Week Ending 23rd June 2013
Significant news came in on Monday from FoE. Cuadrilla have been stopped in their tracks at Balcombe and must now obtain a mining waste permit and a radioactive substances permit before it can carry out test drilling. This will be a blow for the company, and a significant move by the EA following legal correspondence from FoE.
Friends of the Earth's legal team wrote to the Environment Agency arguing that Cuadrilla needed to obtain permits under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 before carrying out exploratory drilling at the site.
Reporting the news on their website, Cuadrilla tried to play the problem down.
The waste applications are open for public consultation until 16th July. The application and links to how to respond can be found
Support for anti-fracking campaigners came from a slightly unexpected but welcome source when Blackburn Diocese produced an information leaflet on fracking. Rev Chris Halliwell Blackburn, Diocesan Rural and Environmental Project Office, said fracking demonstrates a disregard for the integrity of creation and will only widen the gap between rich and poor, locally and globally.
“Fracking also...[contributes] to the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he said. “These levels are already dangerously high, and contributing to the reality of climate change.
BBC2's Horizon programme on fracking by presenter cum geologist Iain Stewart met widespread condemnation. The Telegraph's Neil Midgley said:
"By the time the programme finished, I was watching open-mouthed with vexation at being spun such a succession of lines. More importantly, I felt none the wiser about what fracking is – or what risks it might have in the UK."
Welcome news was that the government has abandoned its plans to pull all onshore shale gas and oil away from local mineral and waste authorities, so most decision-making will remain local. For the moment! This policy "will be kept under review".
Frack Free Dorset gave a cautious welcome to the news that one of the drillers with Dorest licence reckons there is no prospect for shale fracking.
Not so welcome news from the US. On Friday it emerged that the US EPA was abandoning its attempts to validate its studies in 2011 which pointed the finger at fracking as the cause of Wyoming water pollution. It will not stand by its findings and has left any further investigation to Wyoming authorities. Given that the state authorities onjected to the EPA's findings, and that new research led by Wyoming officials would be funded at least in part by a $1.5 million grant from Encana Corp.'s U.S. oil and gas subsidiary, which owns the Pavillion gas field, it seems fairly safe to say the EPA findings are dead and buried.
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
Irish Border rally against fracking
Oh Calcutta! India's plan for shale gas outlined
Shale oil enters the market putting oil gas prices down
Warning over climate change and UK food security
Government set to offer financial incentives to drop opposition to fracking
Indoor fracking installation seeks to provoke debate
Balcombe anti-fracking campaigners hold tea party
Anti-fracking trio join G8 protests
Conservative Hampshire MP George Hollingbery speaks out on ‘fracking dangers’
Group taken on in fracking plan
FoE stops Cuadrilla in its tracks: must apply for waste permits before Sussex test drilling
Byles pushing for shale
Lord Lawson's climate-change think tank risks being dismantled after complaint it persistently misled public
Businessgreen: Cuadrilla faces fresh permitting delay for Balcombe fracking project
Cuadrilla plays it down
More detail on India's shale gas boom - Dream or Reality?
New Brunswick protests grow
Climate Change drops off G8 agenda
Europe Must Forget Fantasies about Repeating the US Shale Boom
Blackburn Diocese joins 'fracking' debate
Video of Mike Hill addressing EU conference on shale gas regulation.
US EPA study on water to take until 2016
Boulder drafting ballot language for three-year fracking moratorium
Oilprice.com: Has the shale boom already ended?
Oilprice.com: Methane Leaks Threaten the Future of Shale Gas
Food and Water Watch: New webpages to counter industry spin.
A Protest in U.S. Oil Country Spells Trouble for Fracking Abroad
Chevron begins shale gas exploration in Lithuania?
CNPC starts construction of China's first shale gas pipeline
New Jessica Ernst report details water contamination
Historic Wildfires Scorch Colorado While Fracking Industry Continues to Drain Water Supply
Independent pans BBC Horizon programme
Telegraph pans BBC Horizon programme
Obama pulls plug? EPA abdicates responsibility
EPA ends probe of Wyoming water pollution linked to fracking
Wyoming Replaces U.S. to Study Water Woes Tied to Fracking
EPA won't confirm fracking-pollution tie in Wyo.
Obama administration ends probe
EPA abandons study that linked fracking, Wyoming water pollution
A reminder of the background
Application for fracking tests in Banks
UK fracking opponents drawing first blood
Fracking outside new major infrastructure projects - decisions stay with local councils
More fracking protestor arrests in Canada
Fracking company pays $35,000 for fluid spill
Bluegrass Pipeline fears
Fracking unlikely to take place in Dorset, says gas chief
Fracking: After 160 years Central Scotland has had enough