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Latest Digest Week Ending 7th September 2014

Special report - 243 Pennsylania water wells affected by oil and gas operations - official


I,m not big on petitions generally. But this one is important. A group of organisations, including FoE and Greenpeace, now has OVER 250,000 signatures to tell Cameron to abandon his fracking folly. Please sign and share if you haven't already done so. Next step half a million! Click on the pic to go to FoE's petition page.

UK news highlights

The main stories

More good news from the courts as Barton Moss protectors either had their cases dismissed or had not guilty verdicts. The CPS and police actions are a continuing farce.

The Advertising Standards Authority issued another slap in the face for would-be frackers making outrageous claims. They upheld all six complaints made against a Telegraph advert from Breitling in February.
This effectively means action can be taken against any further claims that -

1. There was "a near-catastrophic gas shortage last winter"
2. Shale will provide "Decades worth of natural gas"
3. Shale will provide "Millions of pounds in tax revenues "
4. Without shale there could be "interruptions and stoppages as a result of Russia's political games with your gas supply"
5. That shale will be "Lowering energy prices for millions"
6. That shale will be "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by replacing coal with natural gas for energy",

If politicians repeat similar claims they can rightfully be held to account for wilfully misleading the publc.

Other news A news story from Scotland illustrated how fracking has become a sizzling hot political potato. Five Quarters claimed that from under the North Sea fracking could release billions of pounds for the SCottish economy. The claims were immediately denounced as ludicrously exaggerated and political hype to support the "Yes" vote for Scottish independence.

Whilst the claims may indeed be exaggerated, the outburst of criticism appears pure hypocrisy. Do similar claims for onshore shale benefits attract the same hostility by the right wing media and Tory politicians? No, I didn't think so!

The fact is no-one knows how easily or at what expense shale gas can be extracted either offshore OR onshore. Previous official estimates for offshore shale have suggested there is ten times more out there under the sea than under our towns and countryside. The technology either exists already for offshore drilling (and after all aren't we supposed to be world leaders in offshore oil and gas) or is only a few years away. Only the more attractive political incentives and economics are making the frackers look currently for easy pickings onshore.

There is one problem that can't perhaps be overcome offshore, the inherent problems of rapidly declining recovery rates from wells. Exactly the same problem which would require our countryside to become scarred by continual development of thousands of new wellpads if the claims of eceonmic benefit and security for the country were even to approach reality. This is the major issue the politicians will not face - the scale of development their hype would require.

Elsewhere Nova Scotia is heading for a fracking ban.

Any opinions here not quotes from the week's news reports are my own.
Alan Tootill

News As It Came In with links to original stories

Pro-fracking newspaper ad banned by Advertising Standards Authority

The ASA Ruling

Claims of North Sea fracking boom a 'gross exaggeration', says leading geology professor

Scottish independence: North Sea 'fracking' proposal made

Nova Scotia to introduce legislation to ban fracking for onshore shale gas

Fracking, Commissione ambiente: ‘Da vietare’. Il Ministero: ‘Mai autorizzato’

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