Campaign grows against INEOS Yorkshire fracking surveys

Castle Howard south lakeNorth Yorkshire

Castle Howard, owned by Nick Howard, one of the signatories of the letter to the Gazette and Herald.  Photo: Richard Watson

More landowners in Yorkshire have joined a campaign opposing fracking and access to their property for seismic testing.

Last week (23 February 2018), 15 owners, holding more than 80,000 acres, wrote to The Times saying they had no wish for their land to play any part in extracting gas or oil.

They included Nick Howard, of Castle Howard, Sir William Worsley of Hovingham Hall, Sir Richard Storey, of Settrington House and the television presenter, Selina Scott.

Yesterday, they were joined by another 27 names in a letter to the Gazette and Herald, the local newspaper in the area where Third Energy wants to carry out fracking. Full letter by landowners to the Gazette and Herald

The signatories said:

“We …. encourage all landowners of every type, shape and size here, to resist the blandishments of the fracking companies, and stand with us.”

The letter is aimed at INEOS, the UK’s biggest shale gas company, which is currently seeking access to land to carry out seismic testing in the area.

The landowners described seismic testing as “a likely precursor to the siting of well pads for fracking”.

The said they deplored INEOS’s action to bring a legal challenge against the National Trust, which has refused access for seismic surveying at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. They said:

“We are taking the same, perfectly reasonable, stand.”

Clumber Park Nottinghamshire

The National Trust’s Clumber Park. Photo: Richard Watson

They added:

“We expect this resistance to be supported by all our political representatives, specifically including our MP, as we lobby national government to dispense with this flawed policy.”

The Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, told DrillOrDrop:

“Every constituent’s view is equally important to me. I do understand local concerns about shale gas exploration and am working extremely hard to make sure any development has no significant impact on the environment and landscape and is consistent with meeting our climate change obligations. Despite our huge investment in renewables, gas will still play an important part in heating 22 million UK homes and electricity generation for a number of decades and, given the above conditions, it does make sense to produce gas rather than import it. I will be responding to the letter in full in due course.”

Mike Amesbury 180228 Parliamentary TV

Mike Amesbury MP

Yesterday, the INEOS seismic surveys were raised in parliament at Prime Minister’s Questions. The Labour MP, Mike Amesbury, told Theresa May about a Weaver Vale constituent, who had, in his words, been “door-stepped” by INEOS agents. A few days after she refused access, she received an unsolicited pre-named contract giving INEOS the right to survey her land.

Mr Amesbury asked the Prime Minister if she knew what it felt like to get an unsolicited letter from “a group that won’t take no for an answer”.

On record in opposition to fracking

The Yorkshire landowners said in their most recent letter:

“We would like to place on public record our opposition to fracking not just in Yorkshire, but everywhere.”

They dismissed the arguments in favour of fracking that the gas was needed for national security or as a bridge fuel to a low carbon future. They also raised concerns about industrialisation of the countryside and landowner liabilities.

The letter continued:

“We remain deeply concerned about an activity which would industrialise this area of glorious countryside, bringing potential air and water pollution, as well as HGV nuisance on already potholed roads (and that’s without mentioning the plastic which could be created, as Ineos does – exacerbating the plastic crisis that the world currently faces).

“Landowners (of whatever acreage) in this PEDL area, which includes Malton and Norton, have already been offered licence agreements, with proposed schedules of payments, to allow seismic tests to be carried out on our land. This is a likely precursor to the siting of well pads for fracking.

“But you may be surprised to read that after the fracking company has gone (and the licence expired), the landowner is left with the residual liability for any well. Imagine the cost if the casing deteriorates and catastrophic water pollution then occurs. It, like asbestosis, could be devastating to all concerned (as well as whatever protection – eg insurance – might be put in place, after all possible proceeds have been exhausted), wherever in the vicinity you live.”

INEOS response

INEOS previously gave the following statement on this issue to DrillOrDrop. We have invited the company to respond specifically to the Gazette and Herald letter. We’ll update this post with any response.

“The key message here is that if shale gas proves to be successful in the UK it will become a vital piece of the nation’s infrastructure, and will provide the UK with highly competitive energy, meaning we will be less dependent on foreign supplies. It will also generate enormous levels of investment and jobs in the North of England where they are desperately needed, and will also help the UK to meet its climate change commitments.

“Manufacturing jobs are not created without investment and there is precious little investment in the North of England in manufacturing.  Recent figures on jobs and investment estimate that the shale industry is expected to bring in £33 billion of investment into England alone over the next two decades

“The resources beneath our feet can be used to create jobs, heat our homes, go a long way towards self-sufficiency and improve our balance of payments and the environment all at the same time.”

Updated 2/3/2018 to include quote from Kevin Hollinrake MP

66 replies »

  1. Oh yes, Anna. Is that what was going on when we were skating on the Thames? Climate change has been going on since the world began, the reasons for it are the interesting bit, and whether we can, or should, try to stop it.
    By the way, the penguins that were being wiped out by climate change have been found. They seem to have decided to move to the other side of the island-so, two research papers will come out of that and double the news coverage, and reward for the “journalists”. Possibly, two conferences in a warm climate to follow. This Global News period would be great if there was enough NEWS to go around.

    • I think martin should commission a new BBC series called “Plastic Planet” and show how penguins happily “migrate” to other sides of the island…….do islands melt martin?

      Why do they migrate to the “other side of the island” by the way? better gas central heating?

      More fish on that side of the island?

      Why are there less fish on the previous side of the island? Could that be climate change?

      And polar bears can swim to “the other side of the island”?

      Which island?

      Would you care to provide them with a map? GPS? Passport?

      Rather than drowning as they have been seen to do due to the lack of iceflows, and perhaps this new “Plastic Planet” (otherwise called “Brown Planet”) series will also show us how birds and whales benefit so much from eating plastics and getting tangled in plastics bags and that poisoned baby whales are really just playing zombie hide and seek with their mother, and not really rotting and dead at all?

      Perhaps you could also do a program on where all the fish and krill and crustaceans have gone in the oceans? Have they “migrated” too? Did they migrate to the other side of the “Plastic Planet” perhaps? And why did they migrate? Could it be that the wildlife is being poisoned and is dying from the pollution caused by anthropogenic activity?

      What would we call that then? Ecological Change? Species Extinction? Planetary Genocide? Perhaps all wildlife in the ocean is moving to the “other side”?

      Perhaps we should organise a seance and ask them?

      Climate Change Denial is an depressingly familiar strategy propagated by some astonishingly plastic people, but its not very adult is it?

  2. You are correct Anna. The Arctic is 10-20 degrees hotter (much more in some places) than it should be. Unless you are dead or have had your head buried in the sand (or certain tabloids) you will know how the Arctic vortex has split apart and is no longer ‘contained’ by the polar region. The ‘freezer door’ has been left open. That’s why the polar jetstreams are wandering so far south this year.

    It is indeed news as the Arctic has never been so ice-free not only in living memory but in the ancestral memories of Arctic fringe inhabitants. The causes of current climate conditions bear no comparison (apart from being cold) to the Maunder minimum period that Martin refers to.

  3. So, that’s what happened in 1963 as well, PhilipP? This door seems to swing backwards and forwards pretty well, then? Suppose that’s what doors do. Still awaiting to hear how those Lemmings managed to get the seeds under the Greenland ice-cap.

    If the Lemmings won’t spill the beans try having a word with a few Norwegians. Some of them certainly have different ancestral memories.

    Maybe a lesson on Arctic v Antarctic as well? There does seem to be more than a little confusion on that basic point.

    • Only confusion amongst your unreliable sources M. Your curved ball responses are now up there with GBK’s comments about fashion or dress codes.

  4. “Every constituent’s view is equally important to me but some are more equally important than others ” It’s more than obvious which side of the fence Hollinrake sits.

  5. How can someone argue for an industry that is clearly polluting the oceans with plastic? How can someone argue for an industry that will clearly pollute our land and water supplies? How can someone argue for an industry that will raise CO2 levels in the air? Someone perhaps who is very shortsighted and greedy for money that is who. Just plain selfish. It should be a crime.

  6. 2 earthquakes in Oklahoma fracking fields in last 24 hours at magnitudes 4.2. Hope all pipes are in intact

  7. “We expect this resistance to be supported by all our political representatives, specifically including our MP, as we lobby national government to dispense with this flawed policy.”

    I wonder if Hollinrake may get de-selected by his local party; his predecessor was.

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