Fracking industry spurns nationwide debates from “We Need To Talk About Fracking”

9th June 2014

A nationwide series of five debates about fracking begins today in Glasgow – but there’s no sign of representatives from the industry on the confirmed list of speakers for any event.

The debates, organised by We Need to Talk About Fracking, are also taking place this week in Nottingham (Tuesday 10th June), Manchester (Wednesday 11th June) and Swansea (Thursday 12th June). The tour ends in London on Monday June 16th.

Tonight’s speakers include:

  • Mary Church, of Friends of the Earth
  • Maria Montinaro, a Falkirk Councillor and member of Concerned Communities of Falkirk
  • Liz Arnold, a US Anti-Fracking Campaigner
  • Tina Louise Rothery, of Residents Action on Fylde Fracking
  • Tom Barlow – Reclaim The Power

Dart Energy, which has applied to drill 22 wells for coal bed methane in the Forth Valley, was invited to take part but declined, accord to The Scotsman newspaper, because of the short notice of the invitation.

Tina Louise Rothery, Liz Arnold and Tom Barlow are talking at the other events this week. They are joined in Nottingham by Paul Mobbs, an environmental consultant, and local campaigner Brian Davey.

Manchester’s debate also hears from Helen Rimmer, of Friends of the Earth, and Rachel Thompson, of the Northern Gas Gala. Paul Mobbs is also on the line-up in Swansea, as is Andy Chyba, of Frack Free Wales.

The London event is chaired by Jon Snow, of Channel 4 News. The line-up of speakers includes Dan Byles MP, chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Gas and Oil, who often speaks at conferences on the benefits of fracking. The other speakers include: Dr Nick Riley of the British Geological Society, Joe Howe, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Central Lancashire, Jeremy Leggett, a green-energy entrepreneur and geologist, and John Ashton, formerly a special representative for climate change at the Foreign Office.

We need to talk about Fracking said: “Numerous invitations to national and local pro-fracking interests have been put out – but none have accepted the invitation to date.”

Debate details

Monday 9th June – The Arches, 253 Argyle Street, Glasgow G2 8DL

Tuesday 10th June – Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, NG1 4BU

Wednesday 11th June – Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, Manchester M2 5GP

Thursday 12th June, George Hall, Guildhall, South Road, Swansea SA1 4PE

Monday 16th June, Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, London SW1H 9NH

All debates start at 8pm and are free.

More information at or #talkfracking



2 replies »

  1. It could be that it’s Greenpeace behind the talk fracking “debates” so in reality not a debate or a balanced discussion. The industry has suspected that and so won’t talk with those who minds are already closed. The line up pretty much confirms that it’s not balanced. Whilst they are entitled to their opinion, the anti fracking protesters have no knowledge of the science or the economics of the oil & gas industry. They therefore cannot give a truthful account of the pros and cons of drilling for gas. For one thing they are concentrating on a process which takes a few hours in an overall procedure that lasts weeks. Fracking is a minor part of the drilling process. It’s only when the illogicality of demonstrating against fracking and not the rest of the drilling process was pointed out that they then protested at CBM and other drilling sites. However, that protesters still shout “fracking” highlights that they still haven’t got their message sorted. It also highlights the stupidity of their actions – to protest at all oil & gas sites means that they are against all oil & gas yet use many products that use hydrocarbons. Hyprocrites one and all.

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