Politics

New parliamentary group on shale gas led by Tory MP who opposed INEOS exploration plans

Lee Rowley MP2

The Conservative MP, Lee Rowley, who objected to INEOS plans in his constituency, is the chair of a new group at Westminster investigating the impact of shale gas.

The group was listed for the first time on the register of All Party Parliamentary Group released last week.

The register says the group’s purpose was:

“To explore and debate legislation, policy, regulation and data regarding shale gas exploration and extraction in the UK and abroad.”

Mr Rowley, who defeated Labour’s Natasha Engel (a fracking supporter) at the 2017 election, submitted a 10,000-word objection to INEOS’s shale gas plans in the village of Marsh Lane.

In February, he told a meeting of Derbyshire County Council’s planning committee that the company’s proposal for a vertical coring well would not bring any environmental benefits and would breach noise guidelines. He urged councillors to oppose the application:

“It is my view there are 22 different planning policies that this scheme contravenes.

“Please reject this application. There is ample reason to reject on ecology, greenbelt and noise.” Link

The committee voted by nine to one against the scheme, which is to be decided after a public inquiry.

Mr Rowley told the local radio station, Peak FM:

“The application to drill on Bramleymoor Lane, near Marsh Lane, highlighted so many issues and unanswered questions about shale gas and how applications to drill are considered.

“The group will look at the key issues that people have raised about fracking and over the next few months we hope to look at issues such as cumulative impact and the health safety impacts, as well as many other concerns.”

Vice-chairs

 

One of the new APPG’s vice chairs is Labour’s Sir Kevin Barron (above left). His Rother Valley constituency includes Woodsetts, another village where INEOS has applied to explore for shale gas and been opposed by local councillors. Details

The other vice-chairs are Labour’s Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley) and the Conservative, Ben Bradley (Mansfield).

Ms Heeley told a parliamentary debate on fracking that the Marsh Lane application was the “tip of the iceberg” locally (more details).

Mr Bradley’s constituency is almost entirely covered by an INEOS exploration licence. He took the seat at the 2017 election from Labour’s anti-fracking Sir Alan Meale.

Previous shale gas APPGs

Before the 2017 election, there were two parliamentary groups on shale gas.

The APPG on Unconventional Gas and Oil received support from the industry and supply chain. The other, on shale gas regulation and planning, was chaired by Kevin Hollinrake, whose Thirsk and Malton constituency includes Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site. This group did not declare any support. Neither have appeared on the APPG register since the election.

 

 

65 replies »

  1. The US still going cap in hand to import around 7 million barrels of oil a day

    https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WCRIMUS2&f=W

    Giddy up Donald. You need to drive the price down before OPEC undercut you and your rigs will once again start rusting.

    That will mean loss making UK shale would loose even more.

    Or the US could wise up

    https://www.inverse.com/article/34239-how-many-solar-panels-to-power-the-usa

    That would of course be common sense

    • Well guys and gals, its another frack free Sunday, the snow is melting and the lunch is cooking.
      This was a poem that sprang into my mind from somewhere deep down? Appropriate i thought?

      With greatest and deepest apologies for somewhat mangling the words,
      but perhaps the rhythm and meter and tempo remains (mostly) intact?

      To Alfred Lord Tennyson, for his wonderful poem:

      “The Kraken”

      —————-

      “The Fracken”

      Below the wonders of the fossil deep,

      Far far beneath in the abysmal scree,

      Its flagrant, shameless, invasion sleep

      The Fracken sneaketh: faintest excites flee

      About its shadowy snides: above ego’s swell

      Stooge spongers of millennial sloth and sleight;

      And far they sway into the sickly plight,

      From many a cumbrous plot and secret hell

      Unencumbered and sententious polici

      Veto with giant spins the awakening green.

      There hath it lied for ages and will lie

      Fattening upon huge mindworms in its keep,

      Until the latter pyre shall cheat the deep
      ;
      Then once by men and angels to be seen,

      In boring he shall rise and on the surface die.

      As Captain Jack Frack Sparrow would say:

      Hello Beastie!

      Have a great Sunday with family and friends and i wish everyone a safe and warm Sunday

      I hope you all spend it within the warmth of humanity and peace and gentleness we were born to give and receive.

  2. Yes, PhilipP. Two wrongs do not make a right-is that easier for you to understand. Posting an incorrect statement twice doesn’t turn it into a correct statement-even on DOD. With football teams they do find if they are in the relegation zone and then simply repeat what they did before, they get relegated. Usually, before that, they try to apply the siege mentality-“Infamy, infamy, they have all got it in for me”, and then the supporters start to disappear.

    Sound familiar?

      • … however, two rights make a right. Meanwhile your talents as resident comedian and erstwhile surrealist could be wasted in this site. Repeatedly grandstanding your ‘correctness’ is a surefire gag.

          • Well well, a bit of a storm at the moment, understandable but perhaps the subject has been drowned by the wider issues.
            But let us look at what is actually reported here and make some observations?
            This new committee, appears to be more political manoeuvring than a real effort to decide the fracking debacle and its attendant avoidances of the word pros and cons?
            Apologies for cutting and pasting from the above text:

            “To explore and debate legislation, policy, regulation and data regarding shale gas exploration and extraction in the UK and abroad.”

            What are we to derive from this?

            “One of the new APPG’s vice chairs is Labour’s Sir Kevin Barron (above left). His Rother Valley constituency includes Woodsetts, another village where INEOS has applied to explore for shale gas and been opposed by local councillors. Details

            The other vice-chairs are Labour’s Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley) and the Conservative, Ben Bradley (Mansfield).

            Ms Heeley told a parliamentary debate on fracking that the Marsh Lane application was the “tip of the iceberg” locally (more details).

            Mr Bradley’s constituency is almost entirely covered by an INEOS exploration licence. He took the seat at the 2017 election from Labour’s anti-fracking Sir Alan Meale.”

            Forgive me being cynical, that is usually an anti anti trait, but this group does not seem to have any powers to change anything, only to “explore and debate” the issues?
            So what has been done here? The tory party and opposition party have a number of strong opponents to this government present policy on fracking and it’s associated avoidances of the word.

            The main protagonist in this from Tory perspective is:

            “The Conservative MP, Lee Rowley, who objected to INEOS plans in his constituency, is the chair of a new group at Westminster investigating the impact of shale gas.”

            What this new group does, it seems to me, is to tie up Lee Rowley in a group where he is effectively operationally handicapped by the remit of the group and it’s “explore and debate” limitation?

            What this does is to contain Lee Rowley’s voice in a group where he is occupied with debating rather than challenging policies.

            The government has said, that they have not investigated or explored any aspect of the fracking debacle, even though it is 8 or so years in policy now, and have no opinion one way or the other on the operation, the effects or the dangers of the process.

            That is clearly just political avoidance of responsibility because no sane political party would decide on the policies of fracking et al unless they had at least some notion of the consequences?

            So what happens then? It is obvious, put these loose cannons into an explore and debate group where they don’t have any policy oversight or decision making capability.

            Loose cannons contained in perhaps years of pros and cons debate, and if they stood up to be counted they could simply be accused of not taking a balanced view and told to go back and debate it further as they don’t know enough yet. Could take years to come to any real decision. By then it will be too late. How often have we seen this done?

            Anyone remember the committee on child abuse? What happened to that? The gulf war WMD and torture committee? How many years of effectively crippled debate was that? 20 odd?

            Job done, loose cannons roped down to the deck of the sinking ship and can only debate the state of the ropes, not untie them.

            Clever, isn’t it?

            Politics? The art of never actually doing anything, and more important, to never actually be responsible for deciding anything which upsets the status quo.

  3. Yes, more nails in the Shale Gas UK coffin Jack. It’s not going to fly here, the scale and critical investment won’t appear… the money men will keep spinning yarns about economic salvation and energy independence though (along with scaremongering about Russian dominance in that sector). Shale gas is falling out of favor with Wall Street now too. Here’s a great analysis of the shale dream to date: http://www.credoeconomics.com/shale-euphoria-the-boom-and-bust-of-sub-prime-oil-and-natural-gas/

  4. And just a contrary point of view based on a recent very of Platts commentary on the recent cold snap across Europe…..

    First they observed that the run down of European gas in storage had led to record gas imports into Europe from Russia. In other words the failure to maintain energy security has filled Putin’s coffers. Don’t worry though; Platts observed that the political concerns about Russian imports is providing a massive opportunity for US LNG exporters to begin to ramp up their trade with Europe. Again the unintended consequences of opposition to home produced shale gas may be either increased Russian revenue and/or a higher than necessary carbon footprint from imported US shale gas in the future.

    Secondly Platts observe that the last cold weather was accompanied by high wind and coal plant availability. This took the edge off the power price rise , but it a very uncomfortable truth: for brief periods this year, coal-fired plants have been critical to affordable system security, taking the strain off more expensive gas-fired units. But these coal plants are planned to close. So possibly another unintended consequence, maybe a need to delay coal plant closure. Well thank heavens we can always rely on strong winds!

      • I thought we had put that one to bed. We rely on Russian gas. When Holland throttle back their groningen field in the next few weeks this will be replaced with Russian gas. So we will actually be receiving more Russian gas in the future.
        Piped through Belgium and LNG from Yamal…
        For the record we can’t rely on wind. Down to 11% today. Not many posts shouting about that.

        • Nor UK shale gas – down to 0% today, from 0% yesterday. Kisheny, do you have any idea how short lived the productive life of any shale fracking operation is? around 60% of the gas is gone in the first year and it is unprofitable from year 3 onward. Enter multi-stage fracking, allowing O&G to eke out the useful life of any borehole by fracking in steps and stages working from the outer extreme towards the centre in up to 20 stages (or more) – achieving a longer ‘shelf life’ for each well and the ability to avoid the term ‘High Volume’ Horizontal Fracturing (or HVHF) and being able to apply the following handy logic – Q: when is fracking not fracking? A: when it is fracking (but not HVHF). Of course, when you add the stages together it is just as much HVHF as with any other definition.

          My main point is that for onshore shale gas you cannot rely on any well. The wells have to multiply, virus-like, across the countryside to guarantee capacity and reliability of supply, and they’re only going to become a meaningful game changer when scaled between 1000 and 4000 wells. Even then that depends on the geology being more ideal than most surveys suggest. If you were to place bets on which option would reach the scale and security (of supply) needed within the next two decades I would put my money on renewables. Add the other targets of lowering carbon footprints and minimizing environmental damage then the argument becomes a no brainer. I know I know – cue jokes about no brains … sigh.

          [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

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