Week Ending 12th October 2014
Special report - Has PH1 leaked?
The cost of onshore oil and gas. One tiny sad example from West Newton.
Fracking will never contaminate water, right???
From Crawberry Hill
UK news highlights
The main stories
Two news items on Monday signalled the increasing concerns by farmers and landowners about the Government's plans to strip them of their legal rights.
The NFU suggested for the first time that a majority were concerned about fracking, and that the issues range far wider than potential financial loss.
The CLA, however, naturally enough, representing rural businessowners rather than farmers, took the mercenary view that offers like that of Ineos, who last week suggested they would buy off opposition, were the way forward. They are, however, continuing to press their case against the law change.
On Wednesday in Manchester High Court Cuadrilla had "its" injunction against anti-fracking protestors extended. In refusing to accept that costs of £54,000 were reasonable to charge the defendants, the judge noted in fact Cuadrilla was paying all the landowners' legal costs. Puppet-master Cuadrilla didn't get its wish, but we shall have to wait and see what costs are deemed reasonable.
Early reports said the defence (having requested an adjournment earlier this year in order to prepare a case) did not contest the further granting of the injunction. It does lead one to wonder whether the opposition to the original injunction was wise, given that the possession order was pointless as by the first court appearance the site had been vacated. When vital funding is needed to fight Cuadrilla's planning applications it will be a pity if this meagre resource is diluted.
On Thursday, Trafford council deferred discussion of the Davyhulme CBM plan.
A statement read
"This application has raised a number of detailed and conflicting environmental issues and it is important that the Council acts to ensure that its decision is fully informed in relation to these matters."
Congratulations are due to the objectors who raised the issues. When will councils all over the UK realise they are serving not the national government but their local community?
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is to investigate the arrest of Steven Peers after it decaleed itself unsatisfied with Greater Manchester Police's own internal investigation. Mr Peers was originally arrested and charged, but the case dropped when no evidence was offerd in court.
The GMP response seems to have been particularly irresponsible, given the video footage of the arrest which has been widely viewed.
It is time for the Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner to take action, or consider his position and whether he has been fit to oversee GMP.
Bearing in mind landowners fears over fracking, a timely reminder that there is more evidence from the USA about water contamination than the UK government has accepted.
Any opinions here not quotes from the
week's news reports are my own.
News As It Came In
links to original stories
Farmers fear fracking could spell financial ruin
Better collaboration over fracking right approach says CLA
Testimony: Obsolete tests tainted shale analysis
Cuadrilla injunction granted – but judge rejects £54,000 costs claim
NW council delays gas decision after Friends of the Earth highlights inadequate EIA
Police watchdog to re-investigate arrest of anti-fracking protester after GMP clears officers of wrongdoing