Balcombe News Headlines
The High Court action by WSCC against the Balcombe Community Protection Camp has been adjourned until 8th October.
In a humilating decision, WSCC have shown themselves as competent in bringing legal action as they are in taking lawful planning decisions and monitoring adherence to conditions. They were given until 8th October to get their act together. If they don't, the case will be dismissed.
The court victory ensures that the Camp will continue and be able to police Cuadrilla's cessation of activities when their planning permission expires on the 27th September.
The Balcombe camp claimed its first police victim when an officer was disciplined over calling protectors "scum" on twitter. The PC will be receiving "management advice". Truncheon yes, Twitter no?
Other UK news
Spillover from the Liberal Democrat conference strong pro-fracking vote on Sunday 15th continued into this week's news reports. Edward Davey had told delegates to “reject the zealots who claim it’s a catastrophe”, which puts us in our place LOL! The LibDem motion presented was to agree limited fracking. They seem not to have grasped that there is no possibility of limited fracking gas production in the UK. The difficulty of extraction and costs involved mean that there is a stark choice between NO fracking, and fracking on a grand and environmentally unacceptable level.
An ex-senior scientific advisor to the government warned of enormous environmental consequences from fracking in the UK.
MPs seem now to be lining up to tell their constituents fracking should go ahead very slowly and cautiously, but should go ahead.
While UK's self-styled financial pundits talk about the opportunities for investing shale gas, US experts continue to advise investors that the shale bubble is bursting.
Concerns were raised - and continue to be a major worry - about the effect of fracking wells and pipelines leaking after the Colorado floods. A mainstream media cover-up was alleged. Anti-fracking groups in the UK were quick to point out the dangers in the Fylde, which has a potentially large area of tidal floodplain in precisely the area targetted by frackers.
Speculation mounted in India that six exploration blocks for shale gas would be put out this year for auction.
In the US proposals for regulating fracking on federal land met a mixed response, ranging from mild criticism from the industry to outright condemnation from environmental groups.
A new dispute broke out about fracking's greenhouse gas emissions with a new report suggesting these were less than the EPA had previously thought.
At least that's what the press were saying. Judge for yourself-
"This work reports direct measurements of methane emissions at 190 onshore natural gas sites in the United States. The
measurements indicate that well completion emissions are lower than previously estimated; the data also show emissions
from pneumatic controllers and equipment leaks are higher than Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) national emission
projections. Estimates of total emissions are similar to the most recent EPA national inventory of methane emissions from
natural gas production
However, the main claim to note was that with modern technology up to 99% of methane could be captured. Whether this modern technology is actually widely used by the industry, and whether it will be used in the UK where there is no regulation to enforce that, is of course another matter.
Although supposedly peer-reviewed, the report from Texas University sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and nine petroleum companies faces claims that it was biased by being industry funded and that it used too small a selective sample of wells to draw conclusions. Only 190 wells were studied. 25,000 were drilled in the last year alone.
The study also drew data from wells which were selected by the industry, and were monitored at times agreed by the industry. This selection skewed the result, according to Professor Robert Howarth of Cornell University.
There's no doubt, though, that the report will be seized on by pro-frackers to assure us that with best practice and tough regulation fracking can help reduce climate change's continued onslaught. Already my midweek Ed Davey was reiterating that belief.
Another report into US livestock farming has warned of the threat fracking poses, it was disclosed. US experts warned the UK to place a moratorium on fracking until further research into its impacts on livestock and food safety has been carried out. Last year Robert Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell University, and Michelle Bamberger, a veterinarian, published the first-peer reviewed research suggesting links between fracking and sickness in farm animals.
California and Illinoi moved to install fracking regulation, New York continued at a standstill.
Earthworks produced a new report detailing air hazards in Texas caused by fracking.
A report from Pennsylvania confirmed that drillers, having reduced production from shallow (non-shale) wells were turning their attention to horizontal drilling and fracking to boost returns. This raises the spectre of even more surface pollution and groundwater contamination.
Any opinions here not quotes from the
week's news reports are my own. Alan Tootill
News As It Came In
links to original stories
Criminal charges in Pa. gas drilling case spur debate over industry, enforcement
Lib Dems back new nuclear and fracking
Liberal Democrats support use of fracking and nuclear power
Lib Dem conference day 2: is the party saving or losing its soul?
Wind farm opponents 'living in stone age' as Coalition split exposed
Pundemonium! Energy Secretary Ed Davey delivers cringe-inducing gag-filled speech to Lib Dem conference
Colorado Floods Causing Fracking Spills?:
Natural and Human-made Disasters Portend Future of Toxic Catastrophe
Auction of six shale gas blocks likely this year
CPRE warns of fracking in Lancashire
Anti-fracking protesters are hailing a High Court decision as a "resounding victory" in their fight against drilling in Balcombe.
Fracking could have 'enormous environmental consequences', senior scientist warns
FT: US fracking rules given mixed reception
Gas Leaks in Fracking Disputed in Study
Read the study report here
Industry Funded Report Fatally Flawed, says EcoWatch
George Hollingbery, Meon Valley MP: We need to be extremely cautious about fracking (but let's do it)
Methane capture equipment can cut fracking emissions by 99%, UT study says
UT methane fracking study 'fatally flawed': Cornell scientist
Is fracking a mortal threat to our livestock?
Fracking for gas and oil poses serious risk to livestock, warns expert
Fracking poses risk to UK farm animals and food safety, experts warn
Bath MP Don Foster says progress on fracking must be 'very slow' (but should go ahead)
Kent Parish Council hold fracking meeting
Jenny Jones hits back at Boris over Mayor’s support for fracking to tackle London’s energy needs
Colorado flooding may unleash fracking fluids
Big Oil PR Pros, Lobbyists Dominate EDF Fracking Climate Study Steering Committee
Lord Cowdray adds his weight to the Fernhurst anti-fracking campaign
To avoid conflicts of interest, academic research must be transparent and independently funded, says Cary Nelson
Is Colorado’s Fracking Industry at Threat from the Floods?
Investment prospects for shale gas
Invest in Energy Equities to Profit when the Shale Gas Bubble Bursts
Invest in Energy Equities to Profit when the Shale Gas Bubble Bursts
FOE: Davey support for shale gas will further fracture green credentials
New Statesman - Bianca Jagger: Why fracking is not the solution
Labour MP proves himself another fracking supporter
Did Floods Cause a Fracking Disaster in Colorado?
Top civil servant Jeremy Heywood met Cuadrilla chief straight after Sussex fracking announcement
Canadian pro-fracking "academic" resigns after being exposed as a qualification fraud
Gas chemicals ‘a threat’ to farm produce
Is Oil Industry Funding of a Fracking Study a Problem? Let's Ask an Oil-Funded Expert
Police officer disciplined for Twitter slur calling Balcombe anti-fracking protesters 'scum'
Colorado flood death toll rises, amid oil spills
Chief constable questioned over ‘weak’ Balcombe protest policing
Air Pollution Destroys Health of Texas Fracking Communities
As other states move ahead, New York remains still on fracking
Calif. governor signs state's first fracking rules
Fracking protesters switch focus to Brighton for Labour conference
Safety pledge needed from fracking firms - Welsh AM calls for moratorium
Sussex MP Nick Herbert and Councillor Janet Duncton on fracking: When a councillor stresses an application is only for exploration :-( we know what that means.
Horizontal drilling, fracking begins in old, shallow oil and gas fields
Concerned residents have launched a protest group after plans emerged of potential fracking sites in the Maltby region.