Pick of the quotes from Third Energy fracking meeting

nycc meeting

64 speakers gave evidence to North Yorkshire County Council today against Third Energy’s plan to frack at its existing KM8 well at Kirby Misperton.

Many were local residents. Speakers included a professor, a baroness, a knight of the realm, a former climate diplomat and a current climate scientist, a retired bishop, four county councillors and four representatives of parish councils, as well as doctors, researchers and local business people.

From more than eight hours testimony, we’ve picked out some of the key points they made in their own words.

Outside the meeting, around 500 people gathered for a rally against ftracking. You can read some of their thoughts here. For the live report of today’s hearing, click here

The meeting resumes on Monday when it will hear from supporters of the proposal. We’ll be reporting from that session, which is expected to reach a decision.


Fracking is the crack cocaine of fossil fuels – one well is never enough.
Adela Pickles

Over recent years I have challenged everyone to tell me where I can see for myself anywhere in the world an example of friendly fracking.  I have not had one reply.
Sir Richard Storey, Settringham, near Malton

Fracking is only worthwhile if done intensively on an industrial scale.
Robert Laycock

Third Energy’s application

You are charged by the people of Ryedale to take account of the impacts on the environment and the local economy. I believe you have been asked to take too much on trust. I think there are grounds to delay or refuse this application.
Baroness McIntosh, former Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton

There is a high degree of uncertainty about whether KM8 will produce and for how long because it is the first well to be fracked and it is a horizontal, rather than a vertical well.
Matt Farrelly, oil and gas professional and consultant to Frack Free Ryedale

Location of the KM8 site

Where would you choose a site for fracking? I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t choose a site downwind of a small village with narrow roads, next to a public right of way and a water course leading into a protected area.
Steve Maslen, planning consultant

Opposition to the plans

Members of frack free Ryedale are not professional campaigners, as had been claimed by supporters of the scheme. Many have not campaigned on any issues before. Many are hard-working parents. They feel there has been a campaign against them and they have been accused of scaremongering.
Katie Atkinson, landscape consultant to Frack Free Ryedale

First UK fracked well for five years

Please don’t let Ryedale to be the first area to allow fracking. Do not devastate our area. Listen to our local residents. This could ruin our way of life. Let democracy take place. Refuse this application.
Lyndsay Burr, county councillor representing Kirby Misperton on North Yorkshire County Council


Fracking invariably changes the character of the places that accommodate it. It is for you and you alone to judge whether that would be a desirable change or an undesirable one. But as it takes its course, if it turns out to be unwelcome, people will surely say: “this began in Kirby Misperton; that’s where we could have stopped it.
John Ashton former climate diplomat for the UK government


Are you, as representatives of our beautiful county, prepared to take away jobs in tourism and farming? I trust you are not.
Steve Pearse, resident of Great Barugh under a mile from the proposed fracking site.

At a time when the British public are beginning to rediscover the beauty of its countryside why would you want to bring this blight and take the risk of sacrificing it all?
Tony Finn, Worsley Arms, Hovingham, Ryedale


On which planet could this be considered to benefit the local area and economy?
Jules Marley, CPRE, referring to plans to stack shipping containers 9m high as a noise barrier


When the Police and Crime Commissioner was asked about the 5mph speed restriction on the Costa Beck bridge, she laughed. It would appear planners have not consulted with the police on this issue.
Ian Conlon, who lives five miles away and whose bedroom is in direct line of sight to the well

It staggers me that the traffic survey was carried out before the opening of Flamingo Lane in March.
Stephanie Pride, employee at Flamingo Land

Threat and risk

I, as a local resident have no confidence in their [Third Energy’s] capacity to act in an open, transparent and competent manner with this highly risky and potentially dangerous process.
Nicky Mason, speaking about an incident involving the venting of 70,000 cubic metres of methane at a Third Energy site in Ryedale not reported to the Environment Agency within the required timeframe

You must determine what level of risk is reasonable to ask of a community. You have to decide about what the science tells you about the distance of a well from a home.
Dr Tim Thornton, district councillor and retired GP


Does the committee want to wait five years to see who has fallen ill? And how will you know? Don’t let this industry get a foot in the door. It all starts with one well.
Rev Graham Cray, Kirby Misperton


If central government wants to go all out of shale it should take responsibility for it… Do not be a stalking horse. Refuse this application with one voice and return this application to where it belongs, central government.
Philip Tate

Your hands may be tied so that you cannot act for us directly in some issues, but in matters where you are able to act for us – please – act for us and use whatever means are left to you to refuse this application.
Cllr Erica Rose, Helmsley Town Council

You have a moral duty to take into account a wider set of issues. …Your moral responsibility make this the most important decision of your careers.
David Adam, Ryedale resident

Climate change

The world is not going very far very fast on climate change. Developing shale gas would lock the methane in for decades.
Dr James Hansen (read by Brian Appleby)

[If you grant this] Your climate change policy will be in tatters and completely untenable.
Edward Arthur, local resident who retired to Ryedale

We need to use the supplies [0f gas] that we have at present. It is perverse and genocidal to search for more.
Parish councillor Annette Hudspeth


[On bats around the KM8 site] No one had bothered to look. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Kieran Sheehan, ecological consultant for Frack Free Ryedale

This report is part of DrillOrDrop’s Rig Watch project. Rig Watch receives funding from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. More details here

22 replies »

      • For an alternative, and equally “independent” account of the Ryedale proceedings, please see “Fracking: councillors urged to reject shale gas tests in Yorkshire” by the brilliant Emily Gosden (just Google her name with “shale gas”).

      • Ruth, it’s worth remembering that in some of the countries from which we currently import gas, you wouldn’t be able to attend any meeting unchaperoned and indeed open debate such as is occurs on this site would likely end you in prison or worse.

    • Hear hear – very much appreciated. We often need bullet points to oppose those in favour of fracking, and there are many excellent ones here! Thank you.

    • Hello Jules. Thanks for you kind words and apologies for mishearing your first name. That’s corrected now. Thanks again and best wishes Ruthh

  1. Perhaps you don’y have any friends Michael, and on here is the only place you get any communication, all be it negative? I do feel sorry for you, but I think in future we will all hopefully ignore your personal attacks, concentrate on the issues in hand and hopefully you’ll find another, more suitable outlet for your anger. I wish you well 🙂

    • When you accuse a contributor of “having no friends” and then remind them to stick to the issues, I think that’s called shooting yourself in the foot.

      • Not really Mark. From his later response, clearly ‘Michael’ is a troll, specifically here to detract from the debate. This is a good site, thank you Ruth, where ALL the issues are raised and documented, and potential investors can see both sides of the debate. I would prefer that it remain so without snide remarks from some.

        On this blog, both sides are able to swop information. Those who do not support fracking do look at your pro-fracking information, research further and weigh it in the balance. There is at the moment, I feel, more people prepared to give up their time to communicate against fracking than support. That for me is significant, as shown by the empty supporter’s area on Friday.

  2. Thanks for your concern sherwulfe, plenty of friends but certainly none
    like you or your pathetic type.

    Whether you acknowlege it or not this site is nothing more than a anti fracking website with Ruth Hayhurst showing which side she prefers, even in her nice dress.

    [paragraph removed by comments moderator – personal remarks]

    • You are being given the opportunity to voice your concerns and put forward your arguments. We all are. I am grateful this site exists and I learn from information posted from both sides. If you feel this site is biased and you are being restricted you should comment on other sites or create your own. The industry had plenty of investors money so should accommodate a request by yourself to start another site with regular updates from the industry. I would be happy to comment on it.
      With regards to what part wind power plays and can play in our energy mix,an issue you have previously mentioned, you may wish to study this site. There is a debate section you may wish to get involved in.

      • John, just had a look at the Crown Estate’s lovely website detailing offshore wind’s contribution to UK electricity generation, curretly offshore wind is making a paltry 1.1%. (10.41am Sunday morning) Why? Well I don’t think the wind is blowing. Agree? Thank heavens for gas and nuclear, currently 49% and 28% respectively.

        • Checked shale gas contribution to UK energy mix today. Zero.You are correct. The wind does not always blow. It is not about a single moment in time. What is produced from offshore on average is 39% with future predictions 55% of it’s rated value. So you will need 2 turbines to generate the full output of 1. The most critical decision is if the grid can take intermittent power. This is what the experts say.

          The grid has to be upgraded for all large projects whatever the source. By 2050 grid will be able to take 80% renewables. Figures of 50% at present. I agree with you that we need gas and nuclear for now. I am a realist. What I have always said is that we should move ahead quickly with proven renewable technology(with costs dropping constantly) and maximising our own North Sea Industry which has all the reserves,skilled workforce,and infrastructure in place. There is no need to add an onshore Industry into the mix. It is neither logical, cost effective,or a step in the right direction on meeting our climate targets.

  3. John, where does electricity come from when the wind doesn’t blow and it’s dark. Currently the UK gets about 50% of it’s electricity from burning gas. What’s the practical alternative of the next 30 years or so?

    We currently get most of our gas from Norway who have just put out more “for sale” notices for more licences to explore in the pristine Arctic. Well it’s a long way away from here isn’t it and what’s a few polar bears against the possible disturbance to wedding services in Kirby Misperton. I guess it’s all about costs versus benefits.

    • LIGHT “something that makes things visible or affords illumination”….it does not have to be electrically generated.

      Regarding the ‘possible’ disturbance to your wedding specifically in Kirby Misperton, candles produce a lovely romantic ambiance and there’s no substitute for live music!

      Sadly, it’s not just a ‘few’ polar bears…that event has passed. We are now looking at the extinction of the species.

      Regarding the comment about Norwegian sources, definitely now time to up the renewables. Mark, take your money out of that failing company and put it into something that will not only give you a small monetary return, but ensure we all have a place to live in the future.

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