FRACKING  for shale gas, & other unconventional gas projects threatening the UK
website created by Dr Henry Adams, Kendal, Cumbria UK
My web-site HUB page HERE
         
 “The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.” ― David Attenborough                  fracking, CBM and UCG threaten all of these things.

This web-page is designed to give an introduction to fracking, CBM, UCG, and quick access to links to the most informative web-sites I have found on this subject, such as those by Frack Off, and Lancashire's RAFF and REAF. It is created by Henry Adams, Consultant Ecologist and member of SLACC-tt (South Lakes Action on Climate Change). SLACC-tt now has its own fracking web-page http://slacc.org.uk/groups-projects/fracking/, which summarizes the wider context in a very readably concise way before it orientates to Cumbria. (Cumbrians: Have a look - then click back here [there is also a brief Cumbria section below]). 

NB: this website is complementary to, not a substitute or alternative to the websites such as by
Frack Off, RAFF and REAF (their creators have more 1st hand knowledge than I), and I strongly urge you to visit one or more of these websites after you have read the introduction here, and any sections below that attract you. The "jump pad" to fracking topics is for people who want to explore more specific topics.

NB: this website has not been much updated over 2014 and 2015 during which period studies of health impacts of fracking really took off, and UK's Medact report on health impacts (and climate impacts too) in spring 2015 is an excellent review (pdf). For an updated summary (but pre-Medact) of the wider impacts of fracking I strongly recommend you read Harrison and Parkinson's article in SGR newsletter of Feb/Mar.2015, and for news events read journalist Ruth Hayhurst's Drill or Drop? blog, as well as tweets from the above-mentioned website's twitter accounts.


15dec16 The call to 'Fraxit' and six stress tests the fracking industry fails - Professors Peter Strachan and Alex Russell - in Newsnet.scot

Jump to:  pad of jumps to fracking topics Cumbria threats links to websites in UK & Ireland links to websites abroad links to fracking articles & news     

 
We can defeat fracking by well-informed community action - as has been successful in Australia. This UK video is to help this happen:

6 minutes of amusing and informative brilliance:
 
 FRACKING   video on YouTube: 
Don't FRACK Our Future - Doreen's Story
  

NB: Also read the very informative text on the YouTube page - below the video, with useful links.
Great work by Frack Off & others, especially animator Dermot O Connor - also see his "masterpiece" (linked to there).



Useful twitter 'list':
henryadamsUK/fracking


 
My twitter address:
@henryadamsUK
  

ACTION for YOU (back in c.2013):    Gwen's petition: 'Give communities power to block fracking projects'   << Please sign, and the 'outlaw conflicts of interest' petition (below left)
 
The following boxed section largely written in 2013 and is partly out-of-date. Please scroll down to next section

The Fracking Web of Power
Click thumbnail to enlarge (as pdf):

FRACKING Web of Power thumbnail
 
pdf document supporting the infographic
 

Please sign NATIONAL PETITION  to try and stop the likes of Lord Browne influencing government policy:
OUTLAW CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WITHIN GOVERNMENT #fracking #fossilfuels #BigSix ...

WDM - World Development Movement - has developed an interactive version of the fracking web of power:
Click thumbnail to see and use it, or click
www.wdm.org.uk/fracking/index.html

WDMfrackingwebofpower-forthumbnail
Here's WDM's blog about it (note: date wrong)

The above is a useful addition to WDM's excellent Fossil Fuel Web of Power infographic.
The Fracking Web of Power and an idea to tackle it, supported by local and national (latter in prep.) petitions

<<< NOW POSTED HERE: INFOGRAPHIC showing the pervasive embedding of fossil fuel interests within Government, focussing on fracking and a link to a pdf supporting it and showing what you can do:

'INTERNAL LOBBYING' (within-government lobbying) -  Corruption of government by FRACKING interests,
and how we can stop this: a new proposed amendment to the Lobbying bill (aka "gagging bill") to outlaw 'internal lobbying'
- pdf.

NB: The Lobbying bill as it now stands is unacceptable - rightly described as the "gagging bill", as it potentially gags the good guys but is little more than a sham against the lobbying malpractices of big vested interests. Unless it is significantly changed it should be voted against (no Faustian Pacts or compromises), and re-written to be effective against the powerful vested/corporate interests. We do need a lobbying bill (e.g. to prevent the UK getting more like the USA - in which big money buys influence). We should demand how we want it to be. We must insist that any lobbying bill must tackle the internal within-government lobbying as well as the unacceptable aspects of external lobbying (while of course ensuring that there is no collateral impact on the good guys).


How about modifying this local (Westmorland and Lonsdale consituency) petition for your MP?  
PETITIONtoTimFarronMP
 
NB: I am well aware of the danger that LibDem MPs, in trying to gain beneficial improvements to bills, can wrongly do so by agreeing to unacceptable compromises or "Faustian pacts"s with their coalition partners, and then try and "reassure" us that the latter are now safe.

It's not only central gov: 'Exclusive: Local authorities have ‘conflict of interest’ on fracking investments' - UK Politics - UK - The Independent 27apr14
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   
Cumbria EVENTS:    NB: the SLACC-TT fracking web-page & newsletter are much more up-to-date on events than here.        (this is just a selection  below - do not rely on it as being comprehensively up-to-date)

28oct13 Monday - Fossil Fuel Divestment Project, Monday 28th October, 7pm, 'The Zone' at Cornerstone (Sandylands Church, near to the Spar shop), Kendal - see SLACC newsletter for oct.29oct13 Tuesday Green Drinks from 7.30pm, Vats Bar, Brewery, Kendal
31oct13 South Lakeland WDM: speaker meeting on 31st October re CARBON CAPITAL & what it is investing into.
2nov13 Staurday SL WDM Birdcage Kendal 10am-2pm CARBON CAPITAL AND HSBC Climate Crime Scene8nov13 Friday - Frack Free Borders Extreme Energy talk Cumbria Action for Sustainability from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (GMT) Carlisle. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/8928829369/estw

   .  .  .  .  .  ^^^^    ^^^^  .  .  .  .  .  vvvv   introduction  vvvv  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
 
Posters by REAF and Frack Off on Extreme Energy in the UK:  DECC licences map,  fracking and Seismic activity,  Groundwater contamination,  Well integrity failure,  Flowback water,  Toxic fracking fluid - where's it going?  How many truck-loads,  Carbon targets and budgets,  Climate change,  Air pollution,  Health,  Jobs and the Rural economy,  Gas prices,  Alternative Energy,  EIA,  geology profiles,  Coal Bed Methane aerial view,  Meet the Frackers!!!  UCG licences map etc.  REAF's sheet A1v1.1 is an excellent introduction to Lancashire's fracking issues of Seismicity, Tanker traffic, Water use, Pollution & Health, Flaring, Venting & Condensate, Planning & Regulation.

MAPofAreasAffected-FrackOffposter
  Click map for Frack Off's licence map
 
Do you know anyone living in the coloured areas? Please email them a link to this web-page or a website I've linked to that's written by a group near them.

Fracking Map: Who is drilling in your area? - Greenpeace UK

FoE's UK fracking map


    Jumps:    (i.e. within page)
Future legacy: Polluter pays?
But UK gov favours bankruptcy law over environmental law
 CARBON emissions
Geology for geeks
HEALTH RISKS e.g. AIR POLLUTION
Risks to FOOD production
WATER use
FRACKING WASTE WATER
Fracking CHEMICALS
CORRUPTION in government
Osborne's 2013 budget speech
Planning & regulations
HoC & HoL Committee mtgs etc
Human rights re community action & police
 bribery, house prices, divide & rule
Educate BBC on fracking
 Educate Church of England re fracking
Cumbria threats: fracking & CBM & UCG
UCG in Cumbria
CBM in Cumbria (& on its borders)



These cliches are very apt here: "The facts speak for themselves" and "knowledge is power"

'Carbon Briefing: Britain's shale gas' 27jun13 Robin Webster, Carbon Brief
 
'No Dash for  Gas' - great muliti-media piece by  on 14thJune, including not just great text but also interviews with key people, videos etc.

Introduction
 
FRACKING
- short for hydraulic fracturing - is an 'unconventional' method that uses extremely high water pressure to split open cracks in rocks underground such as shales and coal seams to release oil or gas. Conventional gas in contrast comes from porous rocks such as sandstones which release their oil or gas more freely. Fracking requires much energy to obtain energy, and thus has higher associated carbon emissions than conventional oil and gas extraction methods. Furthermore, leaked or 'fugitive' emissions of methane can potentially whack up the overall carbon footprint to near that of coal, though much of this can potentially be reduced
.

CLIMATE: Well respected reports for example by Carbon Tracker show that we must leave most (c.80%) of fossil fuel reserves in the ground to sufficiently restrain our accumulating carbon emissions so as to have any fair chance of keeping our global temperature rise under 2 degrees (and +1.5 degrees would be bad enough). Thus we should not consider extracting new higher life-cycle emissions gas such as from fracking shale if lower emissions conventional gas is all we can burn (e.g. CCCpdfLetterToDavey). Furthermore, as shown well by Mike Berners-Lee in 'The Burning Question', starting to exploit any new fossil fuel source, such as UK shale gas, will add to (not replace) existing fossil fuel sources such as coal, as the latter will be displaced elsewhere in the world. This was shown by the US shale boom when it displaced more US coal onto the world market so reducing the global price of coal, and in consequence the UK used more. Do read this brief summary of 'The climate case against shale gas' by Tony Bosworth of FoE (18sep15). Also this debate between professors Kevin Anderson and Paul Younger: 'Fracking - a price worth paying?': both Profs agree that UK fracking would be incompatible with UK aiming below a +2 degree future.

Gwen Harrison (also of SLACC-TT) has written a very readable summary of some of the threats of fracking: "In the absence of a global cap on emissions any shale gas extracted will be used as well as, not instead of, coal and other fossil fuels, pushing us ever closer to runaway climate change.  In addition, fracking poses a serious contamination risk to groundwater, uses vast quantities of fresh water and produces similar volumes of waste water, all of which must be transported in thousands of road tankers, thundering through our towns and villages and damaging roads that will need to be fixed at taxpayers' expense.  House prices have reportedly dropped by 24% near fracking sites in America, and there are already reports of people struggling to sell their houses in affected areas of Lancashire.  And almost all experts now agree that fracking won't bring down our energy bills." These words accompanied her advice to those still using an energy supplier supporting fracking such as British Gas (Centrica) to switch to a frack-free energy supplier, made quick and easy using http://unfrack.me/

The impacts of fracking for shale gas are summarized very well by Gwen Harrison in her 38degrees petition statement 'STOP CENTRICA INVESTING IN FRACKING', and in more detail by Frack Off in 20 IMPACTS OF SHALE OIL & GAS, and by Harrison et al.'s excellent review of impacts (see SGR website to download pdf). I summarize a few in the next paragraph (this summary pre-dates Harrison et al.):

There is plenty of evidence from USA and Canada of significant pollution of air and drinking water by fracking. Most fracked wells leak due to loss of well integrity, as the well casings - especially the cement layer, are vulnerable to sloppy workmanship and damage by both tremors and decay. Cuadrilla had hid from government that the fracking-induced tremors in Lancashire had damaged the casings (eg distorting the steel), as this could highlight this "achilles heel". Fracking uses vast quantities of freshwater (which in many areas we cannot spare), and produces similar magnitudes of toxic and radioactive waste-water, both of which require thousands of trips by heavy road-damaging and polluting tankers, and the waste-water poses problems for treatment and disposal. Fracking would gradually industrialize over half of the English countryside with fracking infrastructure, noise, light, and air pollution, and the health of nearby residents will unacceptably suffer (as evidenced in USA e.g.). Nearby house values and prices will drop, and  this will not be compensated for. "Community benefits" (bribery) and unfairly distributed payments (the "resource curse") will put a "divide-and-rule" divisive pressure on communities (potentially damaging unless communities are strongly united against the common enemy), and local democracy is already being removed by government so as to 'fast-track' fracking (in the recent planning guidance).

Government falsely claim that gas prices to customers will be reduced - but even Cuadrilla’s PR agency admit this is unlikely to happen. Gas will be sold on the open global market (in reality to/via Europe - via pipe connection): have you heard Osborne saying its sale will be resticted to the UK market?  (Unlikely, as he wouldn't want profits limited nor the market restricted). The only genuine beneficiaries wil be those wealthy investors in fracking - such as Cuadrilla's Chairman Lord Browne in the Cabinet Office).


HEALTH IMPACTS:  Spring 2015 update: Medact's report (pdf)is an excellent review of health impacts, and even includes climate impacts. Much of my text below was written several years ago, before a big increase in study reports were published.
The residents of Fylde list their concerns on their RAFF home-page. FoE's two page pdf:
Seven reasons why we don't need shale gas.  Fracking is inherently polluting and risky even with the toughest regulations. Health risks: No mother with a baby or child would be bribed with any amount of 'community benefits' or 'sweeteners' if she listened to this video of health impacts of fracking - by an Australian professional with 1st hand experience and expertise of fracking (though mainly for CSG - next paragraph), or read this re Health Risks to Pregnant Women and Children. Frack Off quote: "health consequences of fracking begin at the ONSET of drilling & last LONG AFTER the operation has concluded.." from 'Fracking, the Environment, and Health' in ENVIRONMENTS & HEALTH. (Also see HEALTH RISKS section below). 'Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic-fracturing' (PNAS). Government Ministers are lying when they say extracting shale gas in UK won't pollute, or that impacts are exaggerated. January 2015 update: since I wrote the above, and since Harrison et al.'s SGY report, studies of the health impacts of fracking have increased in number and frequency and have given more solidity to the health-impacts evidence against fracking. Indeed - so much so that New York State banned fracking due to such evidence: John Vidal 19jan15 collates and summarizes this, and compares the NYS decision to UK government's policy and assessment - which appears to be deaf and blind to such evidence.  For more on health impacts jump to HEALTH RISKS section below.

The other unconventional gas extraction methods we face here in the UK are drilling for Coal Bed Methane (aka CSG - Coal Seam Gas - in Australia) - which can include fracking (even without fracking it produces much toxic water), and the most risky of the lot: UCG - Underground Coal Gasification - which involves setting fire to coal underground to release burnable gaseous products (like "coal gas" - the municipal "town gas" of old - except produced underground and less controllably [<here even a pro-fracker is anti-UCG])[+ see Avaaz petition]. These are all types of extreme energy - which differ from conventional fossil fuel energy in requiring much more energy expenditure and carbon emissions per unit of energy produced, and much higher environmental and/or health risks. What could be more opposite to what we need now in the face of increasing climate change! Link to my UCG Cumbria page.
        
NB: a huge area of the UK will be progressively affected by fracking (map to left), and a large number of people will likewise be affected, unless fracking is stopped. The greater the number of people who learn about the reality of fracking before it happens near them, the greater the likelihood of it being stopped.

So please make it an urgent priority to spread the real true facts around (eg circulate link to this web-page), as you can't rely on TV to educate the public as it tends to follow the establishment, and Cuadrilla's Chairman Lord Browne is now "established" in our Government's Cabinet Office, and has appointed a fracking company director into the Treasury (Baroness Hogg - now "at the trough"). Can you think of any bigger conflict of interest than this?! Thus don't trust this government - nor TV/radio news.

[This introduction has a continuation below the links sections, and here is a JUMP to there]
[The continuation flows into government corruption and a criticism of Osborme's arrogant and determined budget proposals]

For news updates on fracking subscribe to 'Drill or Drop' by investigative journalist Ruth Hayhurst et al. and/or follow her on twitter. Example:

http://drillordrop.com/2015/06/30/mps-demand-more-concessions-on-fracking/

Green Party Leader, Natalie Bennett on fracking:
'Fracking Isn't a Fairytale, It's a Nightmare' 27jul13 - via Gwen tweet.

Lib Dem president Tim Farron warns fracking could harm countryside 'for decades' - Telegraph 3aug13 Robert Watts

 
Broderick. J., et al: 2011, 'Shale gas: an updated assessment of environmental and climate change impacts' A report commissioned by The Co-operative and undertaken by researchers at the Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester
 
UNEP on fracking:
http://www.unep.org/pdf/UNEP-GEAS_NOV_2012.pdf "Given the increased demand for fossil energy, the UG may be used in addition to coal, rather than being a
substitute." AND: UNEP Global Environment Alert Raises Concerns About Gas Fracking - Climate Change Policy & Practice.

'Fracking, is this the future of UK Energy?'  Inlec UK Blog, 30sep13. This web-page collates answers to this question from a spectrum of viewpoints from pro-fracking through to anti-fracking, including well-known names and/or groups such as Dr James Verdon, Prof. Steffen Boehm, John Hobson of Refraction, Alister Scott...

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
NB: the size of text varies due to an untraceable bug. It often widely differs from the size I originally set.


LINKS section                          A jump down to my News & articles links - NB not comprehensive - just those I spot

This web-page was primarily designed to give quick access to links to the most informative web-sites I have found on this subject.
UK sites such as
Frack Off, and Lancashire's RAFF and REAF are particularly informative. If you are new to fracking try these first, or one from your area (see below):              (also bear in mind - this website has not been updated much since summer 2013)

Anti-fracking websites in UK & Ireland
 

This section is out-of-date as UK anti-fracking groups number more than 200. That's good news in itself!
NB: The best web-page I know for finding your local group in UK is: 'Local groups' on Frack Off website.

NB:    BIFF (Britain & Ireland Frack Free) have a growing list of UK & Ireland anti-fracking groups HERE  (< scroll down).

ENGLAND     Sussex first, then NW England, then SW & back to Kent                    


FRACK OFF   http://frack-off.org.uk       https://twitter.com/Frack_Off     @Frack_Off   Frack Off               fb:   /FrackOFF
                    - their website is a very good resource
, eg: http://frack-off.org.uk/resource/20-impacts-of-shale-gas-drilling/ 
                    NB: though Sussex-based, Frack Off cover Britain.

SEER - Sussex Extreme Energy Resistance     https://twitter.com/SussexEER      @SussexEER   SEER

- "Non-hierarchical group dedicated to opposing extreme energy extraction methods in Sussex #Frackoff #nofracking "
 
BIFF   Britain & Ireland Frack Free www.facebook.com/britainandirelandfrackfree - Do 'like' if you are on fb.
                    BIFF's Vanessa Vine is an impressive and formidable speaker! e.g.
on Sky News - 'residents pour scorn on fracking plans':
                    13.12.12 - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTDml0kDlEI and fracking proponent dodges clear answer to safety and environment concerns.
 
FFS   Frack Free Sussex -  - includes Vanessa Vine - a West Hoathly resident not far from Balcombe.
Balcombe or bullshit Greenpeace UK 24may13 
gasdrillinginbalcombe

No FIBS - No Fracking in Balcombe Society - Quoting Bianca Jagger, 5ug13, Guardian: "Kathy Dunne, of resident's campaign group No Fracking in Balcombe Society (No FIBS), conducted a survey in the village: 85% of those who answered were against fracking, 9% were undecided and only 6% supported fracking. "We spoke to every household in the village," said Dunne, "and the overwhelming majority of people who live in Balcombe don't want fracking." It is a massive vote of no confidence by Balcombe inhabitants against this intrusive, hazardous technology."

Great Gas Gala - www.greatgasgala.org.uk          The Battle for Balcombe - write-up by Scriptonite

FRACK FREE FERNHURST  http://www.frackfreefernhurst.com/   fb: https://www.facebook.com/FernhurstAgainstFracking   @FFFernhurst  https://twitter.com/FFFernhurst

HASL - Hanover Action for Sustainable Living www.hasl.org.uk/frack-free-community.html - a Sussex frack-free community - "a community initiative for a frack-free Sussex"

North West England

The Northern Gas Gala

Lancashire

REAF   Ribble Estuary Against Fracking - http://www.reaf.org.uk  << vg info       https://twitter.com/reafg    @reafg   REAF

Useful resources: e.g. page listing dowloading links. Example download: a PowerPoint presentation: REAF Introduction to fracking.
REAF have given me permission to post on my web-space some of their very informative posters.

RAFF   Residents Action on Fylde Fracking - http://stopfyldefracking.org.uk/       http://twitter.com/#!/raff_group   @RAFF_group   RAFF
                    fb:   /RAFF-Residents-Action-on-Fylde-Fracking

Frack Free Fylde   http://www.frackfreefylde.com     @FrackFreeFylde   Frack Free Fylde
      
             " Frack Free Fylde are a group of concerned local residents who have joined together in a collective effort to put a stop to hydraulic fracturing on the Wyre & Fylde coast."

Refracktion   Focused Action on Fracking (Fylde Coast) -  http://www.refracktion.com/       https://twitter.com/Refracktion    @Refracktion   Refracktion
                    NB: remember to have the 'k' in 'Refracktion'     Excellent web-site.

Banks, West Lancs 
http://www.northmeols.com/home/fracking/index.html  "News and views about the Cuadrilla 'Becconsall' shale gas fracking site located between Banks and Hesketh Bank, West Lancashire"

GAF - Garstang Against Fracking    Fb: https://www.facebook.com/groups/699614900054121/

Helen Rimmer is NW Campaigner at FoE - follow her on twitter: @HelenJqRimmer 

CaCC  - on Camp Frack 2 - held in Lancashire:   http://www.campaigncc.org/campfrack2 

North West UK Anti-Fracking Hub  https://www.facebook.com/groups/114857088669817/ 

Frack Free Blackpool  https://www.facebook.com/FrackFreeBlackpool

North Lancashire Green Party - page re fracking: www.lancastergreenparty.org.uk/fracking.php Green Party has 8 Lancaster City Councillors. Lancashire's Green County Councillor is Gina Dowding. Twitter: @NorthLancsGreen  https://twitter.com/northlancsgreen

North West Green Party - on fracking: 'A Frack Free North West'

Cumbria         <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The present website is created in Kendal, Cumbria by Henry Adams - a member of South Lakes Action on Climate Change Towards Transition (SLACC-tt).
SLACCtt are increasing their work against fracking of shale and coal, and now have a great web-page on fracking: http://slacc.org.uk/groups-projects/fracking/ Cumbrians do visit this - especially to keep up with forthcoming events in or near Cumbria.


We are fortunate that our local MP Tim Farron is against fracking.

Lib Dem president Tim Farron warns fracking could harm countryside 'for decades' - Telegraph 3aug13 Robert Watts

Frack Free Borders. There is no overall Cumbria group or Cumbria website (i.e. covering whole of Cumbria). Instead local groups are forming within Cumbria, e.g. Frack Free Borders up at Carlisle,  and CAfS organized with Sustainable Carlisle an informative Frack Free Borders Extreme Energy talk at Carlisle on 8nov13. One result of this is an easy means by which interested people can circulate to each other by email - organized by Mark Lloyd of Sustainable Carlisle. Canonbie (Scotland) people attended too - as this potential gas field straddles the border here.

Helen Rimmer is NW Campaigner at FoE - follow her on twitter: @HelenJqRimmer  - we are fortunate to have her helping us.
 
CumbriaMapUnconventionalGas <<< MAP of Cumbria (needs updating) showing licence blocks and sites from Frack Off (click to get full UK map on Frack Off website)  Also see Cumbria County Council 2014 briefing.       
PEDL = Petroleum Exploration and Development licence, issued by DECC. Cumbria CC and EA also involved.

UCG: dark blackish grey. Licenses (not PEDLs)  issued by Coal Authority unlike shale/fracking and CBM.
CBM: orange skull & cross-bones
Shale gas: yellow skull & cross-bones - none shown for Cumbria yet.
The yellow rectangles are DECC licence blocks.

Cumbria's main unconventional gas threat is UCG (Underground Coal Gasification) near Whitehaven and Workington (and Solway), and CBM (Coal Bed Methane) in Solway basin area e.g. to North and west of Carlisle.

UCG in Cumbriaa web-page in dragonfly1.   <<<<<

CBM in Cumbria - page not yet created. But see below.  CSG Health Impacts - Coal Seam Gas Australia 24oct13

NB: Dart Energy  is the main CBM company involved in Cumbria so far. Dart has already started operating in the Falkirk/Forth area in Scotland, and is already dumping toxic effluent into the Forth. There is strong opposition in the Falkirk area and we in Cumbria would be wise to improve our networking with the more experienced anti-CBMers there. Scroll down to Scotland section below for links.



PEDL 159 - Canonbie (Solway Basin) - Dart Energy International - straddles the Scotland - Cumbria border N. of Carlisle. PEDL's are the area-specific licences gained from DECC.

In Longtownlocal 23aug10 < note year 'Huge gas field worth hundreds of millions found near Cumbrian town'

The proposal for UCG near Whitehaven is insanity - doubly so as it's not far from Sellafield. Mel Kelly of Irvine Scotland is writing an article on this and I'l link to it when the link is available.

Cumbria could be sitting on gas energy goldmine’ 29jun13 News & Star "Jill Perry, secretary of the Allerdale and Copeland branch of the Green Party, said it would be bad news if fracking went ahead in this area. She said: “Shale gas needs to stay in the ground.”" 

Cumbria County Council's 31jul14 Briefing No.3 on Unconventional Hydrocarbons, (pdf) by Sue Brett, Minerals & Waste Planning Policy, Unit/Directorate: Environment.

CCC Minerals & waste plan 
http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/planning-environment/policy/minerals_waste/MWLP/Consultation.asp

North West Evening Mail   News   Fracking firms ‘could find South Cumbria attractive’ 16jan13 Gleaston area Roosecote "Nigel Smith, who works for the British Geological Survey, has said high organic carbon in rock samples in the Gleaston area – coupled with existing gas infrastructure – could make South Cumbria attractive to prospective exploration firms. A borehole, near Gleaston Castle Farm, was drilled in 1971 and another hole was drilled later by the BGS in Roosecote. Figures in a paper presented by the BGS showed high levels of total organic carbon in rock at the sites, as well as oilshows in Roosecote. Mr Smith said: “South Cumbria is on the NW margin of the main Carboniferous Pennine Basin, ..."

A South Lakes environmental group rallied up support in Kendal to oppose plans for fracking in Lancashire 27oct13 (From The Westmorland Gazette)

Planning_practice_guidance_for_onshore_oil_and_gas  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/224238/Planning_practice_guidance_for_onshore_oil_and_gas.pdf via Helen Rimmer FoE & Peter Bryant S.Cumbria july 2013

Re planning: unfortunately it is a myth that local democracy has much influence as regards what council planning depts (e.g. of County Councils) can do on these matters. Central government (corruptly working to fossil fuel interests) instruct planning deptartments what to do as regards e.g. drilling-related applications (though UCG licences issued by Coal Authority). The concept of localism is a sham to hide the opposite. But I don't want to put you off trying, but if anything to try harder.  A letter in response in which the Council admits  it is not allowed to do, or write, or create a resolution for voting on, or has any mechanism or process to do any of these things would in itself be a useful admission of how much local democracy has been lost and replaced by a corrupted central government. Also one could try a different tack - of finding out whether there is a route that has not yet been removed by central government or cuts, that can be used, such as an Environmental assessment Committee [I need to replace the word assessment with the correct word], or is there a climate change or sustainability committee?

Cumbria tweeters: you could use hashtag #frackfreeCumbria where appropriate - one of SLACC's aims is to try and ensure this. But bear in mind that CBM and UCG are the main threats to Cumbria, and these do not necessarily involve fracking. Maybe #CumbriaAgainstExtremeGas ? - but is rather long, and the more nomenclaturally correct #CumbriaAgainstUnconventionalGas is even longer. 

North West Green Party - on fracking  'A Frack Free North West'

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Cheshire

Energy firms target sites in Chester and Cheshire for fracking Ince Marshes, Blacon and Milton Green among sites being considered - Chester Chronicle 21aug13

SW England

Frack Free Somerset    www.frackfreesomerset.org  Get the frack out of the Mendips     fb: https://www.facebook.com/FrackFreeSomerset   @FrackFreeSom  https://twitter.com/FrackFreeSom  'Frack Free Somerset is a coalition of concerned groups in Somerset who are taking action on unconventional gas.'

'Fracking the nation: the dash for gas beneath rural Britain' - John Harris, 28jun13, Guardian re e.g. Keynsham & Compton Martin, in Chew Valley next to the Mendips.
'Tessa Munt speaks out against Fracking in Parliamentary debate » Tessa Munt LibDem MP for Wells

Gas Field Free Mendip   http://www.gasfieldfreemendip.org/     @GFFMendip     https://twitter.com/GFFMendip      fb: https://www.facebook.com/GasFieldFreeMendip

Frome Anti-Fracking    http://fromeantifracking.blogspot.co.uk/  

Frack Free Dorset   fb: https://www.facebook.com/FrackFreeDorset

Kent & up East coast to Northumberland

Kent Green Party  Kent Greens Welcome Environment Agency Opposition To Gas Drilling 23oct13

EKAF - East Kent Against Fracking - No Fracking in East Kent   fb: https://www.facebook.com/EastKentAgainstFracking    http://eastkentagainstfracking.blogspot.co.uk/

Yorkshire Fracking concerns as drilling licences are issued (From York Press) 13aug13

Investigation must come before fracking says North Yorkshire MP (From Darlington and Stockton Times) 12aug13

NB: Fracking Yorkshire: Cuadrilla`s Bit On The Side   Frack Off 30sep13

FoE training day: YORK, Sat.30nov13: 'Fracking for communities' Tickets, York - Eventbrite 10:30-16:30

North East England: Avaaz petition 'Stop all extreme energy drilling on or off shore North East England'  - especially against the insane UCG (Underground Coal Gasification). 

Even pro-fracking academic James Verdon is against UCG.

Newcastle: I haven't got a local group website yet, but this SchNEWS piece is very relevant: 

 Now UCG it... extreme energy companies plan to turn the UK into a massive Underground Coal Gasification site

East Midlands  - Plans for East Midlands by Dart Energy International.

UK national

Frack Off - see above under England heading.

FoE   Friends of the Earth - on fracking:  www.foe.co.uk/campaignhubs/fracking = shortcut link to:  http://forum.foe.co.uk/campaignhubs/index.php/page,page2160.html          Briefing pdf: 'Unconventional, Unnecessary and Unwanted' May 2013: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/shale_gas.pdf - 18pp incl. 3 of useful ref.links - very useful ref'd summaries of most aspects of fracking including negative impacts & myth-busting.       Seven reasons why we don't need shale gas (pdf)

EIA guide 2005 http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/guides/environmental_impact_asses1.pdf
pdf by FoEE: 'Unconventional, and unfounded - The myth of cheap and abundant shale gas in the US' May 2013
Helen Rimmer is NW Campaigner at FoE - follow her on twitter:

Fracking Nightmare - News - Ian R Crane http://www.frackingnightmare.com/news.php  - he does ?weekly video news bulletins. e.g. 28oct13 - Episde 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oslB9D54VZo

CaCC     http://www.campaigncc.org/campfrack2 

Greenpeace
Yet to add link. In meantime: "
Lawrence Carter, Greenpeace climate campaigner, said almost two-thirds of England is "earmarked for possible fracking".  “A growing number of local communities are already fighting to stop their countryside being fracked, with concerns raised over environmental damage, under-house fracking and the erosion of property prices, but rather than listen to them, the Government is trying to remove their right to have a say," he said."  In 23feb13 article in Telegraph by Louise Gray: 'Fears fracking could be fast tracked' re The Growth and Infrastructure Bill (NB: also see Refraction web-page on this& FoEpdf:p.14).

EEI   Extreme Energy Initiative     http://extremeenergy.org/
                    "A unique academic forum that concentrates specifically on the effects of unconventional fossil fuel extraction on society and the environment"

Professor Kevin Anderson  - Tyndall Centre     kevinanderson.info    http://kevinanderson.info/blog/        https://twitter.com/KevinClimate   @KevinClimate   Kevin Anderson
                    Professor of energy and climate change - "interested in translating the science of climate change into carbon budgets, policy goals and mitigation options."
                    University of Manchester · 
kevinanderson.info     Tyndall Manchester - Climate Change Research    &    Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

John Broderick of Tyndall Centre. Useful ref:  Broderick. J., et al: 2011, 'Shale gas: an updated assessment of environmental and climate change impacts' A report commissioned by The Co-operative and undertaken by researchers at the Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester. This report includes an assessment of flowback fugitive emissions.

Paul Mobbs - FRAW - The Free Range Activism Website    http://www.fraw.org.uk/index.shtml
                    Paul Mobbs is
"an environmental consultant and researcher specialising in energy and ecological futures".     His website includes e.g.:
                    http://www.fraw.org.uk/publications/e-series/e11/index.shtml  - very interesting - especially sheet E11 - for anyone keen on geology and technical aspects.

His recent article in Red Pepper is well worth reading ('scuse the pun): 'To ‘Camp Frack’, and beyond!' 24may13, and fully referenced version on his website.
                    'Extreme Energy' South Wales Tour, Autumn 2012 -- The Free Range Activism Website -- FRAW -  http://www.fraw.org.uk/2012tour/index.shtml
                    South Wales faces
fracking for shale gas, drilling for coalbed methane (can include fracking), and UCG: underground coal gasification.
                    http://www.fraw.org.uk/projects/energy_beyond_oil/  -   I've yet to examine

Frack The Truth - UK website by Clare Josa (Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering). @FrackTheTruth 

http://unfrack.me/  <<< helps people switch from energy suppliers who support fracking (e.g. Centrica [of which British Gas is a part] is in collaboration with Cuadrilla in Lancashire).
WALES                                                                      Friends of the Earth Cymru 13aug13  Welsh Government to do nothing to protect Wales from fracking  

Twitter: follow Nigel Pugh      @nspugh     https://twitter.com/nspugh 

Frack-Free Wales « Swansea, Maesteg, Llantrisant, Newport, Llandow, Bonvilston, Merthyr Mawr...  http://frackfreewales.wordpress.com/     https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frack-Free-Wales/399311250153926

Fracked Swansea    S.A.F.E (Swansea Against Fracked Energy)   fb: https://www.facebook.com/FrackedSwansea

   Info on UCG & CBM threat: https://www.facebook.com/FrackedSwansea/info
The Vale Says No http://thevalesaysno.com - "No to the potentially catastrophic proposal of gas drilling in Vale of Glamorgan"

Wrexham:  'Stop Fracking: Wrexham County Borough Council' - 38degrees Campaigns by You 


SCOTLAND                                                                                                                                          

Frack Off Scotland   The campaign against Unconventional Gas production in Scotland     http://frackoffscotland.org.uk/   

FoE Scotland      http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/fracking

Falkirk Against Unconventional Gas - Concerned Communities of Falkirk  http://faug.org.uk/           Falkirk Communities  @ccofaug   https://twitter.com/ccofaug

'Concerned Communities of Falkirk, a group of residents campaigning against unconventional gas drilling. Support our community mandate at http://www.faug.org.uk/mandate'  #noriskygas     Follow greengero on twitter: @greengero https://twitter.com/greengero
&  Uncongas @_FAUG https://twitter.com/_FAUG
     Fb: (1) FAUG - Forth valley Against Unconventional Gas https://www.facebook.com/FAUG.PEDL133
'The aim of this site is to share information and concerns regarding the drilling and extraction of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) in Falkirk and surrounding areas.
'

Fife: threat of the insanity of UCG - Underground Coal Gasification - even worse than fracking (even pro-fracking scientist James Verdon is against UCG): 'Fife subsea coal-burning fears raised' - Fife Local News - The Courier 20aug13
'Energy minister asked for answers on Fife underground coal gasification proposal' - Fife Local News 21aug13 The Courier

SW Scotland   Public Meeting 20aug13 – Unconventional Gas (fracking coalbed methane shale gas) -  Friends of the Earth Scotland

Canonbie coal bed gas extraction examined - BBC News 19aug13

NORTHERN IRELAND                                                                                                                
No Fracking Northern Ireland           fb: https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-Fracking-Northern-Ireland/110905929036805

No to fracking   http://notofracking.com/  Opposed to the use of hydraulic fracturing on Northern Ireland's North Coast

Ireland is not for Shale   http://notforshale.com/ - based in Belfast, main focus is N.I. & border counties but also concerned with Ireland as a whole.

FFAN   Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network    http://www.frackaware.com/wordpress/  Fermanagh's top assets: its beautiful countryside with lakes.

"FERMANAGH IS NOT FOR SHALE" - on a T-shirt in Nick Crane's film of Enniskillen (broadcast 11jun13 BBC2 & HERE on iplayer): In the last circa 10 minutes or so of his film (starting at 48:20 on iplayer) he introduces the new threat facing Enniskillen and interviews locals for their opinions. He gives a very good summary at start and end of how opposite fracking is to what's needed here - to continue the present happy success of the Enniskillen community and its local economy which depends on Fermanagh's pristine countryside assets and pure water resources. Its limestone and lakes make it especially vulnerable. Dr Aedin McLoughlin (of The Good Energies Alliance) gives a presentation partly shown in Nick's film. 
     Excellent film of the likely impacts of fracking in the beautiful countryside of FermanaghFracking In Fermanagh on Vimeo

Dr Aedin McLoughlin (of The Good Energies Alliance) Do try googling Dr McLoughlin  to find out what she's up to in fighting fracking.
e.g. she gives a presentation here on FFAN website, and comments on pollution threat to drinking water supplies from aquifer and social impacts of migrant fracking labour in e.g. last 2 paragraphs of  State geologist questions fracking firm's data - The Irish Times, 11oct12. 

IRELAND   - except N.I.-specific                                                                                                               

Shale Gas Bulletin Ireland    
https://sites.google.com/site/shalegasbulletinireland/  - twice monthly email bulletin   <<< worth subscribing to.

Fracking Free Ireland
     
http://frackingfreeireland.org/
May be same organisation as:

No Fracking Ireland           https://twitter.com/Notofracking    No Fracking Ireland (@Notofracking)       fb: https://www.facebook.com/TransitionRegions

http://nofrackingireland.wordpress.com/                Talk organised by No Fracking Ireland - www.frackingfreeireland.org :
                    'Fracking  Shared Environmental Health Concerns' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf6i54znf6s 18minutes long. <<<< NB:
       - well worth listening to this presentation - as by an Australian with professional expertise on fracking
 
What the Frack?     Ireland North West     https://twitter.com/What_the_Frack    @What_the_Frack  

FRACKING FREE CLARE     
http://www.frackingfreeclare.org

No Fracking Dublin         fb:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-Fracking-Dublin/353821834733695

Good Energies Alliance Ireland    
http://goodenergiesalliance.com/    "No to fracking, yes to sustainable energy"  https://twitter.com/GEAIreland   @GEAIreland
fb: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Good-Energies-Alliance-Ireland/364829450213092?ref=hl
                  
  GEAI is based in the North West of Ireland and has links all over the country

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Useful fracking / unconventional gas web-sites outside UK                                                                              
                                                                                                                   
AUSTRALIA:   There is much we can learn from the success of community action there. e.g. 'Community Resistance takes on The Coal Seam Gas Industry and the state in New South Wales' - article by UK's Frack Off. And these 2 videos are very moving: 'Enough is enough'
4:28mins - 'Well of Truth Part 3' - YouTube  &  '60 Minutes Australia - Fracking - The Coal Seam Gas Land Grab' - 13mins -  Wake Up World - YouTube. The exploitation of CSG - Coal Seam Gas (aka CBM - Coal Bed Methane - in UK) is a major problem in Australia.

Lock the Gate Alliance  
http://www.lockthegate.org.au/ - 'Australians working together to protect our land, water, and future'  @LockTheGate  
https://twitter.com/LockTheGate

Knitting Nannas Against Gas  
https://www.facebook.com/KnittingNannasAgainstGas    KNAG @knittingnannas  https://twitter.com/knittingnannas  Northern Rivers NSW Australia
'We peacefully & productively protest against the destruction of our land and water by exploration & mining of Coal Seam Gas & other nonrenewable energy.'

Lismore, New South Wales http://www.calltocountry.org.au  
GAG - Girls Against Gas https://www.facebook.com/girlsagainstgas   &/or http://www.facebook.com/groups/girlsagainstgas/ 

Queensland: this video shows the huge problems anti-frackers including farmers are up against: 'Where Are The Gas Wells?  Queensland, Australia' - Brian Monk - YouTube - The video answers this Q, showing locally very high densities, and potentially a vast numbers of wells if such densities spread. The laws are shockingly bad - especially e.g. for landowners such as farmers, as they give gas production a higher priority than food production, even on fertile ground.

Presentation by Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Senior Adviser to the National Toxics Network and IPEN - Australia (talk in Dublin, 24th May 2013). Dr Lloyd-Smith was a member of the UN Expert Group on Climate Change and Chemicals, and coauthored NTN's report on the chemical impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the Australian shale and coal seam gas industry.
'Fracking  Shared Environmental Health Concerns' - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf6i54znf6s <<<< NB: worth listening to this presentation - as by an Australian with professional expertise on fracking
For more information and research material: www.ntn.org.au     Talk organised by No Fracking Ireland - www.frackingfreeireland.org    youtube link via Tina Louise @tinalouiseUK

CSG Health Impacts - Coal Seam Gas Australia 24oct13

NEW ZEALAND 'Christchurch officially declared a fracking-free zone' - Politics - NZ Herald News 12apr12

SOUTH AFRICA & BOTSWANA

Treasure Karoo Action Group [vs fracking eg plans by Shell]- Home:
http://www.treasurethekaroo.co.za/   Jonathan Deal @TimelessKaroo
'unearthed' - The Documentary - Investigating hydraulic fracturing in South Africa - Fracking http://www.un-earthed.com/
e.g. 'Is Africa being sold for a handful of glass beads?' -  Critical Thought by Jonathan Deal @TimelessKaroo   
http://criticalthought.co.za/is-africa-being-sold-for-a-handful-of-glass-beads/ & see Treasure Karoo Action Group - Home http://www.treasurethekaroo.co.za/

'Proposed fracking in South Africa beauty spot blastedEnvironmental campaigners promise to fight government's plans to allow fracking for shale gas in the Karoo David Smith in Jo'berg 23aug13   theguardian.com  - threat by Shell.

Botswana faces questions over licences for fracking companies in Kalahari Botswana government accused of ignoring pollution risks to scarce water supplies in Central Kalahari Game Reserve 18nov13  Environment   The Guardian

CANADA:      NB: see Jessica Ernst website:
 
Jessica Ernst vs Encana http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/  - true facts 1st hand
On 7mar13 I attended a talk with 'slides' by Jessica Ernst at [Lytham] St Annes (S. of Blackpool) hosted by RAFF. RAFF's introduction: "Jessica is a Canadian Environmental Scientist with 30 years of oil and gas industry experience [including with fracking company Encana]. She is currently suing the Canadian authorities for unlawful activities related to hydraulic fracturing and undertaking a tour of locations at risk from the shale gas industry. Jessica has valuable, first-hand information to share with our community and this is a rare opportunity to hear her experiences of the dangers of shale gas development." My additions: her experience especially concerned fracking of coal seams - including shallow seams - these obviously being nearer to aquifers.  Encana fracked near her house and polluted her well drinking water supply, the air and the nearby farmland soil - making it unfit for grazing livestock (they suffered from the toxins from eg the polluted well-spoil which was spread over nearby farmland).
Video of Jessica Ernst's presentation in Dublin: http://forum.foe.co.uk/campaignhubs/index.php/topic,1897.msg3968/topicseen.html#new - via FoE link.

USA
 
Frack OFF   https://twitter.com/FrackOFFnews  Frack OFF !  @FrackOFFnews  Sharing the latest news on shale gas drilling - Fracking is an extremely dangerous gas extraction process using highly toxic chemicals. U.S. facebook.com/FrackOFF 

PACWA - Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air 
http://pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/the-list/  via Tina Louise @tinalouiseUK

Marcellus Shale   - more to add here. Try googling: Marcellus shale fracking

Marcellus Protest  
https://twitter.com/marcellus_SWPA  SouthWestern PA - Pennsylvania
My  Kaspersky internet security denies me access to
http://www.marcellusprotest.org/ stating (wrongly??) of virus threat.

Marcellus Shale-Say No to Fracking - on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marcellus-Shale-Say-No-to-Fracking/337627454344

Marcellus from the air: MARCELLUS AIR WV - Aerial photos of Marcellus Shale drilling and gas production in West Virginia - via Andrew Wallwork

Hydro-Fracking - Citizens Campaign for the Environment http://www.citizenscampaign.org/campaigns/hydro-fracking.asp

New Yorkers Against Fracking (NYAF) "John Armstrong, of the coalition New Yorkers Against Fracking (NYAF), told me that ever since then, there has been a spontaneous groundswell of "hundreds of kitchen table organizations petitioning and holding public meetings to educate the public on the dangers of fracking"." - in 13may13:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/13/fracking-new-york-grassroots-campaign-to-stop

Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy 
http://catskillcitizens.org/ "We support the American Clean Energy Agenda." Read more: The Case Against Exports 
Very informative website with e.g. a great resources page knowledge-base with classified links http://catskillcitizens.org/learn.cfm

INDONESIA

22 villages in Indonesia are submerged under a thick layer of mud thanks to , writes Alex Scrivener of WDM  in   - via tweet on 10jun13

POLAND

FoEE (@foeeurope) tweet on 12jun13: 'Follow @occupy_chevron to know more about Chevron's attempt to start #fracking activities in rural Zurawlow (Poland) without public consent.'
    

occupychevron.tumblr.com          https://twitter.com/Occupy_Chevron         #occupychevron    'Occupy Chevron in Poland against fracking' - "For more than 50 days now, Polish peasants are blocking the installation of Chevron in Zurawlow." . . . "With this short interview with the director of this documentary ['Drill baby drill'], Lech Kowalski, Alter-Echos (www.alter-echos.org) proposes to complete the series of articles on the protests against shale gas and shale oil all over the planet"

FRANCE

NO FRACKING FRANCE    https://twitter.com/NoFrackFrance   @NoFrackFrance "Save water and health #Gaz de schiste #Petrole de schiste #Fracturation #Fracking #Eau #Santé publique #Sécurité publique  International · nofrackingfrance.fr" Article e.g.  Gas and oil shale  Global Frackdown  second edition, October 19, 2013.


ROMANIA

Romania: Quest for Gas  a Story of Peasant Resistance 20nov13 Agricultural and Rural Convention

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LINKS to fracking articles and news items:

I have collated links to fracking articles and news items (just a selection I've happened to spot as being of interest). These are accessible part way down my web-site HUB page HERE, or more directly:
 
Most recent (2014+):
LINKS for articles on FRACKING for SHALE GAS & other unconventional gas extraction methods.

2014: www.dragonfly1.plus.com/FrackingLINKS-2014.html
2013: www.dragonfly1.plus.com/FrackingLINKS-2013.html
  
Older (2011 to c. April 2013): My 2011 to 2013 LINKS pdf cataloguing external links to refs, articles etc  - but is a big slow-to-load pdf file.


The SLACC TT website   SLACC (especially Gwen & Sue) is especially interested in the EIA and planning aspect of fracking, e.g. HERE

SLACCtt are increasing their work against fracking of shale and coal, and now have a great web-page on fracking: http://slacc.org.uk/groups-projects/fracking/ Cumbrians do visit this - especially to keep up with forthcoming events in or near Cumbria.  NB: see Cumbria section above.
 

SLACC TT is the South Lakes Action on Climate Change Towards Transition
I am a member of SLACC TT - and my fracking web-page will be linked to from their website to help SLACC members access fracking websites.
Gwen and I are briefing our MP   Tim Farron to act against fracking (he is keen to help us with this and has already signed a related EDM).
                                                                                                                                                                               BACK TO TOP of page
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Introduction (continued from top) on fracking for shale gas, and other unconventional gas extraction methods


Very apt here: "The facts speak for themselves" and "knowledge is power"

I have now shifted to the end my viewpoint in creating this web-page
       

NB: a huge area of the UK will be progressively affected by fracking, and a large number of people likewise, unless fracking is stopped. The greater the number of people who learn about the reality of fracking before it happens near them, the greater the likelihood of it being stopped. So we must spread the desire to learn - before money-motivated minds get hooked by the "community benefits" bribes that might cause dithering before it's too late to stop it happening nearby. Such bribe values are most unlikely to exceed or even match the inevitable drops in house values - and it is the likely fear of the latter that should grab attention, and the realization that locals will face an ultimate net loss.
 
The fracking of shales and coal seams for gas is an international threat. We can learn from what has happened already in USA, Canada and Australia. Like us, South Africa is facing fracking threats (there - by e.g. Shell), ditto European countries - so we can have international "solidarity" in tackling the threats - such as by exchanging tips on methods that work. For example: community action has had some great success in Australia - even causing a significant drop in share-values of a fracking company.

CORRUPTION and conflict-of-interest in government: The boss of fracking company Cuadrilla is Lord Browne (former BP head). He is also in the Cabinet Office - and has used the power he's been given to appoint people into Government Departments and the Treasury, such as Baroness Hogg (at the top of BG Group - does fracking).  Lord Green (in FCO) also has fracking interests.
So no conflict of interest then!        REFS re corruption:  EKKLESIA   FRACK OFF and e.g. HERE and here: 'Cuadrilla boss in new lobbying scandal' - Frack Off, 25jul13.     

NB: also see the "ACTION" section near the top of this web-page, as soon as you feel the urge to register your disapproval by signing a petition against conflicts of interest within government.

Some other refs re conflict-of-interest / corruption:

'Revealed: Fracking industry bosses at heart of coalition' - Mark Leftly - UK Politics - UK - The Independent - Sunday 14jul13 Strapline: 
Campaigners warn of potential conflicts of interest from energy-sector leaders advising on policy
'Fracking bosses in Whitehall accused of influencing policy' - Blue and Green Tomorrow 15jul13 by Nicky Stubbs
.

INFOGRAPHIC showing the pervasive embedding of fossil fuel interests within Government, focussing on fracking and a link to a pdf supporting it and showing what you can do:

'INTERNAL LOBBYING' (within-government lobbying) -  Corruption of government by FRACKING interests,
and how we can stop this: a new proposed amendment to the Lobbying bill (aka "gagging bill") to outlaw 'internal lobbying'
- pdf.

The Government thus cannot be trusted to give an independent unbiased assessment of whether fracking for shale gas is a good thing or not for us: our health, our environment: air, soil and water supply, our climate, our countryside: scenery, wildlife, agriculture, 'energy security' etc.  And their pro-shale-gas propaganda has been hollow, deceitful, arrogant, insulting to our intelligence and with a brutish display of "might is right" -  that fracking for shale-gas will happen anyway regardless of what we think or its consequences because we have the power to make it happen. This is displayed so well in Osborne's budget speech:


Osborne's budget speech on 20mar13: his statements on shale gas (i.e. fracking):

I also want Britain to tap into new sources of low cost energy like shale gas, so I am introducing a generous new tax regime including a “shale gas field allowance” to promote early investment and by the summer new planning guidance will be available alongside specific proposals to allow local communities to benefit. Shale gas is part of the future and we will make it happen.
 
SOURCE: ‘Osborne Budget speech live on BBCR4 today’ 20mar13:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rdbkm/Budget_2013/
 (times: 1:00:57 - Energy starts, 1:02:22 - shale gas starts)

Osborne shows arrogant aggressiveness here: he wants to force fracking for shale gas on us regardless of what the electorate think, regardless of the climate consequences, regardless of the fact this is new to the UK and that the hidden geology is likely to continue to hold hidden surprises such as stressed fault-lines (as at Preese Hall tremors), regardless of the fact that oil and gas extraction is intrinsically unsafe, polluting and wasteful of water, no matter how good the regulations, and that because of the new-ness of this to the UK - there are no specific regulatory, EIA and monitoring structures in place yet (an open door to cowboy drillers: Cuadrilla have already acted as such, e.g. by fracking before an EIA, failing to timely report to DECC that the tremors damaged the cement casing and thus the very important well integrity [a problem intrinsic to fracking shale yet down-played]).

Here are my comments I wrote on 20mar13:         (recently improved with ref.links etc)

1. “low cost” – is untrue, as shale gas, with its rapid decline rates per well, is expensive to extract especially if 'good practice' and adequate regulations are adhered to (and has large negative ‘externalities’ ignored by Osborne - which if accounted for would slash profits), and there would be high clean-up costs from the inevitable pollution accidents. Ignores the fact that in USA – shale gas is not as cheap to produce as the hype and low gas sale price suggest (over-production boom when export was not allowed has kept gas prices low in USA making profit margins very tight), and e.g. Chesapeake is (or was, before gas export was allowed) in financial trouble (US shale gas bubble). Also any gas produced in UK will be sold on the European market, so diluting any effect on gas prices.  Some of many refs re this:

'Cuadrilla PR man admits George Osborne's shale gas revolution won’t cut energy bills' - The Independent 12jun13
'Cheap shale gas bubble 'will burst within 2-4 years' '  Expert   EurActiv 23may13 
http://www.euractiv.com/energy/expert-cheap-shale-gas-bubble-bu-news-519931#.UaXbNV-EoFU.twitter
and pdf by FoEE: 'Unconventional, and unfounded - The myth of cheap and abundant shale gas in the US'
and: 
  This and the high cost of fracking makes shale gas uneconomic to exploit according to the US gas industry analyst George Berman. Thus the US shale gas bubble appears to be close to bursting. ”- Prof David Knight, Prof Robert Whitmarsh, Dr Anton Page, Robin Speed, Claire Jones  Science and Technology Advisory Panel, Winchester Action on Climate Change in: Letters  The environmental cost of Osborne's dash for gas 7dec12 http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/07/environmental-cost-osborne-dash-gas
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-13/shale-drillers-squeeze-costs-as-era-of-exploration-ends-energy.html
'Centrica's stake in Cuadrilla says much about UK shale gas industry' [Centrica in effect gives it a low valuation!] guardian.co.uk 14jun13 Fiona Harvey. Her interpretation:  paying £40m for a 25% stake thus total stake is £160m & Cuadrilla has already sunk £100m without a penny return. But:  Michael Liebreich @MLiebreich14 Jun tweets:  @fionaharvey Not £160m. Paying £40m + costs of £60m for 25% of Cuadrilla gives post-money valuation of £400m. Jumps to £640m on development.

'Factors to consider before you invest in shale gas' - FT.com - letter by Gwen Harrison, 5Jun13  Some of the comments benath it are helpful too.
My comments beneath: ‘The shale gas revolution  the winners to buy and the losers to avoid’ – Matthew Partridge, 10jun13 - MoneyWeek
  Alternative link if other one doesn't show my larger comment as it exceeds 1000 characters.
'Shale gas won't stop peak oil, but could create an economic crisis'   Nafeez Ahmed 21jun13  Environment   guardian.co.uk
'Dear Prime Minister, please show your shale gas working' -"the question I'd really like answered is why you think fracking will lead to "cheaper" energy bills? Have you got some evidence to support this suggestion? Because if so it would really help your case if you shared it." - 09 Aug 2013 - James' Blog  a blog from BusinessGreen.
'Banker  destroys  argument for Shale Gas in a short letter' 12aug13  Liberal Conspiracy
Alexandra Phillips (Green Party Councillor, Brighton & Hove) writes in Guardian on 15aug13 under heading '
Corporate profits are being put before the interests of communities' [my bolding]:

"There's much excitement about the economic benefit that fracking could bring to the UK if we are found to have reserves of shale oil and gas, yet even consultancy KPMG has argued that fracking will not bring the same economic benefits to us as it has to the US.   
This is because, unlike the US, we are part of a regional gas market, with our fellow Europeans. The gas could be sold to the highest bidder anywhere in Europe. Shale gas production in the UK is unlikely to be anywhere near as cheap as it was in the US. In fact, according to analysis from Bloomberg, Ernst & Young and others, the cost of extraction alone may be higher than the current wholesale cost of gas."
'Baseless economics':  Lord Stern on David Cameron’s claims that a UK fracking boom can bring down price of gas - UK Politics - UK - The Independent 3sep13 
'Pa. fracking boom goes bust' - Philly.com 12sep13
'The Economics Of Fracking' - Newstalk Radio Player: The Pat Kenny Show interviews economist Deborah Rogers - excellent analysis with useful facts.
Friends of the Earth 9sep13  Shale gas won't cut fuel bills, admits Energy Secretary                   Fracking series part 1  The economic impact - Trillion Fund 17sep13 << but I've spotted some minor inaccuracies.

U.K.'s Shale-Gas Costs Seen Limiting Price Curbs - Bloomberg 2oct13
Peter Voser says he regrets Shell’s huge bet on US shale - FT.com 6oct13 via Tina Louise. Quote froFT:"
Mr Voser also said rhetoric about the US shale revolution being exported to other countries was “hyped”, and that the rest of the world was in an early “exploration phase” which could yield “negative surprises”."

2. "generous new tax regime ..." [CORPORATE WELLFARE]: taxpayers are in effect subsidizing the fracking companies (such as Lord Browne’s Cuadrilla to give him better potential profits), which will hide whether fracking is economic or not and help it to unfairly compete against green energy.

3. "new planning guidance": hopefully improved EIA including baseline monitoring, but will it get the 'fast tracking' that dodges local democracy, via eg the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, or what? (democracy-dodging remains a threat):

[SEQUEL to the following: this threat (re the G&Ibill) appears to have been prevented (?), but Osborne&Co. have found other means to dodge local democracy] Be aware that Osborne's trump card is central government's potential to use the Growth & Infrastructure Bill (& associated documents) to fast-track fracking projects if they define them as being 'Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects' under the Planning Act 2008 (which they have already proposed). This will allow such environmentally or socially damaging projects to by-pass community democracy & local government planning procedures (Refracktion & FoEpdf:p.14).


4. "COMMUNITY BENEFITS"/"SWEETENERS": bribing of local communities to turn a blind eye to the health and environmental threats of fracking. But how can it be possible to bribe or compensate for ill-health from the air pollution - especially damaging to babies (there is no way that most if not all mothers would agree to any amount of bribing when they learn of these from professional expertise on toxicology). Furthermore, compensation for the inevitable big loss in house values will not happen - because  it would make the fracking  unprofitable (and is not covered by planning law). Such bribery would be socially divisive ("divide and rule" is probably the intention) [I am writing more on this].

5. “we will make it happen” - arrogance that echos what Chairman of Cuadrilla and Cabinet Office advisor Lord Browne said recently in Guardian article. [So who's "in the driving seat" here? or is there a "back-seat driver"?] Huge conflict of interest in government.  So Osborne is in effect stating that he and his in-government supporters will enforce his and Browne's ideological and vested interests regardless of any factual evidence and democratic expression to the contrary.

No mention of climate change consequences. Furthermore: clean green energy and the huge scope for energy efficiency were effectively ignored by Osborne in his blinkered budget.

So where is the gain? - wealthy investors will gain a share of the profits if the frackers can dodge being billed for clean-ups and pollution etc.

And "the future":  permanent environmental damage: leaking wells with rotting cement, pollution of aquifers etc, increased asthma and other health defects in children and increased climate change:
 
BBC News 12apr11: '
Shale gas 'worse than coal' for climate' by Richard Black, referring to Cornell University studies of fugitive methane leaking from gas fracking areas.

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WELL INTEGRITY, WELL LEAKAGE - well failure rates, seismicity, micro-seismicity

             (also see section on carbon emissions from fracking)

Cuadrilla's PR man Mark Linder admits that "Well integrity is a big issue ..." but because well integrity is affected by "the seismicity issue", the latter is certainly not a "phantom issue" as he said. SOURCE and see Private Eye [link yet to add].

Well integrity is certainly extremely important - as it is a potential door to pollution - very importantly of aquifers - as this would be irreversible, and also of air. Loss of well integrity is very frequent, partly due to "
shoddy (and rushed) engineering",  but is potentially affected by the degree of seismic magnitude resulting from the hydraulic pressure applied in fracking and the proximity of stressed faults, and is also a problem that increases with the age of the well e.g. as cement deteriorates (and is susceptible to acid attack, depending on the pH [acids are sometimes used to make rock yield oil or gas]). A consultant geologist told me that oil and gas wells are not constructed to last indefinitely, just to last their productive life: she said most rock water is saline (aquifers of pure drinking water can be less common than saline aquifers and thus are very valuable). Saline water rusts away the concentric steel casings which then allows the cement to collapse. Light VOCs such as methane can then easily travel upwards. Tens of thousands of wells would be needed over the UK countryside to get a significant production of gas. Now think of their state within a century from their creation, and the consequences both at the well-head above and below ground, and where any wells penetrate through aquifers. Read on:

What will happen to the tens of thousands of wells and the methane as well seals and casings begin to degrade?  - See: 'Fracking could accelerate global warming' Fred Pearce - 12Aug13 - New Scientist.  NB: the section on CARBON EMISSIONS from fracking explores fugitive emissions issue more.

25mar14 'Fracking safety: report warns of 'significant unknowns' - sparse public data on [UK] onshore oil and gas drilling makes full extent of failures in hydrocarbon wells unknown, experts say'  Damian Carrington,  theguardian.com 
"The research confirms that well failure in hydrocarbon wells is an issue and that publicly available data in Europe on this seems to be sparse," said Professor Richard Davies of Durham University, and who led the team of academics who undertook the work. "In the UK,...". Also provides useful data from other countries, e.g. in one dataset from Marcellus shale, Pennsylvania: 6.3% of wells were reported for internal or external well barrier failures (=506 wells out of 8,030).
25mar14 Well integrity of existing & abandoned wells in UK BBCR4-25mar14c.8.40am Prof Davies Durham & Greenpeace comment - I recorded this from BBCR4 (& have a copy on my laptop, linked to from an email of this date 25mar14).

In Lancashire:
 

REAF:  Ribble Estuary Against Fracking - News 27aug13 'Unpredictable nature of seismicity due to fracking'

REAF 07/19/2013 03:09 PM DECC / Cuadrilla must be fairly concerned about microseismic because they paid Marriots to install alot of monitors round here and farmers lapped them up at £2K a pop. No ones seems too bothered about 'felt quakes' at the surface but rather what's going on round the well bore? At Preese Hall Farm the seismic activity ovalled the casing and rendered the well useless. Oops. Funny though, no monitoring is being suggested and its being capped above surface all prior to the UK EA getting their guidelines out. Maybe they will change the paperwork later like they have done with their 2nd ammendment to the planning app at Beconsall? Industry in front of the regs and an operator not being held to account. Good start then!

Relationship between well integrity, seismicity and hydraulic pressure: Induced Seismicity at Preese Hall, UK - A Review Article - Earthdoc 

Well leakage:
 
'
Shale Gas: How Often Do Fracked Wells Leak?' - The Tyee - Andrew Nikiforuk 9jan13
@@@@@@"When industry says hardly ever, that's a myth. It's a documented, chronic problem".

44% of wells leaking at Australian gas field   gasdrillinginbalcombe 14mar12 - Study in Tara (methane from coal not shale), Queensland.44 percent of wells leaking at UK Treasury director [Baroness Hogg]’s gasfield  Australian government   Frack Off 20apr13 http://frack-off.org.uk/44-percent-of-wells-leaking-at-uk-treasury-directors-gasfield-australian-government/ - Baroness Hogg was appointed there by Cuadrilla's head Lord Browne under his remit in Cabinet Office to appoint people of his choice within all Gov Departments (to increase the pervasiveness of the gassy/oily undemocratic infestation)

Anthony R. Ingraffea, Ph.D., P.E. & Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, Hollister Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 NYS_DEC_Proposed_REGS_comments_Ingraffea_Jan_2013  "My comments and recommendations focus on two elements of the HVHFPR High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Proposed Regulations: 1. Those directly pertaining to emission of methane and other VOCs,  2. Those directly pertaining to well structural integrity".

'Dangers of hydraulic fracturing in shale - Anthony Ingraffea - October 2013 - re e.g. cement failures > well integrity loss > leakage


An industry report shows 60% of gas wells leak after 30 years  - summary on page: 'Fracking regulations under scrutiny by UK government'  Frack Off 6feb1     Very useful chart showing %leakage in relation to age.

Try googling 'Schlumberger fracking wells leak' to get useful ref links on this subject.

Hopefully on the relationship between hydraulic pressure,
induced seismicity, well integrity and potential well leakage:
Induced Seismicity at Preese Hall, UK - A Review Article - Earthdoc  

Well integrity re UK regs: - discussed in last c.9 paragraphs of this by Michael Brooks 21mar13 in New Statesman (eg with Mr regs: Mike Hill): 'Fracking  the new gold rush

'Briefing Note [for gov]: Induced Seismicity in the UK and its Relevance to Hydraulic Stimulation for Exploration for Shale Gas' - Professor Peter Styles (Keele University) & Dr Brian Baptie (British Geological Survey). But NB: Prof Iain Stewart tweeted a recommendation of this briefing doc but I criticized the way it dodged an important issue:
 
On 15jun13 I had a twitter conversation with geologist Professor Iain Stewart (now MBE) in which I questioned him on this critical relationship between seismicity and well integrity. I've posted it here: 
http://storify.com/henryadamsUK/fracking-seismicity-and-well-integrity. He admits there are questions that need answering on fugitive methane and that this would be difficult to assess (e.g. relative contributions from different routes of loss). My conclusion: no way should fracking be allowed without such assessment. His new Horizon film 'Fracking: The New Energy Rush' is on BBC Two on Wednesday 19jun13 at 21:00.
I liked the way he was happy to make fun of himself on twitter by suggesting MBE stood for My Big Ego! I suppose that's debatably an asset if you need to achieve what he has done in increasing public interest in geology and earth sciences - with his very exciting portrayal of the subject.

Game-Changing Fracking Wastewater Report Leaves Little Wiggle Room For Industry Deceptions – EcoWatch  Cutting Edge Environmental News Service 18jun13 http://ecowatch.com/2013/fracking-wastewater-report-for-industry-deceptions/ - re:
Jessica Ernst's 'Brief-review-of-threats-to-Canadas-groundwater-from-oil-gas-industrys-methane-migration-and-hydraulic-fracturing-v4.pdf' 16jun13 http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Brief-review-of-threats-to-Canadas-groundwater-from-oil-gas-industrys-methane-migration-and-hydraulic-fracturing-v4.pdf 
 - much of this report is likely to be related to CBM fracking not shale fracking (?), and of the CBM fracking - much may include shallow CBM fracking (?). Bear this in mind. However the methods are mostly the same for both CBM & shale gas fracking.

Duke University: Bombshell Study Finds Drinking Water Near Fracking Wells Contaminated With Methane 26jun13  (ThinkProgress) "Wells used for drinking water near the Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania have methane concentrations six times higher than wells farther away. That is the finding of a Duke University study published on June 24th in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The researchers analyzed 141 drinking water wells (combining data from a previous study of 60 sampled wells in 2011) from the Alluvium, Catskill, and Lock Haven aquifers and a few drinking water wells from the Genesee Formation in Otsego County of New York. Methane was detected in 82 percent of drinking water samples for homes within a kilometer (0.62 miles or 1,093 yards) of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, wells." re:  'Increased stray gas abundance in a subset of drinking water wells near Marcellus shale gas extraction' - Jackson et al. in PNAS.
Duke Study Finds Higher Gas Levels in Drinking Water Wells Near Marcellus Fracking Sites – EcoWatch  Cutting Edge Environmental News Service 

'Potential well water contaminants highest near natural gas drilling, UT Arlington study says'   e! Science News, 26jul13

'The Growing Evidence of the Threat of Fracking to the Nation’s Groundwater' – Significant Figures by Peter Gleick, 27jun13

'Groundwater Contamination May End the Gas-Fracking Boom'  Scientific American re e.g. Duke University study in PNAS.

USGS: Ronald Sloto: Baseline Groundwater Quality from 20 Domestic Wells, in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, 2012 "prior to drilling for natural gas" << this needs to be related to post-drilling analyses from the same wells.

'Four Of 10 Fracked Wells In Pennsylvania Are Projected To Fail, Spewing Methane Into Air And Water' Joe Romm, 2july14 ThinkProgress.
Refers primarily to:
30jun14 'Four of 10 wells forecast to fail in northeastern Pa.'   Cornell Chronicle. In turn refers to a PNAS article:
30jun14 'Assessment and Risk Analysis of Casing and Cement Impairment in Oil and Gas Wells in Pennsylvania, 2000-2012' -  authors: Martin Wells, Cornell professor of statistical sciences; Renee Santoro of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Ithaca, New York; and Seth Shonkoff, University of California, Berkeley.


'Methane leaks erode green credentials of natural gas - Losses of up to 9% show need for broader data on US gas industry’s environmental impact.' - Nature News & Comment  2jan13 re study by NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder & University of Colorado, Boulder.

Australia: I've yet to look at this - may have useful info? http://www.ceda.com.au/research-and-policy/other-research/energy-and-climate-policy/what's-new/2012/09/australia's-unconventional-energy-options 


2015 Probably largest recorded earthquake from fracking:
http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/17/bc-fracking-earthquake/ - in British Columbia, 4.7?

Indirectly induced seismicity
-   http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/14/2291931/shale-shocked-sharp-rise-us-earthquakes-linked-to-fracking-wastewater-reinjection/ 

NB: also see my section on emissions especially fugitive emissions of methane, e.g.

Fascinating study and write-up:        bug in software is producing strange sizes for text
'Nationwide Air Sampling Confirms 'Methane Emissions Across Large Parts Of The U.S. Are Higher Than Currently Known'' 3jun13  ThinkProgress

"Rough estimation of emissions from the data suggests 10-20 percent of the methane emissions from Los Angeles could be natural geologic, influenced by the vast number of abandoned wells throughout the area."

July 2013: Both DECC/BIS Minister Michael Fallon and Nigel Lawson  try  to deceive the  public over pollution from fracking wells, e.g.:

'Nigel Lawson deception  fracking contaminated water at 120 sites in Pennyslyania'   Frack Off

'Fracking pollutes groundwater: damning new data'   Frack Off 19jul13

'Leaked Report Shows EPA Censored Dimock’s Fracking Water Contamination Study' Kate Sinding, 29jul13, NRDC – in EcoWatch  Cutting Edge Environmental News Service


#fracking 'Gangplank to a Warm Future' Prof.Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell Uni on fugitive methane emissions nytimes.com/2013/07/29/opi cement fails - 28jul13

'Study: High Levels of Arsenic in Water Near Gas Wells'  30jul13 The Texas Tribune via tweet by Prof Iain Stewart
'
An evaluation of water quality in private drinking water wells near natural gas extraction sites in the Barnett Shale Formation' ABSTRACT - Environmental Science  -

Brian E Fontenot , Laura R Hunt , Zacariah Louis Hildenbrand , Doug D Carlton , Hyppolite Oka ,Jayme L Walton , Dan Hopkins , Alexandra Osorio ,Bryan Bjorndal , Qinhong Hu , and Kevin Albert Schug
Environ. Sci. Technol., Just Accepted Manuscript  DOI: 10.1021/es4011724  Publication Date (Web): July 25, 2013  Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society

Precautionary principle: a search of the EU Water Framework Directive for the words 'precautionary principle':
 
DIRECTIVE 2000/60/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 October 2000
establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy
 
Page 3:      (11) As set out in Article 174 of the Treaty, the Community policy on the environment is to contribute to pursuit of the objectives of preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment, in prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources, and to be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, environmental damage should, as a priority, be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.
 
Page.7:     (44) In identifying priority hazardous substances, account should be taken of the precautionary principle, relying in particular on the determination of any potentially adverse effects of the product and on a scientific assessment of the risk.

Fracking poses low health risk if operations are well-run, study finds Dangers of shale gas extraction mainly come from operational failure, according to Public Health England - Fiona Harvey 31oct13 The Guardian - but Cameron has spoken out about wanting deregulation, and Helen Rimmer FoE says there are big gaps now in regulations. Furthermore - there are huge cuts for the regulatory body EA, and probably HSE too (latter have already had big cuts (maybe more planned?). The UK government has been vigorously opposing EU attempts to increase regulation for fracking, and wants the frackers to self-regulate! (like BP so carefully looked after its drilling in the Mexican Gulf maybe?).

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PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE

 
Although the UK has signed up to comply with it, the present government with its neoliberal ideology (let the market i.e. business decide) prefers to ignore it. I am sure Osborne would regard it as being an impediment to economic growth - which is his regard to habitats and the EU Habitats Directive (in an Autumn statement when he revealed more of his true dark colours, shedding the last flakey shreds of green-wash).

The following definition is copied from the home page of the excellent Refracktion website (which is weel worth a visit):

 
"When an activity or occurrence raises threats of serious or irreversible harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically."

Quoting from George Monbiot (link below): "
Here's how the Rio declaration, which the UK, with 171 other states, signed in 1992defines it:
'Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.' "
 
'Stewards of the natural world do not understand the precautionary principle'  George Monbiot   Environment   guardian.co.uk  1may13  

Example that Monbiot refers to: The new (2013) Government Chief Scientist Mark Walport did not know or apply the Precautionary Principle to his judgement on whether neonicotinoids should be banned due to adverse effects on pollinators, following the line that adequate field evidence should be produced before their use is banned - instead of that such evidence should have been produced before they were used in the first place. No prizes for guessing why he was appointed!      More ref links to this (search file for PP)
, some key points being: Prof Dave Goulson criticizes Gov Chief Scientist Mark Walport for saying no field evidence that they harm bees - Goulson says that's because a definitive field trial has not yet been done! And Dr Lynn Dicks said Walport obviously doesn't understand the Precautionary Principle.

Wikipedia on the Precautionary principle
      EU legislation glossary on the PP
 
The Precautionary Principle in Contemporary Environmental Politics - Timothy O'Riordan & Andrew Jordan Environmental Values 4(1995): 191-212

Precautionary principle: a search of the EU Water Framework Directive for the words 'precautionary principle':
 
DIRECTIVE 2000/60/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 October 2000
establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy
 
Page 3:      (11) As set out in Article 174 of the Treaty, the Community policy on the environment is to contribute to pursuit of the objectives of preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment, in prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources, and to be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, environmental damage should, as a priority, be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.
 
Page.7:     (44) In identifying priority hazardous substances, account should be taken of the precautionary principle, relying in particular on the determination of any potentially adverse effects of the product and on a scientific assessment of the risk.

SPATIAL PLANNING: The wider Spatial Planning context: this is of relevance because fracking usually progressively covers a large area and thus accumulates its impact: This type of accumulating impact is taken into account by the planning system but I've yet to investigate how, thus am collecting relevant REFS for reading when I get time: Ch.6 'Spatial Planning & Environmental Assessments' Prof. Vincent Goodstadt et al. (PP on e.g. p.123),  Goodstadt on TIA (ppt download)  & on 'an ecosystems approach and spatial planning' 4pp pdf (DEFRA link)    [helpful tweets by Prof. Alister Scott pointed me to V.C.'s work]

 
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The future legacy of unconventional gas in UK

The well integrity section explains how most if not all wells are likely to leak eventually if not soon after creation.
Who will pay for any such pollution problems?

The Polluter pays principle:    Polluter pays?   -  But the UK government favours bankruptcy law over environmental law:
 
I’ve just read this ominous article related to the RSPB article below:

In brief – the UK gov is favouring the bankruptcy law over environmental law:
Scots rules attacked by UK Government in clean-up battle over open-cast mines’ 11aug13  Herald Scotland
I’ll keep my eyes open for the outcome of this legal battle.

The RSPB  News:  ‘Opencast coal case could be landmark for environmental protection
 
This is a dreadful precedent being set, and reminds me of one of the ways how the fracking industry in USA escape paying for pollution: selling wells to small ephemeral companies that then disappear or go bankrupt, leaving a legal mess whereby they escape scot free.  The rich grab profits and leave the mess for the rest. Profits for the 1%, losses to the 99%.
Now apply the above to the fracking, CBM and UCG our gov are trying to force on us ...

The outcome of this legal battle will potentially have big wider implications to other onshore fossil fuel projects.
If the UK government, Lloyds and KPMG win (I hope not), we can at least then use this to persuade Councillors to fight against fracking, CBM and UCG, as it could potentially leave the Councils with a huge bill to clear up the mess and pollution left by the industry. Knowledge of the UK government's intent would also be a potential worry to taxpayers we could use to warn them of. Even if the UK gov loses - the threat is still potentially there. So we can gain something from this to our advantage in gaining support against fracking, UCG and CBM.

I have Mel Kelly (UCG investigator)
to thank for the above 2 reflinks.

CHEM Trust has a good idea of relevance here: "Companies undertaking fracking should have to deposit bonds sufficient to cover any future compensation claims. Measures to enforce the polluter pays principle are necessary to ensure that the proper checks and balances are in place." - in:
What we should be doing about fracking and pollution? - Gwynne Lyons, Director of CHEM Trust,  in Green Alliance blog.  << a great short article, with vg recommendations.

'Aftermath of a Drilling Boom  Wyoming stuck with abandoned gas wells' 21may13
 

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CARBON EMISSIONS from fracking                       (also see section above on well leakage)
 


Latest news:

23jul16 A dirty little secret - Natural gas’s reputation as a cleaner fuel than coal and oil risks being sullied by methane emissions - The Economist. Refers to the big EDF study (Environmental Defence Fund) and that the EPA has put in place its first regulations to try and cap methane emissions.

7jul16 Onshore Petroleum - The compatibility of UK onshore petroleum with meeting the UK’s carbon budgets - Committee on Climate Change - March 2016 Presented to Parliament pursuant to Section 49 of the Infrastructure Act 2015 Publication delayed by government until 7jul16.

6jul16 Tony Bosworth of FoE:
https://www.foe.co.uk/blog/fracking-climate-change-time-action-align-with-rhetoric

7jul16 Biggest health threat from fracking is climate change – new report [by Medact] – DRILL OR DROP https://drillordrop.com/2016/07/07/biggest-health-threat-from-fracking-is-climate-change-new-report/

14jun16 Pressure mounts over 'suppression' of UK fracking impacts report - Fiona Harvey, The Guardian.


9jun16 Fracking is twice as bad for climate as coal - will the Climate Change Committee ban it? [Government is still stalling on publishing CCC's report: they obviously don't like what it reveals!] - Dr Robin Russell-Jones, in The Ecologist. EXTRACTs of just some of many key points: ... "According to Professor Tom Wigley, the break-even point for gas over coal is 2%. In other words if fugitive emissions of methane exceed 2% of production, then gas is no better than coal from a climate change perspective.      Professor Nick Cowern and recently reviewed all of the data on methane emissions from both conventional and unconventional gas production, and submitted our evidence to the UK Committee on Climate Change chaired by Lord Deben in February of this year." ... "Atmospheric monitoring from the early 1990s, before fracking became a major issue, demonstrates that conventional gas production is associated with methane losses of at least 1%, so the advantage of gas over coal is 25%, not 50%. Second liquefaction is extremely energy intensive adding 20-25% to the carbon footprint, which means that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is no better than coal from a climate change perspective.      The situation with shale gas is far worse. Satellite data demonstrates fugitive emissions that are an order of magnitude greater during the extraction and storage phase, with  average losses, including distribution representing 6-8% of production. The figure of 6% makes shale gas two times worse than coal from a climate change perspective." ... "a very recent study from Harvard, published in Geophysical Research Letters by Turner et al used satellite data over the US and found a 30% increase in methane releases since 2002. Their methodology did not allow them to pinpoint the exact source of these releases, but it is highly likely that this is the result of the increased fracking activity by shale oil and shale gas operations in the US since the turn of the century.      These observations certainly support the thesis that Professor Cowen and I have put forward in our evidence to the UK Committee on Climate Change; that fugitive emissions from fracking are far higher than suggested by official surveys. Furthermore the authors of the Harvard paper calculate that the emissions from North America would account for between 30% and 60% of the increase in atmospheric levels of methane observed globally since 2008." [From studying isotopic signatures:] "Our data shows that over 50% of the rise in methane is from oil and gas activity"... "Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath is a medical doctor, environmental scientist and Chair of Help Rescue the Planet, an educational charity dedicated to minimising air pollution and mitigating climate change     Note: The European Commission want TTIP to legally reinforce their desire for US fracked gas to be exported to the EU (as LNG), which is in obvious opposition to meeting the temperature goals of the COP21 Paris Agreement.

17feb16 Methane Leaks Erase Climate Benefit Of Fracked Gas, Countless Studies Find - Joe Romm in ThinkProgress. Joe refers to new Harvard analysis as well as listing previous assessments of methane leaks. A great summary, but should have given the % methane leakage that makes gas worse than coal - it's little more than a 3% loss that pushes gas from an intensity half that of coal to more than coal.


17dec15 Refraction criticizes Stephen Tindale and refers to fugitive emissions from US fracking e.g. the big EDF study. "The original research by Howarth, Santoro and Igraffea which suggested that the footprint for shale gas is greater than that for conventional gas or oil when viewed on any time horizon, but particularly so over 20 years has been contested by the industry with contradictory studies being put forward, but  recent research (Nov 15) has shown that methane emissions are 90% higher than the previous figure from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory. This last paper cannot be easily dismissed by the pro-frackers as it is is the most sweeping study to emerge from the Environmental Defense Fund’s $18-million project to quantify methane leaks from the natural gas industry. It was written by 20 co-authors from 13 institutions, including universities, government labs, EDF and private research firms. Reacting to this news, Prof Robert Howarth, one of the authors of the report which originally brought this issue to our attention, stated “Using this new information as well as other independent studies on methane emissions published since 2011, and the latest information on the climate influence of methane compared to carbon dioxide from the latest synthesis report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in September of this year, it is clear that natural gas is no bridge fuel.”"  Refers to:

7dec15 Texas Fracking Zone Emits 90% More Methane Than EPA Estimated - Lisa Song - InsideClimate News. "The Barnett Shale's emissions have been vastly underestimated, sweeping Environmental Defense Fund-backed study finds." - "A sprawling, aggressive effort to measure the climate footprint of natural gas production has yielded striking results: methane emissions from the Barnett Shale in North Texas are at least 90 percent higher than government estimates.     That conclusion comes from a peer-reviewed study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is the most sweeping study to emerge from the Environmental Defense Fund's $18-million project to quantify methane leaks from the natural gas industry. It was written by 20 co-authors from 13 institutions, including universities, government labs, EDF and private research firms." Refers to e.g. EDF Sparks Mistrust, and Admiration, With Its Methane Research - InsideClimate News.

Professor Kevin Anderson and others insist that a policy for fracking in the UK is incompatible with UK aiming for an emissions trajectory below +2 degrees C (REF HERE, and more below).

We must leave most (at least 75 to 80%) of reserves of coal, oil and gas in the ground to restrain our accumulating carbon emissions to have any good chance of limiting global temperature rise below the 2 degrees C threshold agreed at the Copenhagen climate summit (e.g. Carbon Tracker, IEA, IPCC). And because +1.5 degrees is a much more preferable target than +2, much more than 80% should be left in the ground, preferably as much as possible. Thus we should not consider extracting higher life-cycle emissions gas such as from fracking shale if lower emissions conventional gas is all we can burn (e.g. CCCpdfLetterToDavey). Ed Davey (DECC Minister) points out that "home-grown" shale gas will give out lower emissions than coal (and of gas transported as LNG). This can be made to be true but ignores a vital point:

The most important point to remember, is that although the carbon emissions from shale gas can be made much less than those from coal (e.g. if methane leakage from flowback water and  wells is prevented), nonetheless the exploitation of a new source of fossil fuel, however carbon efficient (for a burnt fuel), will add to the total global amount of fossil fuel burnt and emssions resulting, because replacement of coal in the UK will displace the coal to be burnt elsewhere in the world.  An example of this is how the US boom in shale gas production and use not just replaced some of the US-produced coal but displaced it onto the world-market, increasing its availability thus lowering its price and increasing its purchase and use elsewhere - such as by UK power stations.  This global additive rather than replacement effect is ignored by the UK government, and is more fully explained by Kendal/Lancaster's Mike Berners-Lee in his book with Duncan Clark - 'The Burning Question'.


In more detail: Fracking requires much energy to obtain energy, and thus has higher associated carbon emissions than conventional oil and gas extraction methods. For example, the diesel compressors expend much energy creating the high pressure required for hydraulic fracturing of the rock (data for the carbon footprint of the energy required to forcing the fracking fluid down the well at very high pressure is in Broderick et al. 2011 [2 paragraphs down]: 295 tCO2 per single frack per well - Table 3.2, page 55). Though this figure is large, emissions of fugitive methane are much more potent - a fact that gas fracking supporters like to ignore: the leaked methane (fugitive methane) emissions (higher than with conventional gas extraction), which whack up the total carbon emissions to possibly at least that of coal (sources vary on this FoE pdf:p.6). Because methane is a much more potent GHG over the short-term than CO2, it is considered that if methane leakage is more than 3.2% of the gas produced, then this makes burning gas to produce electricity worse than burning coal from a climate change impact perspective. The problem here is that methane leakage is not easy to measure. Thus it is best to use the Precautionary Principle and consider the worst case scenario, but also to bear in mind that because much of the leaked methane is likely to come from the flow-back of fracking water (aka 'produced water') when exposed to the air in open pits as is the usual practice in the USA, this source can be significantly reduced in the UK if the flowback water goes directly into gas-tight containers, and the methane is carefully removed (though leaking wells is another problem post-production, and more recently the drilling phase has been shown to emit significant methane - see below). Although the latter method of sealed containerization of produced water has been ostensibly agreed to voluntarily in the UK, we cannot assume that it will be adequately carried out (there is no specific legal requirement in place that I know of, and Cameron said that he wishes to de-regulate the industry (and that's before the necessary regs have actually been created!), and to further reduce EA and HSI staff numbers. It is still a mystery what happened to some of the radioactive flow-back water from the Preese Hall experimental fracking failure by Cuadrilla, and a variety of evidence shows that we cannot trust this company.

A very useful source: John Broderick of Tyndall CentreBroderick. J., et al: 2011, 'Shale gas: an updated assessment of environmental and climate change impacts' A report commissioned by The Co-operative and undertaken by researchers at the Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester. This report includes an assessment of flowback fugitive emissions. Here's a summary of his and Kevin's view on shale gas: Shale Gas expansion could jeopardise climate commitments   Tyndall°Centre for Climate Change Research ®

And: Professor Kevin Anderson  - Tyndall Centre    kevinanderson.info    http://kevinanderson.info/blog/
May 2014: 'House of Lords shale gas report chooses eloquence over analysis when addressing issues of climate change' - kevinanderson.info'
This debate between Professors Kevin Anderson and Paul Younger is worth reading: 'Fracking - a price worth paying?': NB: both profs agree that UK fracking would be incompatible with UK aiming below a +2 degree future. e.g. Anderson:
The maths and timeline are that clear: if we’re not to renege on our explicit 2°C commitment, there is no emission space for a post-2020 shale gas industry.”.

An earlier Tyndall report (pdf): Wood et al. (January 2011) Shale gas: a provisional assessment of climate change and environmental impacts

Also important:
 MacKay & Stone - 9sep13:  'Potential greenhouse gas emissions associated with shale gas production and use' - Publications - GOV.UK

Ditto - pdf: Potential greenhouse gas emissions associated with shale gas extraction and use: A study by Professor David J C MacKay FRS and Dr.Timothy J Stone CBE
And Ed Davey on the same day: Davey  UK shale gas development will not be at expense of climate change targets - Press releases - GOV.UK
BBC News - Shale carbon footprint 'small', according to new report       
Fracking won't endanger UK's climate targets, says Ed Davey Vaughan 9sep13 Environment   theguardian.com
ScienceBlogs on: MacKay and Stone  Potential Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Shale Gas Extraction and Use – Stoat.

Paul Mobbs in The Ecologist 30may14 writes a critical assessment of MacKay and Stone's report that is well worth reading: 
Fracking 'as bad for climate as coal' - UK's dodgy dossier exposed

LNG
: Ed Davey points out that because conversion of natural gas to LNG for shipping it to the UK adds to its carbon footprint, so too the shipping transport to the UK, importing conventional gas to the UK can have a higher total emissions than 'home-grown' shale gas. However this too ignores the additive effect I've described above, and also our piped supply of Norwegian conventional gas from the North Sea. Although transporting gas via pipelines requires energy (and thus emissions), the more distant Russian source has been picked out as an example of this - whereas I would much rather see the footprint of the nearer Norwegian source compared with UK shale gas (in MacKay & Stone [which I've yet to do more than skim-read] it's subsumed into a larger category). But again - the additive effect is an over-riding concern, and it keeps us on gas for longer.

Ed Davey points out the footprint of shipping LNG to the UK, but has done nothing (as far as I can tell) to stop Centrica working towards importing US shale gas (with a footprint near to coal) to the UK as LNG. This would have a massive carbon footprint. But no doubt he will regard any interference with neoliberal worship of the "high principle of 'free trade'" as being an unutterable sin, as compared with the casual disregard of indirect collateral deaths from fossil fuel emissions.

Fracking and ENERGY SECURITY: FoE briefing: No need to step on the gas - Why cutting gas use, not fracking, is the solution for UK energy security. May 2015.

Back to fugitive methane from fracking - phases from drilling to abandonment:

Methane can leak to the air during all stages from drilling, through the exploratory/testing phase, to the production stage, then the post-production stage, then the abandoned-well stage. Initially focus was to the production stage, but more recently it has been revealed that the drilling stage can result in significant methane leaks, and the post-production and abandoned well stages too. Reference examples:

DRILLING phase:
'Toward a better understanding and quantification of
methane emissions from shale gas development
' (pdf via Paul Mobbs) Caulton et al. (numerous authors) PNAS publ. April 2014: "... Large emissions averaging 34g CH4/s per well were observed from seven well pads determined to be in the drilling phase, 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than US Environmental Protection Agency estimates for this operational phase. ..."  Here is an article referring to this paper:
'Problem wells' source of greenhouse gas at unexpected stage of natural gas production - 14apr14 - ScienceDaily

ABANDONED WELL stage:

Mary Kang, Princeton University study: 'Thousands of fracking wells in Pennsylvania 'may be leaking methane'' 20jun14  Environment   theguardian.com.

25mar14 'Fracking safety: report warns of 'significant unknowns' - Sparse public data on [UK] onshore oil and gas drilling makes full extent of failures in hydrocarbon wells unknown, experts say'  Damian Carrington,  theguardian.com 
"The research confirms that well failure in hydrocarbon wells is an issue and that publicly available data in Europe on this seems to be sparse," said Professor Richard Davies of Durham University, and who led the team of academics who undertook the work. "In the UK,...". Also provides useful data from other countries, e.g. in one dataset from Marcellus shale, Pennsylvania: 6.3% of wells were reported for internal or external well barrier failures (=506 wells out of 8,030).


More REFs/LINKs

14mar16 As NASA releases climate “bombshell”, more questions raised over fracking’s climatic impact - Andy Rowell in Oil Change International. Refers to e.g. :
12mar16  Fracking to prompt sharp rise in greenhouse gas emissions, study says - Geoffrey Lean in The Independent. "
The new study – led by a former director of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Civil Enforcement, who now heads the Environmental Integrity Project – focuses on emissions from industrial developments spurred by development of fracking fuel." e.g. LPG terminals, fertilizer and petrochemical projects etc. Report is titled: “Greenhouse Gases from a Growing Petrochemical  Industry”. Knock-on additional emissions ignored by US and UK govs when they try and promote fracking as a "bridge fuel".

17feb16 Methane Leaks Erase Climate Benefit Of Fracked Gas, Countless Studies Find - Joe Romm in ThinkProgress. Joe refers to new Harvard analysis as well as listing previous assessments of methane leaks. A great summary, but should have given the % methane leakage that makes gas worse than coal - it's little more than a 3% loss. Also re the Harvard study: US 'likely culprit' of global spike in methane emissions over last decade - The Guardian.

7dec15 Texas Fracking Zone Emits 90% More Methane Than EPA Estimated by Lisa Song- InsideClimate News, on new report of study funded by Environmental Defence Fund and published in PNAS. A big study focusing on Barnett shale. A small % of the well sites can be responsible for a high % of the leakages. Howarth's remarks in this article (but he wasn't part of the study).

June2015 Update on methane leaks: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/24/natural-gas-leaks-methane-environment

26jan15 UK lawmakers make climate case for fracking ban - climate change news. "Cross-party committee of MPs [the EAC] argues government dash for shale gas is incompatible with emissions goals"

2jul14 'Four Of 10 Fracked Wells In Pennsylvania Are Projected To Fail, Spewing Methane Into Air And Water' Joe Romm, ThinkProgress. Refers primarily to:
30jun14 'Four of 10 wells forecast to fail in northeastern Pa.'   Cornell Chronicle. In turn refers to a PNAS article:
30jun14 'Assessment and Risk Analysis of Casing and Cement Impairment in Oil and Gas Wells in Pennsylvania, 2000-2012' -  authors: Martin Wells, Cornell professor of statistical sciences; Renee Santoro of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Ithaca, New York; and Seth Shonkoff, University of California, Berkeley.

22apr14 'A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas' (pdf) - Robert W. Howarth, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853: "... Using these new, best available data and a 20-year time period for comparing the warming potential of methane and carbon dioxide, the conclusion stands that both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger GHG than do coal or oil, for any possible use of natural gas and particularly the primary uses of residential and commercial heating. ..."

NB: Shale gas firms face EU methane emissions regulation 7-8oct13  EurActiv  (& see 'Planning and regulations' section)

Bridge Out  Bombshell Study Finds Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Production Far Higher Than EPA Estimates Joe Romm 25nov13, ThinkProgress, referring to new study publication by Miller et al.:
Miller et al. 'Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States' published autumn 2013, PNAS. Multi-author, multi-organization combined study.

Fiona Harvey writes HERE that: "greenhouse gas emissions from fracking are higher than from conventional gas. If it is not carried out properly - ensuring no methane leaks out - they can even be higher than the emissions from burning coal." and refers to: 'Methane leaks could negate climate benefits of US natural gas boom  report' - Suzanne Goldenberg -  guardian.co.uk 4jun13

BBC News 12apr11: '
Shale gas 'worse than coal' for climate' by Richard Black, referring to Cornell University studies of fugitive methane leaking from gas fracking areas.

Cornell University  The Intersection Between Hydraulic Fracturing and Climate Change - YouTube Full presentation.
Anthony R. Ingraffea, Ph.D., P.E. & Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, Hollister Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 NYS_DEC_Proposed_REGS_comments_Ingraffea_Jan_2013  "My comments and recommendations focus on two elements of the HVHFPR High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Proposed Regulations: 1. Those directly pertaining to emission of methane and other VOCs,  2. Those directly pertaining to well structural integrity".
Robert W. Howarth, Renee Santoro, Anthony Ingraffea, 'Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations', Climatic Change106 (4) (2011)  - Springer (AND HERE). Quoted by Nafeez Ahmed below. And the vg abstract quoted by me here:
'Natural gas is composed largely of methane, and 3.6% to 7.9% of the methane from shale-gas production escapes to the atmosphere in venting and leaks over the life-time of a well. These methane emissions are at least 30% more than and perhaps more than twice as great as those from conventional gas. The higher emissions from shale gas occur at the time wells are hydraulically fractured—as methane escapes from flow-back return fluids—and during drill out following the fracturing. ..."
Robert W. Howarth, Renee Santoro, Anthony Ingraffea, 'Venting and leaking of methane from shale gas development  response to Cathles et al.', Climatic Change 113 (2) (2012) - Springer . Ditto.

I quote from: 'Obama's fracked-up climate strategy will guarantee global warming disaster' by Nafeez Ahmed (25jun13):
In 2011, the first comprehensive analysis of emissions from shale gas [Howarth et al.] in the journal Climatic Change found that:  "The footprint for shale gas is greater than that for conventional gas or oil when viewed on any time horizon, but particularly so over 20 years. Compared to coal, the footprint of shale gas is at least 20% greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon and is comparable when compared over 100 years."  In an updated analysis published last year, the study authors reiterated these findings:  "... for most uses, the GHG footprint of shale gas is greater than that of other fossil fuels on time scales of up to 100 years. When used to generate electricity, the shale-gas footprint is still significantly greater than that of coal at decadal time scales but is less at the century scale... We reiterate our conclusion... that shale gas is not a suitable bridge fuel for the 21st Century."

'The question Horizon missed  What might UK shale gas mean for greenhouse gas emissions' - Carbon Brief  20jun13 RobinWebster  - almost/ a fairly  "balanced view". To me the stance of this article was almost OK - I say almost, because the nuances weren't quite right as it echoed certain views expressed by pro-frackers without introducing such points with pre-text such as "Some pro-fracking people say that"...

Fascinating study and write-up:
'Nationwide Air Sampling Confirms 'Methane Emissions Across Large Parts Of The U.S. Are Higher Than Currently Known'' 3jun13  ThinkProgress
"
Rough estimation of emissions from the data suggests 10-20 percent of the methane emissions from Los Angeles could be natural geologic, influenced by the vast number of abandoned wells throughout the area."

#fracking 'Gangplank to a Warm Future' Prof.Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell Uni on fugitive methane emissions nytimes.com/2013/07/29/opi cement fails  - 28jul13

Bridge Or Gangplank  Study Finds Methane Leakage From Gas Fields High Enough To Gut Climate Benefit Joe Romm 7aug13  ThinkProgress, re:
'Methane emissions estimate from airborne measurements over a western United States natural gas field' - Karion et al. 2013 - Geophysical Research Letters - Wiley Online - abstract (pdf behind$wall) ABSTRACT: Methane (CH4) emissions from natural gas production are not well quantified and have the potential to offset the climate benefits of natural gas over other fossil fuels. We use atmospheric measurements in a mass balance approach to estimate CH4 emissions of 55 ± 15x103 kg hr-1 from a natural gas and oil production field in Uintah County, Utah on one day: February 3, 2012. This emission rate corresponds to 6.2-11.7% (1σ) of average hourly natural gas production in Uintah County in the month of February. This study demonstrates the mass balance technique as a valuable tool for estimating emissions from oil and gas production regions, and illustrates the need for further atmospheric measurements to determine the representativeness of our single-day estimate and to better assess inventories of CH4 emissions.
The mean of this range is 8.95% - call it 9% - which I recall is same as recorded previously elsewhere (? - can't refind the ref right now to check this). The Uintah (=Uinta) basin where these measurements were made does have fracking wells - but I can't find what % of all the gas wells here are fracked as cf conventional.
CIRES, NOAA observe significant methane leaks in a Utah natural gas field 5aug13 - about the same study.

Greenwashing Concerns Mount as Evidence of Fracking's Climate Impact Grows   DeSmogBlog 13aug13

'Fracking could accelerate global warming' Fred Pearce - 12Aug13 - New Scientist "Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, concluded in a recent study that substituting gas for coal increases rather than decreases the rate of warming for many decades (Climatic Change, doi.org/dv4kbp). . . . Wigley says that switching from coal to gas could only bring benefits this century if leakage rates get below 2 per cent. If rates are at 10 per cent – the top end of current US estimates – the gas would deliver extra warming until the mid-22nd century."

 
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HEALTH RISKS
(e.g. AIR POLLUTION & POLLUTION of DRINKING WATER)     


NB: Top reference (March 2015) is the Medact report - which is an excellent review and not only tackles direct health impacts but also impacts of fracking on factors that have indirect effects on health, such as climate change. This web-page introduces and links to the report's pdf: http://www.medact.org/news/new-report-health-fracking-the-impacts-opportunity-costs/ and this links you direct to the pdf: http://www.medact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/medact_fracking-report_WEB3.pdf

The earlier Public Health England (PHE) report did not cover all health impacts, was restricted to narrow terms of reference, and is also very out-of-date, because it does not cover important more recent papers that are part of the dramatic increase in publication of research reports over that last 2 years. Yet pro-frackers and government still refer to the fracking-friendly PHE report without mentioning the Medact report or recent key papers. Also the conclusions of the PHE report are obviously flawed, such as being based on hollow assumptions that our government and UK regulations, and their implementation, will ensure fracking is carried out with utmost care (which ignores evidence to the contrary), and that regulations can eliminate accidents. Gas and oil extraction is inherently unsafe and risky. Conclusions from the US is that it is impossible to regulate away risks to health from fracking.
John Ashton (climate) 17apr15 comments on the PHE report as well as other aspects of fracking: Fracking: what is the British government trying to hide? - climate change news.
The following references include some updates since the Medact report:

23feb17 Fracking Is Dangerous To Your Health -- Here's Why - Judy Stone in Forbes, who writes that she covers "infectious diseases, medicine, drug development, and ethics.".
22nov16 Fracking and public health: research update - by Professor Andrew Watterson, University of Stirling, who here "assesses key academic research published in 2016 on the risks of fracking to public health" - published in SGR - Scientists for Global Responsibility.
26oct16 Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals, Yale Study Finds  - Ecowatch
24oct16 Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals, New YSPH Study Funds - Yale School of Public Health

14oct15 'Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking' PSR - Physicians for Social Responsibility (USA). pdf
8oct15 'Study: Fracking Industry Wells Associated With Premature Birth'
"NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS INCREASED RISK OF ADVERSE PREGNANCY OUTCOMES CLOSER TO ACTIVE UNCONVENTIONAL NATURAL GAS WELLS" - John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Summer 2015 update:
'It's Official New York Bans Fracking' 29june15, Ecowatch, from which I quote: 'New York State officially banned fracking today by issuing its formal Findings Statement, which completed the state’s seven-year review of fracking.       “After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative,” said New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens in a statement. “High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated. This decision is consistent with DEC’s mission to conserve, improve and protect our state’s natural resources, and to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state.” ' [my bolding].

Spring 2015 update: Do read the MEDACT report (pdf) or a summary of it. It is a main reference in my briefing letter on health and other aspects of fracking to Dr Ann Myatt - Conservative ppc competing for Tim Farron's job as MP for W&L constituency: www.bit.ly/Myattfrackhealth
NB: January 2015 update: since I wrote much of this website, studies of the health impacts of fracking have hugely increased in number and frequency and have given much more solidity to the health-impacts evidence against fracking. Indeed - so much so that New York State banned fracking due to such evidence: John Vidal 19jan15 collates and summarizes this, and compares the NYS decision to UK government's policy and assessment - which appears to be deaf and blind to such evidence.
Also see latest edition of report by Concerned Health Professionals of NY: 'COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL, AND MEDIA FINDINGS DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING (UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION), 2nd edition, December 11, 2014'
Mar.2015 update: also check out update by Harrison and Parkinson of Feb/Mar.2015

Health risks: No mother with a baby or child would be bribed with any amount of 'community benefits' or 'sweeteners' if she listened to this video of health impacts of fracking - by an Australian professional with 1st hand experience and expertise of fracking (though mainly for CSG - next paragraph), or read this re Health Risks to Pregnant Women and Children. Frack Off quote: "health consequences of fracking begin at the ONSET of drilling & last LONG AFTER the operation has concluded.." from 'Fracking, the Environment, and Health' in ENVIRONMENTS & HEALTH.

Is fresh air a human right or a marketable commodity?     - Easy for us to answer this correctly - but not so easy for a market fundamentalist with zero empathy, and/or someone with a blinkered greed for money and power.  In the USA Republicans and ALEC, bribed and/or controlled by big polluting business, are pushing for the existing inadequate air pollution legislation to be watered down or removed altogether, so as to allow an increase in air pollution and thus profit margins, despite the evidence of illness and death (e.g. from cancer) from air pollution. In the USA the fracking industry was given the legal right (The "Halliburton loophole") to ignore certain pollution laws such as re polluting drinking water - which has obviously proved to be disastrous - evidence e.g. from a Duke University study (I'll add a link to these facts when I have time).

Fracking not only risks polluting ground and water, but also pollutes the air, by releasing large amounts of numerous toxic VOCs. This can be from e.g. flowback water or flaring or venting. A safety flare is required. Mike Hill reckons that a safety flare is all that's needed: no need for a bigger flare as that gas can be collected.

It's highly suspicious that the UK government (such as DEFRA, aka "DEATHRA" under Owen Paterson) is wanting to remove from Local Authorities (and thus local democracy) their responsibility to continue to monitor air quality, at the same time as removing their planning-related powers and other mechanisms of local democracy that could affect or control fracking - thus to remove sensory as well as response systems from local democracy. I brought this up with Tim Farron that this was unacceptable, but due to being very busy did not realize that there was a "consultation" by DEFRA on this, and help from NGOs to fill in the form, e.g. 'Say no to government cover up' - HealthyAir 21aug13.

New Report Finds Fracking Poses Health Risks to Pregnant Women and Children – EcoWatch  Cutting Edge Environmental News Service 13jun13: "The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) today released a new report outlining the health risks to pregnant women and young children from harmful chemicals used in fracking. The report, Toxic and Dirty Secrets: The Truth About Fracking and Your Family’s Health, shows how chemicals related to the oil and gas industry when conducting fracking operations can pollute the air and water in communities around fracking sites and pose health risks especially to pregnant women and children, who are most vulnerable to chemical exposures. ....."     via BIFF's fb posting on c.13jun13 from which I quote: "These substances are associated with low birth weight, birth defects, respiratory problems, cancer and fertility problems."  - so nothing serious then ...

Frack Off quote: "health consequences of fracking begin at the ONSET of drilling & last LONG AFTER the operation has concluded.." from 'Fracking, the Environment, and Health' in ENVIRONMENTS & HEALTH.

Video of health impacts of fracking - by an Australian professional with 1st hand experience and expertise of fracking (though mainly for CSG) Presentation by Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Senior Adviser to the National Toxics Network and IPEN - Australia (talk in Dublin, 24th May 2013). Dr Lloyd-Smith was a member of the UN Expert Group on Climate Change and Chemicals, and coauthored NTN's report on the chemical impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the Australian shale and coal seam gas industry.
'Fracking  Shared Environmental Health Concerns' - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf6i54znf6s 18 minutes long. <<< NB: well worth listening to this presentation - by an Australian with professional expertise on fracking and its toxic  effects
For more information and research material: www.ntn.org.au     Talk organised by No Fracking Ireland - www.frackingfreeireland.org    youtube link via Tina Louise @tinalouiseUK

Toxic impacts of BTEX, 2-butoxyethanol and ethylene glycol briefly summarized here: 
http://www.lockthegate.org.au/fracking

'List of the harmed' Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air have a list of harm associated with proximity to fracking infrastructure, much of which is to health 'List of the harmed'.

Eco-Investigators Say Fracking Air Pollution Is Poisoning Families in Texas Truthout

SILICOSIS: The sand used for fracking is also hazardous to health:  [via Andy Rowell quoting a comment in Dallas News:] "Silica turns out to be a whole new air pollution problem tied to fracking. In June of 2012, an arm of the Center for Disease Control issued a ‘Hazard Alert’ concerning exposure to Silica pollution at fracking drilling sites. This came after nationwide tests by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at 11 of 10 well pads showed alarmingly high Silica levels in the air. This was for worker exposure. No one has done any monitoring or studies concerning off-site effect of silica pollution."  [Andy Rowel 
writes:]  The commentator finishes by saying: this is “one more example of the little-known, and under-regulated, harmful impacts of fracking that begin adding up.”
 

NB: the following text is pasted from Shale Gas Bulletin Ireland: Issue No. 17 - October 1, 2013

https://sites.google.com/site/shalegasbulletinireland/ - this is an excellent website and bulletin - well worth subscribing to.

Medical professionals address health impacts from fracking  (part 2. of  Issue 17)

Facts on Fracking


The  American 
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) has recently produced three "Fractsheets" (PDF files) that explain the health impacts of fracking and how to address them. These are informational brochures directed at health care providers, the general public, and  legislators.

The Medical Resources page of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project site offers numerous resources for health professionals concerned about fracking impacts, from air and water pollution, noise and light pollution, and stress. These resources include presentations of case studies, questionnaires for patients, and the advisory brochure "Here are 3 good things to do if you live near gas drilling".
Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy also offers the following video courses for medical professionals:
  1. Introduction to Shale Gas Extraction, Anthony Ingraffea, PhD, PE
  2. Potential Health Impacts of Natural Gas Extraction, Jerome Paulson, MD
  3. Impacts of Drilling on Human and Animal Health, Michelle Bamberger, DVM, MS & Robert Oswald, PhD
  4. Fundamental Chemical Toxicology with Exposure Related to Shale Gas Development, David Brown, ScD
  5. Endocrine Disruption Chemicals, Adam Law, MD
  6. Patient Evaluation, Denise DeJohn, RN, MSN, CRNP
  7. Health Impact Assessment for Shale Gas Extraction, Larysa Dyrszka, MD
  8. Understanding the Nuances of Study Design, Madelon Finkel, PhD
The pollution and associated health impacts caused by unconventional oil and gas extraction are detailed in the new Earthworks report Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale: Government fails, public health suffers and industry profits from the shale oil boom, published on September 19, 2013. The report package includes a number of infrared videos showing emissions of pollution that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

CSG Health Impacts - Coal Seam Gas Australia 24oct13

http://storify.com/healthyplanetuk 

air.quality@defra.gsi.gov.uk

What we should be doing about fracking and pollution? - Gwynne Lyons, Director of CHEM Trust,  in Green Alliance blog.  << a great short article, with vg recommendations.


EVIDENCE of POLLUTION of AQUIFERS

'Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development'  2014/15  in PNAS http://www.pnas.org/content/112/20/6325.short
"
We report a case where natural gas and other contaminants migrated laterally through kilometers of rock at shallow to intermediate depths, impacting an aquifer used as a potable water source. The incident was attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development. The organic contaminants—likely derived from drilling or HVHF fluids—were detected using instrumentation not available in most commercial laboratories."


POLLUTION of DRINKING WATER


1apr16 New Research a “Wake Up Call” over Fracking and Water Pollution - Andy Rowell for Oil Change International & here: (adds map) Stanford Scientists Find Fracking Linked to Groundwater Contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming http://ecowatch.com/2016/04/01/groundwater-contamination-pavillion/ 
SOURCE: Impact to Underground Sources of Drinking Water and Domestic Wells from Production Well Stimulation and Completion Practices in the Pavillion, Wyoming, Field - Environmental Sc.

Shocker: Govt. Scientists Admit They Deceived the Public About Fracking's Impact on Drinking Water - Alternet, 14jan16. re EPA's study: its conclusions don't match the results, nor scientists own interpretation of the data.



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Risks to FOOD PRODUCTION    
- this section needs more work on it

Will "Frack Free Food" become a label like "Organic" ?       twitter hashtag:  #frackfreefood

Food production can be impacted in a variety of ways, such as by competition for water supplies, pollution contamination of soil, water and air and living things (both crops and livestock), and loss of land area. Any spills on well-pads can seep downwards into the ground (the sheets that hold the chippings base in place are perforated by the wells) or end up in nearby water-courses: who would want to eat food grown where well-pads once stood, or in their vicinity? Also - if well pads are  awash in heavy rain, or worse still - flooded, any toxic chemicals such as spills on the pad or whatever, can be spread more widely over adjoining land and watercourses. In the USA flooding (e.g. in Colorado 2013) caused widespread contamination of crop-growing fields and soils after numerous wells were submerged and storage containers damaged so that they leaked their toxic contents.

Fracking uses vast amounts of water which it contaminates and makes unre-usable. But farming needs water, and probably more so with climate change:
 
10jul13 http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/environment/farmers-face-lack-of-water-as-climate-changes.21568546
And:  
'During Record Drought, Frackers Outcompete Farmers for Water Supplies' Emily Saari, TckTckTck 2013

Shale and water: Is there a risk of water stress?    Greenpeace UK

NFU 4apr12 briefing on fracking Fracking-briefing-04.12 "The fracking industry does represent an additional water user which could increase water stress in times of shortages. The NFU responds to each water company’s drought plan and we strongly argue that in times of water shortage agriculture must be a priority. We would also engage with local frackers to make them aware of times of high water use by agriculture, for example for irrigation of a particular crop that is grown in the area." Unfortunately this NFU briefing's section entitled "What are the implications for agriculture?" (on p.6) is very brief - only 3 paragraphs. I would have liked much more on this.  I spotted the following errors in this briefing: p.3 "Naturally occurring radioisotopes in the soil can also contaminate the flow back fluid and this would need to be disposed of by permit." Instead of 'soil' it should state 'fracked rock'.  p.3 Wrong to assert that "The UK has water disposal plants that would easily be able to cope with the quantities generated." - This couldn't be further from the truth. Even the smaller exploratory flowback water from Cuadrilla's first attempts was too much to be adequately treated and overloaded the treatment's capability, and was then dumped into the Mersey Canal (or so I read).  p.4 "carbon (and noxious gas) emissions from natural gas are much lower than from oil and coal," - not strictly universally correct - as it depends on the quantity of fugitive methane and other gases.  p.4 Re effect on renewables: fails to mention that private investment into clean green renewables in the UK is likely to suffer from a government focus on shale gas exploitation.  p.5 Earth tremors: There is no evidence in UK Bowland shale that the tremors that happened are just one-offs that are likely to be rare in future fracking there. Industry statements are re-stated without critical questioning.

NFU president calls for fracking debate - 25 09 2013 - Farmers Weekly

E.g.s of Contaminated fracking water and/or drilling waste contaminating agriculture:
CANADA - see Jessica Ernst website re spreading of fracking waste-products onto fields and poisonig cattle etc.
USA - PEER - DON’T DRINK THE FRACKING FLUIDS! - 
Toxic Well Flowback Pumped for Consumption by Wildlife and Livestock 9jul13

The UK: e.g. Lancashire:


REAF 07/19/2013 01:56 PM Many growers in Lancs have bore holes for irrigation and supply large % of the UK with salad crops. The fracking industries own data shows that there are no 100% reliable wells. So, if you are a farmer round here you might be interested in well integrity and how microseismic activity might affect neighbouring wells

Will #frackfreefood become a food-label like organic?   Read this from fracking experience in USA:'How Fracking Affects Your Farmer's Market'  via Helen Rimmer FoE tweet

In areas fracked in the USA organic farmers had to give up farming as such as they couldn't honestly guarantee that their products were genuinely free of contaminants from fracking.

Public perception of food purity is important - as Gwen reminded us, which can be very significant even if there is not evidence available yet that a vegetable grown a few tens of metres from a UK fracking well is contaminated with the toxic chemicals in use nearby. It would be costly to sample and analyze all food crops grown near fracking sites for all of the big cocktail of chemicals involved. One could argue: where is the evidence that such food crops are unlikely to be contaminated by each and every one of those chemicals? Better play safe and avoid buying such food crops in the first place. We GM foods were rejected by consumer pressure on supermarkets and the food production chain.

'Fracking for gas and oil poses serious risk to livestock, warns expert Professor Robert Oswald says his findings of deaths and deformities in American livestock are so alarming that Britain should halt the practice ‘until its impact is assessed’' - 17sep13 UK Politics - UK - The Independent   Prof Robert Oswald is "an expert on molecular medicine at Cornell University". 
Cornell Study Links Fracking Wastewater with Mortality in Farm Animals – EcoWatch  Cutting Edge Environmental News Service

Summary copied from Greenpeace Energydesk: "
The US researchers behind a study into the impact of shale gas drilling on livestock have suggested there should be a moratorium on the practice in the UK. The Independent reports that  among the incidents investigated by Cornell's Professor Oswald and a colleague was a leak in Louisiana of waste water which allegedly left 17 cows dead from respiratory failure. In Pennsylvania, a herd suffered a 50 per cent stillbirth rate after cows grazed in a field contaminated with chemicals spilling from a waste pit."
What Cows Can Tell Us About The Dangers Of Fracking 19sep13  ThinkProgress - again re Bambrger & Oswal's work
Fracking poses risk to UK farm animals and food safety, experts warn Andrew Wasley 17sep13 - The Ecologist

California Chefs Join Together to Fight Fracking – EcoWatch 25sep13 Cutting Edge Environmental News Service. www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

Websites of potential relevance

Soil Association   Low carbon farming - http://www.soilassociation.org/lowcarbon

 

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WATER use           I also have a new web-page on WATER in UK  <<<<< NB

The section above shows that the vast amounts of water used and contaminated by fracking is a threat to the water-needs of agriculture. 
Also it is a threat to our needs for clean pure drinking water. Both these needs are likely to be more critical with the likely increases in durations of extreme weather - including drought conditions - due to climate change.

EA Environment Agency: useful quotes re water use in this article: Fracking firm was barred from using chemical, Balcombe meeting told  10oct13 Fiona Harvey & Adams Vaughan, theguardian.com.

Water shortages may make fracking impractical, industry says 27nov13 Fiona Harvey  Environment   theguardian.com
Water UK and UKOOG to work together to minimise the impact of shale gas development on water resources in the UK - Water UK 27nov13
Wind in the Willows river 'risks running dry' if new water bill is passed Damian Carrington 25nov13  Environment   The Guardian

Green Alliance @GreenAllianceUK  Follow Smith: final shale danger is water use. Overall it's 0.2% of our water supply, but if we frack in drought it could be an issue #frackdebate    <<< this % figure seems smaller than expected to me - ref.link needed to check that it hasn't beem fudged by e.g. expanding the denominator.

Outrageous: 'Shale Drillers Offered Water Cheaper Than U.K. Residents' - Sally Bakewell, 9oct13 - Bloomberg

Press release by WATER UK: 'Water industry lays down challenge to UK shale gas fracking industry - Water UK, 17jul13.

Water industry sets out fracking concerns - Lorna Sharpe, 14aug13 E & T Magazine (Engineering & Technology). This comment beneath Guardian debate articles copies parts of this article.

'Water firms raise fears over shale gas fracking' "Fracking for shale gas will raise the risk of water shortages and could contaminate drinking supplies, Britain's water companies have claimed." - Emily Gosden, 19jul13, Telegraph - NB: includes video of Vince Cable defending tax breaks for shale gas.

Cumbria water is not for shale!   - we need to stop Lake District water being used for fracking e.g. by Cuadrilla, but a hurdle to this we've been told is: by what mechanism/process can this be achieved?

NB: There's a Water Bill coming up in this Parliamentary Session (Nov.2013) - maybe that mat be an opportunity for us to push for more consumer say e.g. on abstraction and use of water for fracking?

Shale and water: Is there a risk of water stress?    Greenpeace UK

Environment Agency EA

Try googling  epr regulations

Environment Agency - Environmental permitting "Guidance on the authorisations you need for installations, waste, water discharge or groundwater activities you carry out."

The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 - according to www.legislation.gov.uk

EPR-Regs-2013-consolidated-changes pdf

A Texan tragedy  ample oil, no water Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty 11aug13 Suzanne Goldenberg   theguardian.com

“I Just Want Water”  Demonstrators Confront Rex Energy in Butler County 2mar12  Protecting Our Waters

I have a new web-page on WATER in the UK: HERE.

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FRACKING WASTE WATER - aka 'Produced Water' aka 'flowback'    - this section only just started

There is obvious major concern about where the vast quantities of toxic and radioactive waste water will end up.

(NB: see 'Carbon Emissions' section re gases coming from flowback water - and why method and threat could be different in UK re this as cf in USA.)

Existing treatment facilities appear to be unable to handle the volume of flowback water produced in the exploratory phase in Lancashire, never mind if/when fullproduction starts, and I read that the waste water from the exploratory fracking attempt ended up in the Manchester Ship Canal.

Michael Brooks 21mar13 in New Statesman: "When the Environment Agency analysed the “flowback” from one of Cuadrilla’s wells, it compared the contamination with permissible contamination levels of water from the mains. Arsenic was up to 20 times over the limit. There was 90 times the acceptable level of radioactive materials, 1,438 times the permissible lead levels and 2,297 times as much bromide as is allowed."'Fracking: the new gold rush'.

'ExxonMobil Fined for Fracking Wastewater Spill into Pennsylvania River' – EcoWatch  Cutting Edge Environmental News Service, 22jul13

And here is UK regs response to radioactive threats in the disposal of flowback containing NORMs: 'Radioactivity and bad NORM form' - Private Eye.

22jan16 UK failing to learn U.S. lessons on fracking waste water - Energy and Carbon - by Megan O’Donnell, Stuart Gilfillan and Professor Stuart Haszeldine. This version includes clarifications/corrections following criticisms by James Verdon.

Precautionary principle: a search of the EU Water Framework Directive for the words 'precautionary principle':
 
DIRECTIVE 2000/60/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 October 2000
establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy
 
Page 3:      (11) As set out in Article 174 of the Treaty, the Community policy on the environment is to contribute to pursuit of the objectives of preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment, in prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources, and to be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, environmental damage should, as a priority, be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.
 
Page.7:     (44) In identifying priority hazardous substances, account should be taken of the precautionary principle, relying in particular on the determination of any potentially adverse effects of the product and on a scientific assessment of the risk.

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Fracking CHEMICALS    - this section only just started

Note: chemicals used in the UK are unlikely to include the worst of those used in the US (though don't rely on that!).

Toxins found in fracking fluids and wastewater, study shows 7jan16 in phys.org "In an analysis of more than 1,000 chemicals in fluids used in and created by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), Yale School of Public Health researchers found that many of the substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental health problems, and the majority had undetermined toxicity due to insufficient information."

Fracking firm was barred from using chemical, Balcombe meeting told  10oct13 Fiona Harvey & Adams Vaughan, theguardian.com. Useful quotes of EA (Environment Agency) e.g. "Companies wishing to inject fluid containing pollutants into the ground may need a permit from the Environment Agency. Permits are issued on a site-by-site basis, considering the proximity to groundwater." 2 chemicals referred to in this article: Antimony trioxide and Oxirane:
Antimony trioxide - hazardous if in contact with groundwater. EA banned use of this at Balcombe.
Oxirane -  an 'oxygen scavenger' used to prevent corrosion. EA have not barred use of this at Balcombe. Note: a significant proportion of aquifers in UK/world are saline - which would rust the steel of the well casing if oxygen present, and thus threaten well integrity.

Fracturing Fluid - Cuadrilla Resources http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/what-we-do/hydraulic-fracturing/fracturing-fluid/

POLYACRYLAMIDE - Chemical that Cuadrilla wants to use as a friction minimizer - considered safe at normal temperatures, converts to a toxic compound ACRYLAMIDE above a certain threshold temperature - and that threshold is likely to be exceeded for example where heat is created by drilling (< I have been told this by people more knowledgeable than me on this, but I have yet to read references to check this. I must add details when I have time.) Polyacrylamide ('reducer') 'slicks' the water to minimize friction.

'Fracking - A CHEM Trust Position Paper - January 2013

DECC & CT letters re water pollution + fracking  

What we should be doing about fracking and pollution? - Gwynne Lyons, Director of CHEM Trust,  in Green Alliance blog.  << a great short article, with vg recommendations.

 

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Planning and regulations


It's absurd that the government has disallowed climate reasons as being admissable for planning considerations at local government / council level.

Starting a new fossil fuel industry in the UK is clearly unacceptable on climate grounds (ref: Kevin Anderson, Tyndall Centre), but government has removed such an important consideration
from the scope of allowable reasons for planning. I understand that government considers itself to be the deciding power on climate, which in effect means that climate science gets subordinated to fossil fuel interests.
The planning battle at County Hall Preston in June 2015 provides and excellent example of how statements by planning barristers and QC's can have a strong influence on how Councillors vote, such as in the role of "members" of Planning Development Control Committees deciding on fracking applications. Ruth Hayhurst and others have well described that battle.


An Objector’s Guide to Fracking: The Planning System and High Court Challenges (pdf) - Leigh Day   EPLS - "The Environmental Planning and Litigation Service (EPLS) is a partnership between lawyers at Leigh Day and specialist planning barristers, Landmark Chambers. It provides free initial legal advice to individuals, community groups and NGOs seeking to challenge the decisions of public bodies by way of Judicial Review (JR) or statutory appeals against decision makers, such as those under the Planning Acts." - This pdf looks very useful for its purpose (but I haven't examined it yet beyond intro & contents). Simon Oliver of The Green Liberal Democrats links to it on a GLD web-page on fracking policy recommendations.

              Please sign Gwen's petition: 'Give communities power to block fracking projects'


NB: If the Free Trade Agreement under negotiation between the EU and the USA contains an Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) - a typical though dangerous feature of FTAs, this will give fracking companies the power to sue governments if regulations reduce their profits. Thus Halliburton - which has held meeting(s) with Celtique Energie re possible sub-contracting deals for fracking in Sussex, could "chill" or "freeze" UK regulations, or even sue the UK, as our regulations are unlikely to be as unrestrictive as the US regulations (such as the "Halliburton loophole" that allows frackers to pollute). NB: There is 'history' on this with FTAs: 'Ottawa sued over Quebec fracking ban'. (Also see my web-page on FTAs and the ISDS for further information on this dangerous threat. Furthermore, Cameron spoke out for a "simplification" in regulations to speed up fracking. Thus we cannot be reassured that the UK will be safer than the USA if the US-EU FTA (TTIP) contains an ISDS, especially if Cameron-Osborne get a majority in 2015. A very dangerous combination!

Some NEWS re planning & regs:


22jul14 'New Environment Agency chairman has fracking links' "Sir Philip Dilley was previously chairman of engineering firm that wrote environmental reports on fracking for Cuadrilla"  Rowena Mason 22jul14 Guardian. <<< unacceptable conflicts of interest here. EA and HSE are the 2 main regulatory agencies wrt fracking. How can we now have any trust in EA credibility as being in any way independent from fracking interests.

Green Alliance @GreenAllianceUK  Follow  Liebriech: it should be mandatory to produce baseline water quality data before fracking. Right now it's voluntary. #frackdebate

What we should be doing about fracking and pollution?

 - Gwynne Lyons, Director of CHEM Trust,  in Green Alliance blog.  << a great short article, with vg recommendations.

Government move creates problem for coal gas development - Rob Edwards 20oct13 re proposed buffer zones in Scotland similar to as in Australia #CBM We must push for them in England too!

Shale gas firms to be brought under ‘robust’ new EU law 21oct13 EurActiv

Shale gas firms face EU methane emissions regulation 7-8oct13  EurActiv 'Shale gas companies operating in Europe will soon have to monitor, log and account for methane emissions at drill sites or else face regulation, the EU’s top climate officer [Delbeke] has said. ' , ‘... asked whether there should be mandatory testing for methane leaks at European shale drills, Jos Delbeke, the director of the European Commission’s climate department told EurActiv: “We must know what the methane emissions are going to be.”   “Either the companies are going to put it on the table or a regulation is going to come at the European level,” he added. “I leave that open.”   Delbeke was speaking on 3 October at a presentation for a new methane emissions report by Dr David Allen, organised by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) in Brussels. ...'
Response in Torygraph: UK fracking ambitions threatened by EU warning over methane emissions - Telegraph 10oct13.

9oct13 NEWS on EU re EIAs: Key step for regulating shale gas, as MEPs endorse compulsory environmental impact assessments - EurActiv PR,  AND: European Parliament News: Shale gas: new fracking projects must pass environmental test      << good news - but not perfect (but I call it "good" just because I pessimistically feared worse; it would have been better to have had EIAs as mandatory preceding all exploratory phase operations even if for drilling without fracking during that phase. This is the view of engineer Mike Hill (9oct13 tweets) i.e. EIAs should precede any drilling that has the ultimate intention of fracking even if not during exploratory phase. My fear is that well construction quality especially cementing is an important factor affecting well integrity and thus potential future leakage, and so wells could be drilled in the wrong place and with inadequate quality without being preceded by an EIA to prevent this. More on this: Meet the frackers - MEPs who voted NO to mandatory EIAs (10oct13) - Chris Davies MEP pushed for the compromise << looks like that may have been a good move by him because of danger of worse scenario of no EIA at all for exploratory phase even if some fracking, but was it partly his fault that there wasn't a majority vote for EIAs to precede all exploratory phase even if no fracking? (unfortunately he supports fracking [his reasons include UK gas as alternative to coal & higher emissions gas imports from eg Russia] as long as it is done with due care according to good regs).

MY INTERPRETATION:

Be under no illusion: no amount of regulations can make fracking completely safe for us or our environment. There will always be intrinsic unavoidable negative impacts and risks with fracking, no matter how good the regulations. Also with risks - even if these are considered low for each well, if you multiply up by the number of wells - to many hundreds or thousands in total, the risk is multiplied up too by the number of wells.

However it is much better to have regs than no regs - as impacts and risks have been shown to be enormous without enforced robust regulations (e.g. evidence from Jessica Ernst in Alberta as just one of many). With robust regs they may not be quite so enormous, but a little less so. But even robust regs are useless without skilled inspectors (which we lack), frequent close inspections (with staff cut-backs?), and enforced big penalties (likely?/unlikely?). Note that the HSE (with the EA one of the few (just 2?) main regulatory bodies on fracking) has recently faced huge reductions in staff (37% over the past 3 years, online refs give a figure of a 35% cut in funding).  And the "Environment Agency [is] to decimate staff" 16oct13 - The ENDS Report (behind a paywall so I can't read it), and Caroline Lucas ‏@CarolineLucas tweets on 25 Oct that “Env Agency staff cuts: 1700 (15%) in 12 months. Worrying for env protection eg risks of #fracking to water http://bit.ly/1aJGH0c  @alexends” referring to ‘Environment Agency job cuts bigger and quicker than expected  25oct13 - The ENDS Report. << NB includes important worrying statements re fracking including comments by EA staff. The Independent (Oct.2013): "the Environment Agency prepares to axe about 1,700 jobs." Massive job cuts at the Environment Agency '15 per cent of staff are set to lose their jobs by October 2014' - 28oct13  - The Independent

Also - industry 'Best Practice' is costly to the industry, and the oil and gas industry has a track record of minimizing such costs. Couple this the facts that 1. the code of conduct here in the UK is still voluntary, 2. the regs proposed by the Royal Society - Royal Academy of Engineering report have not been put into law, and its recommendation for baseline monitoring is responded to by government with a proposed cut of air quality monitoring by local government. Government and Industry regard to the RS-RAE report is inconsistent and appears to be using it for occasional lip-service and pretence rather than actual desire for compliance. The comment by "Trojan Horace" is very apt - beneath the RS-RAE report's chairman Prof Robert Mair's article in The Telegraph in which Mair states: "The report concluded that these risks could be managed effectively as long as operational best practices were implemented, and enforced through regulation. The Government has accepted all the report’s recommendations."- but Mair is politically naive to assume that what he recommends will necessarily be followed, especially by a government led by a deregulation ideology and with heads of fracking companies within the heart of government. Here is what Cameron actually thinks:
Britain's PM Cameron says shale gas rules must be simplified 25oct13  Reuters

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Britain must simplify regulations governing shale gas extraction or fracking to speed up the development of an energy source that has helped to transform the U.S. market, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday. ".... so we need a simplified system."
Is Cameron trying to stymie the EU's proposed methane emissions regs and 'robust' new law? (see the Euractiv refs for October 2013 above).

ERA
- Environmental Risk Assessment - this is being carried out re Cuadrilla in Lancashire. Cuadrilla have taken on ARUP to do their EIA (& ERA ?).

FoE are very well clued-up on the planning regulations aspects of fracking and have used their expertise to good effect.

Mike Hill - fracking regs guy (e.g. on twitter) - is not for or against fracking but is very strongly for having effective regulations for fracking (which don't yet exist as such specifically for onshore fracking), and has expertise in the industry.  Worth following on twitter:

Mike Hill  @FrackingRegs https://twitter.com/FrackingRegs "Independent Chartered Engineer. On going study into Fracking Regulations in U.K. and verification. We are not being protected. Action needed now.  U.K."

Government announcement prior to DCLG publication:
Planning Portal - Deadline set for shale gas planning policy - 18july13

How about a proper public consultation on this? After all - it only affects our future climate, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, thus our health . . .       This is unacceptably inadequate:

And here it is: Planning_practice_guidance_for_onshore_oil_and_gas  
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/224238/Planning_practice_guidance_for_onshore_oil_and_gas.pdf
via Helen Rimmer FoE & Peter Bryant, Kendal July 2013

'Fracking controls 'removed in dash for unconventional energy resources' - Councils no longer able to investigate issues such as seismic activity, venting and potential impact on ground water supplies'- Jonathan Brown, 22jul13 - The Independent  

In effect: government here tells planners to ignore climate change impacts and impacts on air/water/ground which should be considered as being basic human rights; furthermore to ignore local democracy - This is all unacceptable:
'Ignore fracking protests, government tells planners National energy policy more important than local preferences for renewables, says ministry' Daniel Boffey, and Tracy McVeigh in Balcombe  Environment   The Observer 3aug13  "However, the government's planning document stresses that fracking could be a vital source of energy. "Mineral planning authorities should not consider demand for, or consider alternatives to, oil and gas resources when determining planning applications," the document says. "Government energy policy makes it clear that energy supplies should come from a variety of sources.  "Mineral extraction is essential to local and national economies … minerals planning authorities should give great weight to the benefits of minerals extraction, including to the economy, when determining planning applications." "  But article does not state ref/link.

NB: This is also unacceptable: The Government wants to end the practice of notifying people about any onshore oil and gas drilling beneath their homes. Please respond to this in writig, both by responding to the "consultation" and by writing to your MP to write the appropriate Minister: FoE (Friends of the Earth) provide help for you here: Government fails to protect communities from fracking 15aug13 Climate Change news.

FoE is fortunately very "clued-up" on planning regs that are also relevant to fracking: has a web-page to help us insist on a proper consultation:  Friends of the Earth  Let's get the right planning guidance for fracking   Climate Change   Campaign Actions. Urge your MP to pressurize Government.

Developing shale gas and oil in the UK - Providing regulation and licensing of energy industries and infrastructure - Policies - GOV.UK


The Precautionary Principle (PP) - this jumps to my section above re this.

Precautionary principle: a search of the EU Water Framework Directive for the words 'precautionary principle':
 
DIRECTIVE 2000/60/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 October 2000
establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy
 
Page 3:      (11) As set out in Article 174 of the Treaty, the Community policy on the environment is to contribute to pursuit of the objectives of preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment, in prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources, and to be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, environmental damage should, as a priority, be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.
 
Page.7:     (44) In identifying priority hazardous substances, account should be taken of the precautionary principle, relying in particular on the determination of any potentially adverse effects of the product and on a scientific assessment of the risk.


SPATIAL PLANNING
: The wider Spatial Planning context: this is of relevance because fracking usually progressively covers a large area and thus accumulates its impact (furthermore e.g. by requiring water from elsewhere there is the impact on that water source to be assessed): This type of accumulating impact (& wider impacts) is taken into account (or partly so ??) by the planning system but I've yet to investigate how, thus am collecting relevant REFS for reading when I get time: Ch.6 'Spatial Planning & Environmental Assessments' Prof. Vincent Goodstadt et al. (PP on e.g. p
.123),  Goodstadt on TIA (ppt download) - Replace EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) / SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) with TIA (Territorial Assessment)?? (powerpoint) & on 'an ecosystems approach and spatial planning' 4pp pdf (DEFRA link) - these articles refer to e.g. EIA and SEA   [helpful tweets by Prof. Alister Scott pointed me to V.C.'s work]

Planning re Indirect effects, effects outside the side or elsewhere, such as climate change effects. There are major 'out-of-date' flaws in our current planning system they way it ignores consultation comments or evidence from the public about indirect effects of a development proposal - such as on climate change via emissions from the proposal. This is obviously highly flawed as although for example it might refer to government departments/agencies on such indirect impacts it does not take into account that these bodies are increasingly being infiltrated by fossil fuel and development interests. (See my section on corruption).

Baseline monitoring: we need regs for this.
The following article provides ideas for this re air quality monitoring:  
'Nationwide Air Sampling Confirms 'Methane Emissions Across Large Parts Of The U.S. Are Higher Than Currently Known''  "The team analyzed the data in conjunction with researchers at the University of Bremen, Germany, who analyzed inventories and satellite data from the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument onboard the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ENVISAT satellite to confirm the finding of strong methane sources in regions of fossil fuel activity. The surface measurements found methane levels increased as the researchers moved toward Houston, and then decreased as they continued westward –– the same trend observed in satellite data spanning the continent."

But Government now want to stop air quality monitoring as part of cut-backs. Suspicious?

REFS - other refs re planning :

RSPB general advice pdf: 'Addressing Climate Change through planning'

 

Quote from a Guardian comment re polluting rivers: "The Environmental Liability Regulations 2008 were supposed to finally ensure the "polluter pays principle"" 

AEA for EC: 'Support to the identification of potential risks for the environment and human health arising from hydrocarbons operations involving hydraulic fracturing in Europe'  (pdf)

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Parliamentary (HoC and HoL) Committee meetings re fracking

Re videos - I've only listened to short sections of them.

Parl. video: Energy Generation in Wales: Shale Gas HOC WELSH AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 22oct13 Meeting 9.55am. to 11.25am. Witnesses: Professor Hywel Thomas, Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, Cardiff University, Professor Richard Davies, Durham University, and Professor Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.    Natural Resources Wales, World Wildlife Fund, and Friends of the Earth Cymru

10:02:35 Prof Kevin Anderson states UK consumption figure and approx % sources. “UK consumes roundabout 100billion cubic metres of gas (pa). Very roughly a half of that comes from the North Sea, a qtr from Qatar and a qtr from Norway. BGS mid-estimate of Bowland Shales resource = 38K cubic metres of which c.10% extractable. This 10% is equiv to 38years of our current gas consumption. That would wipe out pretty much the whole of the UKs carbon budget up to 2050 if you burnt it.”

Earlier Prof Hywel Thomas tried to brush aside climate change trying to reframe discussion on assuming we need gas as priority as that’s what gov policy has decided (what a bootlicker - who pays for his research!?)...

 
Parl. video: The Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil - HOL ECONOMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 22oct13 Meeting 3.38pm. to 5.36pm. Witnesses: Mr Craig Bennett, Director of Policy and Campaigns, Friends of the Earth; Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist and Policy Director, Greenpeace UK and Mr Nick Molho, Head of Policy (Climate & Energy), WWF-UK. Professor Richard Muller, Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley.

Nick Molho kicks off with a summary that they are against shale gas primarily due to climate change. Then go into well integrity and ... potential contamination... If shale gas is allowed to go ahead unrestrained the rate of well use has been predicted to be c.thousand wells pa to 2 or 3 thousand per yr at peak UK production. FoE: Water use. Now consider water required at peak production. Q re regional water over geography of UK. .... Hard to predict water stress regions and timings in future. - inadequately investigated. ... Mueller on recycling of waste water...

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Human rights re community action re police action      - this section only just started

Is there a basic human right to have access to uncontaminated fresh air, water and food, and unpolluted living space?

CONTACTS:
 
Dr Damien Short & colleagues in Extreme Energy Initiative (based in London) - see http://extremeenergy.org/about/eei-people-2/
Pearson - Lancaster University (I'll add soon)

Damien Short ‏@DamienShort2h #Fracking #Balcombe Police! Right to freedom assembly=peaceful sit down protests + mass actions p4 parliament report http://bit.ly/17HVF7h   Retweeted by Henry Adams

       Here's the report:
House of Lords House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights - Demonstrating respect for rights? A human rights approach to policing protest Seventh Report of Session 2008–09 Report, together with formal minutes and written evidence Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 3 March 2009 Ordered by the House of Lords to be printed 3 March 2009

This may be the law being used by police to arrest the blockaders at #Balcombe July/Aug2013:
 Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992

Keith Taylor MEP » Blog Archive » Keith writes to Sussex Police over use of excessive force at Balcombe Protest  


And how about a right for local democracy - which is being over-ridden by the government's blinkered dash for fracking?

Please sign Gwen's petition: 'Give communities power to block fracking projects'

'Councils to be given powers to ban peaceful protests that might disturb local residents' '
Anger mounts at ‘shockingly open-ended’ Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill that could also see youngsters banned from skateboarding, forbid teenagers from using local parks and prevent demonstrators from gathering outside council offices' Nigel Morris - 15nov13 - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

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Bribery, house prices, divide & rule       new section


Bribery and 'divide & rule'

I'll add this when I get time. On e.g. the divisiveness of "community benefits" and other such bribes.

House prices

 
Profits from fracking are most unlikely to be high enough to be able to fund payments to house owners to compensate for any decreases in house prices resulting from proximity to fracking wells. Furthermore - the present planning system does not give regard to decreases in property values due to nearby developments.  

UK differs from USA in that mineral rights in UK are not owned by the property owner of the land surface above, but by the Crown, whereas in the USA the property owner owns the mineral rights below ground. Thus in the UK the property owner can only gain financially if the fracking company wants access to their land for a well pad etc, and land-owners above the horizontal well sections cannot gain money, only lose (e.g. via cracks appearing in house walls). Despite this, in the USA fracking results in significant decreases in property values (refs below). Thus we can expect losses in property values in the UK. However, our government may be trying to divert our attention towards house price decreases due to proximity of wind-turbines . . .

2015 update: Information Commissioner orders DEFRA to publish its entire report unredacted. When forced to publish its report previously, it redacted out the text assessing impacts of fracking on house prices!

USA: 'How Fracking Decreases Property Value' – EcoWatch  Cutting Edge Environmental News Service 22jul13 "Water Source a Deciding Factor in Property Value"

Dave Toke's green energy blog  'DEFRA poised to cover up negative impact of shale gas on house prices'  via GH.     Links to:

Shale Gas Development and Property Values: Differences across Drinking Water Sources’ Lucija Muehlenbachs, Elisheba Spiller, and Christopher Timmins (Duke Uni.),  NBER Working Paper No. 18390  September 2012  JEL No. Q4,Q53  e National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138           - via GH

DEFRA investigates effect of wind and shale gas on house prices   22aug13   The ENDS Report    - via GH

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Are fossil fuels a "resource curse" here in the UK?

Website created by Dr Henry Adams 2013, Ecological Consultant, Kendal, Cumbria, UK    infox@dragonfly1.plus.com

P.S.: now want to focus on researching into fracking bribery and related community-divisiveness, well failure rate info, leakage esp into ground-water eg via damage to well integrity especially damage to the cement from tremors and how related to pressure and magnitude during fracking, also via cracks & faults...



Tweetable 140-character poem:
 
#Fracking #budget shill:

"Drill baby drill"
Never mind the spill
Or the fumes that make you ill
Just swallow Osborne's money pill
And your fears will come to nil!
                                   Anon.

Copy the line below and tweet it!
 
#Fracking#budget Shill: "DrillBabyDrill" NeverMindTheSpill OrTheFumesThatMakeYouIll JustSwallowOsborne’sMoneyPill AndYourFearsWillComeToNil!



                 Box of notes and links in need of organizing

‘16 wells per square mile’ ‘7 wells per square mile’ ‘high well density of up to six well pads per km² ‘ [can be 1 or 6 or 8 or 16 wells per pad (examples); pads are several acres in size] 8 wells per square mile. Could have eg 1 pad per 2 square miles each pad with eg 16 wells with drilling in different directions. 1.6m to 2.5m gallons water per well (7m to 11m litres). Toxic Flowback. < info from quotes etc from googling fracking well density wells per square mile.

 
RAFF - Residents Action on Fylde Fracking: http://stopfyldefracking.org.uk/raffs-response-to-government-report/ <<link broken 23apr12 states: plans for more than 800 wells in Lancashire alone An estimated 1.6 million – 2.5 million gallons of fresh water are needed per well and this comes at a time when parts of the UK are suffering from drought conditions. Currently 10,000 gallons of radioactive water are sitting in tanks at the Preese Hall site and cannot be moved.
 
EARTHWORKS Hydraulic Fracturing 101 - useful briefing facts: http://www.earthworksaction.org/issues/detail/hydraulic_fracturing_101#.UUS_gtZdCSp
   
www.energywatchgroup.org EWG report March 2013 - ‘Fossil and Nuclear Fuels - the Supply Outlook’ pdf v useful eg on shale gas fracking etc. I’ve downloaded it (in fracking shale gas folder)

My viewpoint in creating this web-page - written in my first hour of creating it.
       
I come from a scientific background (research in applied ecology for PhD), and am now using this trained way of thinking, coupled with a concern for impacts on humans, wildlife and habitats, and the Precautionary Principle, while on the steep learning curve of reading and assessing the facts on this subject: fascinating facts - but their implications give me great concern. The more I learn - the more concerned I become: it's the gradual opening of a "can of worms" of what looks like a "Pandora's box". But of course - as I come from a scientific background I should not be writing such expressions! So ignore that last sentence of mine when you examine the facts - and come to your own conclusions with an open mind un-biased by such expressions. You will find the facts speak for themselves (< a scientifically acceptable expression, if the facts are evidence-based (<that might be philosophically debatable - but I'll avoid that distraction here!).

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GEOLOGY re fracking - for geeks (like me!)

My current understanding of the Bowland Shales of Lancashire are that they have complex faulting, at least some of which are stress-loaded - as shown by the 2 tremors induced by Cuadrilla's exploratory fracking - in which it is thought that the high-pressure injection of fracking water lubricated these faults and the fracking process triggered them to slip. Also I understand (though this needs verifying) that the 3-D scanner that can be used to show the location of some of the faults - failed to pick up those that resulted in the tremors. Thus I cannot accept the fracking industry's claim that such tremors are unlikely to re-occur. If the scanners can't detect all relevant faults then the only way that assessments can be reached on the re-occurrence of such tremors is by actually fracking - with a trial and error 'suck it and see' approach by gradually increasing hydraulic pressure - but this seems hardly satisfactory to me (understatement! & the pressure is the opposite to sucking). The danger of tremors is that they can damage both the concentric steel casing and the cement casing of the well so it fails on integrity and thus increases its potential to leak. The Preese Hall tremors buckled the steel casing. Preese Hall was the first and only modern-type frack in the UK, thus the incidence of fracking-induced tremors in the UK is now 100%, n=1 Thus the Styles and Baptie comment referred to below is potentially misleading unless qualified with the appropriate geographical context of their expanded denominator.

(S&B's data refers largely to fracking in the larger-scale geology of the US, not to the more complex and faulted geology in many parts of the UK which are in former ancient orogenous zones associated with former tectonic boundaries. Because I am not a professional geologist I must admit I don't know whether or to what extent the present-day stress in some of these faults is actually more due to the rebound after the loss of the weight of ice of the last glacial stage, and also I haven't compared a map of fracking areas in the USA with a map of the active orogenous zones/bands in the USA such as shown here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orogeny. This might be interesting to investigate ... if have spare time!)

BGS: UK Hydrogeology viewer   British Geological Survey (BGS) http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/hydrogeologymap/hydromap.html
eg check Sherwood aquifer on the Fylde - tweets Lee Petts of NW England @remsolwaste


'Briefing Note [for gov]: Induced Seismicity in the UK and its Relevance to Hydraulic Stimulation for Exploration for

Shale Gas' - Professor Peter Styles (Keele University) & Dr Brian Baptie (British Geological Survey)
 5073-background-on-induced-seismicity [pdf]  - via Prof Iain Stewart tweet: "Excellent briefing note here on UK eqs in relation to shale gas drilling from Pete Styles and BGS's Brian Baptie 'Induced Seismicity . .  ." My response tweet:  

@Profiainstewart Styles&Baptie dodge KeyIssue: impactof fracking-induced seismcty on well integrity espCementCasing: I look frwd2answr onTue  — Henry Adams (@henryadamsUK) June 15, 2013

Quotes from S&B: "Hydrofracturing, the intentional injection of fluids (waters, foams and gels) at high pressure (5000+ psi) to create new fractures, is a relatively minor perturbation to the ambient stress field, "

"We agree that the hydrofracture process carried out in Lancashire at Preese Hall was the trigger of the sequence of minor seismic events observed near Blackpool between April and June 2011, with the highest on April 1st 2011 with a magnitude of 2.4. However, the state of stress, which was released by these events, was pre-existing, and the hydraulic changes made in hydrofracturing were simply the perturbation which initiated the sequence of events. The sequence may have occurred anyway at some later time (which may be of geological extent!) triggered by some other stress perturbation.   
Such interactions between tectonic features and anthropogenic activities associated with stimulation procedures used in hydrocarbon exploration of oil and more recently shale gas appear to be relatively rare ..."


Relationship between well integrity, seismicity and hydraulic pressure: Induced Seismicity at Preese Hall, UK - A Review Article - Earthdoc 

CCS re fracking, CBM and UCG.
Gwen Harrison raised the very interesting question that should be answered: to what extent will the location and underground impact of these industries be spatially co-incident with locations of proposed or potential use to us for CCS (though she could express this more readably than I have here!). Some tentative thoughts and queries of mine for investigation: Most UCG licences and UCG proposals are coastal (just offshore) associated obviously with coal seams. Preferred CCS  geology appears to be saline sandstone, and may be coastal (?). How close together are these? Could they even be above/below each other?

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Contacting BBC - don't let them misrepresent fracking: put them right:      - this section only just started

The BBC R4 Today programme:     www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/today/contact/

On twitter:      @BBCr4today   https://twitter.com/BBCr4today    twitter hashtag:   #R4Today

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Website created by Dr Henry Adams 2013, Ecological Consultant, Kendal, Cumbria, UK    infox@dragonfly1.plus.com