Week Ending 22nd September 2013
The Protection Camp continued, entering its tenth and maybe final - at least for the moment - week. Meanwhile Cuadrilla continued to drill, and were reported to have completed a 2500 foot (900m) horizontal (1700 feet according to other reports). Are they in breach of their planning permission by going beyond their red line plan? The reason for them withdrawing their application to extend the permission remains unclear. Was the planning permission granted unlawful? Whose land were they drilling under? Were they trespassing without having landowner permission? Will their new permission be regarded as retrospective? A lot of questions remain about the lawfulness of what Cuadrilla have done in Balcombe.
With Cuadrilla saying they are happy with the outcome of their drilling - but without revealing still whether their true interest is in oil or gas - the Balcombe struggle is likely to continue. What purpose the Balcombe camp will serve in the immediate future when other test sites up and down the country may be at more imminent risk of drilling, testing and actual fracking remains to be seen.
The police were reported to be closing down their Balcombe operation at a final cost estmated at around £4 million. They ceased their operation as soon as Cuadrilla closed down their operation and vacated the site. The Camp is still there. So much for the police claims of ensuring traffic safety, they were there for one reason only, to protect Cuadrilla. Earlier in the week police confirmed that they were prepared to encourage Cuadrilla to breach their planning permission constraints on traffic movements.
West Sussex County Council confirmed Cuadrilla have submitted a new application for Balcombe testing.
Other UK news highlights
The Crown Prosecution Service deided it was in the public interest to charge Caroline Lucas with two criminal offences relating to the Balcombe protest. In our opinion they will have a hard time proving their charges, and defending their decision to prosecute.
The Times finally caught on to what we have been saying for some time now, that landowner rights could kill fracking. Typically pro-fracking, the paper described basic landowner rights as a "loophole" in the law.
A definitive IPCC report has declared it is 95% certain that climate change is man-made.For the sensibile majority this will finally end the scientific debate and nail down the coffin of the climate changer deniers. Unfortunately there are always one or two who continue to voice opinion from the grave.
Amongst the politicians who refuse to face the challenge, George Osborne stood out. What an appalling disgrace he is.
An Observer editorial called for an end to denial of cimate change, and for action. So say all of us.
Any opinions here not quotes from the
week's news reports are my own.
News As It Came In
links to original stories
Fracking fears as Peeblesshire listed amongst sites for exploration
Shale Gas is Not a Saviour, it is a Thorn in Renewable Energy’s Side
Disturbing trends with fracking
Sites sought for region’s fracking residue
Fracking public display at the Senedd
Drilling completed at fracking site
Cuadrilla has completed exploratory oil drilling at Balcombe
Balcombe Cuadrilla test drilling for oil reveals 'hydrocarbons'
Eco-Investigators Say Fracking Air Pollution is Poisoning Families in Texas
Agency reports land disturbance from gas development
The good and bad on fracking's methane leaks
Frackers fear being held to ransom by landowner loophole
Police encourage Cuadrilla to breach planning permission conditions
Green MP Caroline Lucas charged over anti-fracking protest
After Balcombe: Where next for the anti-fracking movement?
Fracking not capping the solution to high energy bills says Cameron
Climate change: the scientific debate is over. Political and policy action must start now
James Delingpole Leads Climate Change Sceptics in Trashing IPCC's 'Sexed-up' Report
Police wind-up fracking operation
Plans for more drilling at anti-fracking protest site
I don't want UK to be at forefront of tackling climate change, says Osborne
No more denial. Time to act on climate change
Balcombe fracking protesters claim victory