Special update - Energy and Climate Change Committee report 26/4/12


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Week Ending 28th April 2013

ASA blow for Cuadrilla

The Guardian announced on Tuesday that Cuadrilla had been found guilty of beaches of advertising standards by the Advertising Standards Authority. The complaint, by anti-fracking group Refracktion, concerned a leaflet distributed in summer 2012 in the Fylde.
The ASA findings included that Cuadrilla had been wrong to claim it used "proven, safe technologies". The ruling identifies 21 ways in which the 8 page leaflet breaches the ASA’s advertising code on grounds including being misleading, misleading by omitting material information, making subjective claims, making claims without adequate substantiation, and exaggeration."
Refracktion also revealed that the powerful promotion agency PPS, which has previously been disgraced for using dirty tricks in its campaigns, was involved in the Cuadrilla leaflet.

Slap in the face for Osborne from new cross-party expert report.

On Monday the Independent ran the story that the new report from the Carbon Connect steering group of industry and academic experts will be extremely embarrassing for chancellor George Osborne. The Independent ran with the headline:
"Cross-party group pours cold water on Osborne's hopes shale gas will solve energy problems".

"The findings contradict Mr Osborne's assertions in his Budget last month, when he announced generous tax breaks for fracking companies and hinted at financial incentives to persuade local communities to join the shale gas rush."

The report suggests the amount of shale gas is unknown, how much of it is extractable is unknown, and that frackers will encounter opposition to planning. Gas is as likely to be exported as feeding British homes. The report is unlikely to deter Osborne, whose pursuit of fracking is beginning to look increasingly irrational.

Shale gas will scupper climate change targets

This was the main message from John Gummer's Committee on Climate Change,the statutory body set up to advise ministers on meeting the UK's climate targets, produced this week. The report coverage also, however, suggested shale could be lower carbon than imported gas, which seems an odd statement given the potential for methane releases during extraction.
The report highlights the growing realisation that apart from destroying any chance of meeting the UK's climate change targets, and denying development of renewables, and repeats the now-accepted (apart from by the government and rabid pro-frackers) that shale gas will not be a "game changer" in the market.

Committee on Energy and Climate Change Report

However, these "non-official" reports will fade in memory compared with the release on Friday of a major new report from the parliamentary select committee. This, although including many reservations, gives the government and the fracking industry every encouragement to continue not only exploration but test production. Interestingly, the committee is still repeating its bleat about offshore fracking (and estimated offshore reserves are many times greater than onshore reserves) and often repeating the message that fracking will be strongly opposed onshore. This does raise again the question and the strong argument (although because of the overriding climate change imperative I couldn't endorse this as an energy strategy) - If there is SO MUCH MORE shale gas offshore, why face years of bitter conflict with local communities who will have their countryside destroyed permanently?

The depressing impression is of a government rushing heedless into fracking without any idea of the financial consequences, and without any grasp of the dangers. And without any concern for climate change. The report ignores the fact that the public have genuine reason for concern, and sees the public as a mere obstacle to be overcome by propaganda and bribery. It paints a very depressing picture of UK politics today.

Other News

Coverage of the Lancashire County Council protest continued in the Lancashire Evening Post, which reminded readers that the Green Party was the only one committed against fracking.

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 'unlikely to give UK cheap gas', report says

Gasland 2 screening controversy

Protestor’s warning that fracking will hit Lancashire

Northern Territories protests about NLC push for gas

2015 mooted as start for Polish production

EU Shale Gas Legislation: An Interview with Joe Hennon, Spokesperson for Environment

Sandra Steingraber spends Earth Day in jail

TAG spuds in first NZ NI East Coast fracking exploration well


More on the Carbon Connect report
The report in full

Still no transparency on US fracking chemicals


ASA finds Cuadrilla guilty on 21 counts
The details from Refracktion
and ASA

Climate Change Committee report says relying on gas would scupper the UK's chances of meeting emissions targets
The Report Press Release
The Summary Report

Europe faces obstacles to shale gas production


Peter Lilley slams CCS, 18 month shale gas delay

BP forecasts growth of shale oil, shale gas

Australian feds legislation to protect water from CSG (CBM) forgets shale gas fracking.


Energy and Climate Change - Seventh Report
The Main Conclusions

The "Press Release"

Independent - MPs warn fracking may not bring down gas prices
Bloomberg - U.K. Fracking May Not Reduce Domestic Gas Prices, Report Shows
Guardian - Fracking firms should offer sweeteners to locals, say MPs
Greenpeace - a fantasy and a dangerous distraction from renewables
FOE - Fracking may threaten UK climate targets and may not cut costs - MP report
Northern Echo - Committee dampens fracking hopes
BBC - UK shale gas bonanza 'not assured'
Reuters: UK should do more to speed shale gas development - MPs
this is bath - Keep on fracking - but it's not the silver bullet, say MPs
Irish Times - UK shale gas might not depress prices
This is South Wales - Shale gas production could improve UK energy security, says MPs' report
Professional Engineering - British shale gas future still uncertain
Igas eyeing two more wells; welcomes MPs’ shale gas report
Telegraph - 'Get on and drill' for shale gas say MPs
The Press and Journal - North Sea fracking could play key role
LEP "Committee dampens fracking hopes"
Blackpool Gazette - "Committee dampens fracking hopes" Utlity Week - Still too early to gauge shale gas impact, say MPs
This Is Money - Don't get your fracking hopes up': UK households warned that shale gas probably won't cut energy bills
Guardian's report on Igas plans
Bloomberg: U.K. Fracking May Fail to Cut Local Gas Prices, Report Shows

Guardian - Harnessing volcanoes: Charles Hendry talks nuclear, fracking and more

Argos reports protest training in Sussex

Shale Commission Report Cites Dangers, But Presumes Fracking Inevitable in Maryland

NPCA report cites potential fracking perils to US national parks

Some fear fracking in George Washington National Forest

Fracking Debris Ten Times Too Radioactive for Hazardous Waste Landfill

Are People Living Near Fracking Sites Getting Sick?
Are People Living Near Fracking Sites Getting Sick?

Australian Federal Government to Prevent Fracking Around the Great Barrier Reef


Have Another Hit of Fracked Air


Fledgling shale gas sector takes wings

Why Britain is failing to cut its carbon footprint

Belfast Telegraph: Granting of licence to look for oil and gas sparks fury

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