Week Ending 4th May 2014
Special Report - The Government's False Promises on Shale Gas and Climate Change
UK news highlights
The face of opposition - strong - principled and resolute
More not guilty verdicts, more unconditional bail, while one languishes in jail on remand
The good and bad news from the courts.
Two heroes of the Barton Moss camp were cleared on two different counts of public order offences, bringing more into question the judgement and actions of not only Greater Manchester Police but the Crown Prosecution Service.
Which makes it almost incredible that one veteran of the Barton Moss camp is still languishing in prison. He may even be in custody for a further six months, for supposedly breaking a totally unreasonable police bail condition, the like of which was overturned every time the bail issue went before a court.. This was even more offensive when news came this week that rich boy and media guru to the stars Max Clifford was convicted on eight counts of sexual abuse, and still walked free on bail to enjoy the high life before his sentencing. One really does have to wonder what rule of law we are living under in the UK. For the first time in my life I am feeling ashamed of being English.
Manchester Crown Court 29.4.2014 (text by Peter Yankowski)
"Kate McCann was unjustly imprisoned for 6 months today and is classed as a political prisoner, because David Cameron has personally endorsed the fracking agenda.
"No harm to a person, no property damaged and nothing of any value stolen. This was from a trumped up public order charge and infringement of Bail conditions by Kate going back onto Barton Moss Road. The Fracking company had moved out so no protest also Kate resides on Barton Moss Road and went back to help tidy up and collect his things.
"A trivial matter that could have been sorted without a prison sentence. Kate is in Birmingham's Winson Green prison because the police, judicial officials and prison are helping to facilitating the government fracking agenda. Are we going to allow this?"
For more information on this outrageous case read here
At Daneshill two protestors were arrested supposedly for obstructing a road which had already been closed off by the police. Oh dear. When will the police stop wasting public money and court time. The next morning the court released them on unconditional bail.
Balcombe was back in the news, with West Sussex County Council approving Cuadrilla's new application for six months of testing at Lower Stumble. Unsurpring, since the officers' recommendation was to approve, the decision was still a disappointment and a blow to local democracy. We can confidently predict Cuadrilla will not keep to the conditions and cease all works and abandon the well withing the time period.
The first Balcombe resident arrested on section 14 public order act charges, Simon Welsh, whose main "crime" appeared to be singing (!), was another defendant against invented charges found not guilty in court on Thursday.
Dart Energy launched an outrageous attack on the camp at Daneshill with accusations carried by the Internaitonal Business Times and (surprise) the Telegraph, that the protest had turned violent. This seems to have little correlation with reality, but demonstrates the war has just got dirtier.
Back last September Professor Mackay and Dr Stone produced a report assessing potential GHG emissions from shale operations. The government now claims to have adopted all the report's eight recommendations, amid a host of misleading propaganda on how much the government is doing to avert climate change.
It is clear that campaigners will have to work tirelessly to ensure that the standards of the government are adhered to. However it is clear already that the government's promises will turn out to be worthless.
Take one example - The government says that (even at exploration stage) operators should look at Best Available Technique.
On venting -
"Operators should initially consider installing an engine to burn the gas and recover the energy. If this is not POSSIBLE then a flare may be used."
Two examples show this is nonsense in practice.
At Balcombe this week West Sussex passed an application (previously with waste method approval from the EA) for flaring the gas. No consideration was given as to why energy capture was not used.
At Markham Doncaster gave Regent permission, and a waste plan is under consideration by the EA for exploration and production of coal mine methane. In this case there is no intention of using energy storage EVEN DURING exploration, although an energy plant will be installed for production. NOR is there any intention to flare during exploration and testing. The gas will simply be vented.
If this is the existing situation, the words of the government are MEANINGLESS. It is business as usual for the frackers. fine words. No regulatory teeth. For full details read
Outside the UK
An ex-Vice President of Mobil says fracking is not safe. "“Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed,” Louis Allstadt said.
A senior author of the recent UN IPCC report expressed surprise that the media (notoriously the Telegraph) has chosen to suggest that shale was a good thing in combatting climate change. We all know better, don't we.
Mexico is the next country reportedly plagued by fracking earthquakes.
From Canada comes a new report from a group of academics representing bodies including one analogous with the UK Royal Society,which says fracking has too many unknowns, and has regulation if any based on poor science, to be considered safe.
A report of a spill of radioactive water backed up the point. So did UNESCO stepping in to try and save fracking around the Gros Morne National Park.
German and Austrian authorities joined forces to ban fracking near the Bodensee (Lake Constance) to protect its water, while a US analyst pointed out that it would be left to water utilities to carry the can for water issues caused by fracking.
A US report on the fracking bust caused by dropping gas prices demonstrates that the last thing UK frackers would want is falling prices here.
Any opinions here not quotes from the
week's news reports are my own.
News As It Came In
links to original stories
‘Straight From The Horse’s Mouth’: Former Oil Exec Says Fracking Not Safe
Oil and gas majors now cutting back in U.S. shale gas fields
Ecology Building Society members ‘oppose fracking’
Green credentials of fracking ‘exaggerated’, says IPCC author
Exclusive: Local authorities have ‘conflict of interest’ on fracking investments
Fracking: Lincolnshire County Council denies conflict of interest over pension scheme investment in Total
Fracking house price drop row
Hope and fears expressed at shale gas summit
Davey makes case for exploiting 'low carbon' shale gas
MICHAEL FALLON ANNOUNCES UK-POLAND SHALE STUDY
Agang against fracking
New fracking in Nevada
Sanctions on Russia’s Energy Sector: Shale Gas ‘Fracking’ Will Invade Europe?
Sarah Rose and Andrew Grinberg: Mounting evidence of fracking risks bring call for a time-out
NOF Energy adds Greater Oklahoma City Chamber to network
Fracking's personal tragedies
Fracking safeguards revealed
Doubts cast on claims of Lancashire fracking jobs boom
Fracking Linked to Surge of Earthquakes in Northern Mexico
Cuadrilla to return to protest-hit Balcombe to conduct oil tests
Balcombe test drilling approved: Sussex Council has not listened to locals
BALCOMBE DRILLING: Committee chairman defends planning approval
BARTON MOSS ACTIVIST JAILED FOR SIX MONTHS WITHOUT TRIAL
Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada
Go slow on fracking, scientists warn
Chester: Anti-fracking demo sparks chaotic scenes at HQ
UUP do not support fracking
"Nein" zum Fracking am Bodensee - "No" to fracking on Lake Constance
THE FRACKING BOOM AND THE FALL OF A TEXAS UTILITY
Fitch: Fracking Water Supply Risk Would Fall on US Utilities
Gros Morne oil fracking plan leads UNESCO to seek buffer zone
Teen Shale Network studies effects of fracking on water quality at Black Moshannon State Park
Radioactive water near fracking pond has residents worried
Colorado Pols Care Only About How Fracking Affects Their Electoral Chances
Anti-Fracking Militants 'Resorting to Violent Tactics'
Anti-fracking protest ' turns violent'