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. It’s amazing how many dodgy ‘organisations’ exist out there nowadays. You do wonder where all the money they need to exist comes from don’t you? I’m sure they are all innocent without ulterior motives!

  2. Clark needs to put these protectors out of their misery and just give this a go ahead. Leaving them with a little bit of hope isn’t very humane.

  3. Well the stuff is all ready and the EA are supposed to be happy so its frack on I guess. What a palava over a simple frack job. They must be laughing in the US!

    • A reminder of the technical failings at Preese Hall

      Cuadrilla not identifying the Bowland Basin faults, drilling through one causing 50 seismic events from six small fracks and buckling the well. Then having to ask the HSE basic questions on cement bond logs.

      If those who state they have carried out hundreds of fracks can’t get it right it seems illogical and dangerous that the Government is considering allowing more of the same.

      Chesapeake are one of the largest US fracking companies. They have advised not to frack in the UK.

      Michael Gove should be listening carefully to what is being said by communities and the people who know the industry and realise that there is good reason why this industry should never develop.

      Scotland have said no on economics and environmental issues.

      Our Government should be following suit and prioritise on maximising our renewable potential.

      The time to do that is now.

  4. You’re right Anon, it is a pretty insignificant frack job. Protestors should be keeping their powder dry. I guess symbolically it’s a big deal because it’s the 1st one in 11years (and that last one didn’t go well did it).

  5. So, some of the 20,000 visitors to Bonn have written a letter telling us what to do. Surprised how they have the strength in their arms after all that rowing and cycling to get to Bonn!
    Meanwhile, CO2 is on the up. Now China is in the frame-again. Strange how the “hosts” have managed to largely exclude their own sad position.

    They seem to have some focus though in controlling car emissions. Perhaps the German car industry should be made to fund that to compensate for the damage they have done world wide?

    An interesting dilemma PhilipP. “Protestors should be keeping their powder dry.” I agree, KM is a pretty small event. But we all know, that any fracking that takes place and is done without any serious consequence immediately destroys the majority of the speculation and scaremongering that has been so widely used by the protestors. You know that, everybody else knows that. It was a stage that the process would reach, like night follows day. We will now have a growth in spurious “consequences” of fracking eg. Skinnergate, but many still believe “the proof of the pudding etc.” so will wait and see, some even being paid whilst they do so.

    • It is an interesting dilemma Martin, because it is such a small job (just a vertical pilot frack of an existing borehole). The likelihood of it having a significant environmental impact is very small so it gives the promoters a chance to wag their finger at all those crying wolf and saying ‘there you go’ what’s the problem? nothing to worry about. Hopefully, for the community, test flow rates will be insignificant too. If not Third Energy could get snapped up by a giant operator and that’s when the impacts will really kick in e.g. developing the pad into a cluster-well monster with 12 or more wells each with 2mile laterals and using 10 million gallons of water per well. You call the truth of the matter ‘scaremongering’ Martin (Mike Potter addresses that in the next comment), but the impacts are widely documented, so it’s not speculation. We all do know that indeed…. somehow the ‘we’ I’m referring to is different to the ‘we’ you are referring to. My ‘we’ relies on facts and real world observations.

  6. Talking of strange, isn’t it strange and remarkable how the word scaremongering is used so often to generically dismiss arguments against fracking? I often wonder how every country in the world, except one (Syria, who appear to be too busy) agreed that the science regarding climate change isn’t scaremongering and signed up to the Paris accord. Hundreds of independent, peer reviewed reports detailing damage done by fracking and future risks are dismissed as scaremongering and written by ‘mad professors’ and peer reviewed by their ‘sycophantic mates’. This rather demeans the majority of academic institutions and their staff by the simple use of one word. Many countries like Scotland, Ireland, Wales and several more that have banned fracking conducted extensive studies and consultation into the science and the risks – health, economic and environmental – before announcing their bans. Then strangely, they are accused of just believing the scaremongering to reach their decision. Is the single word ‘scaremongering’ really such a sound basis for developing a brand new source of hydrocarbons as global warming gallops ahead?

    • Mike, I believe you will find that these “peer reviewed” reports are labeled scaremongering for very good reason. They almost universally represent very poor scientific practice and have been paid for by anti-fracking advocacy groups. Those that actually promote correct use of the Scientific Method, don’t implicate fracking.

      There’s a reason that independent scientific work from the likes of the EPA, RAE, Royal Society, NAS, and others has confirmed that fracking can be accomplished safely when proper practices are followed.

      “Scaremongering” is the cross the anti-frackers have earned due to the fact that they are so apt to let their emotions get the better of them and they are so reluctant to rely on independent science that adheres to the Scientific Method.

  7. By the way PhilipP, I know how you like to read up the subject. Try P45 of today’s Times. Sit down before you do as it contains many a cautionary tale, and plenty of facts-all of which are pretty uncomfortable for the UK antis. It may also explain why China and Germany are so focused upon binding USA in costs and controls and why USA will not allow it to happen. It also explains what I have been saying for months, that huge costs will be taken out by USA reducing their Strategic Oil Reserve as they move out of being controlled by OPEC whims. And all those jobs and tax revenues! And still, their CO2 emissions drop.

    • The crumbling American ‘Ponzi’ Dream

      Collectively, US shale companies have lost cash in every year of their existence. The burned through cash when oil was $100 — and again when it was $90, $80, $70, $60, $50, $40, and $30 a barrel. They burned through cash in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

      You don’t have to be a finance guru to appreciate or understand that any industry that persistently burns through cash is a bad deal. Especially one whose prime product – shale wells – principally deplete (-85%) in roughly three years. If you’ve been in business for 9 years drilling wells that mostly run out in 3 years, and you haven’t managed to produce positive cash flow at any point along the way, then it’s time to admit that your business model simply doesn’t work.


      Time to drill even more non profitable wells.

      Meanwhile the US doffing their cap a little lower to secure even more imports.

      Total crude oil imports averaged 7.9 million b/d in August, which was an increase of 65,000 b/d from imports during July 2017.


      Quick quick drill more faster faster. Never mind that the whole world knows it is a loss maker. Keep drilling.

      • Doesn’t take much research to see how fraudulent your claim is Jack. Just look at the P&Ls for the largest shale companies in the world for 2014. LOL

        But keep spinning the fake news. I’m certain someone, somewhere is going to believe you at some point.

  8. Mike-I quite liked your post until I read the bit about Scotland! You probably know why Scotland imposed a ban and that it did NOT adhere to the scientific evidence provided. I am afraid by trying to state what is not fact you have just confirmed the approach that the antis take. If you do it, don’t be surprised if someone notices and points it out. When it becomes the norm., which it has, don’t be surprised that it is noticed even more.

    • There speaks a man who believes everything printed in the Times and does not know the extent of the research and consultation, and independent analysis that Scotland used in its inquiry.

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