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Latest Digest Week Ending 30th November 2014

UK news highlights

The main stories

Third Energy announced that they were applying to frack Yorkshire. The company is backed by Barclays Bank investment finance. The plan is for the Kirby Misperton well, between Malton and Pickerin, which was explored in 2013. The announcement drew immediate negative response, including from local Labour Councillors who called for opposition. It was pointe3d out by the local MP, Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk and Malton, and chairman of the Government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. She pointed out that Third Energy had previously assured her they had neither the expertise nor any desire to frack anyway in Ryedale. This clearly exposes the duplicity of the industry. We can not trust their words.

Other news

A Greenpeace poll of Lancashire residents found a majority against fracking. Cuadrilla said this disagreed with a LEP poll recently which showed a slender majority in favour. As we pointed out at the time, that poll was flawed in its method, it allowed anonumous multiple voting, and it was very clear to us that industry shills worked to engineer the result Cuadrilla wanted.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies spoke in parliament on the fracking debate called by anti-fracking MP Norman Baker. Mark Menzies has suddenly realised his words about "Gold Standard" regulation are not only not believed by the electorate but do not represent the truth. His words curiously echo the proposals that were put to him three years ago by Mike Hill, the Lytham shale expert who is a major thorn in the frackers' side. In those years Menzies did nothing. So why is he talking the talk now? It couldn't be because he met Mike Hill last week, asking him if the rumours were true about Mike Hill standing against him in the next general election, could it?

In the same debate Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw gave the game away when he said how he and Menzies had been working for fracking to come to the Fylde with cash payouts for the community.

Press reports confirmed that Lancashire County Council have set back the deadline for deciding the Preston New Road planning applications until 31st January 2015, and are accepting a new round of public comments on new information from Cuadrilla until 19th December.

A senior scientist - indeed the government's own Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir Mark Walport, warned that the government has not given proper consideration to the potential risks of the process of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking" used in shale gas extraction. Media reports compared the risks of fracking with asbestos, smoking and thalidomide.

The annual report itself said "“History presents plenty of examples of innovation trajectories that later proved to be problematic — for instance involving asbestos, benzene, thalidomide, dioxins, lead in petrol, tobacco, many pesticides, mercury, chlorine and endocrine-disrupting compounds...”

If the government does not yet get the message, they are deaf dumb and blind to the dangers posed by fracking to the electorate. We can only hope they pay heavily for this at the next general election.

In Wales bailiffs succeeded finally in evicting protectors from the Borras and Holt community protection camp, near Wrexham. A new camp has been set up nearby. It will not be so easy for cowboy Gerwyn Wiliiams man and a dog company Coastal Oil & Gas Ltd to succeed in their drilling plans.


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

Fracking planned in North Yorkshire near Flamingo Land

North Yorkshire’s first fracking plan

Oppose fracking in Calderdale says Labour

Two thirds of Lancashire people want fracking moratorium, poll shows

Most Lancashire People Against Fracking

Fracking debate - Hansard 25th November

Fracking decision postponed for January


Fracking could be as damaging as thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, government's Chief Scientific Adviser warns in new report

Heavy police presence remains at Wrexham 'anti-fracking' camp as clean up continues

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