, Sunday 10 August 2014 15.45 BST  

Caroline Lucas MP criticised cuts in the government's published draft report exploring the impact that drilling for shale gas may have on UK house prices. 

The government has been criticised for censoring a report into the impact of shale gas drilling that examines the effect on house prices and pressure on local services. Campaigners are calling for full publication of the study carried out by Whitehall officials, as the government continues to resist the idea of offering compensation to individual householders near proposed fracking sites. The report, called Shale Gas: Rural Economy Impacts, was written in March and a draft was released under environmental information laws with large portions of the text removed. In particular, the section looking at the effect of drilling on house prices has three missing chunks.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Germany - STOP Exxon fracking in the face of public opposition.

Exxon wants to frack Germany.

NB. What happens in the UK and our close neighbour Germany could have a not insignificant effect on public opinion here in France. It is vital that these initiatives be opposed. Ed.

France - Non-flammable propane stimulation.

Latest whiz-bang idea from those who would have us continue to extract fossil fuels at this crucial point in our history...... (in French. Copy and paste into Google Translator if required ) :-


Thursday, 31 July 2014

UK - What a Pickle(s).

Eric Pickles, currently styled UK 'Communities Secretary' ( or some such nonsense ) has been charged with arbitrating final facking planning decisions in 'sensitive' areas.  No doubt the minister will 'allow' the odd application to be rejected to appease voters, but in the final analysis......................

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2014/jul/31/eric-pickles-taste-for-dogma-eats-localism-for-breakfast

UK - Farming community wakens up to fracking danger. Too late?

UK Water Boards and the farming community are ( finally! ) waking up to the very real dangers posed by fracking to human health and the environment.

Read the article here: http://www.farming.co.uk/news/article/10229

We warned every UK national daily newspaper of the dangers just three years ago when the fracking threat here was imminent and 'in our face'. No one wanted to know. Only Michael White at The Guardian took any notice. Ed.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Poland - Warsaw contravenes EU regs on fracking depth.

The European commission has begun legal proceedings against Poland for amending its national laws to allow shale drills at depths of up to 5,000 metres without first having assessed the potential environmental impacts, EurActiv has learned.

No danger of that happening in the UK with it's ' Best regulatory practices on the planet' claims then. Pity they recently sacked/let go up to half of all Environment Agency staff.  Hang on tho', upon reading further we find that Poland lobbied the EU on the matter in tandem with a country bearing the tag 'UK'. Perhaps we should all be concerned after all. Ed.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

UK - Daily T'graph is re-assured.

It would seem the Daily Telegraph has been re-assured by government assurances on fracking in National Parks.

Read the report here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fracking/10994412/National-parks-to-be-protected-from-fracking-Government-says.html

That surely means that we can now all relax.

On verra. Ed.

Monday, 28 July 2014

UK - One way to stop the ruination of the 'Green and Pleasant Land'.

Click the link and sign the petition if you care about the imminent despoilation of up to 60% of UK countryside: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/fracking-david-cameron-most-shocking-speech?source=fb&subsource=20140728frafb05&utm_source=gpeace&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=20140728frafb05

Every little helps. You just have to care enough to make the effort. Ed.

'Living is easy with eyes closed'. John Lennon.

UK - It's All Over Now!

Idiot UK Government finalizes plans to impose fracking on complacent populace: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/28/fracking-office-single-unit-shale-gas-produced

By the time they get of their bottoms it will be far too late ( we are not here referring to the brave souls who have been in the vanguard to date of course ).

More on this:

Drilling will be allowed in national parks in 'exceptional circumstances' but ministers retain power to veto plans

Rowena Mason, political correspondent Sunday 27 July 2014
The Guardian
Ministers will give the go-ahead on Monday for a big expansion of fracking across Britain that will allow drilling in national parks and other protected areas in "exceptional circumstances".
The government will invite firms to bid for onshore oil and gas licences for the first time in six years, with about half of the country advertised for exploration. Ministers are also clarifying the rules on when drilling can take place in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) and world heritage sites, following calls by environmental campaigners for an outright ban on drilling in them.
In a tightening of the guidance, the government will ask energy firms to submit an environmental statement that is "particularly comprehensive and detailed" if they want to frack on or near protected countryside, forcing them to demonstrate their understanding of local sensitivities. It will make clear that the applications "should be refused in these areas other than in exceptional circumstances and in the public interest".
In addition, Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, is likely to make a final decision on more appeals related to protected areas over the next 12 months, instead of leaving it to the planning watchdog.
The competition for licences is likely to attract significant interest from energy companies keen to explore Britain's new-found shale reserves, particularly in the Bowland basin of the north-west, a central belt of Scotland and the Weald in the south-east. It is the first time the government has offered up areas of the UK for onshore exploration since experts confirmed the scale of the UK's shale resources and protests erupted in places from Blackpool to Balcombe about the potential for environmental damage.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, a Tory communities minister, will present the licensing round in the House of Lords , as MPs have broken up for their summer break."We recognise there are areas of outstanding landscape and scenic beauty where the environmental and heritage qualities need to be carefully balanced against the benefits of oil and gas from unconventional hydrocarbons," Lord Ahmad will say. "Proposals for such development must recognise the importance of these sites."
The licences are the first step towards exploration but firms will also have to obtain planning consent, permits from the Environment Agency and a sign-off from the Health and Safety Executive.
Over the weekend, Matthew Hancock, the Conservative energy minister, said he wanted to speed up the process so companies are able to start drilling within six months of putting in applications. He also said the guidance published on Monday would "protect Britain's great national parks and outstanding landscapes".
This promise is likely to face one of its first tests in Sussex, where a planning decision on a prospective Celtique Energie fracking site in the South Downs National Park is due within weeks. The county council has rejected a separate application from Celtique in nearby Wisborough Green, just outside the national park, because of traffic concerns, which may now be appealed against by the company and end up in the hands of Pickles.
The Conservatives in particular are facing unrest on the backbenches about the prospect of fracking in rural constituencies. The government will hope that its tightening of the rules on national parks will placate local residents, MPs and green campaigners concerned about the impact of fracking on the landscape, drinking water and environment.
But the announcement met with mixed reactions. Louise Hutchins, a Greenpeace energy campaigner, said millions of homeowners have been stripped of their right to stop companies drilling under their property and now communities will face a "fracking postcode lottery".
"The government has fired the starting gun on a reckless race for shale that could see fracking rigs go up across the British countryside, including in sensitive areas such as those covering major aquifers. Eric Pickles's supposed veto power over drilling in national parks will do nothing to quell the disquiet of fracking opponents across Britain," she said.
Hutchins also criticised the timing of the announcement, saying ministers "waited until the parliamentary recess to make their move, no doubt aware of the political headache this will cause to MPs whose constituencies will be affected".
Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP for Brighton, who was arrested for protesting against fracking in Balcombe last year, also raised concerns that there is no outright ban on fracking in protected areas.
"If this still leaves the door open to fracking in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty, it completely undermines the protective status that those areas have been given and renders it meaningless," she said. "Many campaigners have campaigned for decades to get national park status, and they are given for a reason. The idea that they could be offered up to the fracking firms is a scandal."
But Shaun Spiers, the chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the government's change in rhetoric on protecting the countryside would be welcomed. "The government has previously stoked opposition by giving the impression that it is committed to fracking whatever the consequence and however sensitive the location," he said. "If fracking is to happen, we need to proceed with great caution and with the highest possible safeguards."
The National Trust, which has previously campaigned for an outright ban, also had a positive reaction, saying it was "right that the government have recognised the concerns about fracking in special places like national parks and AONBs". However, it called for the new rules to be extended to other special places such as nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest.
Industry groups were pleased the government is finally licensing more areas for onshore oil and gas exploration, after ministers have repeatedly promised a fracking "revolution" that they claim could reduce energy bills and boost economic activity. While there has been a huge amount of controversy about fracking, little has actually taken place on British soil beyond exploratory drilling.
The British Geological Survey last year estimated that deposits that could supply the country with gas for up to 40 years, although it is still unclear whether the cost of extracting it from the ground will be worth it.
Simon Walker, director-general of the Institute of Directors, said the announcement marks "another step forward on the road towards a dynamic, productive and well regulated shale industry in the UK".
"There's still a way to go before the industry really takes off, but opening up a new licensing round while increasing safeguards for the natural environment is welcome evidence of the government's commitment to maximising the benefits of a British shale industry," he said.
Ken Cronin, chief executive of UK Onshore Operators Group, said it should be seen as a positive sign for investors that the industry was "one of the heaviest regulated industries in the UK and acts as an exemplar for the rest of Europe." Friends of the Earth's energy campaigner, Tony Bosworth, said: "Today the risk of fracking has spread. This threat to the environment and public health could now affect millions more people.
"Those who thought that fracking would only happen in other places will now worry about it happening on their doorstep.
"Fracking is increasingly politically toxic and is far from being seen as the holy grail of energy policy by those local to proposed drilling sites."
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