Politics

Involving the public in fracking decisions – minister quizzed

Fracking Week in Parliament:
DrillOrDrop review of parliamentary questions and debates. 

180308 Pickering 17 Eddie Thornton

Public vote in Pickering, North Yorkshire, on opposition to fracking. Photo: Eddie Thornton

The Environment Minister, David Rutley, was questioned in parliament this week about consulting the public on fracking.

Jim CunninghamThe Labour MP, Jim Cunningham (left), asked the minister:

“Given that lots of people are concerned in certain areas where fracking can happen, what is the Minister doing to hold meaningful discussions and involve them in the decision making, so that they feel that their voice has been heard?”

David RutleyDavid Rutley (right) replied that people can comment on environmental permit at two stages and during the progress of an application through the planning system.

He also said the Written Ministerial Statement issued on 17 May 2018 by the Energy and Local Government Secretaries were considering making pre-application consultation a statutory requirement.

The WMS proposed to classify non-fracking shale gas developments as permitted development, without the need for a planning application, and fracking proposals to be decided by a government-appointed inspector, rather than a local authority. DrillOrDrop report.

Fracking: Stopping and speeding up

Dennis SkinnerLabour’s Dennis Skinner (left) asked David Rutley:

“Why does the Minister not make a statement on behalf of the Government to stop fracking altogether?”

David Rutley replied:

“The Government believe, rightly, that shale gas plays an important part in our energy mix and will be an important bridging fuel in the transition to renewable technologies.”

Sammy Wilson

In a written question, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson (right), asked what the government was doing to reduce the time taken to process shale gas planning applications.

The Local Government Minister, Dominic Raab referred to the WMS which, he said, “announced a range of planning measures to facilitate timely decisions on shale planning applications”.

Role of the Environment Agency

Michael Gove

The WMS also proposed a single shale gas regulator. But the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove (left), confirmed there would be no change to the powers of the Environment Agency on fracking.

Answering a question by Labour’s Clive Betts, Michael Gove said:

“The Environment Agency has been very clear about the vital role that it plays in providing assurance that environmental safeguards are always in place when hydraulic fracturing or other forms of hydrocarbon extraction take place.”

Who did the government consult over fracking plans?

Helen Jones

Labour MPs Helen Jones (Warrington North), pictured left, and Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley), asked about which organisations had the government consulted or received representations on the WMS.

Claire PerryThe Energy Minister, Claire Perry (right), told Helen Jones the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had received no representations from individuals or businesses in Warrington. She told Louise Haigh that BEIS had “worked closely with relevant government departments” on the WMS. She added:

“We engaged with stakeholders as part of our ongoing stakeholder engagement.

“The statement announced forthcoming consultations on areas of the policy. We did not consult on the statement in advance.”

Fracking and plastics

Louise HaighLouise Haigh also asked what assessment had been done on the potential link between fracking and the manufacture of non-biodegradable plastics.

Claire Perry replied:

“No such assessment has been made. Natural gas produced from shale rock is indistinguishable from that produced from other hydrocarbon reservoirs.”

Security of supply

Claire Perry also conceded that the Government had assumed no shale gas contributions in its calculations for energy security for the next 20 years.

Lee Rowley mp

She was asked by the Conservative MP, Lee Rowley:

“What estimate the Government has made of the number of hydraulic fracturing wells required in the UK to replace gas imports for the period 2021 to 2035.”

She replied:

“While shale gas has the potential to support gas security of supply in the UK at a time when UK Continental Shelf supply sources are in decline, and to reduce reliance on imported gas, we do not have a figure on the number of wells needed to have an effect on security of supply.”


Transcripts

With thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com

Question on the number of fracking wells

Question by Lee Rowley, Conservative, North East Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate the Government has made of the number of hydraulic fracturing wells required in the UK to replace gas imports for the period 2021 to 2035.

Rely by Claire Perry, Energy Minister, Conservative, Devizes

In October 2017, the Government published a report summarising gas security, including consideration of the role of shale gas, over the next 20 years:

UK security of supply is provided by having access to a diverse range of sources, of which shale gas could be one. However, it is not yet known how much of the UK shale gas resource will ultimately be recoverable, or what rates of extraction, deliverability or reliability could be assumed if shale sources are found to be viable.

As such, while shale gas has the potential to support gas security of supply in the UK at a time when UK Continental Shelf supply sources are in decline, and to reduce reliance on imported gas, we do not have a figure on the number of wells needed to have an effect on security of supply.

Government security of supply assessments have conservatively assumed no shale contributions during the next 20 years.

8 June 2018. Link to transcript


 

Question on role of Environment Agency

Question by Clive Betts, Chair of Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Labour, Sheffield South East

Just before the recess, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government made an announcement about proposals for a consultation to create a single shale gas regulator. Can the Secretary of State assure the House that there will be absolutely no change to the powers of the Environment Agency to protect our environment on fracking sites?

Reply by Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, Conservative, Surrey Heath

Yes, I can. The Environment Agency has been very clear about the vital role that it plays in providing assurance that environmental safeguards are always in place when hydraulic fracturing or other forms of hydrocarbon extraction take place.

7/6/2018. Link to transcript


Westminster Hall debate

Excerpt from speech by Rupa Huq, Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

Many voters, in good faith, believed the Conservatives when they said they were their saviours from the third runway that our party promised under the Brown Government, long before my time in this place. I think voters will start wondering, “Does this mean that they’re casting it all off? Were these some sort of short-lived green halcyon days, when it was time to hug a husky?” We have since seen the Conservatives embrace nuclear power at Hinkley Point, fracking, and now this. I think people will wonder. David Cameron—remember him?—said something about cutting the green stuff. Well, he actually used a word that I do not think is parliamentary, Mr Hanson. Perhaps you can guess what it is—it rhymes with “nap” and begins with the letters c and r. I will not say any more than that, but people will wonder.

7/6/2018. Link to transcript


Oral questions on fracking

Question by Jim Cunningham, Labour, Coventry South

What plans his Department has to limit the environmental effect of fracking.

Reply David Rutley, Environment Minister, Conservative, Macclesfield

DEFRA and the Environment Agency take the environmental risks associated with oil and gas exploration very seriously. We have a robust regulatory regime, drawn from global best practice and more than 50 years’ experience of regulating the onshore oil and gas industry safely in this country. The Environment Agency will issue a permit only if it is satisfied that any risks to people and the environment can be effectively managed.

Question by Jim Cunningham

Given that lots of people are concerned in certain areas where fracking can happen, what is the Minister doing to hold meaningful discussions and involve them in the decision making, so that they feel that their voice has been heard?

Reply by David Rutley

As always, the hon. Gentleman asks an insightful question. Our regulatory regime currently lets local residents have their say on two stages in the environmental permitting process: when the application is received by the Environment Agency; and at the draft decision stage, before the permit is finalised. A public consultation takes place once the planning application has been permitted. On 17 May, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government set out that they would be strengthening community engagement further by consulting in due course on the potential to make pre-application consultation a statutory requirement.

Question by Dennis Skinner, Labour, Bolsover

Why does the Minister not make a statement on behalf of the Government to stop fracking altogether?

Reply by David Rutley

The Government believe, rightly, that shale gas plays an important part in our energy mix and will be an important bridging fuel in the transition to renewable technologies.

7 June 2018. Link to transcript


Written answers on fracking

Question by Sammy Wilson, DUP spokesperson on treasury, work and pensions and Brexit, DUP, East Antrim

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the time taken to process planning applications for shale gas extraction.

Reply by Dominic Raab, Local Government Minister, Conservative, Esher and Walton

I refer the Rt Hon Member to the Written Ministerial Statement on planning policy made by the Secretary of State on 17 May (HCWS689), which announced a range of planning measures to facilitate timely decisions on shale planning applications.

7 June 2018. Link to transcript

Question by Sammy Wilson

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the average time taken to process a shale gas exploration application was in each of the last three years.

Reply by Dominic Raab

Mineral Planning Authority decisions to grant or refuse planning permission for shale gas exploration proposals in England over the last three years have taken between 17 and 83 weeks, from the date of validation of that application to the date the decision was issued.

7 June 2018. Link to transcript


House of Lords debate on motion to take note on energy security and Brexit

Extract of speech by Baroness Featherstone

We cannot presently meet our own heat and power requirements. I would obviously argue with the Government that we could if they really supported renewables, actually did something about energy efficiency, invested in renewable heat and supported innovation to scale. The noble Lord, Lord Rooker, certainly made clear his view of the Government’s response and, having read it, I was pretty much in agreement with his view. It is apparent from that response that the Government are relying to an extent on shale gas to answer their prayers. I can see the attraction of having the problem of the energy gap filled by private money coming in. It leaves the Government only to break all their promises and remove planning protections for local people, as if shale is some sort of economic miracle that will rescue us from the gas gap.

The Government look to the American experience to be replicated. Outside the recent report showing the new scientific evidence on the danger of fracking in ex-mining areas, I point out to the Government that our geology and geography is very different from America’s. Even if it were feasible to produce shale gas at scale, the economic miracle is fading. Asset life is critical, and the outlook is poor. In the USA, shareholders are now experiencing the reality rather than the promise of shale. A company such as Cuadrilla, which is looking for shale in Lancashire right now, has seen its shares fall to a quarter of what they were worth in 2009. That bubble is bursting. Shale is proving difficult in this country. The Government’s answer to the challenge of giving local people their right to protest is to change these applications to permitted development, and that from a Government who promised local people the final say. The shale bandwagon has passed. This is not the time to climb on it. This is the time to say yes to tidal lagoons, to invest in renewables and to take innovation to scale.

Extract of response by Lord Henley

I do not think that the noble Baroness, Lady Featherstone, would expect me to end without saying just a little about shale gas and the opportunities it gives us. As stated in the government response, the UK Government are committed to ensuring we have secure energy supplies that are reliable, affordable and clean. As part of this, shale gas has the potential to be a home-grown energy source which can lead to jobs and economic growth, contribute to our security of supply, and help us to achieve our climate change objectives. The Government are clear that shale development in the UK must be safe and environmentally sound, and we have a strong regulatory system in place.

6 June 2018. Link to transcript


Written answers on the Written Ministerial Statement

Question by Helen Jones, Chair, Petitions Committee, Labour, Warrington North

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Written Ministerial Statement of 17 May 2018 on Energy Policy, HCWS690, what representations he received from (a) individuals and (b) businesses in Warrington on fracking; and whether any applications for exploratory fracking in Warrington were received prior to that statement.

Reply by Claire Perry, Energy Minister, Conservative, Devizes

The Department routinely receives large volumes of correspondence from a wide range of organisations and individuals regarding shale gas exploration and production. We have not received any representations from either individuals or business in Warrington relating to the Written Ministerial Statement of 17 May.

The Oil and Gas Authority have received no applications to conduct hydraulic fracturing activities for either exploration or development in Warrington prior to (or since) the Written Ministerial Statement of 17 May.

4 June 2018. Link to transcript

Question by Louise Haigh, Shadow Home Office Minister, Labour, Sheffield Heeley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Written Ministerial Statement of 17 May 2018, HCWS 690 on Energy Policy, which organisations were consulted prior to that statement being made.

Reply by Claire Perry

The Department worked closely with relevant government departments in developing the Written Ministerial Statement, which advanced the commitments from the Government’s 2017 manifesto to support the development of shale gas extraction. So we are setting out a series of actions, including those committed to in the Government’s 2017 manifesto to support the development of shale gas extraction. We engaged with stakeholders as part of our ongoing stakeholder engagement.

The statement announced forthcoming consultations on areas of the policy. We did not consult on the statement in advance.

30 May 2018. Link to transcript


Written answer on fracking and plastics

Question by Louise Haigh, Shadow Home Office Minister, Labour, Sheffield Heeley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential link between fracking and the manufacturing of non-degradable plastics.

Reply by Claire Perry

No such assessment has been made. Natural gas produced from shale rock is indistinguishable from that produced from other hydrocarbon reservoirs.

31 May 2018. Link to transcript

50 replies »

  1. After reading the above I have switched my allegiances and have become an ardent anti-fracker. There is certainly enough hot air in Parliament to power turbines and heat homes for centuries. Problem solved!

  2. So; at this point an incredible story springs to mind, one written in a few religious and traditional texts in some form or other; most of you will noah the one I mean….
    This story has been called a literal moment in history and even a prophesy, but I salute the composers who have shown, even so far back in our consciousness, a deep incite into human nature; that is, in the face of a catastrophic event, only a very small minority will understand it’s magnitude and importance and make plans to overcome the adversity, whilst the many will carry on regardless and ultimately be the source of their own destruction.
    Nighty night 🙂

  3. Lets look at the MPs who seem to oppose UK Shale gas, emphasis on seem…

    Dennis Skinner a coal miners son who understandably…

    He was a strong supporter of the National Union of Mineworkers and their leader Arthur Scargill in the 1984-85 miners’ strike.

    Obviously a true champion of clean energy…

    How did Dennis vote in the Commons?

    Dennis Skinner voted against requiring a more extensive set of conditions be met prior to consent for hydraulic fracturing being given.

    Dennis Skinner voted against greater restrictions on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near points where water is abstracted for domestic and food production purposes.

    How did Jim Cunningham vote in the Commons?

    Jim Cunningham voted against requiring a more extensive set of conditions be met prior to consent for hydraulic fracturing being given.

    Jim Cunningham voted against greater restrictions on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near points where water is abstracted for domestic and food production purposes.

    How did Clive Betts vote in the Commons?

    Clive Betts voted against requiring a more extensive set of conditions be met prior to consent for hydraulic fracturing being given.

    Clive Betts voted against greater restrictions on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near points where water is abstracted for domestic and food production purposes.

    How did Rupa Huq vote in the Commons?

    Rupa Huq voted against greater restrictions on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near points where water is abstracted for domestic and food production purposes.

    How did Helen Jones vote in the Commons?

    Helen Jones was absent for a vote on Infrastructure Bill — Safeguards and Conditions for Hydraulic Fracturing Activities (Fracking)

    Helen Jones was absent for a vote on Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing (Protected Areas) Regulations 2015 — Extension of Prohibition of Shale Gas Extraction

    Obviously not very high on her to do list?

    The facts speak for themselves…

    As for putting the UKs energy production methods to a national vote, if the Green energy minded among you which this site is tailored for it would be very wanting if that’s the word last week and the future couple of weeks. No wind, no power…

    • Apologies Ruth for the cut and paste below:

      “Role of the Environment Agency
      Michael Gove
      The WMS also proposed a single shale gas regulator. But the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove (left), confirmed there would be no change to the powers of the Environment Agency on fracking.

      Answering a question by Labour’s Clive Betts, Michael Gove said:

      “The Environment Agency has been very clear about the vital role that it plays in providing assurance that environmental safeguards are always in place when hydraulic fracturing or other forms of hydrocarbon extraction take place.”

      Interesting, since it was stated in an earlier report that the EA have no remit to evaluate real environmental impact? They only have a remit to decide whether such severely rare and compromised existing laws and regulations that may relate to potentially environmental issues are adhered to, and even then appear to rubber stamp through anything that concerns Fossil fuel issues.

      Worse than useless and essentially misleading, because their actions fail to fulfil their name which implies an environmental oversight role, not a sparse regulatory rubber stamp job.

      Also my vote goes to Rupa Huq for this comment alone:
      “Many voters, in good faith, believed the Conservatives when they said they were their saviours from the third runway that our party promised under the Brown Government, long before my time in this place. I think voters will start wondering, “Does this mean that they’re casting it all off? Were these some sort of short-lived green halcyon days, when it was time to hug a husky?” We have since seen the Conservatives embrace nuclear power at Hinkley Point, fracking, and now this. I think people will wonder. David Cameron—remember him?—said something about cutting the green stuff. Well, he actually used a word that I do not think is parliamentary, Mr Hanson. Perhaps you can guess what it is—it rhymes with “nap” and begins with the letters c and r. I will not say any more than that, but people will wonder.”

      That restores my faith, such as it is, in parliamentary proceedings!

    • Kishenny … ‘red herring’ and ‘hoary old chestnut’ spring to mind. Most of those (you mention) who voted against further restrictions to fracking did so because they were in favor of a complete ban (making extra regulations redundant). We’ve been around this loop before.

      • Why vote against greater regulation if you are against it???

        Quite a tired argument…

        Just quoting facts…

    • Wind power produced the equivalent of 42.1% of Denmark’s total electricity consumption in 2015, increased from 33% in 2013, and 39% in 2014. In 2012 the Danish government adopted a plan to increase the share of electricity production from wind to 50% by 2020, and to 84% by 2035.

      In 2017 Denmark reached a staggering 44% from wind power

      https://cleantechnica.com/2018/01/06/44-wind-denmark-smashed-already-huge-wind-energy-records-2017/

      Excellent proof of the power of wind and that is before now proven commercial battery storage is in place.

      All that Danish food cooked by wind powered electric and clothing machinery powering away from the force of nature.

      Common sense really.

    • Oh Kish! You are funny! I think you will find his parents did that?
      Ultimately it is the sun and the earth and the entire universe, and many would say god or many gods, that has sustained all life since birth!
      And that precious minor Fossil fuel deity is nothing more than a tiny insignificant local Devonian and Carboniferous part of all that freely given energy that has existed for billions of years and maybe millions of years to come.
      Game, set, match, and planet, or evolution, or creation, or both, if that is your preferred interpretation.

        • That’s what I said kish, it was you that said it was Fossil fuel?

          Are you agreeing with me now then?

          And didnt his mother also have the vital role of carrying and birthing their son? And what about their grandparents, and theirs and theirs and so on back to the start of life on this planet?

          For your claim that it was only Fossil fuel that fed and clothed them is nonsense isn’t it?

          Or does his mother not count in your argument because she was not a coal miner?

          Rather misogynistic isn’t it?

          Ultimately it is indeed the universe and the sun, the earth and for some that is god or gods, that we all owe our lives to, it was you that said it was only Fossil fuel?

          Are you contradicting your claims now?

          What about the natural air, the water, the food, the sunlight? Those are not Fossil fuel derived are they?

          Such irrational claims of yours that fossil fuels feed and clothe people when such resources have only been utilised for the last three hundred years pale into insignificance in the billions of years of history of life on earth, and that derives from the sun and the planets and ultimately the universe.

          Don’t you agree?

  4. Well, now we have Sir Jim!!

    That should energise a few on the Labour left. Await the attempts to attack INEOS based upon that. No jobs better than capitalists with a Knighthood creating them. A jar of jam for the wasps-they won’t be able to resist.

    A Knighthood for a car factory? We shall see.

  5. I think they banned the Burkha in Denmark recently, and they castrate piglets, hence cheaper bacon to sell to the gullible Brits.

    Obviously more Danish environmental leads we should follow!

    Lemmings are also good at following other lemmings. But, then they all drown and you have to build one out of Lego!

    • You use Fossil fuel to heat your home, cook your food and power your car Phil, don’t forget the plastic toothbrush you put in your mouth and the electricity to charge your mobile phone???

      Or if you live in a cave and only burn properly dried out wood to keep warm, yes you have a point…

      • Yes I do – for now. My ability to decrease this dependency in the future depends on many things. I am arguing for change, and that begins with affordable choices. Your point?

        • Change yourself first then talk about it, stop blaming everybody else. Engage if you are so passionate about your subject.

          I was part of a team installing World leading renewable energy Offshore, wind turbines off Peterhead last year so more fields can be installed in deep water.

          What have you done for the environment? washed out your jam jars and had a good moan about things that you can change personally through the choices you make and the way you live your life…

          Stop arguing,

          You have hit the nail on the head… Affordable choices…

          U.K shale gas is an affordable choice both for the consumer and the environment…

          We all use gas and gas by products, by relying on other Countries to supply us it comes at a cost not only financially but with CO2 emissions also. LNG in particular

          We need to take responsibility for the energy we use…

          Use taxation on the industry to develop the renewable industry, insulate homes and be ready in decades to come to slowly draw down on fossil fuels while using revenues to not only educate people in our wasteful culture but install products in our homes which will set a World standard for future living and sustainability.

          What will our Grandchildren think when they look back at our generation and we try and justify flushing our toilets with drinking water? No excuse…

          Renewables with back up gas CCGT is unfortunately our only option right now… Nuclear, personally not in favour of.

          Revenues initially should develop carbon capture storage…

          • I’m not blaming anyone but I am opposing those who peddle lies and half truths, or simply transmit the lies of others believing that they are truths. Your ‘belief’ that UK shale gas is the only way ahead is simply nonsense. You have not made a good case for it at all – that is not the same thing as blame.

            To analyse your sentence “U.K shale gas is an affordable choice both for the consumer and the environment…” You’re making an absolute statement as if it is a fact rather than a sales pitch, and you even put it in the present tense. That is simply and unequivocally nonsense.

            • I work in the Offshore oil, gas and renewables industry and am more aware than most who post on here the state of the energy production and usage in the U.K.

              I stand by my statement because:

              Shale gas will be affordable because it will be pumped straight into the gas network and be taxed at source, ie U.K tax straight to the U.K Treasury, this will not allow the Government any wiggle room if they try and renege on fuel price caps and hopefully bring people out of fuel poverty. We are increasing our dependence year on year of foreign gas, a case in point as to where I am now Egyptian waters working on a gas pipeline which I am told will facilitate LNG shipments to the U.K in the near future. This would in effect have no financial benefit to the U.K Government or the consumer that’s me and you who will have to pay the going rate at the time of shipment whatever that may be as gas storage in the U.K is minimal exposing the U.K to sudden price hikes as we saw earlier this year with a knock on effect of higher energy bills now.

              Secondly the enviroment, by U.K regulation monitoring the process of gas extraction it can be controlled to a high degree. The PNR site which I live near has four bore holes in each corner of the site which is regularly tested by an independent authority to check the water table for contamination, just an example of U.K regulation. Believe me if there was any hard evidence of an unsafe practice people who read this site and are against gas extraction would be shouting from the rooftops. The process of LNG shipments which require liquifying transport then regasification requires huge amounts of energy not even mentioning the cost which is twice the amount of piped gas which is why our fuel bills are rising at an alarming rate. The argument for 100% renewables at this stage in our evolution is flawed as a typical example is the recent lack of wind resulting in minimal wind turbine energy production for now and the coming weeks. These intermittent renewables require back up when they are not producing with gas producing more than 50% of our electricity as we speak.

              My present tense statement is with regard to the imminent production of gas testing that will flow from Lancashire.

              For the estimated 25% of Lancashire homes living in fuel poverty it can’t come soon enough

              http://www.billhelp.uk/350000-lancashire-households-fuel-poverty/

            • Gas 37%
              Renewables 20% … sun is up, hydro 0.5%, biomass 7.8%, solar ( as metered 11% )
              Nuclear 34% ( 7% from France )
              Coal 3.3%, or three times that of wind today.

              It’s unusual to have so little wind offshore for so long I guess.

              Time to look at electric car prices, there is a charger that came with the house, no car unfortunately. Chap had to sell it when promoted to a job in Rotherham. A tad too far for the batteries. It looks like the best way to reduce HC usage in the near term ( and only charge on windy days or during daylight ).

              No solar panels on the estate either. Unlike those villages not connected to the gas grid where eye watering fuel prices encouraged their installation ( and the hoovering up of any fallen trees, old pallets, furniture, you name it, for the log fire ). Solar to hydrogen in the garage maybe.

            • ‘Shale gas will be affordable because it will be pumped straight into the gas network and be taxed at source’- incorrect

            • ‘Secondly the enviroment, by U.K regulation monitoring the process of gas extraction it can be controlled to a high degree’ – incorrect

            • ‘fuel poverty’ is just poverty; more income and these poor buggers siphoned onto a ‘category’ would be able to pay for food, energy and a roof over their heads; don’t let these austerity mongers fool you into believing they have your interests at heart.

            • [I am now Egyptian waters working on a gas pipeline which I am told will facilitate LNG shipments to the U.K in the near future].

              ‘This would in effect have no financial benefit to the U.K Government’ – incorrect

            • ‘Renewables with back up gas CCGT is unfortunately our only option right now’ – incorrect; only if you are so afraid the economy’s carbon bubble will burst.

              There should be no new sources of fossil fuels brought from this planet until the climate is stabilized. This will mean changes in behaviour, expectations and no more greedy ‘something for nothing’ money generation.

          • Sherwulfe – the earthquakes caused by fracking are less severe than from van driving past your house. And do you care to elaborate on the “incorrect” comments above? Anyone can say that, but no one who is against fracking seems to have a proper argument.

            • Matt, surprising comment as you have obviously noticed Kish has not backed up his statements?
              ‘the earthquakes caused by fracking are less severe than from van driving past your house’ best speak to the residents who were there, many of whom are now passionate campaigners against the industry; don’t see many residents with that sort of passion against the local white van man…

              This is a merry-go-round we have been on for months. If you take the time to read the credible posters on this site then you will be able to have your answers. Otherwise DYOR.

              So for information as your starter for 10; Cuadrilla, 6 fracks, 50 seismic events; fracking stopped, moratorium. Fracks since, zero; if it is so non-invasive why the delay, why not crank it up? Yorkshire, ready to frack; nothing. Lancashire, ready to frack; nothing. – who is going to jump first?

              Am waiting patiently, but not sure I have the lifespan, for the next round of inevitable shaky shaky; if you don’t crank it up no gas, no shaky shaky, no gas; just ask Eric, simples.

  6. hewes 62-check with a decent car mechanic regarding how long before you have to replace electric vehicle batteries, and the cost. The salesmen don’t volunteer that. Also check depreciation. Absolutely astronomical as this years model is largely unwanted next year. And, in Lincolnshire a hybrid will largely run off petrol in the winter as all the electric consumption in low temperatures does that, unless you override it.

    I still suspect hydrogen will replace electric for vehicles, so my second hybrid is still on a 7 month lease. Probably stick with that system until more certainty myself, otherwise I feel we may see another diesel “encouragement” development.

    • Martin
      Thanks.
      Mrs H has changed her mind after working out she cannot get to her mum and back on 1 charge ( on the budget available ). Plus £65 month for batteries on top of purchase cost did not help. Small petrol is the answer it seems at present.

      • Like the original mobile phone, hewes the cost of new technologies is high; we will never know if this is genuinely to offset development costs or to prevent the technology pushing aside an existing one?

        Pleased you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint. You can always offset your petrol with the occasional bike ride/walk to local destinations, you could even volunteer for the Woodland Trust and plant some trees; there are many ways to do your bit 🙂

        • Sherwulf
          Thanks. Yes, other fuelled cars will take a bit of time to get going. However, the key issue is that I have retired so there are no commutes to do, and having taken the decision to downsize to a place with shops etc ( from a lovely village without amenities ), we have less need to travel. So downsizing was decarbonising as well.
          If we were commuting 30 miles a day, and electric car could have been fine.

          Re woodland trusts, we plant trees ( or have done so for trusts and in big gardens ), but in the new, smaller garden have to replace most of the grass with more butterfly and bee friendly stuff, insert the rain storage system ( ie play with a digger ), cut holes for the hedgehogs to pass through, get the bug homes installed, so on and so forth. It’s just poor grass and untended bushes at present. A pile of guano awaits clearing from the eaves once the birds finish nesting ( it stains the plasterboard ).

          On other positive news, as I note in ‘Material News’…. The Low Carbon Issue

          1. Researchers have developed a reaction to turn CO into an alcohol ( Salt-Free Strategy for the insertion of CO into C-H Bonds: Catylitic Hydroxymethylation of Alkenes
          2. There is a project to improve the safety and efficiency of hydrogen storage using composite materials
          3. Rare earth elements have been discovered in Japanese waters. 16 million tons, in a sludge, but they need to work out how to extract it efficiently. If done they would not need to rely on China for supplies.
          4. The temperature at which volcanic rock cracks to create columnat formations has been determined at 840-890C. This is of interest re geothermal energy ( the rock shrinks more than thought leading to cooling loss as per Icelandic deep drilling project ), in that sites though unusable may be of use ( presumably cooling the rock means it is self fracking at some point ).
          5. Deformed crystals used in solar cell semiconductors could make for more efficient photovoltaic panels (work in progress it seems, as the cells are only 20% efficient at present ).
          6. A paper ‘The benefits of nuclear flexibility in power system operations with renewable energy’. Published by Applied Earth, makes the case that renewables may be the foundation that enables flexible responsive nuclear output, lower operating costs and cheaper electricity.
          7. An update on the EU Drilling in deep, super-critical ambient of continental Europe (DESCAMBLE). Ie geothermal heat.
          8. Use of nanotechnology to develop improved solar cell performance. Patent applied for.
          9. A review of UK carbon credentials ( Low Carbon or Low Committment?)
          10. Utilising wind propulsion to assist decarbonise the maritime industry via sandwich composites. The re emergence of the Flettner Rotor it seems.

          But also an article on the Hungry Blockchain.

          It seems that the estimated annual consumption of bitcoin mining and processing has reached 66.64 TWh. Ie The same power requirements as Hungary ( 0.3 % of global energy requirements ), and nearly all is coal powered, being in China in areas heavily reliant on coal fired power.

          Presumably the mining could be done with renewables once cheaper than coal in China.

  7. Dennis Skinner represents a former coal-mining town which went from being a rich town to a poor town overnight in 1992 when the mine closed, yet he opposes further fossil fuel mining. Coal mining causes more earthquakes than fracking and more destruction to the local environment.

    As for Barnoess Featherstone, tidal lagoos cannot provide the gas that heats 20 million central heating boilers in the this country. The argument about fracking always centres of electricity generation, and the quarter of our energy consumption that is gas for gas heating seems to get overlooked. All her talk of renewable heating and so on is every bit the blusters and bubble that she asserts about fracking.

    There is no better way of avenging Russia for all its recent actions than by offering Europe a new source of gas supply. There would be no better way to help prevent a conflict with Russia and help see the end of Putin and his cronies.

    • Maa
      Dennis Skinner is no friend of big business, or the conservative gov.

      His support for coal mining at the time should be seen through the lense of the jobs and power it gave through the unions and later as an MP.

      The view of the Union ( and various intellectuals ) was that the pits should stay open, economic or not, until the last ounce of coal had been extracted.

      You may see similar resonance in the car industry and rail industry of the day. There was no love for the industry that supported them, be in private or nationalised. It was ( and remains ) about politics.

      Likewise Dennis is not keen on Sports Direct ( despite it supporting Shirebrook, for good or bad ) nor Fracking because neither are state owned and the state is the Labour Party.

      Hence I do not see any conflict in his views re energy.

      This does not mean he is not an effective mp at grass roots level. I expect he will be voted in until he resigns or dies in post.

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