Fracking Round-up. Cheshire East Councillor makes U-Turn and now supports the destruction of his county.

by Gordon

Notts Wildlife Trust “worried” about Government fracking plan take over

By Retford Times  |  Posted: August 25, 2015

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust says it is concerned about the Government’s decision to allow intervention in local planning decisions for exploratory operations linked to fracking.

The charity, which monitors thousands of planning applications across the county each year for threats to wildlife, believes that it is wrong to treat planning decisions relating to fracking differently to others, all of which it says should be considered “properly and rigorously”.

The Wildlife Trust believes that all activities that have the potential to damage wildlife habitats should be subject to the same protocols and that it is “vital” that both a robust environmental impact assessment is undertaken and that local residents are given time to have their say.

While recognising that there is a duty on planning authorities to consider applications in a reasonable timescale, the trust feels that the prospect of the decision being taken out of the hands of professional local planning officers and locally elected councillors is “worrying”. Read more here.

 

Fracking: Cheshire East Council leader accused of U-turn

Fracking could happen in parts of Cheshire after all, a council leader who previously ruled it out has said.

Michael Jones, the Conservative leader of Cheshire East Council, said he would back plans to drill for shale gas if the process is found to be “safe”.

Labour Councillor Sam Corcoran accused Mr Jones of making a U-turn, going back on “assurances” he gave last year.

The government last week awarded licenses for oil and gas exploration in Cheshire as part of a national policy.

The

Fracking: Cheshire East Council leader accused of U-turn

Image caption Fracking involves using a high-pressure water mixture to penetrate rock in order to release gas

Fracking could happen in parts of Cheshire after all, a council leader who previously ruled it out has said.

Michael Jones, the Conservative leader of Cheshire East Council, said he would back plans to drill for shale gas if the process is found to be “safe”.

Labour Councillor Sam Corcoran accused Mr Jones of making a U-turn, going back on “assurances” he gave last year.

The government last week awarded licenses for oil and gas exploration in Cheshire as part of a national policy.

The process of fracking – where water, chemicals and sand are blasted at shale rocks to release the gas trapped within – has proved deeply controversial in recent months.

Opponents have voiced concerns about earth tremors, water contamination and disruption to rural communities.

The industry, meanwhile, insists many of these fears are overblown, and that fracking can be carried out safely under the right regulations.

‘Let it be safe’

Leaving the safety issue aside, Mr Jones stressed he did not believe fracking would be “viable” in Cheshire East.

He told BBC Radio Manchester: “Most of our county is geothermal which is up to 5km deep and I believe if you go below 5km to find shale deposits they will evaporate.

“We don’t think it is viable here. Our experts don’t think it is viable.

“If they can get the evidence to say it is safe, if they can show people it is a good, viable entity, then I’m sure we’ll pass it.”

“We are in difficult times. National security, having our own energy is key. Geothermal in Cheshire East yes. If fracking works elsewhere and it is safe, I’m for it. But let it be safe.”

Mr Corcoran said: “The problem is with the bombastic style of the statement made last year. It was a promise that was never in the power of Councillor Michael Jones to keep.

“So the current U-turn comes as no surprise to me.”


 

Michael Jones quote

Read more here.

Fracking threat hangs over tourist spots and villages near Frome following licence deal

By Somerset Standard  |  Posted: August 25, 2015

FSLongleat

For the first time the threat of fracking now hangs over villages near Frome and the historic Longleat House.

Beckington, Rode, Tellisford, Southwick, Rudge, part of Farleigh Hungerford, Berkley, Chapmanslade, Corsley, Corsley Heath, Horningsham, Upton Scudamore and important regional tourist attractions – Longleat and Center Parcs – face an uncertain future after the Government announced the area was available in the latest round of oil and gas licenses.

Mark Lumley of Gas Field Free Mendip was angry.

He said: “This strongly suggests that large swathes of Somerset and Wiltshire, including a large area between Frome, Warminster, Westbury may shortly be up for grabs to the fracking industry.”

Much of the coastline from Minehead to Weston-super-Mare, and the western flank of the Mendip Hills, southern England’s largest and most important limestone upland, has also been identified as having potential for the fracking industry.

Mr Lumley added: “In a county that relies heavily on its reputation as a wild, tranquil and beautiful place to visit people might raise an eyebrow at the prospect of a coastline and skyline festooned with frack pads flaring and venting 24 hours a day, and the impact that this might have on tourism, local business and our already stretched infrastructure.

To view the consultation visit www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/454768/33917_HRA_Appendix_E_Figs.pdf

Read more here

 

Fracking firms to start gas hunt across Lincolnshire

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: August 26, 2015

Controversial moves to start prospecting for shale gas between East Kirkby and Spilsby have been given the given the green light.

Twelve firms which hope to start fracking in the area, including Cuadrilla and Ineos, were handed licences to explore by the Government’s Oil and Gas Authority last week.

A further eight 10km square areas along the Lincolnshire coast could also be agreed for exploration bids later this year.

Concerns have been raised that the environment will suffer if gas is found and fracking begins. Read more here

 

Anti-fracking event next month

By Ross Findon Wednesday, August 26, 2015

AN ANTI-FRACKING group is hosting an information event next month following the announcement large parts of the Isle of Wight could be opened up to the controversial process.

The government’s Oil and Gas Authority recently announced significant parts of the Isle of Wight could be included in the next round of exploration licenses.

Almost half the Isle of Wight has already been licensed for oil and gas exploration under previous licencing rounds, however no fracking plans have been submitted with the council.

Fracking involves injecting a solution into the ground at high pressure to release gas from shale rocks and planning permission would need to be granted before work could start.

Community group Frack Free Isle of Wight is hosting an event on Saturday, September 5, from 10am to 3pm, at the Unitarian Church in High Street, Newport.

Councillors narrowly rejected a motion to designate the Isle of Wight a frack free zone, due to concerns it could lead to claims the planning process was unfair, with decisions being made in advance of applications being properly considered.

To see which areas of the Isle of Wight could be affected, please see the document below, pages 131 to 135.Oil and Gas Exploration Licences 2015

 

Source: here

 

Bolton Council ‘to oppose fracking in the borough’

The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author

 

BOLTON Council will oppose any attempts to carry out fracking in the borough, its leader has vowed.

Cllr Cliff Morris stated the intention at a full council meeting on Wednesday night.

But he warned that this stance would not prevent the government using Bolton land for the controversial drilling process — as they could bypass local councils’ opposition.

The announcement comes a week after the government gave the go-ahead for tests to be carried out in the borough, including parts of Smithills, Horwich, Blackrod and Astley Bridge.

A licence will be offered to the firm Osprey to perform the exploratory tests, with the government also having earmarked the whole of the rest of the borough as having the potential for shale gas extraction. Read more here.

 

THE BIG ISSUE: could fracking for gas pose a danger in North Staffordshire?

By The Sentinel  |  Posted: August 28, 2015

The Government could grant another licence to drill for oil and gas in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle later this year. Ed Owen looks at what this could mean.

And another part of North Staffordshire could potentially be subject to future fracking proposals following an application to explore for oil and gas.

An area covering Hanley, Burslem, Stoke, Etruria and parts of Newcastle is one of 132 blocks across the country which are currently being evaluated for drilling licences. Read more here.

 

Shale-gas licences announced

Posted on 28 Aug 2015

The Government has announced the names of the companies that have been awarded 27 new shale-gas licences to explore hydraulic-fracturing (fracking) opportunities in the UK.

In order to secure these licences, the companies have agreed to invest in exploratory work that is likely to involve a year of seismic surveys and analysis before any applications are made for drilling or fracking.

I-Gas, Cuadrilla, Ineos, Total and GDF Suez are among the established shale businesses that secured new licences to explore in northern England and the East Midlands — in many cases acquiring blocks near their existing rights. I-Gas received the most licences, with seven new exploration blocks in the Gainsborough Trough and East Midlands, five of which are in partnership with the French energy group Total.

Cuadrilla picked up two blocks in Yorkshire, while Ineos picked up three in the East Midlands.

The only less well-known companies on the list are Osprey and ADM. Large oil businesses such as BP and Shell have said in the past that they are not interested in bidding for these licences, and industry analysts say the announcement confirms that.

However, another 132 licences — currently subject to further environmental consultation — may be announced later this year.

Source: here.

 

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