Double attack on Conservative manifesto fracking promises

Richard Storey and Paul Mobbs

Sir Richard Storey (left), and Paul Mobbs. Photos: Frack Free Ryedale and Real Media

A former Conservative parliamentary candidate and leading establishment figure has condemned the Tory manifesto pledges in support of fracking.

Sir Richard Storey, a baronet and former High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, said the Conservative’s policy would result in what he called “an unfettered frenzy of fracking”, “industrialising rural England”.

The Conservative proposals have also been described by investigator Paul Mobbs as “a sharp break in British planning and environmental policy of a scale not seen since the 1980s”. He said it could open the UK equivalent of the US “Halliburton Loophole”.

The manifesto proposed:

  • Making non-fracking drilling permitted development which would not require planning permission
  • Classing major fracking developments as nationally significant infrastructure, decided centrally
  • Creating a shale environmental regulator that assumed the relevant functions of four agencies

Sir Richard, who opposed Third Energy’s plans to frack at Kirby Misperton, was appointed a CBE and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He stood for parliament for the Conservatives in 1966 and 1970 before becoming a leading member of the Country Landowners’ Association and the CBI, a member of the Court of York University, and chief executive of Portsmouth and Sunderland Newspapers.

He said Theresa May had not honoured her promise as Prime Minister to govern for the many, not the few.

“Were we not entitled to hope for something better than the imposition of an unfettered frenzy of fracking?”

In response to the manifesto pledge to change the planning rules, he said:

“The Conservative Party seeks to abandon the Royal Society/Royal Academy of Engineers’ review, under Professor Lord Mair, that recommended qualified and limited experimental fracking, subject to ten recommendations.”

He criticised the promise to focus energy policy on “outcomes rather than the means by which we reach our objectives”.

“This can only mean that a Conservative government will feel it has impunity to devastate people’s lives, and industrialise rural England.”

Sir Richard accused the party of promoting the virtues of fracking in North America without mentioning the hazards or damage.

And a new environmental regulator would be fine, he said, if existing rules and self-regulation, which he described as “unfit for purpose”, were replaced.

Super-regulator: “inherently about protecting the frackers from the public”

Investigator Paul Mobbs said previous experience from the 1980s suggested that the so-called “super-regulator” would not be about protecting the public from fracking. He said:

“It’s inherently about protecting the ‘frackers’ from the public.”

Writing on his Free Range Activism Website, he said:

“The policy not only relaxes planning control, it also makes the regulation of unconventional oil and gas in general more remote from the public”.

He said the definition of associated fracking, introduced in the Infrastructure Act, had allowed fracking to be legally defined as not fracking. The Act requires associated hydraulic fracturing to be more than 1,000 cubic metres of fluid at each stage or more than 10,000 cubic metres of fluid in total.

This, he said, would have the effect of creating an English version of the Halliburton Loophole, the US law which exempted North American fracking from key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Analysis by Edinburgh University’s Stuart Haszeldine, found that 43% of US gas wells and 89% of oil wells sunk from 2000-2010 would not be defined as associated hydraulic fracturing under the UK government’s definition.

Paul Mobbs said making non-fracking drilling permitted development removed the right of the public to be consulted on planning locally and the obligation of councils to publicise it.

The Environment Agency must, under the UN’s Aarhus Convention, still consult the public on environmental permits, he said. But he added:

“A ‘hard Brexit’ would remove the Government’s need to obey not only EU law, but also Council of Europe (CoE) and UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) treaties – which require both public consultation, and access to ‘environmental justice’ to redress any harms caused.”

31 replies »

  1. I don’t recall Ruth publishing a big article about the active Labour MP who attacked Labour’s stance on fracking. I wonder why she avoided that story and instead ran a story about a former MP criticizing the Conservative manifesto? Things that make you go Hmmmmm.

    And then to throw in a jab from the oh-so-impartial Paul Mobbs. The anti-fracking campaigner who has been arrested for protesting and who cites the thoroughly-debunked Tony Ingraffea methane figures as his “proof” that David Mackay’s figures are all wrong? And it is newsworthy that he is making ridiculous anti-frack noises ahead of the election?

    Understandable that you are a bit charged up with the election tomorrow, Ruth, but this story just smacks of all sorts of desperation. Good luck!

  2. Not governing for the many? I suspect the 84% of people with homes heated by gas and the 61% that cook with it might disagree with that…you know, the majority of people that want secure, reliable and affordable gas? 😉

    • Secure, reliable and affordable? Could that be why the many in the UK don’t want UK fracking and are happy to use imported gas from all over the globe whilst we sort out our policy on renewables Lee?

  3. You guys are all singing from the same song sheet (Rex, Gottabekidding etc). In fact you are the alarmist ones – about those who are simply speak out and trying to get the truth in front of the public. You’ve got to discredit, sideline and bury those who are pointing out the facts.

    How about some honesty here. Are you commodity trader / investors? go on, come clean.

    • Sure, Philip. You get your truth from the likes of Ingraffea and other activists who don’t adhere to the scientific method. We prefer the truth that reflects reality and that conforms with the scientific method. You know, we’re talking about studies from the RAE, Royal Society, National Academy of Sciences, US Geological Society, EPA, the US Dept of Energy’s National Technology Laboratory. That’s our truth. All you have is “pal-reviewed” activist propaganda that doesn’t even prove that fracking represents a systemic threat. Good luck!

      • That’s cute Rex. Calling Ingraffea an activist. He is consulted so much because he was one on the engineers who practically came with the hydraulic fracking process for shale deposits and is a renowned expert on shale gas/oil extraction. Do you have a PhD in the physics of rock fracture? He understands the risks more than almost anyone. No wonder you want to discredit him! It amuses me how the commercial fracking pushers try to fake their way around the data, the engineering and the science. Nice try but sorry the other name dropping doesn’t work here either. We know your epa has been gutted and your law twisted to get around the environmental impacts and health implications.

        • Glad that you find it cute, Philip. I’m actually a little embarrassed for you. Ingraffea has admitted publicly that he has zero experience with shale development and that he is an anti-fracking advocate, that he laces his work with anti-frack phrases, and that much of his work is biased. These are his own admissions, Phil. But this is very typical of the anti-frack groupies to hold up someone as an expert who has no expertise, and to say that they do quality, unbiased scientific work when they clearly do not. You really don’t have a leg to stand on here my man. The idols upon which you base your religion are clearly false.

          • What you have said there is called bearing false witness if you are a christian or, for anyone else, it is a textbook example of mendaciousness (look it up). The ways you are using disinformation and even carefully selected knowledge to suit an agenda are glaring and transparent. I wonder if the admin on this site will let your untruth stand and reject my response for pointing them out (mine appears more personal because it is directed at you while yours is personal in a more indirect way).

            The main ‘energy in depth’ (your usual source) article on this uses deceptive statements on Ingraffea from the headline onward … ‘Has No Experience Whatsoever With Shale Development’ and elides many aspects of his engineering and scientific background – even in its quotations – just to paint a certain picture according to their own agenda i.e. they are strong advocates for the oil and gas industry. By their own argument then we should dismiss everything Energy in Depth has to say? i.e. because is an ‘advocate’ (of certain restrictions).

            Tony Ingraffea advocates restrictions on fracking for good reasons which he is always clear about. If you talk about relevant field experience it is usually the oil and gas workers themselves who don’t know about how the process works in detail and, for example, the chemical compositions of the compounds they are working with – they are operatives who follow routine instructions, instructions which are worked out from the trials and experiments done off site, of the kind that Ingraffea had been closely involved in with over many years. He has visited and conducted surveys of many, many fracking sites and devised ways of measuring the impacts and emissions. Things that O&G should have been doing for themselves but haven’t. He’s primarily an engineer and engineers are good at measurements. You can read many of his published and peer reviewed papers on the subject if you want to learn a thing or two about that subject yourself.

            • Now, that’s cute Phil. Look at you dance! So many twists and turns that you’ve got yourself in a pretzel!

              Ingraffea’s own words:

              ” I am a self admitted advocate, yes.” and “I am an advocate for an energy policy that results in there being a limitation on the development of oil and gas from shale formations, yes,”

              He also says, “But, in the conclusions and in the summaries and the abstract, it’s clear what we owe people to provide by reading this paper. And that’s a form of advocacy. And we have advocacy-laced…advocacy-laced words and phrases in our papers.”

              He appears at anti-fracking rallies and other events all over the country, and his peers have labeled his work as biased and non-objective.

              Despite his self-admission and his peers’ concurrence, you accuse me of being disingenuous for calling him an anti-frack advocate and labeling him as biased? You are in some serious denial my man (but take comfort in the fact that you have a lot of anti-frack company there!).

              As for objectivity, Phil, here are Ingraffea’s own words again,stating that he “would be lying if [he] said every one of [his] papers on shale gas was entirely objective.”

              Ingraffea has no direct experience with shale development. This is a fact, Phil. He sits behind a computer and uses his skills in fracturing mechanics to develop models. He has not even done much work for the industry from behind his computer – most of his work has been in other areas.

              So, it isn’t surprising that he has been wrong so often when making observations about the shale gas industry – he has so very little experience with it. [Edited by moderator]

              He testified in court that he never willingly attended activist rallies. Yet there are videos of Ingraffea at rallies saying things such as, ““let the people of New York, that run the show, know that you don’t need fossil fuels.”

              He testified that “[out of] hundreds of thousands of wells you will have many, hundreds if not thousands of cases of water contamination, anywhere shale gas development occurs.” Yet when pressed on this, he hasn’t been able to back any of it up.

              Ingraffea was forced to admit in the Dimock County trial that he had no proof that fracking had contaminated water supplies there despite telling people for years that fracking had poisoned the water in Dimock.

              Ingraffea has also testified, “I am not an activist. I am not an anti-fracking activist.” He said this despite admitting in another case that he was an “advocate” and despite appearing and speaking at countless anti-fracking rallies and admitting that his papers often contained biases and advocacy-laced words. We can split hairs of wording, but clearly Ingraffea is a very, very slippery character.

              I won’t even go into it here, but many scientists have come out strongly against Ingraffea’s work because it is so biased and because it doesn’t conform with scientific norms. .

              I understand that it is heartbreaking when someone exposes the heart of your arguments for what they are – that’s a massive disappointment, Phil. Ingraffea is THE big scientist behind the anti-frack movement, and he is more or less a fraud. It will take you some time to get over this. We’ll see what kind of man you are. Will you dig your hole deeper in response (like 99% of your brethren), or will you come out with a more objective understanding of the situation?

            • Sorry Rex, your use of language is too weird for me. By your logic, HM Government Environmental Agency that advocates regulating the gas industry are all activists? Energy in Depth are all activists because of their advocacy of the ff industry?

              Advocacy simply means ‘public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy’. Ingraffea has always been upfront about his take on the need for better measurement, monitoring and observation of the impacts of this industry. Again and again his findings are corroborated by independent studies and show that yes the industry, and environmental interests, should be looking at this with beady eyed concern. That is why he gets invited to those who rally those concerns – he can give his expert opinions along with a wealth of expert observations and data. Don’t you just hate that.

              Bias is simply a label applied to him by those with competing interests or vested interests in ff promotions (both within and without of academia). It is not a label that he recognises or accepts. If he adds an opinion to any one of his papers he clearly states that ‘here is my own opinion on this matter’ – he is totally up front about it. By saying that not every single one of his papers is without an opinion is not that same as saying that his papers are all based on opinion by any means. How many of his have you read?

              Most of your statements here are ill informed, hugely biased and largely wrong. [Edited by moderator]

            • You claim my statements are ill-informed, yet they are informed by Ingraffea’s own words. Explain how that makes sense, Philip.

              You claim that Ingraffea’s work is not biased, yet he says of his work that he, ““would be lying if [he] said every one of [his] papers on shale gas was entirely objective.”

              His peers concur with his sober perspective and a number of them have labeled his work as biased.

              What you fail to comprehend, Philip, is that scientific work is supposed to be free of bias. “Scientific bias is the assumption that a theory is true or false without evidence one way or another, or the attempt to dismiss or discourage research efforts to confirm or deny the theory – often on political or ideological grounds. This is generally seen as an obstacle to applying the scientific method.”

              Some of Ingraffea’s work is highly flawed and he has admitted that it is not objective. This goes to the heart of “fake science” Phil. It is a huge problem in our world today, and clearly you are part of that problem because you are willing to accept advocacy work as science even though it doesn’t conform to the scientific method.

              Enough said on the subject. We can let it rest. Just understand that your way of doing things means that real science doesn’t matter any more. What matter is how effectively an issue can be politicized. But that is the whole idea behind the anti-fracking campaign.

              Best of luck!

            • See my response to you in our next exchange lower down.

              You might be wishing you hadn’t sidestepped my question (above) by raising Ingraffea by now! My next question might be to check out your understanding of the science (or any science) – with a simple maths challenge – tried it on Ken Wilkinson and he just vanished. Should be a breeze for you though.

    • Philip you mean your version of the truth?
      Let’s just wait and see what happens on our own shores instead of basing facts on Chinese whispers from across the Atlantic shall we.
      Can I ask you though , what is the most important issue to you that causes you to be so adverse to fracking? Water contamination, reduced house price, earthquakes, extra HGVs? I’ve never actually asked that question before. If you can please keep it to just one I’d be grateful. Let’s me understand you more. I promise not to ridicule your answer I’m genuinely curious.

      • Here is what some other scientists have said about Ingraffea and Howarth’s work around methane:

        Lead researcher Paula Jaramillo: “We don’t think they’re using credible data and some of the assumptions they’re making are biased. And the comparison they make at the end, my biggest problem, is wrong.”

        From Worldwatch Institute: “Despite differences in methodology and coverage, all of the recent studies except Howarth et al. estimate that life-cycle emissions from natural gas-fired generation are significantly less than those from coal-fired generation on a per MMBtu basis.”

        From IHS-CERA: ““The Howarth estimates assume that daily methane emissions throughout the flowback period actually exceed the wells’ IP at completion. This is a fundamental error, since the gas stream builds up slowly during flowback. Compounding this error is the assumption that all flowback methane is vented… Vented emissions of the magnitudes estimated by Howarth would be extremely dangerous and subject to ignition.”

        From Cornell professory Larry Cathles: ““[Ingraffea’s and Howarth’s] analysis is seriously flawed in that they significantly overestimate the fugitive emissions associated with unconventional gas extraction…”

        Again from professor Cathles: “[T]he assumptions used by Howarth et al. are inappropriate and…their data, which the authors themselves characterize as ‘limited’, do not support their conclusions.”

        From the US Dept of Energy, ““Howarth [and Ingraffea] found a large fraction of produced gas from unconventional wells never made it to end users, assumed that all of that gas was vented as methane, and thus concluded that the global warming impacts were huge. As the [Dept. of Energy] work explains, though, 62% of that gas isn’t lost at all – it’s ‘used to power equipment.’”

        From Wood Mackenzie: “Our analysis indicates that the Cornell study overestimated the average volume of natural gas vented during the completion and flowback stages by 60-65%. We conclude that the Cornell study overestimated the impact of emissionsduring well completions by up to 90%.”

        From the Global Warming Policy Foundation: “[Howarth’s conclusion] requires unrealistic assumptions about: the quantity of methane that leaks during fracking, production and transport; the lack of methane leaks from coal mines; the residence time of methane in the atmosphere; and the greenhouse warming potential of methane compared with carbon dioxide. … And Howarth gets his numbers on high gas leakage from shale gas wells from unreliable sources, his numbers on gas leakage from pipelines from long Russian pipelines, and assumes that ‘lost and unaccounted for gas‘ is actual leakage rather than partly an accounting measure. He also fails to take into account the greater generating efficiency of gas than coal.”

        Clean Air Task Force, David McCabe: ““This paper is selective in its use of some very questionable data and too readily ignores or dismisses available data that would change its conclusions.”

        NY Times reporter: “One thing that disturbed me and some of the scientists I consulted was the big gap in the definitiveness of [Cornell’s] abstract summary and the actual paper. … I find that they are more value judgments than scientific judgments.”

        PA former head of Dept of Environment, John Hanger: “Professor Horwath’s conclusion that gas emits more heat trapping gas than carbon flies in the face of numerous life cycle studies done around the world.” (April 12, 2011) and “Professor Howarth just adopted an extreme and false assumption of no flaring that conveniently moved the result of his life cycle analysis in the direction that he wanted.” (April 12, 2011)

        And even from Anthony Ingraffea himself: “We are basing this study on in some cases questionable data.”

        So, you can criticize me and call me any name you want for not being a fan of Ingraffea, but as you can see there is quite a bit of evidence to support my point of view.

        • Deja Vu – we have been around this loop before Rex . Forgotten already? This is mostly old stuff and ignoring the 2014 updates and beyond. Of course there were critics of the early work, no-one had devised the top town methods of monitoring before and the models of interpretation were still being developed. That’s just how science (and engineering) proceeds. Anyway the role of top down measurement will soon pass to some super-accurate remote sensing satellites being launched in the next year(s).

          If Ingraffea himself says “We are basing this study on in some cases questionable data.” That’s just being honest – same as saying ‘bear this in mind’ when considering what conclusions are reached for this particular study. Sometimes questionable data is all you have to go on – you can still apply it to a model and see what you get. I wish I had a penny for every time your statements were based on questionable data.

          • Yes, it is an honest statement, which is refreshing coming from Ingraffea. Unfortunately, despite this admission, Ingraffea has lobbied aggressively for changes to public policy, and has made many speeches and statements about his work on methane without prefacing those statements by first saying he was using questionable data. I wonder why that is, Philip?

            I’m sorry Philip, but you can’t simply dismiss the material because some of it occurred before 2014. Talk about denial. It speaks to Ingraffea’s skill as a scientist, and it speaks to his moral character. Do you have any evidence to advance a thesis that he has changed as a scientist and a human being in the last three years such that he should now be trusted?

            You then try to turn this on me and attack me for making statements based on questionable data. It is unsurprising for an anti-frack activist to lash out when faced with an overwhelming demonstration of his flawed cause. So, tell me Philip, can you give one example where I have made statements based on “questionable data”? And is that data questionable to Philip, or is it questionable to an unbiased and independent source?


            • Hardly overwhelming Rex. You’re making one schoolboy error after another. When an honest man like Ingraffea talks about some questionable data in one of his studies you don’t need to get so worked up. If some of the data (note: not all) needs to be questioned he is flagging it up for further investigation (and to question doesn’t necessarily mean to doubt in civilised society). But of course it’s fodder to your ‘aha, gotcha’ brigade … so you assume this applies to everything he’s ever done. How convenient – but actually how silly. What you think is going for the jugular with a successful character assassination just bounces straight back at you. Sigh.

              I’d love to see you find a source of Ingraffea lobbying ‘aggressively’ – I don’t think aggression is in his nature. [Edited by moderator].

            • Hey, Philip, whatever kind of awkward machinations you need to complete to feel good about Ingraffea’s fake science, so be it.

              I asked you to provide a single example where I made statements about data that is viewed as questionable by an independent and unbiased source. You have come back with nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

              And where did I say that everything that Ingraffea had ever done was backed by questionable data, huh Philip? Show me where.

              You make one ridiculous assertion after another as you desperately try to rescue the image of the fake scientist who leads the anti-fracking cause. It is quite demoralizing for you and your anti-frackers.

              I don’t think you will ever catch on so I will give up at this point. No reputable scientist who does real unbiased work and who adheres to the principles behind the scientific method has much respect for Ingraffea. He has been widely discredited and this is no secret. Well, I guess it is a secret to anti-frackers!

              Good luck!

  4. With apologies to Supertramp, just a slight modification.
    and to all those who are making a choice today, make it a good one.

    The fractors and jesters are here
    The stage is in darkness and clear
    For crazing for certain
    But no-ones quite certain whose May it is
    How long ago how long?
    If only we had listened then
    If we’d known just how right we were going to be
    For we’d dreamed a lot
    And they’d schemed a lot
    And we’d tried to sing of sense before the stage fell apart

    If everyone was listening you know
    There’d be a chance that we could save the show
    Who’ll be be the last clown?
    To frack your house down?
    Oh no, please no, don’t let the curtain fall

    Well what is your costume today?
    Who are the props in your play?
    You’re fracking a part
    Which you thought from the start was a dishonest one
    Well how do you plead?
    An fracker indeed!
    Go relearn your lines!
    you don’t know what you’ve done
    The finales begun

    Have a good day

    • A little Shakespeare never did anyone any harm, even poorly altered?

      Taken from Richard, Richard III, Act 1 Scene 1

      Now is the splinter of our malcontent
      Made inglorious winter by this frack of York;(or anywhere else)
      And all their clowns that lour’d upon our house
      That Fracked the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
      Now are to our bowers bound with victorious sheaths;
      Our bruised harms hung up for monuments;
      Our stern alarums chang’d to secret meetings,
      Our hopeful marches to shameful measures.
      Grim-visag’d law hath smothered our rankled front;
      And now,–on stead on mounted razor barbed steeds
      To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,–
      They caper nimbly in the lady’s chambers
      To the lascivious pleasing of the loot.
      But they,–that are not shap’d for sportive tricks,
      Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
      They, that are rudely stamp’d, for want of love’s majesty
      To strut before a wanton oily nymph;
      They, that are curtail’d of this fair green nation,
      Cheated of future by dissembling nurture,
      Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before their time
      Into this fracking world scarce half made up,
      And that so lamely and unmentionable
      That dogs bark at them as they halt by them;–
      Why, they, in this weak piping time of peace,
      Have no delight to pass away the time,
      Unless to spy their shadow on the sun,
      And descant of their own deformity:
      And therefore,–since they cannot prove a lover,
      To entertain these fair well-spoken days,–
      They are determined to prove a villain,
      And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
      Plots have they laid, inductions dangerous,
      By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
      To set their lover clearance above the din
      In deadly hate the one against the other:
      And if the din untoward be as true and just
      As they are subtle, false, and treacherous,
      This day should of clearance closely be spew’d up,–
      About a prophecy which says that Free
      Of Britain’s heirs the poorer shall be.
      Drive, thoughts, clear down to our soul.

  5. Quote …. “found that 43% of US gas wells and 89% of oil wells sunk from 2000-2010 would not be defined as associated hydraulic fracturing under the UK government’s definition.”

    The sample set is based on ancient history and is not representative of wells which would be drilled in 2017 .

  6. Fracking will create jobs… there is a site near us near Blackpool. Every day loads of people complaining..it’s been reported that they even take their frustrating views​ out on school run parents….

  7. Wow! A couple of heavy hitters here Ruth! Sure to turn the tide. Conservative candidate vintage 1970. Oh and a Baronet! Whatever that is.
    And Paul Mobbs. The nice man who lives in a badger set somewhere, who is supported by Zac Goldsmith (“I don’t have anything to do with the Ecologist policy , I just pay the bills”)

  8. Rex said quote: You get your truth from the likes of Ingraffea and other activists who don’t adhere to the scientific method. We prefer the truth that reflects reality and that conforms with the scientific method. ….and…. All you have is “pal-reviewed” activist propaganda
    I have grown extremely weary of the people on this site who constantly and repeatedly dismiss independent, peer reviewed science by attacking the authors as ALL being some kind of biased lunatics, rather than highly respected and experienced academics, professors, doctors etc. However many times they make such a statement doesn’t make it so without evidence (and not cherry picked or quoted out of context). I was also under the impression that the peer review process was there to give validity to the quality, integrity and methodology of any study or paper. Again, repeatedly making accusations of ‘pal reviewing’ or ‘sycophancy’ does not make it true without evidence. I can accept that there will be a degree of variation in the robustness of the peer review process. However, with fast approaching 1000 independent, peer reviewed studies that provide evidence of harm from various aspects of the whole fracking process, are the people making disparaging comments regularly on here honestly expecting us to believe every study is from another renegade and his likewise minded pals? I also have to wonder what the motivation, qualifications and experience of these people really is, as most are anonymous. Yes I know… I should stop reading their posts!

    • Well, Mike, if there are indeed 1,000 or so independent peer reviewed studies that have proved a causal link between fracking and health impact, let’s have ’em. I just as for one. Don’t refer to a large compendium of nonsense. Just give us one study that unequivocally shows causal harm on a systemic basis from fracking.

      Pal review is an entirely appropriate name for the process. This phenomenon is not isolated to anti-fracking literature – it happens on a host of issues – usually those that are highly politicized. The only antidote is careful scrutiny of the work to insure that it is conforming to the scientific method. Some anti-fracking studies do conform to the scientific method and are legitimate, and there are legitimate scientists doing work on behalf of anti-fracking activists, but these studies have failed to draw a causal link between fracking and ill-health effects. Other studies, including several from Ingraffea and Howarth, have come to conclusions that are not supported by their data or that are a function of incorrect assumptions which cannot be defended. Either way, the media (especially the Green media) often distorts the findings to gin up controversy and sell advertising space.

      To suggest this is not a big problem is disingenuous.

  9. I’m with you on this Mike Potter. Rex and others cite the usual suspects to support the Industry e.g. Energy in Depth. I do laugh when they try to make out that the real science is on their side. Their entire strategy almost begins and ends with the (phony) discrediting of the critics by grouping and naming them as cranks. But the Shale-Gas pushers’ time of exposure is coming and the real naming and shaming is heading their way just as surely as it has done for the tobacco industry (whose playbook tricks and tactics they are spinning out in this arena – it’s so transparent!).

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