Saturday, 31 January 2015

France - Fracking Industry regroups to counter current blocade.

In spite of President Hollande essentially maintaining his promise to resist pressures to proceed with fracking en France, leading proponents within the industry still hope to apply leverage to the situation. To amplify their message they have formed CHNC - le Centre Hydrocarbures Non Conventionnels and will formally announce it's creation on the 10th February. Former ExxonMobil mining engineer Jean-Louis Schilansky, until December 2014 the President of the French Union of Petroleum Industries ( UFIP ) will lead the new organisation.  Founding members of CHNC include Total, GDF Suez, Vallourec, Solvay, Air Liquide, Vinci, Arkema, Technip, Bureau Veritas and Suez Envrironment.

We wish to thank Daniele Favari for links to this news item. Ed.

Friday, 30 January 2015

France - Oil and Gas 'industrialists' unite to fight shale gas blocade.

Getting stroppy now. Various O&G CEOs and others have united in order to lobby government in an effort to break the current government's stance on fracking in France. They suggest that the current low price of oil will not last. Of course it won't and even when prices begin to climb once more there is still no sound reason for even tentative exploration of shale gas at a time when the extraction of yet one more fossil fuel is the very last thing that we need.

Read the article ( in French ) here: http://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2015/01/29/gaz-de-shciste-les-industriels-s-unissent-pour-combattre-le-blocage-francais_4566459_3234.html

NB. Google Translate will provide you with a reasonable approximation in English. Ed.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Scottish Parliament blocks fracking pending the May elections and further tests.

Canny people the Scots.

The Scottish government has announced a block on planned fracking operations, pending further inquiries. Ministers will carry out new work on the environmental and health implications of the controversial gas drilling technique. Full control over fracking is due to be devolved to Scotland after May's general election. In the meantime, consent for unconventional oil and gas developments will be refused on planning grounds.

UK - Lancashire County Council defer decision on Cuadrilla for eight weeks.

Tractors in a protest outside a Lancashire County Council planning meeting on fracking applications by Cuadrilla.

Tractors blockade County Hall in Preston, Lancs.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/28/lancashire-council-defers-cuadrilla-fracking-decision

Not something one would want to invest in heavily at this point what with all the delays and adverse publicity spreading daily eh? Ed.

UK - Ministerial aide to Vince Cable ( remember him?) quits over fracking.

Tessa Munt, Ministerial Aide to Coalition bloke Vince Cable yesterday resigned over her party's support for government fracking policy.

Read the BBC report here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-31012672

UK Public to fund fracking excess + Protection of national Parks???

First of all, it is clear that a majority of the British public do not want fracking. Second, it is they who are going to pay for it ( in more ways than merely financial ).

Perspective here on the current situation...........................

http://action.sumofus.org/a/fracking-taxpayers/

And why is everyone so calm about 'our' National Parks? The so called protection currently within the remit of one Eric Pickles is probably worthless. No doubt our Eric will deny a couple more token applications and then the floodgates will be open. Ever been to the heart of the Peak District national Park which is laced with massive limestone quarries for instance? Ed.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

UK - Osborne's 'fracking push' letter to ministers leaked.

George Osborne has written to government ministers urging them to 'speed interventions' on behalf of fracking companies. Panicking George?

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/26/george-osborne-ministers-fast-track-fracking?CMP=share_btn_link

David Cameron has claimed that many jobs will be created. Does he mean for him and his compatriots on the boards of oil and gas concerns? We wonder. Ed.

UK - At last, the climate change penny drops. Or has it?

When all the earthquake, flaming tap, airborne methane levels and risk to aquafers, not to mention logistics and landscape desecration arguments have been itemized there remains the single, crucial  issue of - burning yet another fossil fuel at this critical time.

'Clean' gas, 'Natural' gas ( and in France, 'Gaz de roche mere' or gas of the mother rock ) have all been deployed by apologists for the Dirty Industry to try to give the impression that although comparable to certain other fossil fuels at the outset, methods of extraction deployed ( including the disproportionate use of diesel in logistics and on site ), airborne methane emissions often as high as 50% all point to something considerably worse than eg. coal.

The UK has made commitments to world-wide climate change targets and yet pushes now for a country-wide fracking 'revolution'. Remember, up to 60% of the land mass is theoritcally vulnerable to license applications. Now the BBC ( often giving the impression of a 'confused' position over fracking ) would appear to have spotted the inconsistency.

Correspondent David Shukman comments as follows: 

 Science Editor - This report opens up a new argument over shale gas in the UK. Until now the main focus of environmental concern has been on the risks of pollution. And any worries about noise or the potential for contaminated drinking water have essentially been local. But highlighting the climate angle gives the debate a national perspective. The MPs highlight the apparent contradiction of the UK being committed to massive cuts in carbon emissions under the Climate Change Act while at the same time also encouraging the search for new sources of fossil fuel. At the heart of this question is how gas itself is viewed. Since it is cleaner than coal, some say gas can act as a "bridge" to a low-carbon future, buying more time for renewable energy to become more efficient. Others argue that developing any kind of fossil fuel locks us into a high-carbon future and undermines or at least delays a switch to greener forms of power. And this comes at sensitive time: the government is preparing to take a leading role in a summit on climate change in Paris at the end of the year.

And do you think Middle Englanders will take ablind bit of notice? Ed.

UK Apathy. Govt defeats moves to amend Infrastructur Bill. Depressing.




 
UK Government defeats fracking moratorium at Westminster
 
26 January 2015

The UK Government today defeated moves by cross party MPs to introduce a moratorium on unconventional gas and fracking in a tense series of votes on the Infrastructure Bill. The SNP and others voted for an amendment that would call a halt on the industry while work to assess its impacts is carried out. Focus now shifts to an announcement from the Scottish Government expected this week.

Read more here: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/UK-govt-defeats-fracking-moratorium

Somehow, we feel that over there, the politicians deserve the populace they represent. Ed.


Sunday, 25 January 2015

UK - Key vote on Infrastructure Bill on Monday - (some) MPs rebel


 
A growing ( but still far too small ) group of MPs across five parties is calling for numerous, significant amendments to the imminent Infrastructure Bill...........................................
 
 
Fingers would appear to have been placed firmly in ears ( with one notable exception ) for the past three years. Amazing what the proximity of an election will do is it not.
 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

UK - Scottish National Party - Less than happy about fracking.

SNP intending to vote for significant amendments to Government's sneaky little Infrastructure Bill......................

BBC report here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30959646

Fracking Investment - The facts.

At this point of low oil prices American explorers/investors must be wondering just what they got themselves tied up in. We spotted the following paragraph in an article dealing with 'The Cost of Cheap Fuel' in the current issue of Time Magazine..................

'But while job numbers will decline, production won't - at least not at first. Fracking is capital intensive, so the operators ranging from huge outfits to hundreds of private-equity backed partnerships, have borrowed billions of dollars through junk bonds and private placements. Even if the wells aren't profitable, they can't be shut off - the bond payments still have to be made, so the cash is still needed. There's also huge asset shuffle taking place as firms are forced to sell distressed drilling projects.'

I think we could have told them that. Ed.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Monday, 19 January 2015

UK - More fracking idiocy.

Londoners note that application already made to Brent Council for fracking test wells to be drilled in Park Royal NW10 -
incidentally Park Royal business park contains over 1,200 businesses, employing an estimated 35,000 workers.[1] Approximately 500 food companies operate at Park Royal, employing more than 15,000 people.[2] One third of all the food consumed in London is produced by businesses in Park Royal.[3] Park Royal is also home to areas of residential housing and amenities serving them.

How can this seriously be considered?? Ed.

New Yorkers know the full extent of fracking dangers - why not the Brits?

Is it their usual 'wait and see', 'it won't happen here' approach to matters or is it the reassurance provided by the good old BBC?

Either way, the evidence is all out there: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2015/jan/19/what-the-uk-could-learn-from-new-yorks-fracking-ban?CMP=share_btn_link

47% of Americans now opposed to fracking.

Is the message finally getting through?

http://www.pahomepage.com/story/d/story/americans-souring-on-fracking-poll-shows/89440/RTdsWyN9sU-clBOi5ZumDw

Either way, as time passes the scrutiny increases, the accidents accrue, the cancers are recorded and the landscape is desecrated. Ed.

UK - Things not going quite so well as expected?

Read more here..........................
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/19/uk-shale-gas-revolution-falls-flat-just-11-new-wells-planned-2015

Getting carried away perhaps? Government getting overexcited? Public getting wise(r)?

Monday, 12 January 2015

Urgent - Take action to prevent UK government drilling under homes.

Today we take the xceptional step of posting in full an urgent appeal for action from UK anti-fracking group 'Frack Free Sussex'. Please read the links and consider supporting this urgent request. Thank you. Ed.

Happy New Year to all you lovely Sussex folk! We are straight into urgent action this January as the government try to rush the dangerous Infrastructure Bill through Parliament. We need all the help we can get on this one so PLEASE have a read....
 
URGENT ACTION!
 
MASS LOBBY OF PARLIAMENT against the INFRASTRUCTURE BILL. 

This Wednesday- 14th JAN at 11AM.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Please JOIN US, virtually or in person!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1526572850952660/

The Infrastructure Bill could 'make or break' Fracking in the UK.

The Bill is a massive piece of Legislation which has already passed through the House of Lords, and is currently being rushed through the House of Commons. It contains many worrying clauses that could become law - including ones which pave the way for massive, unregulated road-building and the sell-off of public land.

However for us, the most worrying clauses are two small passages of text which, if they pass unchallenged, could irrevocably pave the way for Fracking in the UK.

One passage, Clauses 38 to 43 would give fracking companies the 'Right of Use' of any land below 300m, meaning they would no longer need permission from the landowner to drill, frack or leave 'any substance' in the land.

Another Clause, Clause 36, would make it legally binding to "Maximise the economic recovery of UK Petroleum", at the very moment in our history when we know we must leave 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground to stand a chance of minimising climate change.

However, luckily two Sussex MPs - Caroline Lucas and Norman Baker - have tabled amendments which would remove these dangerous clauses.

Please help us fight off this Bill by either :

a) Coming to the Mass Lobby at the House of Commons in person, meeting your MP and telling them to support the Baker/Lucas amendments or to vote against the Bill in its entirety,

b) Sending your MP this template letter: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19BkYI5Bg8QTEzPL2Eq0wfi8DDeU5_L_Jclve1XUJa94/edit

c) Meeting your MP at their local surgery to discuss your concerns,

d) Signing this 38 Degrees petition to call for the DEFRA report on fracking to be released uncensored : https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-fracking-cover-up-by-defra

e) Signing this Greenpeace petition against changes to the Trespass Law :https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/trespass-law-fc?source=pc&subsource=pcfc15&utm_medium=pcfc15&utm_source=pc&utm_campaign=frackcats

Or all of the above!
Thank you - we really need all your support.

2015 is going to be a busy year for us if we are to keep Sussex frack free.... 

Organising talks, screenings, speakers, leaflets, legal counsel and awareness raising events costs money and so we are raising funds with the fantastic'FRACK FREE COMPILATION- for Sussex and beyond'. 

 
Have you got your copy yet?
What do the singer of a No 1 smash hit club anthem and the world famous composer of
‘The Snowman’ have in common?
 
ANSWER: THEY ARE HELPING US!!!
Nearly 100 musicians, mostly Sussex based, contributed to the 20 tracks which feature on this eclectic and spirited album. The beautiful CD booklet contains quotes from all the artists about why they contributed their music and why they are against ever more dangerous methods of fossil fuel extraction....
 
Watch the trailer on youtube:
Buy CD's, Badges & Stickers at our new online store:
"Not only is the album supporting a great cause, but there are plenty of awesome songs on it too. Often I buy these things to support a charity but never really listen to them. I will be playing this one - great songs all you wonderful artists who contributed. Well done and thank you!!"

"I just got my copy, it is filling my home with the most delicious sounds and inspiring lyrics, truly awesome it is, one of the best buys I have made this year. Every song an absolute gem. A purchase is not only appreciating our incredible local talent but it's for the protection of our environment and future health on the number one issue facing us now!"

"Just wanted to say how impressed I am with the CD, received mine yesterday, I was half expecting a home made CDR with a DIY sleeve but this is a top notch pro product with excellent music to match the appearance."

"Thanks to the packing elves I HAVE MINE. Its brilliant. EVERYBODY GET YOUR COPY!!"
All proceeds will be used to help Frack Free Sussex continue campaigning, educating and informing the public of the issues surrounding the development of an onshore unconventional oil and gas industry in the UK.

In other news, it's 2015 and the UK is still Frack Free! And with oil price plummeting, the future of fracking is starting to look more precarious...http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/06/oil-price-casts-shadow-over-frackings-future
 


WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! CAN YOU DO SOMETHING TO HELP FFS THIS MONTH?

The campaign to prevent Fracking (or any kind of unconventional drilling) ruining our county is made up of an ever growing number of people LIKE YOU! We are fighting against multi-national corporations with millions of pounds to spend on PR so we need you, whatever your skills and expertise.
Event organisers, letter-writers, video-makers, photographers, website builders, persuasive talkers, sign-makers, cake-bakers, tea servers, leaflet handers, media observers, database builders, film showers, nature-lovers, lorry-blockers, T-shirt designers, scientists, economists, environmentalists, musicians, artists, graphic designers....you name it!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you can help...
Please make a DONATION if you are able....

Friday, 9 January 2015

97% of shale oil activity now operating at a loss at current oil prices

If the Saudis wanted to hamper US fracking activity they are certainly doing a good job.

Admittedly we are talkign oil here but those who study these pages assiduously will know that it is all part and parcel of the same apalling ( ie fossil fuel extraction ) thing.

Read the report here: http://www.alternet.org/economy/97-fracking-now-operating-loss-current-oil-prices

Thursday, 8 January 2015

UK - 63 items 'redacted' from government ( DEFRA ) report into effects of fracking.

We are shocked. Subversive behaviour on the part of UK officials. Whatever next!

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/25/us-shale-gas-british-homes-five-years

UK homes to be heated by ( American ) shale gas within five years.

And domestically produced shale gas ( produced using subsidized water supplies and £millions in tax breaks ? Surely that will be sold to the highest bidder overseas and the remainder used in industry. Crazy old world innit.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/25/us-shale-gas-british-homes-five-years

Much of the world's fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. Geo.Monbiot

But will 'they' listen?

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/07/much-worlds-fossil-fuel-reserve-must-stay-buried-prevent-climate-change-study-says

UK - Labour Party to the rescue? Bit late perhaps.

Fracking would be prohibited on the land that collects the nation’s drinking water, under a Labour proposal published on Wednesday. The party also wants to reverse the government’s decision to stop shale gas companies having to notify residents individually of fracking in their area.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/07/labour-seeks-ban-on-fracking-near-aquifers?CMP=share_btn_link

So where have they been up to this point? Looking to mop up a few last minute voters in the North? Pathetic.

Monday, 5 January 2015

France - Current situation

Ever watchful we note that every single one of the likely Presidential candidates (France) is in favour of fracking. Sarkozy in particular has said that he would repeal 'his' own loi jacob and they all justify their position by reference to the current state of the economy here. Just the UDI demur: http://www.leparisien.fr/politique/ile-de-france-jouanno-candidate-pour-conduire-la-liste-udi-aux-regionales-22-12-2014-4393423.php

Certainly there is inquiet in regions where permit applications are on the increase which on the face of it are for oil. Read one account ( in French - we recommend Google Translate ) here: http://www.leparisien.fr/espace-premium/essonne-91/les-futurs-puits-de-petrole-inquietent-les-anti-gaz-de-schiste-22-12-2014-4392095.php

As we enter the new year we note that in July it will be just four years since the Sarkozy government was cornered in the matter of shale gas and had little choice but to adopt the law banning fracking. Fracking, but not the exploration of such. The moratorium is fragile, but hopefully France is able to satisfy demand ( and pressure/lobbying ) from the likes of Messrs Total in the interim by taking advantage ( literally ) of it's ties with Algeria: http://www.bvoltaire.fr/manuelgomez/exploitation-du-gaz-de-schiste-algerien-bien-commode-pour-la-france,146497 Certainly by the time this is underway all hell will have been let loose across the UK with ( we predict ) major demonstrations and political fallout as a consequence. Hopefully our French compatriots will take due note.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

US - Oil and Gas Industry 'confused' says Federal Interior Ministry

Fracking bans in the US are 'confusing' the Oil and Gas industry. Nothing confused about those guys - they know exactly what they are about. Exploiting underground/sea resources of the dirty/fossil type for maximum ( obscene ) amounts of profit long after their extraction has ceased to be relevant and at a time when every penny needs to be invested in renewable sources is not the behaviour typical of a 'confused' industry. The relevant minister has declared that 'there is a lot of misinformation about fracking'. Dead right and most of it coming from their side of the fence.

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/228385-interior-secretary-criticizes-fracking-bans

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Fracking accidents - latest statistics.

If you ever harboured the thought that the dangers associated with fracking might be somewhat exagerrated just give 5 mins of your time to peruse the following:-http://www.nofrackingway.us/2014/12/31/spill-baby-spill-kill-baby-kill-2014-in-fraccidents-and-frackastrophes/