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Latest Digest Week Ending 31st August 2014

Special report - 243 Pennsylania water wells affected by oil and gas operations - official

MORE SIGNATURES NEEDED FOR THE BIG ONE!

I,m not big on petitions generally. But this one is important. A group of organisations, including FoE and Greenpeace, now has OVER 250,000 signatures to tell Cameron to abandon his fracking folly. Please sign and share if you haven't already done so. Next step half a million! Click on the pic to go to FoE's petition page.


UK news highlights

The main stories

In Manchester High Court on Thursday, Cuadrilla ended up with a red face and their lawyers with bloody noses when the judge laughed at their argument for try and stop the world from coming anywhere near their proposed drilling sites.
The possession order for the field where for three weeks a camp had been established was a hollow one. The application for possession was not disputed by the defence. Not surprising since the camp had already gone, as planned.
The farmers - it is unclear how many farms exactly, two or three, are involved since Cuadrilla got family members to boost the numbers to make it look like a far wider issue that it was - will have to wait for a further hearing to see whether there is any justification on seeking a blanket injunction against trespass. They have not found it yet. Even Cuadrilla (who appeared twice as claimants once as Cuadrilla Elswick, and once as Cuadrilla Bowland, were told to take their names of the claimants list. The inclusion of the names was clearly a publicity stunt designed to give Cuadrilla the credit for a victory - if they had got one, which they didn't. Cuadrilla's lawyers knew full well that not as landowners - nor even lessees as I understand it - they could have no interest in a possession order.

We will have to wait until Octber for further news.

Elsewhere The other main news of the week was the on-the-quiet release by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection of full details of 243 cases between 2008 and 2014 of water supplies being affected by oil and gas operations. Hopefully this kills off once and for all the boast that there has never been any evidence of fracking polluting water supplies. ead our special report >here.

The Wall STreet Journal elicited some replies from the frackers. One blamed the poor construction of water wells. It is hard to see even if true this denies groundwater sources have been polluted. Another regurguitated the methane in shallow aquifers distraction. It is not difficult to distinguish gas in shallow rocks from gas from deeper shale strata. The other excuse was that "many" of the problems were down to spills.

Basically it seems from the quality of these arguments the industry has no defence left that will stand up to scrutiny


Any opinions here not quotes from the week's news reports are my own.
Alan Tootill

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