Opposition

Oliver, 8, appeals to PM to block fracking near new Derbyshire home

oliver-simpson-greenwood-letter

An eight year old boy has written to the Prime Minister asking her to prevent fracking near his new home in Derbyshire.

Oliver Greenwood told Theresa May he was scared the process to extract shale gas would make him ill and said he wanted to talk to her about it in Downing Street.

His letter was prompted by news that INEOS had begun the process of applying for permission to drill an exploration well at Marsh Lane, near Eckington, in Derbyshire.

Oliver’s mother, Wendy, exchanged contracts on a house less than 500m from the site last week but did not find out about INEOS’s plans until this Monday. She said she risks a possible legal challenge and will lose her deposit if she pulls out of the sale.

Ms Greenwood, a single parent, said:

“Oliver was very upset by the situation we found ourselves in. He is very eloquent, he loves school and he wants to help people. When he told me he wanted to write to the Prime Minister I was so proud of him.

“When I saw what he had written I was quite overwhelmed and I thought I am going to have to share it.”

This morning, she posted on Facebook a picture of Oliver’s letter, which she confirmed he had written himself. He wrote:

Dear Prime Minister

Fracking Marsh Lane

I am called Oliver and I am 8 years old. My favourite things are school, football and nature.

My mummy means the world to me and she is the most amazing mum in the whole wide world! She does everything for me on her own.

My mummy is very sad and I am sad too! My mummy is sad because they want to do fracking next to a house that we are buying. My mummy has cried every day. She is so worried that she will lose all her money. I am scared that fracking will make me ill.

I think fracking in Marsh Lane will ruin me and my mummy’s life. Please can you help us and please move fracking far away from houses.

I would like to come to your office in London to talk with you about this.

Copies of the letter have been sent to INEOS, Derbyshire County Council and the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

DrillOrDrop asked INEOS to comment on the letter and the family’s situation. A spokesperson said:

“We wold like to sit down with Ms Greenwood and Oliver to talk through our plans and reassure them”.

INEOS plans

INEOS announced on 6 January that it had begun the planning application process for a site on Bramleymoor Lane between Marsh Lane and Apperknowle.

In details sent to Derbyshire County Council, the company said it wanted to drill a 2,408m vertical well to take rock samples that would be analysed for their gas producing properties. (More details)

The document referred only once to hydraulic fracturing, suggesting that the process might be carried out at other sites. A full application is expected later this year.

Wendy Greenwood said nothing had emerged about the plans in legal searches or disclosures.

The first she knew about them was seeing anti-fracking signs when she drove through the area after exchanging contracts. She said:

“I was absolutely devastated. It was supposed to be about our future.

“Fracking is one of the primary things that would have put me off the house”.

eckington-signs-1-170118

Sign in Eckington. Photo: Chloe Sandall

She said she chose the house because it offered “the peace and quiet of the countryside” and was convenient for Oliver’s school, work and family. She said:

“I have still not made up my mind but we are due to complete on Monday. There is so much that is unknown. I don’t think I can win whatever I do. I am trying to put a brave face on it but I have broken down in tears.”

Ms Greenwood said she hoped Mrs May would reply to Oliver’s letter. She said people in the parish had been very supportive.

“There is a huge sense of solidarity. I am sure they will get their voices heard.”

Since the INEOS announcement an anti-fracking campaign has established in the area.

Nearly 60,000 people have signed a petition against the plans and a petition on the government website has attracted more than 1,000 signatures.

Both INEOS and its opponents have organised meetings in the area in the next few days. More details.

Updated at 22.12 to include quote from INEOS spokesperson

47 replies »

  1. Oh well, if the ‘expert’ says we can drill for 10km horizontally, let’s put a 10km distance between shalegas development sites and homes/public buildings!

    That way people won’t be so worried about the public health impacts of shalegas development or lose tens of £k off the value of their homes!

    • No need to be an expert – just do your research before making comments about an activity you are not familiar with. Philip P & Phil C at least would have checked first…

      • As I study a lot of related activity in the States that you refuse to look at Paul it is evident that I am more familiar than your are with it. There are several accounts of people living within a mile of fracking sites that report plumes of gasses/particulates traveling in a visible ‘haze’ experienced within a one mile radius, depending on atmospheric conditions. These have had/are having noxious and damaging health impacts. Then there are several studies of well water contamination rising steeply within the proximity of the sites. As wells are being proposed to be more densely clustered in the UK then the risk factors get intensified don’t they.

      • OK Paul here we go again,
        god, this is getting so boring! Shall we get something straight before we get into fantasyfrack land again and the usual diversion and character assassination continues. Lets stop that right here and now.
        1. This is another isolation of one part of what i said and you are ignoring the rest as if it was not said, it was. It is your choice to ignore it all but your one tiny pre prepared politicians answer, but its just another divert and attack policy typical of the PFO’s. My comment was not even on this post, so this is another diversion away from this topic, which is, i would remind you: Oliver, 8, appeals to PM to block fracking near new Derbyshire home. I made the comment on: Residents to quiz regulators over Cuadrilla’s fracking site.
        This is off topic, but since you write it here, i will reply here.

        2. The Aliso Canyon, Porter Ranch debacle issue was caused by deliberate incompetent misuse of 60 (years old) ageing, failing and corroded well casings, the blow out valve was removed because it was faulty and leaking, failure to renew the casings and the fit a new blow out valve was a criminally incompetent practice and typical of the slap happy incompetent devil may care attitude of the operators SoCal. Well stimulation was going on but hidden and buried in mere hints in the documentation, and still remains to be revealed by the investigation into why the failure happened.

        3. This is what i said, “The simple truth about high pressure unconventional fracking is that it has despoiled vast areas across the world, it has destroyed peoples health, poisoned water, air and land, has poured millions of tons of methane Into the atmosphere, see the Porter Ranch debacle” I stand by that, by high pressure unconventional fracking i refer to the whole process, from exploration to delivery to the distribution of gas to customers, i will not isolate any one factor of that and attempt to isolate it away from the big picture, to do so is just logic chopping and trying to score points by concentrating on a single sentence, not all the issues
        arising from the process. Gas storage is part of the gas production process, by what ever means, whether you want to isolate high pressure unconventional fracking as one tiny aspect of the process in avoidance of the total picture is your prerogative, but i will not do that, as far as i am concerned its all one process, if elements are faulty untried and subject to frequent failures then the whole process is in severe doubt and is too dangerous to be allowed onshore in UK.

        4. As you seem to be so sensitive, i will amend the above term from this: “The simple truth about high pressure unconventional fracking is that it has despoiled vast areas across the world, it has destroyed people’s health, poisoned water, air and land, has poured millions of tons of methane Into the atmosphere, see the Porter Ranch debacle, and threatens the lives, the environment and the health of everyone in the UK”
        To this: “The simple truth all aspects of the oil and gas industry, including high pressure unconventional fracking and storage from exploration to distribution is that it has despoiled vast areas across the world, it has destroyed people’s health, poisoned water, air and land, has poured millions of tons of methane Into the atmosphere, see the Porter Ranch debacle, and threatens the lives, the environment and the health of everyone in the UK”, there does that make you feel that covers everything? Happy now?

        5. OK, lets look at the Aliso Canyon, Porter Ranch infamous disaster shall we?, this is a link to the EDF website on the subject of The biggest release of methane ever recorded,:
        https://www.edf.org/climate/aliso-canyon-leak-sheds-light-national-problem
        Presumably records were not available during the Chixulub event when i imagine billions of enormous dinosaurs spontaneously, and probably uncontrollably, released an unknowable amount of methane, which may have indeed hastened their departure by feeding the conflagration, something perhaps we should be wary of if an asteroid comes our way.

        6. Some fascinating statistics:
        Estimates of 109,000 (109 thousand) metric tonnes of methane released, the equivalent of 9,156,000 (9.156 million) metric tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of 1,030,286,900 (1.030286900 billion) gallons of burned gasoline (petrol) with a dollar value of $21,545,930 (21.54593 million) worth of wasted gas.
        That is is the equivalent of at least 20 years of climate changing impact and relates to 6 billion USA tons of gasoline being burned (10,092,760 = 10.1 billion USA tons were released)
        EDF further claim that leaks are evident in every stage of O&G supply and distribution, in many instances because of ageing and corroded gas distribution which will be the same here, where 30% increase in methane from anthropogenic methane release is apparent in USA, the extrapolation of that worldwide, including the as yet mostly yet to be fracked UK. Anthropogenic methane release including fracking in all its aspects from exploration to distribution, for the world may well account for between 30% to 60% global increase with all the climate change implications.
        https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=KpOyDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=how+much+gas+is+lost+from+leaks+in+UK&source=bl&ots=kJCqsV0Rim&sig=vgKw9p4A_Hn901G7Ivrdskbr7do&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiGg_rBqNPRAhUsAsAKHdK-D08Q6AEIVTAJ#v=onepage&q=how%20much%20gas%20is%20lost%20from%20leaks%20in%20UK&f=false

        This is why we don’t want and cannot afford the poisonous process in this country, once you get your drills in the ground all safety goes out the window into the billions of tons of methane it will accompany.

        • Here is a link to Ian R Crane’s latest ‘Fracking Fightmare 102 direct from the Kirby Misperton protest site,

          Now i will just stand back and watch the sparks.

          • I seem to be forced to say why i posted the original comments, so i will repeat the gist here:
            “Fracking will not bring jobs or security to anywhere, jobs are imported, house prices fall, water air and land are polluted and the machine grinds on to another naive location and leaves broken lives and environment behind it.
            Free renewable and permanently sustainable is possible now there are dozens of technological advances in wind, tide, solar, Tesla quantum energy generators and storage innovations including inefficiencies in heat pump and fuel cell technology and devices which make energy production and storage a real and sustainable possibility, not centralized but local and locally responsible.”

  2. “Buyer beware, do your homework”

    Well Mr Collier it seems she did – “Wendy Greenwood said nothing had emerged about the plans in legal searches or disclosures.” Maybe her legal searches were deficient – if so, and if she can afford to sue this should make an interesting case.

    And yes, I certainly wouldn’t put it past Ineos to arrange a press event with the lady being given an all expenses paid tour of Wytch Farm (which as we al know has not been subject to HVHF), but which gets trotted out as a convenient analog by the industry and its acolytes on a regular basis since the ASA forbade Cuadrilla from using Elswick (also not HFVF) as an example 4 years ago.

    Do you really believe the ASA’s non ruling has put the issue of property prices to bed? I don’t, but then I live near the only pad being developed just now, and I can see what locals think about the development as they drive past honking their horns in support of the protectors. Fracking blight is going to be one of the issues that prohibits this industry from ever gaining the social licence it needs.

  3. I mean the ian Crane link doesn’t work. The EDF link does but it doesn’t go to the credible EDF, just to an anti site – the giveaway is the Donate Now tab top right hand corner of their website….

    “Estimates of 109,000 (109 thousand) metric tonnes of methane released, the equivalent of 9,156,000 (9.156 million) metric tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of 1,030,286,900 (1.030286900 billion) gallons of burned gasoline (petrol) with a dollar value of $21,545,930 (21.54593 million) worth of wasted gas.
    That is is the equivalent of at least 20 years of climate changing impact and relates to 6 billion USA tons of gasoline being burned (10,092,760 = 10.1 billion USA tons were released)”

    Not sure how one billion becomes ten billion? But what they are saying appears to be that the impact of the methane lost from the well is equivalent to consumption of one billion gallons of gasoline in a 20 year window (the methane climate change impacts drop off fairly quickly). The US consumes a third of a billion gallons of gasoline a day – therefore the methane is equivalent to 3 days US gasoline consumption?

    “In 2015, about 140.43 billion gallons (or about 3.34 billion barrels1) of gasoline were consumed2 in the United States, a daily average of about 384.74 million gallons (or about 9.16 million barrels per day).”

    I wondered if a US billion was the same as a UK billion, it wasn’t previously. However now they are apprently the same:

    “In British English, a billion used to be equivalent to a million million (i.e. 1,000,000,000,000), while in American English it has always equated to a thousand million (i.e. 1,000,000,000). British English has now adopted the American figure, though, so that a billion equals a thousand million in both varieties of English.”

    A US gallon is of course smaller than a UK gallon, one UK gallon = 1.2 US gallon.

    According to Mr Google, the CO2 equivalent for methane is 25x by weight. So 109,000 Mt of methane = 2,725,000 Mt of CO2 (a bit different to 9,156,000). (100year period)

    https://climatechangeconnection.org/emissions/co2-equivalents/

    So like everything, data can be used to reach a particular end point which may not be accurate or relevant.

    • Figures are you thing, so knock yourself out, this is same link which works fine for me, so perhaps explore the links within it if you want to convert metric to USA and back again. Talk to them if you have a problem, maybe you can correct them with better figures. but essentially its all estimated presumably from experience and what available measured rates there were from the off gassing from the vent failure.
      Incidentally off gassing is still occurring and soil is also releasing gas in various locations, so the figures are all ready out of date.
      Maybe the final investigation results will serve to define a better estimation, but heaven alone knows when that will be.

      https://www.edf.org/climate/aliso-canyon-leak-sheds-light-national-problem

      That works fine for me, try another link to EDF if that doesnt work for you, there will be a link to the above page from there.

      • “That is is the equivalent of at least 20 years of climate changing impact and relates to 6 billion USA tons of gasoline being burned (10,092,760 = 10.1 billion USA tons were released)”.

        This is the bit where 1 billion becomes 10 billion – I didn’t see it on your EDF site? But whats a 900% increase in the scale of things?

        The link that didn’t work was the Crane link – it works now unfortunately.

        • Never mind, many things are meant to try us, I imagine Oliver and his mum are equally dismayed at waking up to an industrial rig next door, as we all soon will be. Maybe its a Trump billion, which seems to be anything he wants it to be?

  4. So, you set out to purchase a property (the biggest purchase (probably) in your lifetime) and then you find the searches let you down. (I think you will find there are means to address this without costing a great deal of money.) You (of course) do not bother to check other sources? Sorry refracktion, there are quite a number of oddities about this particular situation, obvious to anyone. However, I have approached it simply to try and help the lady. Others just want to take advantage and use it for their own ends, speculating about all sorts of nonsense.

    There are NO facts about property values and fracking in the UK, it is all speculation. It is also speculation as to whether Ineos would frack this site, it is also speculation as to whether Ineos could give acceptable assurances, or not, to this lady.

    I suppose grasp at any straw when you are drowning.

  5. Off topic, but still, the billion US and billion UK has always been a dodgy area, since it is never said which billion is used, and much confusion ensues, apparently UK have demurred in 1975 and now we measure billions as 1000 million as USA, not 1,000,000 million as it was in UK in 1975, that is now 1 trillion here and there.
    I wonder how many embarrassing economic forecasts and records pre and post 1975 in UK have been hidden by that one?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s