Monday, 30 June 2014

France - Precarious situation re-prospects for fracking

Here at Schiste Towers we have the distinct feeling that fracking ( or at least the 'assessment of likely resources' ) seems more and more likely with every passing day.

Consider................

a. Notwithstanding President Hollande's pledge to uphold the current ban (loi Jacob July 2011), his Environment Minister Ségolene Royal recently changed her stance declaring that she might not remain finally opposed.

b. The ambiguity of Brussels on the matter.

c. The fact that Germany now seems certain to proceed as a consequence of their need to balance nuclear policy.

d. The strong possibility that if a UMP government is returned to power they will have little trouble in reversing their own anti-fracking law ( passed under duress and after severe dilution ).

Several other factors conspire. Not least pressure from the likes of Athémis France who hold 19 permits to drill en France but which of course are on hold due to the loi Jacob. They must obtain renewal by 30th September and this would then extend their validty for a further five years.

Perhaps the looming disaster in the UK will be well reported and French politicians take stock. 

Perhaps.

France - Sesimic survey vehicles spotted...............................




If you should see sesimic survey vehicles like those depicted above either on a convoy or actually on the ground the likelyhood is that they will be testing for shale gas or oil in the vicinity. IF YOU DO, contact your local Mairie without hesitation and demand to know precisely what is happening and if the activity is permitted/legal.

Convoys/vehicles of this type have just been seen ( unannounced ) in the Minervois, Aude, Beziers area ( Languedoc-Roussillon ) and their presence has triggered a new level of alerts/demonstrations on the part of the local collectifs. Read the report here ( in French ) http://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/languedoc-roussillon/2014/06/29/nouvelle-manifestation-des-anti-gaz-de-schiste-508513.html

Remember, the process is banned here in France - for the moment ( loi Jacob ) but with national politics in turmoil there is every reason to believe that 'les petroliers' will continue to push their luck. Ed.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

UK- Allow fracking in National Parks says outgoing Chairman of Environment Agency......

Chris Smith the outgoing Chairman of the UK's so called Environment Agency has suggested that fracking could be carried out in the country's National Parks with minimal impact 'if carried out properly'. Has this individual any idea at all of the real impact of this process on human health let alone landscape and climate change? 

There are several accurate and verifiable reports contained in earlier posts on this site depicting accidents ( thousands in fact ) and human health issues ( in one case resulting in an award of $25m dollars not to mention landscape despoilation in the US ). 'Minimal impact' Mr Smith? And of course, the UK has 3.5x the population desnity of rural Pennsylvania where much of this is occurring. Go figure as they say in the vernacular.

Read the article here:  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/28/allow-fracking-national-parks-environment-agency

The UK seems set on 'self-destruct' and is moving ahead on the basis of wildly exaggerated claims from oil and gas concerns and the belief ( do they really believe it )  after dispensing with so many previously employed in the regulatory service, that 'adequate regulation' is even a remote possibility. Politicians promoting this short term fossil fuel source are only interested in how rapidly share price might rise on the back of (at best ) guesses concerning likely realisable resources and of course the possibility of a future seat on the board of their favourite oil and gas concern. To hell with everything else.

The continuance of essentially uncontrolled mass house-building programmes coupled with thousands of gas wells should safely ensure the eventual demise of the 'Land of Plenty'. Dommage. Ed.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Open letter to Scottish Ministers from Professor Waterson.

A great deal of common sense talked here and some useful comparative material in particular reflection on the unsubstantiated assertions being made by UK ministers in relation to regulation and more.......................................

http://faug.org.uk/news/professor-watterson-open-letter-scottish-ministers-SPP-unconventional-gas

Monday, 23 June 2014

'France must lift it's ban on fracking'

Left-wing thnk tank Terra Nova argues ( 18/06/14 ) that France must now lift it's ban on the exploration for shale gas in order to 'lever les fantasies sur cette ressource'.  They propose that there should be no government subsidy or guaranteed purchase price with les industriels' bearing the entire cost of the project. They maintain that security of gas supply to the Old Continent is crucial and point to ( in their view ) a lack of vision in current European energy policy. It proposes the creation of a single purchasor of gas for the EU, a European operator to manage infrastructures, transport and storage and a secure stock control system similar to that for oil.

Here is the link to the article ( in French ) : http://www.romandie.com/news/Gaz-de-schistes-la-France-doit-lever-linterdiction-dexploration/488942.rom

Nicely presented ( 15/20 perhaps? ), but it's still FRACKING and it's still a fossil fuel. Ed.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Us - run by the Russians? The mind boggles.

According to the outgoing Secretary General of NATO those of us opposed to the lunacy of fracking are being infiltrated by/handled by/run by our old friends in Moscow. Tantalized? Read more in the following link: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nato-boss-claims-russia-has-secretly-infiltrated-green-groups-fighting-fracking-9549975.html

Sunday, 15 June 2014

UK - Bizarre twist at Balcombe...............

If the current legal action being brought against West Sussex County Council in relation to a planning permission granted to Messrs Cuadrilla ( 899 objections and only 9 in support it would seem ) is upheld then the the policing of the operation ( at an estimated cost of £4 million ) would seem to have been at best inexcusable and at worst - unlawful. Funny old world.

Read more here: http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/June-2014/Balcombe-anti-fracking-group-in-High-Court-challen

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

UK - Shocking new documentary dealing with the facts to premiere in Sheffield

If you have yet to see a factual documentary dealing with the devastation caused by fracking, do click the following link to access the trailer for the move 'Unearthed'. The documentary maker previously 'believed' in fracking ( how can you do that exactly? ) but recently changed her stance after closely examining the facts.

http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/07/fracking-unearthed-documentary-festival/

UK - Debate platform

Have your say and stay up to date with fast moving events on the UK frack scene by clicking the following link ( it won't bite!) : http://www.talkfracking.org/

Monday, 9 June 2014

UK - Consultation on property rights - Act now.

If you have a UK property or have friends who may be affected ( 60% of the UK land mass is being authorised for fracking licence applications ) please read the following document (click here):  https://econsultation.decc.gov.uk/decc-policy/consultation-on-underground-drilling-access
and make your contribution to the debate.

Time is short - act now.

Be warned - It ain't over just yet....................

Two things concern us at this point.

The first is the increasing likely hood that Germany will gradually move in the direction of fracking as it burns more coal following a halt to nuclear operations folowing the Fukishima debacle thus leaving France as the only major European player with a moratorium in place.

The other is Ségolene Royal who as France's third Environment Minister in the current administration has now declared that she would not be 'dogmatic' in the matter of fracking 'given the possibility of new, safer, alternative techniques'. Does she know something that others do not we wonder? This of course flies in the face of former hubby F.Hollande's previous stance where he promised that there would be no fracking 'on his watch'.

We remain concerned. Ed.

Saturday, 7 June 2014