Opposition

Anti-fracking groups launch campaign to put shale gas on election agenda

Frack Free United and Cross Party Frack free polling station

Photo: Frack Free United

Two anti-fracking campaign groups have joined forces to try to put shale gas on the agenda for the general election.

Frack Free United and Cross Party Frack Free said today they had pooled resources to try to encourage tactical voting and highlight the policies of election candidates and the parties on fracking.

Frack Free UnitedFrack Free United is a network of residents and campaign groups which opposes fracking. It has called for local and national government to adopt an energy policy based primarily on renewables and energy efficiency.

It had been working towards a general election in 2020 but with last month’s announcement of a June 2017 poll it has had to change its plans.

The group said it had distributed 50,000 leaflets before the election announcement. Since then it said it had seen a 150% increase in the number of activists who wanted to join the campaign and received orders for more than 100,000 leaflets.

Cross Party Frack FreeCross Party Frack Free holds a register of politicians who support a UK-wide ban on fracking. Up to now, the register has been open only to elected councillors and MPs and to Peers. But election candidates can now register to support a ban. It said in the past few days, about 40 parliamentary candidates had signed up. They include anti-fracking campaigner, Tina Rothery, and former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett. Labour’s Cat Smith and the Green’s Caroline Lucas had joined the register in 2016.

The groups said their online launch tonight had a social reach of more than one million. Their website includes lists of candidates and interactive maps of constituencies and licence areas, as well as information about fracking.

A spokesperson from Frack Free United said:

“Fracking has to be stopped by changing Government policy and we are urging people to find out more about the damage that fracking will do to their communities and before they cast their vote on June 8th – this is a brilliant opportunity to drive home our anti-fracking message and promote the alternative technologies needed to help meet the UKs legal obligations to stop climate change.

“We want voters to make an ‘informed choice’ on who is the best person to vote for in their constituency to stop fracking. We have to get the issue on the agenda now and we will try our best to make June 8th the turning point in the fight against fracking.

“Our interactive map has been updated to include parliamentary constituencies and fracking licences and will also provide the candidate names and contact details in each area, encouraging voters to ask them ‘what is your position on fracking?’ The Cross Party Frack Free Register will be accessible from both the Frack Free United and Cross Party Frack Free websites and across the networks on social media.

“We haven’t even launched our general election campaign yet and we have been already been inundated with supporters signing up from across the UK. We are providing guidance and info to spread our message, which includes supplying the ‘Your home is in a fracking area’ leaflet, giving them opportunity to raise awareness and inform candidates of fracking in their area.”

Cross Party Frack Free register

Frack Free United

  • DrillOrDrop asked Backing Fracking, Lancashire for Shale and Friends of Ryedale Gas Exploration, three groups in favour of fracking, about their plans for the general election campaign. We will report on any campaign initiatives supporting the industry.

49 replies »

  1. I just hope you can more polite with those who don’t agree with you, on the doorstep! Gordon Brown had the same problem. Do you never learn from your own mistakes? [edited by moderator] No wonder respect for politicians continues to decline.

    • A company wants to drill, horizontally, under your house and fill the gap with poisonous chemicals and maybe acid.
      There is no guarantee against leakages, you get no personal benefit, and there is no guarantee (or insurance protection!) against subsidance 1-10 years or so into the future. There is no guarantee that chemicals will not eventually rise to your garden surface where your kids and dogs will play. There is no insurance coverage for a water source being impacted. Add to this methane blow offs, huge trucks on roads causing extra traffic, and how can you really have a pro attitude FOR horizontal-side track energy exploration??? Energy Industry/independance is not really worth more than essentials to life.

      ps. I am posting support @ Oxshott Station

      • Lol take a chill pill. The chemicals used in this country are nothing like in America. You can buy the equivalent strength in a garden centre. Do you understand how acid reacts when it comes into contact with the ground?
        [Edited by moderator]

        • Enemies of Industry and Greenpeas at work – misleading everyone with their rubbish. Found out something interesting yesterday from official sources, Lush Cosmetics may be financing the antis big time – to make up for all the small plastic balls they used to use in their products:

          “Thankfully, you don’t have to forgo your love of glitter when it comes to any of our shimmering bath and beauty products. Instead, we’ve avoided microplastics by switching to mica and mineral glitter, as well as natural starch-based lusters. Our ingredient suppliers have worked hard to develop these plastic-free alternatives for our products, all of which are safe for the environment.”

          The key word of course is “switching”……..

          Starch based lusters – sound a bit like one of the components of drilling fluids (but with added “luster”).

          Cindy – this is what Cuadrilla used at Presse Hall in their frcak job – which bits are going to poison you?

          “Which chemicals were used by Cuadrilla in Preese Hall?
          Preese Hall site is the only shale gas site to have been hydraulic fractured to date in the UK. Details of the chemicals which we assessed as non hazardous and permitted for use are listed on Cuadrilla’s website. They are:
          • 99.75% of the shale gas fracking fluid is made up of water and sand, beyond that a very limited number of chemicals are used:
          • Polyacrylamide friction reducers (0.075%), commonly used in cosmetics and facial creams, suspended in a hydrocarbon carrier;
          • Hydrochloric acid (0.125%), frequently found in swimming pools and used in developing drinking water wells,
          • Biocide (0.005%), used on rare occasions when the water provided from the local supplier needs to be further purified.

          Cuadrilla only utilised the polyacrylamide friction reducer in their operations.”

          You are mush more likely to be poisoned by cosmetics – I hope you don’t use them? Cuadrilla’s chemicals are 6,000 ft below the surface – cosmetics you slap on your face….

        • America uses hundreds of different toxic chemicals to frack. Preese Hall used very little.

          Now why would that be.

          The suggestion from the pro fracking disciples is that there is no need to use chemicals. That would suggest that the US are spending billions of dollars tipping millions of gallons of chemicals down wells when there is no need to.

          Hello reality

          Chemicals are needed in large amounts to maximise oil and gas yields. The US is using the minimum amounts of chemicals to produce the maximum amounts of oil and gas.

          Preese Hall was a test frack. Everything was done to minimise environmental impact. The chemical usage comes later.

          I think you will find that schlumberger , Haliburton, Chesapeake and the big players know a little bit more than Cuadrilla when it comes to additives in shale wells.

        • The only type of person posting a pro-chemical chill pill comment is someone who stands to gain personally from the dangerous and illicit activities aforementioned in my post.

          • Which bit of this do you not understand Cindy?

            Cindy – this is what Cuadrilla used at Presse Hall in their frack job – which bits are going to poison you?

            “Which chemicals were used by Cuadrilla in Preese Hall?
            Preese Hall site is the only shale gas site to have been hydraulic fractured to date in the UK. Details of the chemicals which we assessed as non hazardous and permitted for use are listed on Cuadrilla’s website. They are:
            • 99.75% of the shale gas fracking fluid is made up of water and sand, beyond that a very limited number of chemicals are used:
            • Polyacrylamide friction reducers (0.075%), commonly used in cosmetics and facial creams, suspended in a hydrocarbon carrier;
            • Hydrochloric acid (0.125%), frequently found in swimming pools and used in developing drinking water wells,
            • Biocide (0.005%), used on rare occasions when the water provided from the local supplier needs to be further purified.

            Cuadrilla only utilised the polyacrylamide friction reducer in their operations.”

            You are mush more likely to be poisoned by cosmetics – I hope you don’t use them? Cuadrilla’s chemicals are 6,000 ft below the surface – cosmetics you slap on your face….

            Regarding insurance, your FOI request includes the following in the answer:

            “Different insurers will assess risk differently and may refuse to offer cover based on their underwriting criteria, so it would be the decision of an insurer themselves if they charge an increase in premium due to risks caused by energy exploration.”

            Nothing personal to gain, but I understand the process, technical issues and have managed and executed frack jobs before. But don’t let experience get in the way of Enemies of Industry, Greenpeas, and I will now have to add, Lushes Cosmetics, fabrications.

            • Only stupid people sanction risky actions based on some individuals personal opinion. Anyone wondering what a free for all energy exploration landscape might look in terms of companies taking advantage of the population, only need to start reviewing the Supreme Court cases throughout the USA States. If people were thoroughly unaffected, there would be no complaints. Better to keep ones eyes wide open.

              Re: Insurance Companies. I have conducted independant research and have found NO INSURANCE PROVIDERS WILL OFFER PROTECTION AGAINST dangers of energy exploration, or underwrite the risk. WHY? If the risk is too large or unknowable for insurers to take, the risk is too great to be taken.

              Therefore calling upon a requirement for all energy exploration companies to set aside a large sum for a bond to cover unforseen risks or to underwrite the risk themselves, for as long as the risk may cause impact.

              And yes, you must have some keen self serving interest to be so blatantly against common sense and decency.

            • Cindy – the bonds you propose are currently under review in Government. So far there is no legal requirement however there may be in the not too distant future. There is a consortium currently trying to sell such bonds however there is currently no legislative reason to spend money on them. A bit like the mining industry at present.

              You can believe what you want about myself having no financial interest in onshore UK shale gas exploitation. My views are generally from technical and experiece standpoints – including having actually drilled and stimulated wells unlike most on this BB. You can also continue to believe that UK frack fluids will be full of poisonous chemicals AKA John Powney and the US. But that is simply not true, you along with most of the antis have been brain washed by Enemies of Industry etc.

      • When you say “under your house” that’s actually at least 3000 ft under your house, way under the level where water is extracted. The pipe is generally less than 6 inches wide, so that’s a 6 inch pipe 3000ft under your house, so probably not much danger of subsidence. And will any chemicals actually leach upwards 3000ft – not very likely in my opinion. As far as extra traffic goes, well of course there will be some extra traffic for the period of drilling, up to 18 months perhaps but very little thereafter. In other words exactly the same as when, for example, we build a new housing estate of affordable housing. I guess that’s the parallel as far as I’m concerned. Shale development will cause minor inconvenience but produce outweighing economic and environmental benefits in terms of greater energy security, lower CO2 emissions and ultimately lower gas prices.

        Overall, personally I’d be very happy to have a shale development near my house, at least as close as any other small industrial development.

    • Martin. Like I said you can’t blame the anti fracking brigades for the lack of trying driven by delusion of grandeur.

  2. Quite TW. Perhaps Ms. Lucas could have spent a little more time preparing for the Daily Politics interview today, rather than “registering”.

    Your phrase delusion sums it up. Who would appear on an interview of that format totally unprepared for what could be asked? Not even as if there was not a clue from N.B! Yet, these individuals want to be responsible for spending £billions of our money. Call me old fashioned, but I believe that right has to be earned.

    • Sorry Cindy, wrong again. I have been retired for 6 years.

      Why don’t you Google what is made from crude oil and natural gas? And while we are on this subject, why don’t you throw away everything you own / use which is made from these. Don’t drive, don’t use [public transport, don’t wear shoes……

      This is a real world we live in.

      • It is plain and clear as I said from watching peoples stories in the USA from over 10 years of unconventional energy industrial activities and reading about Supreme and other court cases to know that horizontal well drilling needs to be prevented in this country. I am not anti-gas/oil. I am a reasonable person who is not going to take the bs that LENINgas, Angus and associations are dishing out.

        • You really do not know what you are talking about. How do you think Wytch Farm wells are constructed in Dorset? Previously BP now Perenco. They are extended reach / horizontal, one at over 10km horizontal step out. In fact prior to Maersk Qatars wells offshore in the Persian Gulf, the BP Wytch Farm wells held the world record for horizontal drilling. I managed the drilling of a horizontal production well at a field near Lincoln in 1989, one of the first onshore UK, is the area devastated now? Horizontal drilling and the dreaded “fracking” are two very different processes, and in shale exploitation are often combined. However the two processes are also often combined in “conventional” oil and gas wells.

          http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-96/issue-3/in-this-issue/drilling/bp-completes-record-extended-reach-well.html

  3. Perhaps with a little more research Cindy it would be possible to find out Angus and Lenigas have no involvement whatsoever in fracking in the UK? Horizontal well drilling has been conducted without problems in UK for some time, so we do not need to refer to US, we have our own information. So, why prevent something that is already practiced without problems? Perhaps we should refer to the US as to how to manage a security service, and then believe that is the way it has to be done?

    I’m not sure that qualifies you as a “reasonable person”. We, however, are getting a little better at spotting fake news. One sound lesson from US.

    • They are fracking according to the official UK definition before it was changed to allow the same illicit activities to take place while telling the public they are not being done. Very shady.

      I suggest everyone learn from COURT CASES which are Primary sources of information (not possible to be fake news) !about how these companies like these will proceed.
      [Edited by moderator]

      • Please enlighten us to the UK Court cases you refer to? So far antis have lost every court case (Judicial Review) opposing shale gas in the UK. Are you asking us to consider Trumptown Court cases – you are American are you not?

        And please explain what is “illicit” about companies going about their legal business with all the necessary approvals in place?

        Your best bet is to vote Green or Lib Dem if you are entitled to vote. But this won’t make any difference.

  4. Wytch Farm is often cited as the gold standard in Oil and Gas exploration. Certainly there are sites that have had more serious and glaring environmental disasters but I think the gold badge is maybe best awarded for PR management. I have shone a light on some of the problems reported in my last tweets @crossfrack

    • Cindy posted the following “to know that horizontal well drilling needs to be prevented in this country. I am not anti-gas/oil. I am a reasonable person… ”

      I think it is very appropriate to educate her about Wytch Farm’s success with world record breaking horizontal step outs. And to note that convention / unconventional (please ignore Mr Smythe’s definitions) wells use similar processess of horizontal drilling and fracture / acid stimulation depending on geology, reservoir quality and target location.

      I don’t do TwitFace so no idea what goes on at @crossfrack? I expect you are moaning about some diesel generator emmissions none event?

  5. Just for you Paul… only one of the incidents cataloged:

    9 March 2013
    Wytch Farm, Dorset Approximately 560kg (1,235lbs)
    of gas and 13,600 litres (2,992
    gallons) of crude oil and produced
    water was released as a spray that
    covered 10,800 square metres
    (116,250 square feet) of drill pad
    and a land management area north
    east of the site

    • So whoever you are, please explain what this has to do with horizontal drilling or well stimulation? Wytch Farm has produced over 400 million barrels of oil. You are referring to a spill of 70bbls – and of that it was mainly water? Doesn’t look too bad to me? How much is lost at your average filling station each year?

  6. OMG! Is that really the best CPFF can do? Are you expecting to convince me with that on the doorstep?

    Remember the picture of the wind turbine in Germany that had collapsed next to a footpath during a gale?? Or, perhaps, record what the manufacture of solar panels in China is doing to their environment.

    Anyone can conduct a Giggle war, but if aligning your issue to politics is seen as a positive step, you may be better raising the level of debate rather than lowering it. How many builders suffered injuries through bricks falling since 2013, oh-so we should build houses from straw, oh-how many farm workers suffered injuries during the cereal harvest since 2013, oh-so we should build from wood, oh no, we can’t do that because we have cut down the trees to produce wood pellets for “alternative” energy schemes that now risks N.Ireland returning to the years of the Troubles. But then, the politicians pushing that have done the three monkey impression, so it hasn’t happened?

    Let’s close Wytch Farm and welcome——-Torrey Canyon! (No political innuendo intended.)

    And to save you some time—“we should have ANOTHER huge insulation drive.,” that should solve it.

    (I do like the word approx. in your data, but it seems a little out of place when the figures are so specific, for categories that would be almost impossible to measure accurately.)

  7. 11 October
    2013
    Wytch Farm, Dorset The Waste Heat Recovery Unit
    started when a shutdown of the
    gas plant occurred, causing carbon
    monoxide limits to be breached.
    4
    16 October
    2013
    Wytch Farm, Dorset The Waste Heat Recovery Unit
    was put online for six hours and
    despite carbon monoxide samples
    were not recorded, the operator
    stated that the limits would have
    been breached.
    26 October
    2013
    Wytch Farm, Dorset The Waste Heat Recovery Unit
    was put online in order to stabilise
    hot oil temperature for 24 hours,
    causing carbon monoxide levels to
    exceed the limits.
    4 December
    2013
    Wytch Farm, Dorset 15,000 litres (3,300 gallons) of
    crude oil and produced water and
    70,000 litres (15,398 gallons) of
    gas spilled from a pinhole leak in
    a production line thought to have
    been the result of corrosion. All
    the liquid was contained on site,
    but some gas drifted off the island.
    4 December
    2013
    Wytch Farm, Dorset Spot samples revealed that carbon
    monoxide emissions exceeded
    acceptable levels from the Waste
    Heat Recovery
    16 February
    2014
    Wytch Farm, Dorset A breach in the limits of oxides of
    nitrogen was recorded at the
    Waste Heat Recovery Unit at the
    Gathering Station after a suspected
    restriction in the water injection
    line in the gas turbines.
    18 February
    2014
    Wytch Farm, Dorset Carbon monoxide emissions from
    the Waste Heat Recovery Unit at
    the Gathering Station exceeded
    the approved limit.
    8 March
    2014
    Wytch Farm, Dorset Carbon monoxide emissions from
    the Waste Heat Recovery Unit as
    the Gathering Station exceeded
    the approved limit.

    Three days
    later, the environmental permit for
    the site was amended and the operator
    was no longer required to
    report any future limit breaches to
    the Environment Agency.

    • As I thought, the same old minor issues. Get real. This is a significant onshore oil production operation on a global scale. It is an industrial process. The EA clearly regards these minor issues as insignificant.

      If there were significant breaches there will have been prosecutions and fines. Why not refer us to these so we can see major / significant HS & E breaches? There may be some, I haven’t looked, but then I am not worried about it.

      As usual people of limited or no experience in the industry (probably in any industry) do not know what they are looking at.

  8. I believe the cleaner had a problem when her car tyres were shown to be dirty! And poor old (5%) Len falling down the stairs yesterday-those wicked horizontals go a long way.

    I did think politics was an occupation for adults with probable confusion amongst the children. Seems to be a reversal in the system somewhere.

    Just awaiting the Lib Dem candidate to arrive, to remind me of that aroma I experienced in a Bedouin tent on the West Bank, to tell me it will be legalised in UK (nearly got an English woman killed but that is a long story-involving her becoming faint, returning to the coach and being seen by persons who believed it was cause for offence for a woman to be on her own with the male coach driver, so they proceeded to stone the coach. They didn’t realise the driver was Israeli and would be armed so a few shots in the air quietened things down.)-but he could be delayed whilst trying to arrange a donor to slip a few quid to the Greens in a very democratic way, and it will all be our fault because we would not allow a change to the voting system.

    Strange old world. Sorry to ramble on but I blame it on being next to the generator by the sports centre yesterday when it sprang into life and belched carbon monoxide all over me (it really happened.) Simples-ban all sports centres, we can all become obese and unfit and then we will have another reason why the NHS is in need of a few more £billions. Know what, this politics is a doddle!

    Have a good weekend.

    • Lets recap. You want people to take a chill pill (so you can profit from your oil shares or whatever) because:

      Issues with horizonal drilling are all a pipe dream, there are no issues, and all of the reported problems in the USA will not happen
      here because the UK will have the strongest regulation anywhere and those drillers, truckers, and various other parties would not
      dream of shirking responsibility and trying to get out of the unlimited liability which they make have inadvertedly caused. Because
      problems happen and the average citizen just *HAS* to accept whatever glitches come his way because at the end of the day, lining
      the pockets of the gas companies is more important than ANY CONCERN real or imagined that someone may have.

      In short, you are saying that telling people to “SCREW OFF” is REQUIRED FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE and is the ONLY consideration to have. forget OPINIONS. Forget planning law.

      And you are saying that NO PROTECTION will be given to the citizen because while insurance is mandatory for that accident that may never happen, the oil accidents never happen the earthquake / settlement will never happen and will never affect people (you can’t prove it).

      YEAH RIGHT

      • Cindy – despite repeated efforts to educate you, you still seem to have a problem with understanding the concept of horizontal drilling.

        Please enlighten us all to “all the reported problems in the USA” related to horizontal drilling.

        Even the antis on this BB have not come up with anything that horizontal drilling has caused / or is supposed to have caused.

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