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Week Ending 9th June 2013

UK News

The week started with not news but a deluge of press releases from IGas. In attempt to attract investment in their company they gave out a press release full of misleading statements and outright lies. Their main claim was to have found greater gas in place in their north-west England PEDL area than previous estimates had suggested. Their new estimates had little credibility because of their wide fluctuation. Worse were ther claims which disregarded the realiity of gas in place against recoverable reseves.

The press went wild, having little else to do. The BBC was particularly culpable in accepting the IGas press release with no critical analysis. More surprisingly, the same applied to the Guardian. Coverage included incredible claims that betweem 10 and 30% of the gas in place could be recovered. The Mail put this down to analysts at Jefferies International, but that may have been the Mail getting mixed up - Jeffereies elsewhere wer reported as warning about taking the estimates seriously. More reliable source put the recovery factor range estimate down to Cuadrilla's ex boss Mark Miller. In fact current Cuadrilla boss Egan told the BBC in February he was hoping for only around 10%.

Meanwhile Ed Davey had a brainstorm and put out a news release accusing the press of disgraceful behaviour in producing articles which reported claims of climate change deniers. A shameful attack suggesting hardline censorship of the press. And one which to my mind signalled his bad judgment and humiliation kowtowing to Osborne, and the predictable hypocisy of his party in Tuesday's vote on the Energy Bill.

This duly came to pass. The LibDem leadership showed they have no scruples. Their claims to having any environmental principles are shattered. All they have shown is a shortsighted lust for temporary semblance of power.

On Tuesday Davey was anxious as ever to shore up his environmental credentials, whilst voting and leading his party in the opposite direction, by encouraging the EU to beef up 2030 carbon reduction targets. He himself would support a UK move in that direction in 2016. By 2016 he will be out of office so that was easy for him to promise.

Blackpool Evening Gazette published an article relaying David Cameron's declaration he wouldn't let regulation stop fracking. This account of what Cameron said is interesting in that he ADMITS that existing regulation is NOT designed for fracking. Which is what many have been saying for a long time, it is designed for coal mining or offshore exploitation. Cameron's solution is to cut out all the irrelevant stuff. This clearly leaves very little or NO regulation on the books at all for fracking. We would take the opposite view in this situation, that it means no fracking should be performed if there are no appropriate regulations introduced. That clearly won't happen. So we say NO fracking at all.

No doubt the local Fylde and West Lancashire people will be asking their MP Mark Menzies what he thinks about this.

In Scotland Dart appealed to the Scottish government to decide their planning applications for Falkirk/Stirling on grounds of non-determination.

Ed Davey showed us more perfidy when he announced local authorities would be able to override national energy need and block windfarms. The sop to providing local communities with financial incentives is a cheap ploy to show balance. The message is clear. Wind farms no. Fracking yes. Wind farms are not in the national interest.

Meanwhile, reports continue to come in expressing concerns worldwide aboute the effects of climate change.

This week Celtique, having used rather questionable tactics to secure a test drilling planning permision near Billingshurst in Sussex, put on a public exhibition of their similar plans for Fernhurst. This time, perhaps encouraged by the fact the Billinshurst permission will act as a precendent, they are a little more open about their scheme.

In other areas of England, from Wigan and St Helens to Kent and Hampshire via Lincolnshire, the local press continued latching on to the fact that their area might now be under threat.

On Thursday the No Dash For Gas were sentenced for their occupation of EDF's West Burton power plant last October. Fears that some might receive prison sentences were not met. Some received conditional discharges and others community orders, with the district judge commending their conscientious motives.

Centrica were reported to be close to doing a deal to buy into Cuadrilla.This produced a rash of press reports and the suggestion this was a major boost for fracking in the UK, the entry of a major player. The suggestion was that Centrica were interested in the Bowland Shale "play", so it remained uncertain where that left Cuadrilla's interest in Sussex and the Weald. Centrica were also reported to be seeking partners for a bid for Irish Bord Gais.

At the end of the week Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for South East England, raised his Sussex constituents' concerns about Balcombe fracking with the EA. Keith will, I am sure, fight fracking because he knows it's against his constituents' interests and the environment's. A pity there aren't more like him, especially in the North West.

At least there was some good news from the US as New York State extends its moritorium on fracking until 2015. This prompts the question. If in the US - the home of fracking and the basis for all the industry claims that fracking is safe - they are so unsure about fracking why on earth should the UK be forced into it against our will by an uncaring government without any due safeguards?

A Sunday Times scam put Tim Yeo in the frame for sleaze. The Daily Mail added a feeble hypocrisy charge, but if the Sunday Times allegations are true, so a Tory blogger pronounced, yeo should lose not only his job as chair of the energy and climate change committee but as an MP. Yeo, who has played both sides on shale gas and climate change, would be no loss.

From Illinois campaigner Sandra Steingraber issued a fracking manifesto in response to the state giving the go-ahead to fracking. She denounced the supposedly protective regulations and called for a worldwide ban.

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

News As It Came In with hyperlinks to original stories


Fernhurst consultation alert

IGas bull bandwagon rolls - BBC first to take the story
IB Times
The Business desk
Utility Week
BM Magazine
Guardian buys the story too
Telegraph promotes the story
Telegraph's first bite at the cherry
Independent: Energy boom in the UK
Daily Mail
Telegraph: Austin our fracking hero
Channel 4 FactCheck: Fracking fact and fiction
oilprice.com: iGas Vastly Increases UK Shale Gas Estimates to 170 Trillion Cubic Feet FT: Shale gas: Battle rages over fracking as reserves sought
Mark Wallace Conservative blog: Shale gas becomes an even more compelling opportunity – we must seize it
St Helens Reporter: 'Much more' shale gas than expected

Guardian comment: The energy bill debate exposes the sham of the 'greenest government ever'
The Tories' true colours have emerged with their turnaround on green jobs – but why are the Lib Dems following suit?
Edward Davey letter to FT
Wall Street Journal: Britain's No Energy Bill

Europe’s fracking energy mess

Chinook engines as Fracking pumps

Another View: All those fracking jobs

England's green and pleasant land?
Egdon Resources farms into Blackland Park's PEDL209 in Lincolnshire
Egdon share rise
Egdon agrees Lincolnshire farm-in

Herald article raises unconventional gas health and other issues

Tomorrow's make or break for LibDems' green credibility

Davey smacks the press, refuses to stand down or stand up to the real target
Telegraph points out the scientific consensus, refuses to accept the verdict

Why MPs must block George Osborne’s dash for gas


Express: UK shale gas supply 'enough for 15 years'
Manchester Evening News wakes up to the iGas story
International rep[etition of the story continues
CNBC: Caution Urged Over UK Shale Gas Estimates

FT: A dissenting voice - Fracking miracle needed to transform UK energy
A report on Igas estimates from a Reuters market analyst
Fracking critic scoffs at British shale

Business Green: Businesses launch last-ditch effort to secure Energy Bill decarbonisation target

East Anglia leads on Tim Yeo "rebellion" Yeo predicts result "close"
Yeo in Guardian: MPs must back decarbonisation target in energy bill vote

Can the UK meet its climate goals without the energy bill amendment?

Irish Times:Alec Balwin challenges Phlegm to fracking debate
Exposed: "FrackNation" Deploys Tobacco Playbook in Response to "Gasland 2"

California anti-fracking legislation delayed until next year

Battle Los Angeles: the fight to stop urban fracking

Concerns mount over radioactive waste in US

Fracking and radon gas

Money Week: The British shale gas revolution – will it boom or fizzle?

Australia: Shale gas plentiful but pricey

Colreavy calls on Rabbitte to consider all of the impacts of fracking

Energy Bill amendment fails

Davey "confirms UK backing for beefed up EU 2030 emissions targets"


Cameron: Red tape warning over shale drilling

CBI comments on Energy Bill progress

Guardian: Decarbonisation target narrowly defeated in Commons energy bill vote

Guess which could cut U.S. oil imports more, fracking or energy efficiency?

Germany puts fracking on back burner

European Operators Increasingly Optimistic About Shale Gas Industry

Concern spreads to St Helens

Guardian: Australia has huge deposits of shale gas – but it won't come cheap

Methane leaks could reduce climate benefits of US shale gas + other energy news
Methane leaks could negate climate benefits of US natural gas boom: Guardian report

Eni: Scaroni, lo shale gas americano avra' effetti negativi sull'Europa

French Fracking Ban Endorsed on U.S. Environmental Repercussions

Cheshire is 'sitting on a shale gas bonanza'

Dart lodges planning appeal with Scottish Government
Scotsman report


Davey gives local authorities power to block wind farms
Onshore wind government PR
Davey fails at government level turns to us for help

Locals can now veto windfarms: so what about fracking?

Warning from NZ about dumping fracking waste on farmland

Investor warning - FT letters

Keep shale gas protests peaceful, Canadian energy minister urges

Climate Change
As Climate Change Worsens, US Corn Ethanol becomes Uneconomical
Guardian article promotes CCS
Ontario is losing climate change fight, watchdog warns
LA: The Internet, climate change will influence real estate markets
Ice-sheet mass balance and climate change
The Effects of Climate Change on Coral Reef Health
Stormy weather set to increase due to climate change

MP David Morris calls for support of fracking for gas

Rubbish headline of the week: Prime Minister calls for new rules on shale gas

Portsmouth News - UKIP: fracking could bring jobs and prosperity

Reuters column - Fracking beneath southern England's rolling hills: Kemp

Residents raise concern about fracking site 7 miles from town

Call for blanket ban - Hampshire LibDems continue the gesture politics

Climate activists receive sentences for gas-fired power station occupation
The heroes list

Drillers Silence Fracking Claims With Sealed Settlements


Fracking coming to Wigan?

Centrica in talks to buy into Cuadrilla
More detail from Bloomberg
And less from the FT
More from the Guardian

Greenpeace call for action on fracking by councils and MPs in Sussex

Radioactive water from Lancs fracking site

New York State Assembly votes to block fracking until 2015

EPA study found fracking fluid in groundwater
Majority in California poll worried about fracking

Scotland - Evening News - Climate change target missed again

France looks at America, says non to fracking


Excellent letter from Green MEP Keith Taylor to EA about fracking Sussex

German experts: Fracking is unnecessary and risky

How fracking companies exploit Amish farmers

Centrica seeks partners for Irish energy company bid


A Fracking Manifesto - Sandra Steingraber

North Carolina set for fracking in 2015

Map reveals early details of pipeline to transport gas from shale drilling sites in Ohio

Climate change may be making children sick

Tim Yeo's reputation under siege
ITV shows clip
Daily Mail adds hypocrisy to the charge
It's all over for Yeo?
I told him in advance what to say. Ha-ha'
"The allegations are extremely serious" - Tory blog

  Links to other
anti-fracking sites


Preston New Road Action Group


Focused Action on Fracking

 Defend Lytham

 RAFF - Residents Action on Fylde Fracking

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking

Frack Free Fylde

Frack Free Wales

Frack Off Scotland

East Kent Against Fracking

Fracking Free Ireland

Frack Off

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