Week Ending 11th May 2014
Special Report - The Government's False Promises on Shale Gas and Climate Change
Major Breaking News - see below - Lords Committee says get fracking
The political prisoner FREE - before and after!
Fracking's deadly legacy
Barton Moss protecters celebrate outside Court. CASE DISMISSED.
Courtesy of Chris D R - "What a bunch of criminals the GMP are - thanks to the judge for confirming it was 'kidnap and false imprisonment' rather than 'arrest and custody' as the police were trying to claim. Judge Quereshi said, "I find the Crown's case had fundamental errors and I find it astonishing that the Crown did not bring the correct Officers to Court." The decision was made this morning on the second day of a two day trial after hearing prosecution evidence the day before. Despite six police officers testifying against them not a single defence witness needed to be called, the GMP case was so obviously false."
Frack Free Salford & Manchester
"Three protectors are back in court today. Yesterday the court and the public heard their barrister Richard Brigden of Garden Court Chambers North with the support of solicitors from local legal aid firm, Robert Lizars, tear apart police statements. Police officers admitted they had no idea why they were arresting people, they had just been told who to arrest.
All along we have claimed that police were making arbitrary arrests had a list of people they wanted to arrest regardless of what they had done. Now we have proof! This goes against every tenet of justice in this country. Political policing at its worst."
UK news highlights
A quiet start to the week!
But a new poll showed 74% oppose the government's plans to change the law to allow frackers to drill under anybody's private land.
In Scotland the Greens called for a ban on fracking by the Scottish government. Doomed to failure, sadly.
In another court the police and the prosecution service are shown up as incompetent, to put the kindest interpretation on it.
Lords back fracking with environmental danger whitewash
On Thursday the news broke that the Lords Economic Affairs Committee has issued its report on economic benefits of shale. The report is a 100% endorsement of Cameron and Osborne's wish to plough ahead with fracking regardless of consequences. The Lords criticise the government for not moving fast enough. The majority of concerns about environmental dangers are dismissed as "unfounded". The industry is encouraged to indulge in a new propaganda exercise, rather than make fracking safer. The government is encouraged to strip out regulation and streamline the fracking permission process. The Lords - encouraged and whipped by the personal interest of Lord Lawson - have invented their own fgure for jobs lost if we don't get fracking - 250,000 - seized upon by the Mail.
The full report can be found here
For convenience the abstract summary of the report can be found here
The committee chairman will no doubt draw attack from anti-frackers because of his vested interests. Lord MacGregor is chairman of the British Energy Pension Fund Trustees and of the Eggborough Power Ltd Pension Fund Trustees. Lord Lawson only declares non-pecuniary interests, (although he has previous), but is well known as a climate change sceptic and outspoken promoter of fracking. Anyone who has read his "questioning" during the evidence sessions late last year will be in no doubt of his bias.
Jailed protector finally out on bail!
The scandal of Kate McCann, Barton Moss protector and political prisoner in Birmingham jail, being refused bail has finally ended. And in another case another not-guilty verdict was returned.
As Salford Star put it "Kate McCann, dubbed `fracking's first political prisoner', was freed from jail this afternoon as a judge lifted an oppressive six months remand in Birmingham Prison and replaced it with standard bail conditions.
In a dramatic day at Manchester Magistrates Court another protector, Mark Dent, was cleared of `threatening to kill' a lorry driver and other public order offences as Crown prosecution cases are going down like ninepins.
Yet again, a further three protectors, including Kate McCann who had been held in Winston Jail, wre found to have no case to answer when the judge looked at the evidence at Manchester Magistrates Court. The protectors' solicitor is calling for a public inquiry into the unjust and expensive police action.
Jailed protector NOT guilty
The incredible saga of the unjust jailing came to its inevitable conclusion on Friday, when Kate McCann and two other protectors were found not guilty of charges laid against them by GMP. The judge decided there was no case to answer as original charges were obstruction of the highway which was unlawful (as Barton Moss Rd was ruled to be a public footpath and a private road) and no officer was in fact obstructed in carrying out his duties. There are serious questions about the whole process that need asking. Why did GMP pursue charges against the accused when it was clear that similar charges had been rejected by the courts. Why did a court order the continuing detention of Kate McCann in similar circumstances, when any sensible judge would have come to the conclusion that he had no case to answer, even if technically - a very slender technical issue - he had breached police bail conditions by returning to a site which had already been vacated by the camp.
A flash alert - in a Sunday Times and IB article Cuadrilla's CEO Egan talked about being in production from the Fylde by the end of next year. We will have to wait to see just what sort of planning application bombshell has hit Lancashire County Council until next week.
A new protector camp sprung up at Crawberry Hill, near Walkington, Hull. Rathlin Energy also have an exploration site at West Newton, Aldbrough. Yorkshire and Lancashire seem set to become locked into a long battle with the frackers.
IGas made its bid to become Britain's biggest and most-hated fracker by buying Dart, the ailing Australian company which is having little success in pushing its unconventional proposals through Scotland's planning system, and which has failed to attract Australian investor support, even after a substantial international restructuring.
Outside the UK
Romania will wait five years before fracking, letting the UK and Poland find out what disasters lie in store.
In Colorado the vote goes again against doing health impact studies on fracking.
An analysis of traffic fatalities in the busiest new oil and gas-producing counties of the US in the U.S. shows a sharp rise in deaths that experts say is related to the fracking drilling boom.
Beverly Hills becomes the first Californian municipality to ban fracking.
Oklahoma is now officially at risk of damaging fracking quakes.
Ireland - no move on fracking at all until at least 2016.
Any opinions here not quotes from the
week's news reports are my own.
News As It Came In
links to original stories
Romania not to exploit shale gas in next 5 years, says Ponta
Why Don’t We Have Good Data On The Health Effects Of Fracking?
Traffic deaths: Side effect to fracking boom
74% 'oppose fracking right plan'
Beverly Hills becomes first in California to ban fracking
The Green Party has called on the Scottish Government to implement a ban on fracking and other unconventional gas extraction methods.
USGS Oklahoma earthquakes fracking: Ok. at risk for 'damaging quake,' study says
No moves whatsoever on fracking until 2016 at the earliest, when scientific study completed
Rolls-Royce and Weir combine in fracking deal
US-China shale gas rivalry bad news for poor countries
Britain needs shale – so it's time to get fracking
Government needs to "get its act together" on fracking in the region say peers
Fracking 'must go ahead soon' in Hampshire despite fears over water supply says report by Lords
Fracking delays a risk to 250,000 jobs, peers warn: Committee says major industries will quit Britain if drilling is not made a priority
Peers back Cameron’s pledge to go ‘all out’ for shale fracking
House of Lords committee calls for fracking to be 'national priority'
Fracking gets go-ahead as Holyrood rejects ban
BARTON MOSS POLITICAL PRISONER FREED AND ANOTHER PROTECTOR CLEARED
Calls made for council to be clear on fracking
Fracking raises temperatures at Largs council
Council pledges to blast fracking plans
Fracking question met with ‘calm down’ reaction from Foster
Letters: Fracking’s opponents are being demonised
BARTON MOSS SOLICITOR CALLS FOR PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE CHARGE COSTS
Compensation for fracking must be adequate, says CLA
Fracking group IGas to acquire £117m rival
Why Fracking Is the Cause of a Growing Number of Road Fatalities
‘Fracking could destroy the countryside’
Two-Thirds of UK Could Be Opened Up for Fracking
The Fracking of Academic Integrity in American Colleges (part 3)