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Fracking protestors target MP
Frack Free Ryedale protestors, who will stage a rally in Old Malton
ANTI-fracking campaigners are set to stage a demonstration outside the constituency surgery of an MP who has supported a scheme to launch the controversial gas production method in his area.
Protestors will hand Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake a scientific paper showing that 84 per cent of public health studies into fracking contain findings that indicate public health hazards, elevated risks, or adverse health outcomes, when he attends his surgery in Old Malton on Friday.
Mr Hollinrake has repeatedly stated that he supports using the method to extract shale gas, providing the industry is thoroughly regulated, as it will help cater for the country’s expanding energy demand.
Frack Free Ryedale with Frack Free Malton and Norton said they would also highlight the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green policy of implementing a complete ban on fracking, a scheme for which has been approved by North Yorkshire County Council at Kirby Misperton, near Pickering.
Fracking looms over Bassetlaw as councillors meet to debate drilling deal in Misson
The application was submitted to Nottinghamshire County Council by Island Gas Limited, who are hoping to drill a former Cold War missile launch site off Springs Road in Misson, near Worksop.
There were 2,600 responses to a public consultation on the controversial plans, but the decision now lies in the hands of councillors who will debate at County Hall on Wednesday, October 5.
Nottinghamshire County Council has also received a planning application for a similar proposal involving shale gas exploratory drilling from Dart Energy at a site off the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth.
Public consultation on this application closed in the summer. The application will be considered by the Planning and Licensing Committee in the future.
David Larder, chairman of Bassetlaw Against Fracking, said the group also opposes these plans and would be holding a demonstration outside County Hall before the meeting, urging councillors to “look at the bigger picture” by turning down all applications.
“It won’t stop with one well. It cannot, if it is to be economically viable, stop with one well .
“I appeal to the councillors to have courage and stop the frackers in their tracks.”
IGas bosses said that should the application be granted they would continue to drill wells “safely and responsibly”.
Fracking and UCG: Fife Council seek ‘clarity’ on Scottish Government approach
FIFE Council want answers from the Scottish Government on their approach to fracking and underground coal gasification (UCG).
With the first shipment of shale gas traveling under the Forth bridges yesterday, the minister for business, innovation and energy has been pressed for clarity.
In October last year, the Scottish Government announced a moratorium on consents for unconventional oil and gas developments to enable further research and a public consultation was carried out.
The council’s depute leader, Councillor Lesley Laird, has now written to Paul Wheelhouse MSP for an update and details on how Fifers can have their say.
She said: “When the moratoriums were confirmed, the Scottish Government indicated that there would be extensive stakeholder engagement, across a number of themes, designed to establish an evidence-based approach to dealing with the matter of unconventional gas and fracking as well as determining the Scottish Government’s position on whether or not these technologies should be allowed in Scotland.
“Fife Council passed a motion in May this year opposing all fracking and any unconventional gas extraction in Fife. We should now be heading toward the end of the initial review period and the report-back phase, as outlined in the Scottish Government’s timetable for the review which was published when the moratoriums were announced.”
Ineos chairman and chief executive Jim Ratcliffe said yesterday he was “disappointed” that no minister attended the “Grangemouth Renaissance” event which marked the arrival of the first ships from the US carrying shale gas.
It is expected the gas will ensure the future of the firm’s petrochemical plant.
Pennsylvanians Beg Scotland to Reject First Shipment of US Fracked Gas
‘Fracking should not happen here in Scotland, and our country should not profit from it happening anywhere else’
The first shipment of American fracked gas was set to arrive in a Scottish port on Tuesday, to the dismay of environmental campaigners on both sides of the Atlantic.
A tanker carrying 27,500 cubic meters of ethane from U.S. shale fields had reportedly reached Grangemouth, the site of the petrochemicals plant owned by multinational corporation Ineos, but was prevented from unloading its cargo due to high winds. According to the local Falkirk Herald, the so-called “Dragon-class” ship will now dock on Wednesday.
But anti-fracking activists in Scotland and in Pennsylvania—where the fracked gas originated—oppose the delivery no matter when it takes place.
“It is completely unacceptable to attempt to prop up the Grangemouth plant on the back of environmental destruction across the Atlantic,” said Mary Church, head of campaigns for Friends of the Earth Scotland, on Tuesday. “Only today we have heard from the U.K. Climate Change Committee that global warming is already impacting Scotland, and that we should expect to see an increase in extreme weather events like last year’s floods. To pursue a future for the Ineos plant based on the consumption of ever more fossil fuels is utterly irresponsible in the context of what we know about the devastating impacts of climate change.”
Meanwhile, across the ocean, those who have been impacted by the controversial drilling practice begged Scotland not to further support a destructive industry.
“Americans are being sacrificed by having this production near their homes, schools and farms,” read a statement from Citizens for Clean Water a group based in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.
“I have witnessed first hand how the fracking industry has brought permanent damage across the Pennsylvania region, polluted our air, land, and water and is destroying our livelihoods,” added Ron Gulla, a former resident of Hickory, Pennsylvania, who leased his own land for fracking in 2002. “Those living near drilling, infrastructure, or waste sites have suffered water contamination, spills, wastewater dumping, and gas leaks, as well as multiple health impacts.”
And Mark Lichty, executive producer of the cautionary documentary Groundswell Rising, declared in a statement:
The arrival of the Ineos Dragon ships in the U.K. is not an event to celebrated, but rather to be mourned. The event means the message and commitments made in Paris, go virtually unheeded. Fracked gas with its methane and carbon dioxide emissions fuels the climate crises. The earth speaks resoundingly of its climate-induced pain through unprecedented heat waves, floods, forest fires, etc.
The infrastructure to process the gas is a black hole sucking money into it that could be spent on a bright, job-producing, alternative future.
Voices are beginning to be heard that we must have a WWII style mobilization effort to rise to the climate crises. Then as now this is an enemy we can combat. Let the U.K. and U.S. stand together. United we stand, divided we fall.
The Independent reports that Ineos “plans to eventually transport more than 800,000 tons of ethane, using eight specially built ships, across the Atlantic every year—and claims this new supply could ‘revolutionize’ U.K. manufacturing.”
Ineos, which is sourcing its fracked gas from a company with a spotty safety record in the U.S., is also hoping to frack for gas itself—and to “lead a U.K. and European shale gas revolution”—despite Scotland’s current moratorium on the practice.
With that in mind, fracktivists on Tuesday called again for the Scottish government “to act swiftly to ban fracking and start planning seriously for a fair transition to a low carbon economy across all sectors.”
“Fracking should not happen here in Scotland,” said Church, “and our country should not profit from it happening anywhere else.”
Greens rubbish ‘fracking is safe’ claim by energy boss
by Sofia Lotto Persio
ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners rejected claims yesterday by the founder and chairman of petrochemical company Ineos that fracking is “extremely safe”
In a BBC Radio Scotland interview, Jim Ratcliffe defended the process, which involves drilling deep into the ground and injecting a mixture of water and chemicals into rocks at high pressure so as to fracture them and release gas.
He highlighted the boost that the petrochemicals industry gives to local manufacturing jobs and played down concerns about the shale gas extraction process, which has been linked to earthquakes and groundwater contamination.
Comparing spillages to “getting a puncture in your car,” Mr Ratcliffe said: “However hard you try, things go wrong occasionally. But do you want your hot shower in the morning? There is a balance.” He claimed fracking was largely seen as “an extremely safe and well-managed industry.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland condemned his comments as “cavalier.” Campaigns chief Mary Church said: “You can fix a puncture in a matter of minutes. It may never be possible to fix groundwater contamination from leaking fracking wells.