Opposition

Letters call for fracking ban as Third Energy waits to fracture well in Yorkshire village

171113 km Eddie Thornton

Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton, 13 November 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

As Third Energy prepares for the UK’s first high volume hydraulic fracture for six years, nearly 200 organisations have called for an immediate stop on all fracking activities.

The appeal was released on the same day that Friends of the Earth hand-delivered a letter to residents in Kirby Misperton, the North Yorkshire village near Third Energy’s gas site.

The company wrote its own letter to villagers last week saying it was ready to frack (DrillOrDrop report). It is waiting for the Business Secretary Greg Clark to grant final fracturing consent before the work can begin.

In its letter, Friends of the Earth urged villagers to join what it said were thousands of people who had already written to Mr Clark asking him to refuse consent.

171113 Friends of the Earth letter

Extract of letter from Friends of the Earth delivered today

PDF of letter to Kirby Misperton residents

Friends of the Earth’s Yorkshire Campaigner, Simon Bowens, said:

“After Third Energy’s attempts last week to persuade local residents into thinking that all was well with their dirty fracking, it is important that the truth is told and that the people of this beautiful corner of Yorkshire know that their voices can still be heard in Whitehall.

“We stand alongside them in calling on Greg Clark to refuse fracking consent at Kirby Misperton.”

Call for ban at climate talks

171113 Letter to Michael Gove

Extract of letter to Michael Gove, released today

At international climate talks in Bonn, 182 organisations signed a letter to the UK Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, urging him to ban fracking. PDF of Open letter to Michael Gove

Thirty UK groups were among the signatories who described hydraulic fracturing as the “environmental issue of our time”.

The letter said:

“It [hydraulic fracturing] touches every aspect of our lives – the water we drink, the air we breathe and the health of our communities – as it ominously threatens our global climate.”

The letter called for a ban on trade in fracked fossil energy sources and on the underground disposal of flowback, fluids and waste water from the extraction of hydrocarbons.

It said:

“On a global scale, fugitive methane emissions from gas pose a very significant but mainly ignored problem.”

The use of fracking at current or increased rates would mean the world would not achieve the Paris agreement of holding global temperature rise to 2 degrees C, the letter said.

32 replies »

  1. But ignored the SCIENCE EVIDENCE PhilipP. There speaks a man who believes he can fool others with carefully chosen semantics. If you wish to follow that path, which you do, it is understandable but also illuminating.

    Which bit in the Times do you disagree with? Probably most of it as you have suggested the opposite for many months. However, I think I will follow the International Energy Agency. Not my only source but one where the statistics are pretty sound.

    • It’s great that you are suddenly interested in the science Martin. So it will be a breeze for you to do the maths from statistics based on the 200,000 or so HVHF fracked O&G wells to date – which you will no doubt have at your fingertips. Please aggregate the the percentage failure rates of well casings, cement jobs, blowouts and serious spills from existing data and apply it to a modest projection of say of 500 wells over a 12 by 12 mile patch of landscape for here. What do you get? If that’s too easy you could then aggregate that with the other risk factors that can lead to serious environmental impacts. We’ll leave aside the ghg emissions and airborne contaminants for now.

      Am I the only one interested in the hard science?

  2. No, but you seem to miss the point that in the most litigious country in the world all these “incidents” have not resulted in the closure of the industry. You continue to claim it is in decline, but it isn’t-unless you ignore clear data. You can easily see the huge success fracking has achieved in the USA, not only in terms of output, reducing energy costs but also downstream industry. There has not been widespread, successful, litigation against fracking safety and this is for a simple reason-there is not the strong evidence to support that.
    There are many who try the “could” and the “can”, some even try the “might”, but that does not stand up to close scrutiny, certainly not in courts. They will listen to science, not scaremongering, which is why that litigation has not happened.

    • They love people like you Martin. Those with the corporate clout and financial and political powers to call the shots on legislation, who knowingly distort the science and count on so many gullible mortals to (unknowingly) parrot their name-calling and scaremongering cries against anyone who gets in the way of the under-regulated profit-generating fracking juggernaut. The US Senate and Judiciary have been dominated by those with O&G interests for years, even through the Obama era. Scott Pruitt, known climate change denier has been put in charge of the EPA to continue dismantling its powers. Now they are talking about cutting the EPA budget by one third. How and why else do you think a subject like climate change could have become such a partisan issue?

      As with climate science you cannot prove any one hurricane or wildfire is caused by global warming but it’s such a cheap and shameless trick to carry on saying that science has no proof when the statistics are clear. I have no doubt that shale gas and it’s related industry will go the way of DDT, thalidomide and tobacco as the long term environmental impacts and health exposures take their toll. Actually their impacts are clear enough now and it’s an irresponsible government that doesn’t take them seriously.

  3. Scaremongering gets to a position where it becomes necessary to substantiate. This is one of the few situations I can remember where some assume that it is okay just to say the cards are stacked against them which makes it impossible for them to do this, and others are just “gullible mortals” for not accepting largely unsubstantiated claims! Do not conflate into climate change because fracking and CO2 production are not directly linked, as the emission history within the USA proves. Mixing up recorded facts, and ignoring others, is not missed by us gullible mortals.

    • Martin I’m not blaming you for ignorance even if you don’t understand that methane emissions and CO2 are in fact directly linked not only through their effects as greenhouse gases but through the fact Methane degrades into CO2 over time anyway – so there’s a double whammy. Methane is over 80x more potent a GHG in its first 20 years in the atmosphere (20x over 100years) but policy makers have been ignoring its potential for years – as ‘short-lived’ – showing how the ‘science’ propagated by the lobbyists for Fracking is largely fake.

      One scientist at an American Geophysical meeting went as far as to say: “The short-lived climate pollutants [like methane] that we emit from human activities are basically controlling how fast the warming occurs. This is because they are very powerful at absorbing radiation.” Source: Scientific American – 22 Dec 2015

      I fact I found my way to this site from my concerns about methane.

  4. PhilipP-and CO2 emissions in USA, the biggest user of fracking for gas and oil, are dropping. And this is without taking account of the reduction in CO2 from not shipping oil and gas from Middle East to USA. If you want to attack methane output, become a vegetarian.

    I find it interesting that you continually refer to fake science for USA fracking, when the vast expansion of the same has NOT produced any real change to USA CO2 production. Even Bonn could not fabricate that one.The reason for that is simple. It has replaced imports of oil and gas. The challenge will be, as USA heavy industry expands, utilising the cheaper energy, (which it is doing rapidly) how they will continue to control emissions, but I think they will as they will be new investments and can integrate the new technology to achieve this. In turn, it may reduce emissions elsewhere, as Mrs. Merkel might just find that high exports of German steel to USA suddenly diminish. Trump has already signalled as much, with his insistence that new pipelines are built from USA pipe.

    In case it has missed your attention, why do you think China is investing in naval facilities in the Middle East? Could it be connected to the prediction that by 2040 70% of the world’s oil trade ends up in a port in Asia? Energy security is changing dramatically. Those relying upon current suppliers and not examining all alternatives could look very foolish in a few years.

    • Of course their CO2 are dropping Martin. The old coal fired generators are being replaced or closed altogether – being replaced by gas-fired in many cases. So here’s the nub of the issue. Now CO2 emissions are lowering and Methane emissions (a far more potent ghg) have been rising so far this century in the USA. It’s a bridge fuel to nowhere. Now the methane from a decade or two ago – before green completions were a thing – is breaking down into CO2 as well, but by now it’s so dispersed in the global atmosphere it’s impossible to say where it was from and we’re seeing an upswing in overall CO2 for the planet again. I’d like to see some real scientific data on this instead of the initial speculation that it’s all China’s fault. The FF industry doesn’t do top down studies of emissions but the two universities (Cornall and Duke) whose engineers and scientists pioneered those studies came up with some pretty damning evidence. So what does the FF industry do? Of course it brands those experts and biased anti fossil fuel activists and cranks. What the world really needs is some honest people in charge of those industries. The world is becoming too stressed and wary of all the lies and propaganda.

  5. Jeez these stories get boring. Drill or Drop (accurately) states 200 groups, but the headline could just as easily have been about ONLY 30 UK groups. And just look at the list. Half of it are just ‘frack free groups’ that need to be little more than 5 people and facebook with a friends list of a few hundred ‘friended’ to every facebook group. ‘Easy Streets 911 Address Markers’ – who are they? ‘Artists for peace’.

    Look, for years the anti-fracking groups have claimed massive scientific weight on this issue and then all they come up with is this. It’s an embarrassment.

  6. Problem with identifying how much pollution is coming from China, is how do you get accurate data? I recall the statistics that used to emerge from the Soviet Union about tractor factory output and record harvests, and then they had to import vast quantities of grain from USA and S. America!
    I read an interesting statistic recently (have not checked it) that OUTSIDE of China, the Chinese have plans to fund the construction of 700 coal fired power stations. If the reality is anyway near, that is frightening.

    Methane in USA is also largely related to their cattle production. I suspect the eco warriors will have a battle on their hands to stop Americans eating steak, and burgers, and feeding of yucca hardly likely to make much impact.

  7. The need is recognized Martin, and it’s a tall order. It’s not just about getting accurate data from China, you cannot even get accurate data from western emitters who, on the one hand simply don’t do top down measurements and on the other it’s about a globally powerful fossil fuel industry that has both history and form in the art of misrepresenting science that could lead to further regulation, needing be more honest. For the sake of climate science at least two EU satellites are launching soon which hold out the promise of remote sensing of methane emissions as they are happening. At ground level IR cameras are very revealing of rogue emissions. Did you see those links posted by PhilC a few days ago? each had interesting IR footage. Sorry I realise that you think there’s someone called Mr Giggle who makes all this stuff up, but here you go anyway:
    1/ (IR footage at 1:48 and 2:20) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4douzzQ3GI
    2/ (IR footage at 1:50) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE6xgAmvlTY
    3/ (IR footage at 1:48) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_XzqjBRQis&t=151s

  8. Sorry PhlipP, I don’t read some poster’s comments, and so are unable to comment on that. However, be very careful about methane levels. There have been studies I have seen that show there is a huge amount of methane produced from farm animals, especially ruminants. I can’t reference them, but I was an animal nutritionist (not ruminant focused) and recall sitting in on many discussions concerning this issue. Trouble is, as countries develop their populations achieve greater disposable income, and one of the items at the top of their list to enjoy, is animal protein.

    It is certainly a great deal easier to limit methane output from fossil fuel use than from cattle. A ban on both will not happen, and does not need to, but Holland could run into further problems with this from such satellites. Not sure if the EU would be too wise causing even more anti EU feeling in that country.

  9. Mildly amusing diversion Martin, but acknowledging that ruminants do raise a parallel issue. Incidentally, there’s been some success in trials in Africa to drastically reduce ruminant emissions by using variegated pastures (for cows at least) suggesting that mono-cultural diets are a big part of the problem.

  10. I don’t know why you find it a diversion, PhilipP. Methane from fossil fuel extraction can be readily controlled, and CO2 can be as well. These are the false “facts” that the anti fossil lobby push, that fossil fuels have to continue to be extracted and used as they have been historically. They do not. Some countries, and companies, will resist change as it would add to cost but it can be done, and will be done. It will be a somewhat more scientific version of “smokeless coal”. Remember that?

    The biggest part of the problem with cattle PhilipP, is the digestive system. Yes, methane output can be modified by how they are fed, (Giggle cattle and yucca) but the clue is in the name-ruminant. It is not a small contribution either. In many parts of the world cattle output of methane is the largest source of methane into the environment.

    • Huge false fact from you Martin “Methane from fossil fuel extraction can be readily controlled, and CO2 can be as well. ” if it could I would hardly appear on these threads except to debate the other impacts. [Edited by moderator]

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