It’s happening – the bubble is bursting. The message to investors: pull out now before it’s too late!
It’s happening – the bubble is bursting. The message to investors: pull out now before it’s too late!
The bad news is that the government recently said they would offer licences to frack up to half of Britain. French companies are particularly delighted since they can’t frack in their own country.
The good news is that this doesn’t mean a thing if the exploiters can’t then get planning permission to even run exploratory tests. West Sussex County Council have recently refused an application to test drill at Wisborough Green and look at the press release below!
The guy who founded Cuadrilla and then sold out was right when he said ‘It just won’t happen in Britain’.
1st August 2014 – BREAKING NEWS:
The High Court has today confirmed the grant of permission for the Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association (FFBRA) to challenge the decision by West Sussex County Council to grant planning permission to Cuadrilla, to undertake works at Lower Stumble in Balcombe.
The judicial review will now take place in the High Court over two days later this year.
It is the latest stage of a legal battle against unconventional oil and gas in the village of Balcombe in West Sussex, by Cuadrilla Balcombe Limited.
Cuadrilla who previously had permission to frack for oil and gas at the site were granted permission from West Sussex County Council in May 2014 to return.
According to the new application, permission was sought for exploration and appraisal of the recently drilled “hydrocarbon lateral borehole” together with a new 14 metre high flare on the site.
Despite massive objection to the development, the application received 889 objections and 9 in support, permission was granted and work can now resume at the site.
Lawyers, Leigh Day, who are representing FFBRA, initiated the judicial review process citing a number of objections to the decision to grant planning permission and detailed repeated unsatisfactory communications with Cuadrilla Balcombe Limited.
In response to one letter from the law firm, asking for information about the likely timetable for the development, Cuadrilla replied: “At this stage we do not consider it appropriate for our confidential business plans and work schedules to be disclosed to you or your clients.”
A pre-action letter was sent on 16 May 2014 to the Council and copied to Cuadrilla setting out the ways in which FFBRA considered the planning permission to be unlawful.
These include objections to Cuadrilla’s conduct during the operation of its previous activities in Balcombe including allegations of non-compliance with conditions in the past.
The grounds of claim also consider the relevance of the scale of local opposition and alleges that the Council’s’ insistence that the number of
representations in opposition was ‘not a material consideration’ as being ‘simply wrong in law’.
Charles Metcalfe, Chairman of FFBRA said:
“This is brilliant news for the Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association. We and our lawyers Leigh Day have worked very hard to challenge the legality of WSCC’s planning permission to Cuadrilla. Unconventional Gas and Oil exploration is dangerous, dirty and the wrong path to take.”
Ugo Hayter from the human rights team at law firm Leigh Day, which is representing FFBRA, said:
“We’re very pleased that the High Court has agreed for this to go to a full judicial review hearing as we believe this planning permission has been granted unlawfully and flies in the face of overwhelming community opposition.”
Sue Taylor, Balcombe resident and campaigner, said:
“This planning consent sets a dangerous precedent that the concerns of the local community can be ignored even though it is their health and safety that is at risk. Flaring from oil wells close to residential area poses an unacceptable threat to human health.”
From the BBC today:
The number of people in favour of fracking for shale gas in the UK has fallen below 50%, a new poll suggests.
Just 49.8% were in favour of shale gas extraction when researchers from the University of Nottingham asked 3,657 people earlier this month.
This is the lowest number in support of fracking since the university started its poll on the issue in 2012.
The latest results found 31.4% were against fracking, while 18.4% were undecided.
“The May 2014 survey confirms that the turn against fracking for shale gas in the UK has deepened,” says the report.
And it cites the anti-fracking protests which took place in the village of Balcombe in West Sussex in 2013 as a tipping point when the tide of public opinion towards shale gas extraction began to shift.
Since those protests the number of people against fracking has been steadily rising, it says.
Leo Sayer and Julian Lennon spearhead these two new songs launched to protest against fracking in Australia and the USA:
Location: Barton Moss Road (off A57), Salford, Greater Manchester M30 7RQ
Time/Date: ASAP (but help especially needed all through Christmas period)
Please tell everyone you know (especially in northwest) and forward this e-mail
Fracking company IGas Energy are trying to start drilling in Barton Moss, Salford, Greater Manchester, on farmland next to the M62 motorway, this coming week. They have begun moving equipment onto the site and are planning to start drilling soon. The community in the area is opposed to their region being fracked, and are hoping that they will receive support in their efforts to stop it.
A camp has been constructed outside the fracking site and people have been resisting fracking trucks for the last 3 weeks. More help is definitely needed over the next few days though, as IGas tries to get the drilling rig on site. Get down to Barton Moss Road, off the A57, as soon as you can. While getting there as soon as possible would be great, the rig consists of dozens of lorry loads of equipment, so IGas needs to be getting in around 10 HGVs a day for the next few days to begin drilling.
See http://northerngasgala.org.uk for more details and directions to the site
etc. Please bring essentials such as food, water, and warm/waterproof
clothing. Friends, banners, instruments, popup tents, etc. would be useful or
check out the camp wish list. Try to avoid bringing alcohol, drugs, anything
which could be construed as a weapon, glass etc.
IGas are one of the 3 major fracking companies in the UK at present (along
with Cuadrilla Resources and Dart Energy). They have been attempting to
develop coal bed methane (CBM) in the area for some time (the extraction
process that has already devastated Queensland in Australia) but are
now also getting interested in Shale Gas as well. The exploration well they
want to drill at Barton Moss is intended to pass through the both the coal
seams and the deeper Bowland Shale. This could be just the beginning of a
tidal wave of destruction with thousands of fracked wells coating the area.
For an overview of the situation at Barton Moss please see these articles:
* Fracking Manchester: IGas Threatens Barton Moss
* Fracking Threat In The North West
Anti-fracking protesters have blockaded a shale gas test drilling site with a 17m (56 ft) wind turbine blade.
Campaigners assembled the blade in a “symbolic action” outside the Barton Moss site in Salford at 05:30 GMT.
Greater Manchester Police has moved the blade to one side and looking at what other action to take.
A spokesperson for IGas, which operates the site, said the company respected anyone’s right to protest, but said the action disrupted the neighbourhood.
The No Dash for Gas group said about 50 activists unloaded the 1.5-tonne blade from a lorry and assembled it. IGas said there were 30 protesters.
A spokesperson for the group said: “This is a symbolic action – there are environmentally-friendly forms of renewable energy that we should be pursuing.”
Sandra Denton, one of the people who put the blade in place, added: “We’ve delivered this early Christmas gift to IGas to remind them that we don’t need damaging, risky and polluting energy sources like oil and gas to power the UK.”
Heard of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)?
It’s a highly secretive and expansive free trade agreement between twelve countries — including the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia — that could undermine our democracy. Leaked text from Wikileaks reveals that the TPP would empower corporations to directly sue governments over laws and policies that corporate power alleges reduce their profits. Legislation designed to address climate change, curb fossil fuel expansion and reduce air pollution could all be subject to attack as a result of TPP.
This weekend ministers are meeting in Singapore to sign the deal, but public outrage has some governments reconsidering their support for the agreement. In Australia, New Zealand, USA, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, citizens have taken to the streets in mass protest. Last year, 130 members of US Congress voiced their concerns. Opposition is growing stronger, and people-power has been waking up our leaders.
Let’s amplify the voices of those fighting this dirty deal and push governments on the fence to withdraw their support.
Approved in its current form, the TPP would throw a massive spanner in any divestment work. Any multinational fossil fuel company could sue governments over laws which curb fossil fuel investment and expansion, such as policies to limit investment in fossil fuel companies, legislation to reduce air pollution and carbon pricing.
But this is just one component of the deal. Other parts could also criminalize internet use, undermine workers’ and human rights, manipulate copyright laws, restrict government regulation of food labelling and adversely impact subsidised healthcare.
There’s a lot at stake, but we can stop this — the might of our movement is greater than their money or manipulation. But if we are to stop this corporate takeover, we need to come together and make our voices heard:
The movement we are building locally, nationally and globally to wind back fossil fuels and reign in a safe climate future is growing by the day, and the industry is getting scared of the uncertainty ahead. The TPP is a symptom of this fear – a massive bid to overthrow any restrictions we might throw at them. And we will not let their fear threaten our democracy — or our future.
Since the Balcombe protests this summer the government and petro-chemical industry have begun a crude PR campaign to soften up the UK Public.
Behind the scenes it looks as if they’ve been leaning on the National Trust Director-General, and they are hyping a soon to be published study by the water industry, saying it has concluded that fracking is safe, when in reality a spokesman for Water UK, which represents the industry and has carried out the report, has admitted that “There are risks.”
They are also publicising a recent report by Public Health England, an agency of the Department of Health, which reviewed the latest research into the risks of emissions of the chemicals used in fracking and radioactive material released with the gas. Their conclusion is that “potential risks to public health from exposure to the emissions associated with shale gas extraction are low if the operations are properly run and regulated”. This ignores the fact that fracking companies currently self-assess as to the safety of their activities. At Preese Hall (the first UK fracking site) there was not a single visit from either the Environment Agency or Health & Safety Executive, and Cuadrilla fractured a well case (which they did not report to the EA), overran their planning permission and produced highly radioactive waste.
The report states that ‘high quality well integrity’ should protect water sources, ignoring the fact that no such thing as ‘high quality well integrity’ exists. A percentage of wells fracture and no casing has yet been designed that is 100% safe.
The report admits that an American study found 75% of fracking fluid cemicals could affect skin, eyes and breathing, while 25% are carcinogenic. But they suggest that strict enforcement of chemicals handling and attention to well design will mean we can all relax. Is that likely?
The BBC website states the energy minister Michael Fallon welcomed the findings. Anyone in their right mind would not welcome these findings at all.
Flying in Chris Faulkner, a man with all the finesse of a night-club bouncer, and known as the ‘Frackmaster’ to allay our fears by telling us that in America thousands of wells have been drilled to no ill effect, has backfired. Even the most gullible TV viewer is unlikely to fall for this bizarre form of bullying, disguised as ‘schmoozing PR’.
The sad conclusion to be drawn from these events is that they still haven’t got the message that the British public don’t want their countryside ruined, their air and water held to ransom, and their roads clogged with trucks containing foul chemicals.
I just hope Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and every other body that is against fracking can mobilise public opinion and counter these clumsy attempts to hoodwink us all.
Watch Max Keiser explain in his colourful way why the fracking industry is doomed and how it fosters ‘suicide economics’ that increases debt massively.