Reaction to fracking permits for Third Energy


Opponents of fracking have said they’re disappointed that the Environment Agency has granted three environmental permits to Third Energy to frack in North Yorkshire. Supporters of the scheme at Kirby Misperton have welcomed the news. Here’s our round-up of reaction. Link to permit details

Opposition to Third Energy’s plans

Philip Tate, anti-fracking candidate for Thirsk and Malton in the 2015 general election

Mr Tate told BBC Radio York this morning the decision was entirely predictable and the EA did not have a lot of choice in the matter

“If you want to ride a motorbike backwards through a ring of flames then you can probably get a licence from the Environment Agency to do that. But it doesn’t make that activity safe”.

He said companies couldn’t make money from fracking for shale gas because there was a glut of gas on world markets. He said Third Energy would make money from fracking at Kirby Misperton only by using gas in its electricity generating station nearby at Knapton, which he said was running at about 10% capacity.

He said shale gas extraction would lock the UK into burning hydrocarbons for 40-50 years because that was the time needed for gas-powered generating stations to pay back the investment.

He also predicted that low gas prices would have an impact on production standards:

“Best practice is expensive. And you can’t afford that when the profit margins are wafer-thin or, in some cases, non-existent. Corners will be cut and workers will be working longer shifts, they aren’t going to be paid as much money. It will be quite impossible to adhere to the health and safety standards that were observed in the North Sea.”

Ian Conlan, Frack Free Ryedale

“It is shocking that the Environment Agency has ignored the well-founded concerns of local residents about the poor safety record of Third Energy with regard to a serious toxic sour gas leak in 2014, poor maintenance at their existing pipeline, and their use of American company Halliburton to providing the fracking chemicals and drilling.”

“Halliburton was the 5th least reputable American company according to Forbes magazine after using unstable cement in the well at the centre of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, for which they were fined $1.1 billion.”

“Further, their chemicals spilt into a drinking water source in 2014 used by millions of people in Ohio, USA for 5 days before the public was informed.  In the UK, our Environment Agency, already struggling with budget cuts and unprecedented demands on their resources from flooding, have had responsibility for fracking dumped on them with no expert knowledge, lack of robust regulations, and no site visit schedule to ensure compliance.”

“Further, no bond is currently required to cover pollution incidents as called for by a report going before the County’s Health and Well being Scrutiny committee later this month. Without such safeguards in place, we call on the Environment Agency to reconsider this, and we will be seeking legal advice on challenging the decision granting these permits.”

Ryedale District Councillor, Paul Andrews

“No amount of money offered in “community benefits” will compensate residents for the loss of drinking water: we can’t drink money. None of the fracking companies eyeing up Ryedale are offering the full market value of our property to enable us to move, should we wish to escape.”

“And who is going to want to buy our farmers produce when they know the soil and water may be contaminated by toxic chemicals, hydrocarbons, and radioactive substances coming up from deep underground in the shale gas layer?

“This permit is bad news for residents that the EA is meant to protect, so now I urge all residents to write to the elected County Councillors on the Planning Committee to listen to our concerns as our district councillors did last month, as the decision now lies at County Hall whether to grant permission.”

Malton resident, Dr Liz Garthwaite

“We need a moratorium as called for by Ryedale District Council, all 5 Town Councils of Ryedale, and at least 10 parish councils, until this process has been properly researched and a properly independent panel of health experts reviews all the up to date evidence of contamination from other sites where fracking has been done around the world.

“As a medical doctor, I am very concerned about the risks. Just as tobacco companies assured us smoking was safe even when their own research said otherwise, so these fracking companies and the Environment Agency are asking us to believe fracking under these flimsy regulations is safe without evidence that would be accepted by health professionals.”

Supporters of Third Energy’s plans

We reported Third Energy’s welcome for the decision yesterday. Link to Third Energy statement here

Friends of Ryedale Gas Exploration

“These would not have been issued if the experienced, expert EA staff had the slightest doubt about the safety of the process.”

David Pasley, FORGE Facebook page

Great news for all who have worked so hard towards this day. We are finally putting to bed ‘Project Fear’ , a tidal wave of disasters, lies and rumour which has been peddled by FFR and its supporters. Well done to everyone involved.

Other comments on the FORGE Facebook page included:

Leon Jennings: “Well done Third Energy”

Matt Robinson: “Brilliant News”

Stephanie Snade: “Great News”

Dale Green: “Great News”

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6 replies »

  1. Four long quotes from the nimbus. Two brief notes from FORGE, ( who are also the friends of our economy). Can we have some balance please?

    • Brilliant request actually. I’d like you to deliver some balanced evidential statements about how safe fracking is, and how millions of well documented research modules prove fracking is not causing any pollution anywhere on the planet, yet it never arrives does it? Your request for balance—was it said whilst looking in the mirror?

  2. Being opposed to fracking does not mean you are an enemy of the economy and equally if you support fracking you are a friend of the economy – I object to people being stereotyped.

  3. “We are finally putting to bed ‘Project Fear'”. FORGE is doing nothing of the sort.

    Talk about premature celebrations. Over here in Lancashire, we have not lost one jot of our energy in our anti-fracking activities after nigh on five years. The same will happen in Ryedale.

      If so, when will FORGE be contacting these professional organisations to re-educate them on their mistakes ?

      Take your pick and Google search any of the following to read their reports.

      Nobel Peace Prize winners

      DEFRA, fracking report

      BREAST CANCER ACTION, fracking

      BREAST CANCER FUND, fracking

      BREAST CANCER UK, fracking
      STOP CANCER FUND, Fracking and your health, 24 February 2014
      PREVENT CANCER NOW, Fracking shale gas and health, a case for precaution.

      US Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) article headline, EPA Findings In Fracking Water Pollution Disputed By Its Own Scientists, 19th November 2015.
      EPA’s Abandoned Wyoming Fracking Study One Retreat Of Many. ProPublica.

      EVEN the EPA with its very questionable fracking study, which many say missed the elephant in the room. STILL managed to find evidence of pollution to water aquifers.

      Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, CAPE’s
      CAPE’s position statement on fracking , June 2014.

      Natural Resources Defence Council, NRDC. Fracking

      headlined…. Toxic Chemicals, Carcinogens, skyrocket near fracking sites. ( Professor Peter Rabinowitz and Doctor David Carpenter

      Hospitalization rates jump near tracking sites study.

      Hydraulic fracturing link to increase in hospitalization rates in Marcellus shale

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