Week Ending 11th August 2013

Special Report - Are Cuadrilla fracking Balcombe?

Press Release from No Fracking In Balcombe

Special Report - Response to DECC Q&A - Fallon's fallacies

Special Report - Could this kill off UK fracking?

The week at Balcombe. The West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith showed little grasp of the situation, and demonstrated how badly she is advised by senior council officials when she signed a letter that went round to Balcombe residents apologising for the disruption the fracking camp had caused.
From a community which had just demonstrated its overwhelming support for the protest she should not have been surprised to see herself subject to criticism.
Frankly if people have such bad judgement they are not to be fit to lead a council and she should resign.

More detail emerged over an "incident" at the site on Saturday. Drilling halted due to a fault. One day into drilling and they broke a drilling rig hose. Good start Cuadrilla! And good for you the local Crawley Pirtek franchise. Obviously you can look forward to a lot of business coming your way. Brighton and Hove Council (Green) voiced official support for the protest. But Nick herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs, said an "invasion" of protestors from outside the county is not what Balcombe villagers want. Maybe he should go down and ask them.

The Telegraph had a heart attack when it thought "thousands" of activists were to descend on Balcombe to support the protest, and rather than providing an interesting news story fell back on slagging off the protestors, including reminding us that Edward Lloyd-Davies has a petty criminal record.
Curious how the Telegraph when it mentions Lord Browne, always forgets to tell us he was found to have been lying in court and only escaped criminal charges of perjury because of his position.
There have been reports of "silica" truckloads arriving in Balcombe. Silica sand is used as a proppant in fracking to keep fractures open so gas can flow. But Cuadrilla aren't fracking at all, are they. Are they? The recent planning guidance the government issued makes it clear that opening up natural fractures is ragarded as fracking. Cuadrilla's use of acid wash and sand proppant can not be claimed to fall outside this definition. Wake up West Sussex County Council! You are being conned!
The Telegraph ran the shock horror story of the week Balcombe may not get its £100,000 for getting fracked. Because it's not getting fracked of course, is it? And they're not drilling in shale, are they? And no doubt if this is contested Cuadrilla say they are after oil not gas. This just shows what a mess an incompetent government is getting itself into.

Other UK news

Minister Howell's indiscretion continued to fuel press reports. Ex-minister for justice Conservative MP Nick Herbert spoke up about his concerns about fracking and described it and housing as the biggest threats to the countryside. Prime Minister Cameron put his foot in it from on high applauding efforts to frack the south-east.
In Lancashire Cameron added to the list of recent Tory gaffes by telling his audience they would get a million for each well fracked.

The Guardian flagged up the news that the LibDems are proposing a pro-fracking motion at their upcoming conference.
The Huffington Post outed Nick Clegg was outed as a past pro-gas and oil industry lobbyist. LibDem MP Vince cable has worked for Shell.

This is South Wales reported that nearly 1,500 residents opposing fracking have set up a Llanelli branch of Frack Off UK.

The New EA technical guidance draft for consultation was published. FoE reacted with incredulity to Minister Fallon's suggestion that local communities should decide on shale gas proposals, in view of the recent planning guidance which attempts to stamp out loal participation. The Telegraph got round to some small print and realised the new EA guidelines for permits suggested because they should now go for full public consultation the time allowed for decisions might go up to six months. This will have the industry raging and spluttering.


In the US Chesapeake Energy was said to be walking away from its New York fracking interests.

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


Fracking row splits apart the Coalition... As Energy Minister says the sound of drills will shake the South.

Fracking 'biggest threat to countryside after housing', says ex-minister

Sussex MP warns fracking is causing 'fear of the unknown'

MP’s north-south fracking warning
Ollerenshaw and LD minister Don Foster toe the nimby line but support fracking in principle

US shale exports open the door to Asian chemicals makers
US gas prices rising

Flightline of very rare bats near Wisborough fracking site

Balcombe villagers have 'lost faith' in democracy over shale

How Cleaning China’s Dirty Air Can Slow Climate Change

Gas leaks from shale wells rare (but don't smoke or try to light your water)

Prime Minister backs 'exciting' prospect of South East fracking

Fracking gets boost as George Osborne bangs drum for 'energy revolution'

Balcombe fracking protests: 'Apology' letter criticised

LibDems to back fracking at conference


West Sussex Times: New County Times columnist calls for objectivity.

Mail: This is what the fury's all about: First photo of potential fracking site in heart of England that has sparked huge protests

Telegraph continues its blasting of the anti shale gas movement under the guise of research.

Mr Fallon neglected to mention the Mendips, which already has battle lines drawn between energy firms and campaigners.

UK Shale Gas: How the Media Story Moved from Myth to Reality

Shale Gas: Why Reality has not Lived Up to the Dream

Balcombe survey claims massive opposition to fracking

Sussex sitting on huge pool of shale gas and oil according to study

'Shale gas won't lead to a collapse in UK gas prices' says Pöyry

'Shale gas won't lead to a collapse in UK gas prices' says Pöyry

ITV Fernhurst video: Could fracking start in your village?

East Kent Mercury report: Fracking ‘too risky for our countryside’

FT: Fracking could affect 13 cabinet members

UKOOG to pitch out Brussels public affairs project


Brighton and Hove Council backs anti-fracking campaign

Impact of fracking ‘not clear’ warns MP

Thirteen Cabinet ministers face being caught in fracking protests: Drilling licences could be granted in Osborne, Gove and Hague's constituencies

Wildlife at Balcombe 'in danger' charity says

Francis Maude 'I'm well aware of Balcombe sentiment'

Thousands to join Balcombe camp

National Trust "presumption against" fracking.

Residents opposing fracking set up Llanelli branch of Frack Off UK

National Trust "presumption against" fracking.

The shale revolution is “a little bit overhyped,” Shell CEO Peter Voser said last week.

Chesapeake Energy will walk away from land it had leased in New York that it was reserving for natural gas drilling, Reuters reports.
The full Reuters report.

No Dash For Gas to refuel Balcombe protest and take the protest to Downing Street.

ITV: Fracking concerns could costs seats in election

New EA guidance shows 'tangled web' of approvals needed for fracking projects, says expert
The draft consultation report for download

Minister slammed for saying communities decide whether to host shale gas sites

‘No support’ from Balcombe MP over threat of fracking

Balcombe fracking row takes fresh twist as it emerges parish council raised no objection to drilling

Poor Fanny: Fracking boss faces growing tremors of resistance from public, press and Tories.
Resign and take early retirement, there is no future for you as head of Cuadrilla.


The fracking war shows how the Tory party has been captured by a recession-proof old guard

Lincolnshire Echo: $100m oil field may lie beneath our feet

Letter from Basel: Is fracking worth risks?


New Scientist report says fracking could accelerate golbal warming

Scientific American: High Levels of Arsenic Found in Groundwater Near Fracking Sites

David Cameron in fracking mess as he overstates community benefit by TEN times

South West Greens vow to fight fracking

Fracking fears grow in Fernhurst

Garstang Courier: Are you asking the right questions?

Another Tory loves fracking

Sussex police bracing for the balcombe protest reinforcements

Only a matter of time before cheap Russian shale gas wipes out any benefit of UK fracking.

Energy firms have raked in £3BILLION more in profits under David Cameron

Reuters: New permit proposals could slow UK shale drilling

Blackpool Gazette: Freckleton meeting - "Act Now" to stop fracking.


Fracking push blinding government to greener energy, say campaigners

New EA proposals could mean six month wait for permits

True cost of fracking is yet to be measured on a meter

Does an End to Fracking Demand We All Dig a Little Deeper?

The North won't roll over and allow fracking, warns environment campaigner

Letter: Distorted portrayal of Balcombe fracking

Cameron's pants on fire again re 100,000 per well, not to mention cheaper bills.

Fracking is just the beginning: the rise of extreme energy


Let's make fracking easier by increasing bureaucratic delay!

Fracking: a botch on the landscape
Britain's nascent shale gas industry is in danger of being doused by inept PR and poor practice

Fracking and shale gas – news and teaching resources round up

No fracking bribe for Balcombe.

  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

Frack Free Fernhurst

Fracking Free Ireland

Frack Off

The above sites listing is for reader's convenience and doesn't include endorsement of their content, nor endorsement by them of this site's.