“It’s up to farmers to put a stop to fracking” – rally at N Yorks shale gas site

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Farmers Against Fracking rally, Kirby Misperton, 26 September 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Farmers were urged at a rally in North Yorkshire this morning to deny fracking companies access to their land.

Sheep farmer, Matthew Trevelyan, told anti-fracking campaigners outside Third Energy’s shale gas site at Kirby Misperton:

“As farmers and growers, we are the guardians of this land and it is up to us to put a stop to this industry.

“Only us can not give the access to the frackers on our land.”

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Matthew Trevelyan speaking at the rally in Kirby Misperton, 26 September 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

About 100 people gathered for the Farmers Against Fracking event at the gate to the KM8 site.

Many carried placards with the messages “Farmers are eternal optimists. We hope Third Energy Frack Off! and “Farmers Feed the World. Frackers Destroy it”. A small convoy of tractors drove to the site from the neighbouring village of Great Barugh and blocked the entrance for about 30 minutes.

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Opponents of fracking at the rally outside Third Energy’s KM8 site, 26 September 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Mr Trevelyan, who farms on the North Yorks Moors, told the gathering:

“Fracking is not just an environmental issue. It’s a livestock issue, it’s a food issue and it’s a livelihood issue.

“We live in the middle of a celebrated food producing area. Malton says it’s the food capital of Yorkshire and that’s quite right. If contamination or pollution were to occur from fracking-related activities then all this could be put at risk.”

He said the international legacy of fracking had been “permanent contamination of fertile land and critical water supplies”. He added:

“For farmers, there is potentially a lot of lose and very little to gain from fracking.”

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Matthew Trevelyan speaking at the rally at Kirby Misperton, 26 September 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

He said the farming lobby, when it mobilised, was “hugely powerful”. It had helped to secure a ban on fracking in Ireland and in shutting down the industry in parts of Australia, he said.

Mr Trevelyan added:

“Resistance to the fracking industry is uniting people from across the political spectrum.

“Being worried about fracking is not an extreme position. It is the position of every political party except the Tories, and the position of several countries, including Wales, Scotland and Ireland.”

Deliveries resumed to the KM8 site today, after a blockade by campaigners yesterday. North Yorkshire Police said two women, aged 56 and 66, were arrested at lunchtime and have been charged with obstructing the highway. They are due to appear at York Magistrates Court in November.

Link to video of Matthew Trevelyan’s speech

91 replies »

  1. I suspect Nick, that Ineos are finding it quite easy to add to their dossiers and videos ahead of the November injunction hearing!
    To some, this may be seen as just having a dig, but I used to deal with Public Relations, and my comments are made from that perspective. You are your own worst enemies, so, when it is used against you when it matters you will play the Infamy card but it will be yourselves who have created the problem. It is like an animal health company (usually part of a pharmaceutical parent) marketing a product to benefit dogs without clarifying whether the parent company are using dogs in their research programmes.
    Whoever thought a picture of a tractor (FOE?) would benefit the antis in this context, needs to go on a course.

    • Shale gas will never be an official Nationally significant Infrastructure Project. The Government will never take full control of an industry that is dangerous and not needed for energy security.

      The industry has to have permission off landowners.

      The industry is offering peanuts to those who would accommodate sites, through leasing, and is going to walk away when it suits them leaving the landowner with the long term liability.

      Further down the line when the steel and concrete corrodes their will be environmental damage.

      As the ‘polluter pays’ I suspect the landowner will be the one who has to cough up.

      He in turn has to try and sue the industry.

      Good luck with that one and trying to sell your land and property.

      • Check out the land registry and Cuadrilla.

        Land at Preese Hall farm, Weeton, Preston.

        Price stated £8,000

        No, really £8,000

        Big bucks hey!

        Offer to wealthy land owners to not shoot on land near Becconsall site…….£500

        No, really £500

        Big spenders the shale gas industry.

        Land owners queuing up for big shale bonanza

        • NFU Mutual clarifies stance on fracking

          The company has inserted a new exclusion to farmers’ insurance policies under Environmental Liability, which states: “We will not pay for liability arising out of any activity involving prospecting, extraction or refining of liquid or gaseous fuel. An example of which is ‘fracking’.”

          But Tim Price, NFU Mutual rural affairs spokesman, explained: “If a farmer decides to have a go at fracking in any way, our farm policy would not offer liability cover.

          “However, people who insure their homes and businesses with us and are not commercially involved with fracking on their land are protected in the event of an earthquake or subsidence caused by fracking.”

          Insurance implications of fracking

          A farmer can take out cover for both land and livestock; however they will encounter similar exclusions and limitations as per a standard
          household insurance policy, with varying limitations/exclusions for pollution and illness or death of livestock.

          There would not be a policy that a farmer could take out that would cover environmental damage to a third party.

          The well operator would only have a policy to cover his onsite operations.

          So who pays if surrounding land ,air, or water is contaminated?

        • When a Farmer enters into an agreement for the use of his land, standard tables are used to asses the loss of income from crops or animals grazing for the length of the lease.

          After that, it’s up the the Farmer and Operator to negotiate how much land rental is paid.

          If there is another Farmer just across the road who is also willing to lease his land, then it’s a competition between the two and the rental rate will be lower.

          If he owns the land on the other side of the road as well, then he can negotiate a higher rental rate.

          In my experience, Farmers generally like having a Well site on their land, because it guarantees a certain level of income for several years, with no effort on their part.

          • I live in an area of grade 1 agricultural land. Those who farm large acreage make a very good living. I have spoke with many. They do not see fracking as a positive. They look at the bigger long term picture. They are not prepared to put their well established businesses at risk for some possible short term gain.

            Whilst the lease is running you can pursue the leaseholder if third party damage is caused

            The long term liabilities after the leases has expired drops back onto the landowner.

            If the land is purchased outright it can be sold on for a bargain price later on leaving someone other than the fracking company with the long term liability.

            Plenty of orphan wells in the US proving companies are quite happy to not take ownership of any mess they cause.

  2. PhilipP-[Edited by moderator] Third Energy is owned by Barclays BANK, that is not Barclays Brothers. You could at least make corrections where you have misquoted, and been informed of that.
    Barclays BANK would like to dispose of Third Energy because like most BANKS they are under pressure to sell off non BANKING assets. Perhaps Barclays Brothers will purchase from Barclays Bank-that’s capitalism, but unlikely to happen.

    • My mistake sorry – please substitute Bank for Bros. [Edited by moderator] The point is one you would probably agree with – that the well is just a minor vertical frack (and, by the way, unlikely to be a risk to the surrounding environment) and likely an attempt at boosting perceive potential of the assets ahead of sell off. There was no ‘intent’ behind my (incidental) factual error. [Edited by moderator]

    • Jack, it will surprise no one here that you have your facts completely wrong (again.) The lawsuit was for nuisance, not for water contamination. All of the fracking related claims were tossed out by the judge long ago. The judge also tossed out a jury award because it just didn’t make sense in light of the evidence for the nuisance claim. So, he sent them back to come to a settlement agreement and that is what has happened. Don’t you hate it when FACTS get in the way of such a good story?

      • NOOOOOO refricktion,

        NOWHERE DOES IT MENTION that the payment was for as you say , quote, ” The lawsuit was for nuisance ”

        I have cut and pasted various paragraphs from the above link , have a read refricktion , what do you think ???

        It does clearly say ” drinking water contaminated ”

        ” HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept 26 (Reuters) – Cabot Oil & Gas Co. has settled a lawsuit filed by two families in Dimock, Pennsylvania, who alleged their homes’ drinking water became contaminated with methane not long after the company began drilling for natural gas in 2007 ”

        Marcellus Shale gas fracking boom that began in 2007. Residents complained that Cabot’s drilling caused methane gas to migrate to their wells, so much that they could light their tap water on fire

        Fifteen families in Dimock filed a lawsuit over water contamination in 2009. All but the Elys and Hulberts settled with Cabot in 2012.

        Lewis said there has been no change in the poor quality of the family’s well water since the trial in 2016

        • They all get called ‘nuisance’ (compensation) in the end Jack. It’s the method used to distance case law from providing a precedent pointing to actual pollution, which would open the flood gates to a tsunami of claims. The world knows it’s about pollution and contamination though. Let’s hope it will be dealt with more honestly here.

          • Sure, Philip, it’s that nasty and biased legal system that’s just out to kill everyone who lives in a shale play, right? Makes a lot of sense my man!

            • Don’t you get bored of this? How one thing completely different always means the anti frackers are always right? We all know that the news reporting around fracking is pretty poor. The Dimmock case is a great example. Fortunately, there were people in the court that recorded the plaintiff’s lawyer stating that it wasn’t about groundwater contamination because they couldn’t prove that. Sadly that never stops the anti fracking groups digging up the numerous newspaper stories that don’t make that clear.

            • It’s boringly simple Garry. If the defense lawyer said only ‘this wasn’t about groundwater contamination’, and nothing else, you would have a strong point. The fact that he went on to say ‘because they couldn’t prove that’ reveals the rest of the story. You cannot reverse engineer the pre-existing conditions in a way that would give a scientific basis for causality i.e. without pre-existing (and thorough baseline data). The lawyers knew that, hence the statement. Of course that’s a ripe cherry to pick for those of you who want to say ‘look, that proves there was not causal connection’. Sorry. It’s interesting that the compensation awards have been so high is it not?

              Most of these matters get tidied away by the Gas companies with out-of-court settlements tied to non-disclosure agreements. See another part of that same Reuters report saying “Fifteen families in Dimock filed a lawsuit over water contamination in 2009. All but the Elys and Hulberts settled with Cabot in 2012. “

        • Directly from the plaintiff’s attorney, Jack: “This is not a case — this is not a case about toxic materials ending up in the water,” she told the jury. “We do not have proof of that. We don’t have proof of that. This is not about fracking fluid appearing in the water. Hydraulic fracturing materials, we don’t have proof of that.”

          No, Jack, the plaintiffs couldn’t produce any evidence to support health claims, or claims of water contamination, or of loss of property value so all of those claims were tossed. They were left with simply the nuisance claims. From the anti-fracking site Desmogblog: ” Over time, Judge Carlson’s order noted, the plaintiffs’ legal complaints had been successfully winnowed down by Cabot, which was represented at trial by several lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright, the tenth highest-grossing law firm in the world in 2016. The case now centers around a nuisance complaint.”

          BTW, the defendants demonstrated that plaintiffs had complained about the water well before Cabot was even on the scene and the area is known for methane seepages into water wells.

          As per usual, you only go headline deep, jack. Contamination is just how the press remembers the case, it had nothing to do with how the case worked out.

          • Ha Ha Ha , refricktion


            I will just accuse the same company of poisoning my water supply in the UK , present NO evidence, just be as you say a ” nuisance ” to them.

            Maybe just the threat will leave this multi national company shaking in their boots to such a leval ….. That in quest to preserve their good old, wholesome reputation they will hand over £ millions to me .

            In fact why don’t we all try it ladies and gentlemen . YOU DON’T NEED any evidence, this company just hands over buckets of cash for nothing .

            [typo corrected at poster’s request]

            • refricktion

              Maybe we could work as a team , I’m happy to split the cash with you .

              On receipt of the money, we could move, with our familys to somewhere like the Seychelles. Then just spend the rest of our days living in luxury, idling the time away counting our cash.

              FAR FAR AWAY from all fracking projects .

            • It doesn’t matter how many times you tell the anti-frackers this basic stuff. Repeatedly it just keeps on being ignored. Perhaps DrillOrDrop could actually do a useful piece on this in depth rather than just reporting on what an anti-fracker had for lunch today.

          • This..

            I mean, the Dimmock plaintiffs own lawyer said in the case ‘this is not about groundwater contamination – we cannot prove that’ and still the anti-frackers come back saying it was about groundwater contamination. [Edited by moderator]

            • No offence taken. Their ability to read (between the lines) is impressive. You know, some people don’t shut their eyes and close their minds when confronted with carefully managed and paid for ‘truth’ statements. They notice things. They wonder about the gagging orders, about the number of water buffaloes provided to residents by OGA companies (for potable water independent of mains supplies) along with payouts which buy silence. They are interested in why PA’s neighbors, New York State and Maryland, have outright fracking bans in place and are intrigued by the way the laws are used to protect powerful interests and their profits … the Halliburton Loophole, the use of Lone Pine Orders etc. It is fascinating how history plays out and how the liars ultimately get exposed.

            • IN RESPONSE TO YOU.
              Garry, refricktion and in a small part to you Martin.

              So this company just hands out cash like good Samaritans ???

              I do credit you all with more intelligence than this, which is why I was hoping you would not make me have to spell this out in excruciatingly simple terms.

              FIRST OF ALL , please fully read this link .

              Cabot Oil & Gas settles fracking lawsuit with Pennsylvania families


              The article makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR what the compensation payments were for……..Now here comes the simple or should I say difficult part for some to understand.

              DO YOU HONESTLY THINK Carbot Oil and Gas when making these $$$$$ million dollar payments would of allowed it to put ON RECORD that they have contaminated ground water supplies ………… DO YOU ?????? ——–the answer is NO.

              WHY do you think that is ????? Can you guess ????? —‘—–the answer is , because it would if opened the FLOOD GATES to hundreds if not thousands of other water contamination claims .

              PRIOR to Cabot Oil and Gas handing over these fabulous $$$$$$ million dollar cheques. In order to protect their interests, lawyers acting on behalf of the company, would of put forward special orders and clauses that the claimants would of had to sign and agree to before they receive these fabulous $$$$$$$ Million Dollar payments .

              MAYBE THINGS LIKE FOR INSTANCE ……..the payments are ONLY being made for ( 1 ) Not wearing a clean shirt on a Sunday ( 2 ) Walking on the cracks in the pavements ( 3 ) Breaking wind in a public place ( 4 ) Being a “” nuisance “” like refricktion said.

              We all know how the system works, please credit us with more intelligence….. You really are backing a three legged horse trying to labour the point that this case is not about water contamination..

              You would do better, accepting that on this occasion, there has been SOME water contamination as a result of fracking and then go forward by explaining to us why it has happened and how the same mistakes could not and would not happen over here in the UK..

              To continue with your current line of approach, only gives rise to more distrust and suspicion from ordinary members of the public who are already wary or apprehensive about/against this particular industry …

              ((((( Referring back to the above link , maybe Cabot Oil and Gas lawyers are unavailable for comment on these payments, because they are all to busy delivering buckets of cash to strangers…….. ONLY JOKING .)))))

              What I want to see is the type of approach injuneer had when I raised the question regarding the radioactivity of Cuadrillas waste water that had been discharged in to the Manchester Ship Canal . Injuneer didn’t try and twist, turn and deny it. In accepting this incident had happened he then went forward by explaining how after testing it had been shown to be about as radioactive as a banana… This is the type of approach I want to see .

              [Typos corrected at request of poster]

            • Hi JTL,

              Equally, the type of approach I would like to see is the anti-frac lobby doing some basic research BEFORE accusing the industry in Parliament and the Press of dumping ‘toxic radioactive waste’.

              But it’s too late now.

              There will be a number of people out there who firmly believe that the flowback water from Preese Hall was toxic, radioactive and dumped illegally, when none of those things are true.

              However, I’m willing to bet that this same accusation will be repeated in future, even though it’s now been debunked.

            • Injuneer – from about 20 seconds of basic research… do you dispute these findings?

              The EA analysis of Preese Hall flowback fluid shows concentrations compared to tap water:
              • Lead x 1438
              • Cadmium x 150
              • Bromide x 2297
              • Chromium x 636
              • Aluminium x 197
              • Arsenic x 20
              • Levels of Radioactivity at up to 90 Bq/l
              (x= times recommended safe limits for human usage)

              I don’t know about the dumping story.

            • Hi injuneer, I was interested in your comment, how exactly is deep bore high level nuclear waste disposal debunked?
              I understand there have been trials in USA and ongoing research for suitable sites and strata in UK? The plan was Cumbria but was rejected there. Similarly in Scotland, it would not be a great stretch of the possibilities of possible candidates that there will be plenty of ideal opportunities on exhausted fracking/oil production sites, plenty of established security, being obscured from observation and protest denied, and from regulation authorities post extraction.
              Seems like an ideal candidate doesn’t it?
              Perhaps look at the links?

            • Hello Phillip P,

              I’m led to be believe that Davyhulme, Trafford , Manchester residents have the proud honour of accommodating Europe’s largest waste water treatment plant.

              Who needs the hanging gardens of Babylon when you’ve got this little beauty on your doorstep .

              I was aware that Cuadrilas waste water contained many other toxic compounds that you have kindly listed, but the general consensus was that it was only the radioactive part that United Utilities was unable to neutralize…

              Is this correct, or were many of these other materials just diluted and released direct in to the canal ??

  3. PhilipP-[Edited by moderator] Barclays Bank were just following a trend that most banks are following, where their share holders are insisting they get rid of non banking assets that were built up before the banking crash. RBS are probably the most extreme example.
    I recognise the facts do not fit the narrative you tried to create then, but the facts have still not changed. Would Barclays Bank change their minds about selling if a huge gas output was achieved? Most probably not, they would just achieve a better price. Banks are not seen now as being the people who should own gas/oil sites, and where they do, from historic reasons, share holders want rid. It is about where Banks should have expertise in the eyes of the share holders who have seen how they can get caught when the Banks have strayed into other non banking areas.

    Anyway, good to see we both agree the bats will be OK.

  4. Jack-you need to realise there is a BIG difference between the USA and UK in reference to legal matters. USA is renowned as the most litigious country in the world, with lawyers looking for business anywhere they can find it-and their legal system supports it. It is one of the major reasons Trump pulled out of the Paris agreement, as any deviation in USA from imposed targets would create an excuse for lawyers to sue on behalf of individuals and groups, whereas in other countries this would not be the case. You could Giggle away for months looking at BP’s “legal” experience from their disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Sorry to spoil your Seychelles dream!

    Also, another dream cancelled-you then need to ask yourself, against this background why are the “frackers” in USA still expanding and thriving and not sued into destitution? Many are not Big Oil, and are working off narrow margins, so do not have the deep pockets that some suggest. The answer to that question is quite simple. Refricktion and Garry have supplied it.

  5. Hmmm, the usual flurry of anti farmer rhetoric, irrelevant divertion from topic and multiple id cross pollination?
    Clearly the industry genetically modified swarm are out of their steel and concrete hive to fill the available space?
    Always interesting to watch how a subject that is highly sensitive to the industry is jumped on so furiously by filling these pages with irrelevant rhetoric?
    Perhaps they realise that a coalition of farmers would at the very least slow down site acquisition and force them to take the landowners to court to gain entry.
    Now there is a can of organic worms?

  6. Any action by the operators to gain access to farmers land by court action will be highly public and will expose the industry to scrutiny.
    That would be counter productive, therefore it would be interesting if all farmers refuse entry to the operators?
    What then would the industry do? Get the police to push the farmers into the ditch while the operators invade their property?
    Will the industry and government have the guts to force owner compliance through police and court enforcement? Will we see farmers and landowners protesting outside their own property?
    Interesting times indeed?

    • Alun, I first heard about the possible nuclear waste disposal future for exhausted fracking sites from Ian R Crane, here is his report from Kirby Misperton Third Energy site that reiterates that growing suspicion.

      If this is indeed the future of fracking sites, then a farmers’ coalition ban on allowing fracking anywhere near their agricultural property takes on a far more urgent aspect.
      I wonder if the farmers who have allowed fracking on their land would be quite so happy if the end result is nuclear waste dumping?
      The radioactive “elephant” in the room will have a half life of at least 150,000 years.
      Look at what Finland are doing to bury their nuclear waste and all the precautions they have taken.
      Not just some disused fracking wells is it?

      • If you read the links that you’ve posted, you’ll see that they’re proposing disposal into crystalline basement at 5km depth. This is not the same geology or depth of anything that is being drilled by UK onshore oil/gas companies.

        • I read my own links very carefully thankyou very much, however the present requirement for shale or oil deposited at 1.5 to 2.0 km depths once exhausted can be extended can they not? That may require a new bore on the same site, or utilise the existing bore. It would not be difficult to reach the formation at those depths would it not? I believe the Russians have the record for the deepest bore, they stopped when the heat and pressure destroyed the drill head.
          I will look it up, or rather, down.
          Have you considered the choice of locations for extraction activity to date? The choice of location may have as much to do with geological formation at several km depth below the shale formation as at the shale depths.

        • Al
          The good news is that fracking is nothing to do with popping nuclear waste in the ground, of course.

          One can be stopped in the UK by a change in government or change of heart, and the other exists no matter who is in power.

          I think we can just send it off to France and Gernany, who are ahead of the UK on this. But it’s all slow progress, always stretching into the next decade. Maybe nuclear fusion will come first?

      • Mr Crane and Leukemia clusters

        Mr Crane notes inter alia, that leukaemia rates on Alderney are ‘way above’ the national average, and that people are leaving the island because of this. This in the context of the dumping of low level waste near the islands ( between 1950 and 1963 it seems ).

        I see a report in 2007 that high levels of radioactive waste were reported 10 miles from Alderney, thought to be from the Cap De la Hague reprocessing plant. The Sellafield of France. This from an investigation into 2 ( two ) cases of leukaemia in children. The low level waste dumping was noted in 1995, and declared safe by the Guernsey Environmental Health unit ( though not welcome of course ).

        The Channel Islands cancer Report of 2013 shows an absence of this cancer. Lung cancer is most prevalent and lifestyle factors are the key issue. So, no leukaemia rates way above the national average seen in that report.

        There was a phone mast cancer scare in 2013, when two older women suffered from rare cancers.

        The island saw a drop in population from 2294 in 2001, to 1903 in 2013. It has since risen to 2035 in 2016. The increase 2015 to 2016 was the largest seen since annual records have been published.
        The drop from 2011 to 2013 was attributed to the state of the economy on the island.

        So, in my opinion, the leukaemia rates on the island are not way above the average, and people are not leaving for that reason. So I see no link between the dumping of low level waste and past clusters of leukaemia in Alderney.

        People may be concerned about the proximity to the reprocessing plant and that Guernsey and Alderney are ‘intermediate probability’ of Radon induced cancer due to the geology. Plus they may believe that over time the low level waste may leak and somehow affect them.

  7. I thought the PNR/Cuadrilla site was on a farm! Those black and white extras give a clue, and I seemed to remember an interview with a farmer when he stated that in spite of a great deal of abuse from people towards him and his family he was quite happy to continue to have the test site on his land. Stable door, and all that?

    • Nuclear waste deep sea dumping off the coast of Somalia causing health problems.
      Destabilisation of countries allows opportunities for illegal unmonitored high level nuclear waste dumping.
      We see government sanctioned destabilisation around the world at the moment and an attempted denial of free speech and the right to protest here. And we see the moves to enable any toxic material regardless of severity to be placed beneath our feet without notification, scrutiny or approval.
      What are we to gather from that?


      For anyone who has pondered why millions are spent on individual sites without one cubic metre of gas being produced and still only experimental, and the totally paranoid secrecy and visual barriers to sight and camera, perhaps these oddities begin to make sense at last with the high level nuclear waste dumping option?
      Something nasty in the frackshed perhaps?

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