Latest Digest Week Ending 20th April 2014

Brace Yourself for the Shale Oil Invasion

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UK news highlights

The most welcome news of the week came on Thursday, when the trial of Caroline Lucas and 4 other defendants ended with the accused being acquitted on all charges. Caroline vowed the fight against fracking will go on.

Another hero emerged as Will held off police for eight hours in the first lock-on at Daneshill

On a lighter but encouraging note the World Irish Dancing Championships will feature a group presenting an anti-fracking programme.

Anti-fracking seeds are sprouting else where in the north of England, and again David Cameron is reminded the great majority of people favour wind farms, but are cautious or opposed to fracking.

An editorial in the BMJ criticised the recent report by Public Health England on fracking as being wrong in its conclusions that health risks were small in the UK.

Energy chief Angela Knight won our prize for dimwit of the week when she suggested local communities should be bribed by shares in fracking companies. Perhaps she is unaware that chancer private firms like Cuadrilla have no public shareholders. Perhaps she can't see that the more the industry pushes bribes the more it is clear to ordinary people that there must be something very wrong with fracking.

Outside the UK

Two significant reports emerged this week. One made the UK headlines, the other didn't.

Well-reported was a new study in the US which concluded that methane leaks from fracking wells could be between 100 and 1000 times as extensive as the US EIA has so far thought. A point the report made which is of importance to the UK at this time is that leaks were found to be high not only during a well's production stage but during drilling.

Making less impact - reported only in New Zealand and Italian media as far as we have found - is that a report by a panel of experts, chaired by Keele University's Profesor Peter Styles) suggests a link between oil operations and the eathquakes of 2012 which killed 27 people, injured hundreds and caused widespread devastation and economic damage.

The operations investigated and coming under suspicion included oil flow stimulation by fluid injection. The region has suspended all new exploration. The news article trailing this damaging report appeared in Science magazine. We can only theorise as to why this has not appeared in the UK press. Perhaps no-one dare suggest here that an operation which may be described as fracking has caused so much death and destruction. David Cameron would not like that.

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

News As It Came In with links to original stories

Poll: Public prefers wind to fracking as a next door neighbour

Residentsí shock over vehicle claim in fracking row

'Anti-fracking graffiti' sprayed at Rathlin Energy drilling site at Crawberry Hill near Walkington

UPDATE 1-France's Total calls time on Polish shale license

IPCC climate change report: averting catastrophe is eminently affordable

Anti-fracking demonstrator chains himself to drilling rig

Expert to shout about fracking at conference

Study: Fracking Emissions Up To 1000x Higher Than EPA Estimates

Big Leaks Found in Pennsylvania Fracking Wells

Wells Spew Greenhouse Gas During Pre-Fracking Drilling

Italian region says fracking may have caused quakes

Oil drilling possible 'trigger' for deadly Italy quakes

Fracking methane leaks at least 100 times larger than EPA estimated, say researchers

Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development

Ken Livingstone: Caroline Lucas deserves a medal

Anti-fracking campaigners voice injection well fears

Anti-fracking protestor arrested after eight hour stand off with police

Dance troupe bring anti-fracking message to World Irish Dancing Championships

Caroline Lucas cleared of all charges over anti-fracking protests

Caroline Lucas cleared of all charges over anti-fracking protests

The fight against fracking continues

Give residents fracking shares, says energy chief Angela Knight

Public Health Englandís draft report on shale gas extraction

Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?

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