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Week Ending 9th February 2014

The Next Battleground - Cuadrilla announces 8 wells on 2 new sites.

UK news highlights

Landowner reaction to the disgraceful attempts to take away their rights has started - in Sussex.

The BBC reported that "Landowners in the Sussex Downs National Park are mounting a "legal blockade" to stop a potential fracking site.

Solicitors for residents near Fernhurst, in West Sussex, have written to Celtique Energie and the Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, to explicitly deny permission to drill under their land ."

The boss of the Environment Agency issued a stark warning - protect urban or rural areas against flood, you can't do both.

Cuadrilla put the Fylde ansd West Lancashire on alert by flagging up the first two of the sites they hope to frack next year. Plumpton and Wharles. Four wells could be drilled at each site.

A press release from insurers cast doubt about claims that homeowners were not protected against fracking-related damage, but warned that might change.

George Osborne, facing the Lords economic affairs committee, admitted that even large scale fracking would have little, if any, effect on household energy bills.

When everyone else seems to think CCS is a dead duck in the water, the TUC is still hopeful Carbon Capture and Storage can help rescue the world from climate change. Personally I see no long-term (and I mean long) benefit in burying CO2 under the North Sea where over generations it will find its way out. It is a tougher decision to try stop producing it, but that's what many of us want to see happening.

The Complaints about heavy-handed policing at Barton Moss moved from the internet to the mainstream media, including the BBC, the Mail and the Independent. Twenty-one official compl;aints have now been lodged against the Greater Manchester Police, including some categorised as serious.

One complaint concerns the arrest of an observer who refused to give a breath sample when the police claimed he had been drinking before driving to the camp site. The observer claimed he had drunk two cups of tea, and further he had not driven to the site that morning. Video evidence is claimed to make it clear what actually happened when he was arrested. The CPS gave no evidence when the charge of refusal to give a sample went to court. He is now pursuing a charge of wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and assault.

The Chief Constable of GMP attempted to defuse the criticism, claiming that out of hundreds of policing hours 21 was a small number. To me it sounds a poor argument, it is simply 21 too many. It was also claimed that policing the Moss was taking police away from normal duties, and the bill so far had topped 600,000. None of this is being paid by IGas, of course. This fact has drawn commenmt and comparison with otyher commercial undertakings who have to pay for police protection. It was also claimed that police on duty at Barton Moss have been boasting about making a large amount of money from overtime, which argues against the line of taking of police from normal duties.

Sussex landowners mount 'legal blockade' against fracking

Fracking: landowners form legal block against drilling in South Downs National Park

Britain faces choice of saving town or country from floods, says agency chief

Cuadrilla to reveal Lancashire fracking sites

Insurers could demand info on fracking sites

Fracking could lead to an 'earthquake domino effect' as it weakens fault lines deep in the earth's crust, scientists claim

Vince Cable: shale gas won't be a reality in UK for at least a decade

Cuadrilla names two new Lancashire fracking sites

Two new fracking exploration sites announced

Osborne: Fracking 'won't slash' household energy bills

Carbon capture, fracking and green-tinged Tories

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