Politics

New law on fracking earthquakes clears first hurdle

190319 seismicity bill Lee Rowley Parliament TV2

Lee Rowley MP introducing his bill to control fracking-induced seismicity, 19 March 2019. Photo: Parliament live TV

A parliamentary bill to limit earthquakes caused by fracking has passed its first stage unopposed today.

MPs gave a first reading to the Fracking (Seismic Activity) Bill, introduced by the Conservative Lee Rowley. It returns to the House of Commons later this week. Background

The bill aims to prevent changes to the current regulations, known as the traffic light system. This requires fracking companies to stop operations for at least 18 hours if they cause earth tremors measuring 0.5ML (local magnitude) or more.

Two shale gas companies, Ineos and Cuadrilla, have openly lobbied for the threshold to be raised because they said the regulations would make fracking commercially unviable.

Last autumn, fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site paused at least five times because of seismic activity, reportedly at a cost to the company of £94,000 a day. Operations at the site near Blackpool caused a total of 56 earthquakes.

190319 seismicity bill Lee Rowley Parliament TV1

Lee Rowley MP introducing his bill to control fracking-induced seismicity, 19 March 2019. Photo: Parliament live TV

Mr Rowley represents North East Derbyshire, which has a site at Marsh Lane earmarked by Ineos for shale gas exploration. He said fracking had not been successful in the past eight years and there was now a desire to “tweak the rules to make it more palatable”.

 “The industry has clearly indicated that it wants the limits raised, but that would be entirely inappropriate.

“We should limit fracking activity in line with the existing regulations.

“The industry signed up to those several years ago, and any change to them would bring great anxiety, distress and worry to communities such as mine.”

He told MPs:

 “fracking is controversial because it has not worked, because it is not working and because, in my view, it will not work from a practical and a community-based perspective.

“For that reason, I seek to limit in legislation the ability of seismic activity to take place over and above what the regulations already state.”

190319 seismicity bill Lee Rowley Parliament TV3

Lee Rowley MP introducing his bill to control fracking-induced seismicity, 19 March 2019. Photo: Parliament live TV

He said on Twitter that the bill was also designed to have a “better conversation” about fracking and energy supply in the Houses of Parliament.

This morning, writing in The Times, he said:

“As growing numbers of MPs realise the scale of fracking that will be needed, and the impact on nearby communities, we want to go further and see fracking abandoned in the UK altogether.

“That’s not nimbyism or being anti-business. It’s simply that, as a policy, fracking doesn’t make sense.

“Let’s stop flogging a dead horse and have a more serious conversation about our future energy supply.”

Second reading

Mr Rowley’s ten minute rule bill will be discussed again on Friday 22 March 2019.

Ten minute rule bills rarely become law because the government usually opposes them in the later stages or there is often not enough parliamentary time for debate.

According to parliamentary statistics, a total of 15 Ten Minute Rule bills have received royal assent, since 1983.

Transcript of Mr Rowley’s speech

  • The All Party Parliamentary Group on the Impact of Shale Gas, chaired by Mr Rowley, will debate the seismicity regulations at its next meeting on 2 April 2019.

Regulation of emissions

Geraint DaviesThe Labour MP for Swansea West, Geraint Davies, has introduced a private member’s bill to regulate air, water and gas emissions from fracking.

Mr Davies said

“Methane is 85% times worse than CO2 for global warming so as 5% is leaked with fracking it’s worse than coal for climate change.

“Fracking puts the environment & public health at risk, so my bill calls for gov to measure & control its impact & holds responsible companies to account.”

This bill is also scheduled to return to the House of Commons on 22 March 2019.

88 replies »

  1. Well, that looked to be a packed House!

    So, the guy has proposed something that he knows will not get anywhere but he thinks it will placate a few back home.

    These MPs really are a different organism. Think he will find back home fossil fuels are being consumed regardless to collect pieces of plastic and traffic management plans are being trashed.

    Will be interesting to see how these people row back if/when locals (including the silent majority) are offered serious financial reward.

  2. If seismicty from fracking is limited to 0.5 ML then NIMBYS will also start insisting the same limits should be applied to other industry processes – that should kill off most quarrying, CCS, geothermal and hydroelectric power. I guess we can just use JCs little money tree to buy all of out energy from abroad

      • The 150 years of mining-related earthquakes suggests our housing can take temors that are orders of magnitude higher than anything that is likely to be caused by fracking

    • Nonsense* Seismic activity in the case of fracking is about WELL INTEGRITY* & nothing to do with other activities you mention. Stop trying to muddy the water…

      • Napalig – maybe you could point us to an example where seismic activity as lead to the leakage of hydrocarbons along wells. I won’t hold my breath. I’ve worked on loads of fields where wells have been severely damaged due to faulting and have never seen a case of leakage. The process you describe is very clear in your mind but not in reality

  3. Why reaction? You need to splash out on a new BMW diesel? Perhaps just ask for increased donations to fund your pearls of wisdom.

    The unacceptable face of capitalism- a BMW driver, needing others to contribute their hard earned money AND still does the lottery!

  4. UK PLC Switch off the lights, and dont let the door slap your ar$e on the way out!
    Do we not understand we are paying Qatar, Russia, USA and Norway to supply us with imported gas.
    We are paying them to financially prosper from our hunger for cooking and warmth. What a predicament, weve lost much of our heavy industry and what are we going to loose next?, we are turning in to a nanny state!!

    [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

    • Because you are so inefficient / wasteful with energy and insist on exporting the little energy you do produce.

      • Wandering Dutchman:
        The UK is wasteful?, i.e. you facts on the Groningen oil field. We export what we can and import what we can, but times are changing! When we produce more than the Groningen ever produced!

        • Point of order… Groningen Gasfield, there is no Groningen Oilfield.

          Point of interest… Groningen Gasfield is in aeolian deserts sands, that are also the reservoirs for most of the gas fields offshore in the southern North Sea. In NW England the same Permian desert sands are known as the Collyhurst Sandstone fed by methane from the gassy Coal Measures source rocks underneath.

          Robin Grayson MSc, Liberal Democrat Geologist

      • WD – are you purposely trying to deceive people or are you just not very knowledgeable about the imports and exports of gas?

      • Eli-Goth – Once again the old gas from Russia chestnut. The government have confirmed that we get less than 1% of our gas from Russia. But never let the truth get in the way of a good pro fracker’s myth.

        • Pauline

          I think the chestnut tree is alive and well.
          Both for imports of Russian gas ( 1% or so but varying primarily with LNG cargo ), and exports of UK gas ( to Ireland, Europe and a bit to Norway for gas lift ).

          One should never let the truth get in the way of a myth it seems in order to excite the masses, no matter who is promoting it, though context seems to be the key.

  5. Speak for yourself WD. Meanwhile, those of us in the UK will welcome your interest in our day to day activities and have fun considering what motive you have to try and influence what happens in little old UK. (By the way, if you have not wandered too far, Netherlands importing more oil and NGL products from USA than little old UK!)

    • Bang on MC!
      Energy security is where the UK needs to go, while the whole of europe throws their egg in the renewable basket.
      Don’t get me wrong, i’m all for a combination of Renewables, Fossil Fuels, Nuclear etc

      • So let’s humour you then – can you explain why the government has been telling us we have no energy security issues then?

        “Gas Security of Supply”

        Click to access gas-security-supply-assessment.pdf

        – “We are secure now, and the GB gas system is well placed to continue to be secure and robust in a range of supply and demand outcomes over the next two decades.”

        and

        “A Review of gas security of supply within Great Britain’s gas market – from the present to 2035”)

        Click to access gas-security-of-supply-review.pdf

        – “Studies undertaken on behalf of Government and Ofgem over the past decade have shown that Great Britain’s (GB’s) gas system is resilient to all but the most extreme and unlikely combination of events.”

        • Simples, reaction. Some of us are not so gullible as believing everything the Government tells us and note energy security was somewhat insecure not too long ago, so we do a bit more research.

          To be recommended. That way you don’t end up investing in a diesel because the Government told you it was the right thing to do. But some do.

          Tedious I know, but some would like to believe a few links out Trump common sense (now those are strange words together). They do not.

          How many links would you like about “No deal is better than a bad deal”???

            • “No deal is better than a bad deal”!!!!

              Seems to have answered your point.

              Perhaps revisit one of your previous posts around your decision to go diesel. Think you will find that point made by yourself answers your own subsequent point.

              Consistency, reaction. When you start contradicting yourself the nurses will notice.

              • Martian – what has this got do with deal or no deal?

                As to the fact that government advice isn’t always consistent – no argument there, but perhaps you can point me towards the government report which now contradicts the two above? Be a love and post a link would you?

        • Refraction – the government won’t like it if you keep banging on about energy security – it’s a bit of a sore spot for them. They released a statement saying that there wasn’t an issue for the next 20 years but failed to mention that the statement covered domestic supply only. They get rather hot under the collar when you bring that up with them in meetings.

          • Funny that Judth – the 2nd report I quoted above states on P15 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/652085/gas-security-of-supply-review.pdf)

            “We separately determined extreme gas demand levels in each of the main sources of gas demandand summed these up to arrive at a total figure. The sources include:

            * Residential gas demandcovering domestic and small business consumers—primarily used for space heating purposes;
            * Gas demand for power generation—gas used by gas-fired plants to generate electricity; and
            * industrial gas demand.”

            I can see why they might get irritated with you though.

            • Refraction – clearly you don’t have much communication with BEIS – they’re officials seem to say things are slightly different to what is presented in the report

            • I wonder then why heavy industry was asked to cut back on energy usage during the Beast from the East, and emergency expensive deliveries of gas were needed-just at the time John was waxing about the vast supplies of cheap gas and oil available around the world!?

              Or, if you prefer, why not just take the UK mortality rate amongst those who were suffering fuel poverty?

              Depends on whether you get hung up in semantics about the meaning of secure, or follow actual experience.

      • A reminder for those who don’t know and are concerned over energy security (even though the pro fracking Government tells us there are no concerns)

        In 2017 the UK exported 124,494 GWH of natural gas.

        In 2017 the UK imported 80,144 GWH of natural gas in the form of LNG.

        If you have concerns over importing LNG your time would be better spent trying to rally the Government to stop exporting. Of course they won’t listen to you because of our trade agreements with Qatar worth billions each year. But go ahead give it a go.

        Page 109

        Click to access Ch4.pdf

        • John
          Sounds like good business importing Norwegian gas and selling it at a profit to Ireland and Europe.
          Good for business, good for jobs and good for the balance of payments.
          Plus maybe importing LNG then exporting Gas to those without a terminal ( Ireland ?)

        • 2017? A reminder to keep up John:

          In 2018 the UK exported 82,923 GWH of natural gas a drop of 33% vs 2017

          In 2018 the UK imported 95,838 GWH of natural gas in the form of LNG an increase of nearly 20%

          In 2018 the UK imported in total 523,552 GWH of natural gas including LNG, similar to 2017

          Exports were down significantly in 2018 to the lowest level since 2005, mainly because exports to Belgium dropped by nearly one-half and exports to the Netherlands fell by a third. This trend was partially because these pipelines were being used for import flows during the cold weather at the start of the year, but also because the long term capacity contract for the UK-Belgium interconnector ended at the start of October 2018, which led to substantially decreased exports in the final quarter of 2018. Imports are within 0.1 per cent on last year though there was significant variation for different import sources.

          Over the first three quarters of 2018 LNG imports were down by a third, but a sharp increase in Q4 2018 resulted in an annual increase in LNG imports of one-fifth. The main driver of LNG imports coming to the UK are the price spreads, affected largely by demand in Asia. Prices have remained high for the last few years but dropped significantly this winter as Asia bought ahead to meet demand in 2018 meaning spot market prices were lower.

          Imports from Norway dropped by 8.0 per cent following the 13 per cent increase in 2017. Despite this decrease, volumes from Norway in 2018 reached the second highest total in this time series, meaning Norway remains the most significant source of gas to the UK as it met more than two-thirds of import volumes over the year. Partially compensating for the decrease in Norwegian pipeline imports as a result of the closure of the Forties pipeline system, there were strong increases in volumes from Belgium and the Netherlands during the early part of the year in response to the cold weather experienced in the UK.

          Reality is rather different to what you would like the antis to believe……

          • If you still have concerns over importing LNG your time would be better spent trying to rally the Government to stop exporting. Of course they won’t listen to you because of our trade agreements with Qatar worth billions each year. But go ahead give it a go.

            • “Over the first three quarters of 2018 LNG imports were down by a third, but a sharp increase in Q4 2018 resulted in an annual increase in LNG imports of one-fifth. The main driver of LNG imports coming to the UK are the price spreads, affected largely by demand in Asia. Prices have remained high for the last few years but dropped significantly this winter as Asia bought ahead to meet demand in 2018 meaning spot market prices were lower.”

              Qatar is our primary source of LNG but we also import LNG from other countries including Algeria and Trinidad. Note the spot market comment.

              I don’t have concerns over importing LNG John, nor do I have concerns about exporting gas, particularly when it is from other countries. But you seem to have issues with this?

              You will be pleased that our exports went down in 2018 by 33% vs 2017? But upset by an increas in our LNG imports of 20% in the same period? This doesn’t quite fit your model? Perhaps because you don’t understand the natural gas market?

              • ‘I don’t have concerns over importing LNG John, nor do I have concerns about exporting gas, particularly when it is from other countries’

                Therefore you have no need for expensive, totally unreliable, countryside polluting UK shale.

                • I don’t have your crystal ball John. I don’t know if it is expensive or reliable or not, this is why it would be good to complete the exploration phases in the various licences. As for countryside polluting? You are looking at the wrong industry. Agriculture has trashed / polluted our countryside for years and continues to do so. Why not shut it down, re-wild and import our food? It will be cheaper, certainly post Brexit no deal. And the countryside, particularly in the Fylde (and a large chunk of the Ribble Valley), will be improved significantly.

  6. “As growing numbers of MPs realise the scale of fracking that will be needed, and the impact on nearby communities, we want to go further and see fracking abandoned in the UK altogether. That’s not nimbyism or being anti-business. It’s simply that, as a policy, fracking doesn’t make sense. Let’s stop flogging a dead horse and have a more serious conversation about our future energy supply.”

    And there you have it. British fracking dead in three short sentences. At last the Tories are starting to listen to the communities effected by this nasty little cowboy industry.

    • MatthewC – I know loads of people who have talked to Lee about this subject and he’s pretty clueless to say the least. Most people who know him suspect that his real reason for being anti-fracking is that he actual believes that it was his anti-fracking stance that lead to him taking the seat off Natasha Engel. Also, if he was so certain that fracking won’t take off why is he trying to stop it using such a nonsense argument. Even the people who initially proposed the traffic light system for the UK think that it should be reviewed. The only ones who don’t are those who know very little about seismology.

      • Quick recap. George Osborne tries to financially strangle offshore industry. Inexperienced company sets up using high level contacts and declares shale gas is going to save the country from blackouts. Planning applications passed unopposed. Share price high.

        After that it’s all down hill

        Company with supposed experience in 3000 wells has major technical failings at first attempt. Government shuts them down for causing earthquakes. US shale exposed as loss making ponzi scheme. Communities across the country form pressure groups, employ the best environmental consultants and legal teams, cause endless costly delays, and pummel an industry that cannot even get started. Share prices tumble. Councils realise the financial burden of shale and the environmental damage and planning applications get refused. Government starts to back off with it’s initial ‘all out for shale’ stance and leaves the industry trying to squeeze the last drops out of the mug punter investors before it’s imminent demise.

        We are a densely populate island and people pay a premium to live in the countryside. It was never going to work.

        • John

          I do not pay a premium to live in the countryside, but a relative paid an eye watering premium to live in London, next to a main road.

          Lots of cheap housing in the countryside, but not so many jobs.

          • hewes62 You won’t find any cheap housing in the Fylde countryside. I know. I live there. I doubt the people that live there would be interested in the jobs offered by Cuadrilla either. When asked by the Planning Inspector at the Public Inquiry how many permanent jobs would be created, Cuadrilla’s barrister replied, “eleven permanent jobs per site, mainly in security and cleaning”

            [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

            • Pauline

              There will be a reason why there is a shortage of cheap housing in the countryside in the Fylde I guess, but out East there is plenty. The cheapest available are mobile home parks which are dotted around the edge of villages. Then semi detached ex council houses in small bunches integrated into existing villages.

              There is a mobile home park near Preston New Road, but I am not sure they are relatively more expensive than one near Sutton on Trent. Say.

              I think the key issue is that you can pay a premium to live somewhere desirable, and that premium is not specific to the countryside. Indeed the highest house prices are in cities.

              Re jobs, yes, most jobs will be in the supporting industries, be it civils ( building / removing pads and associated works ), drilling and fracking waste disposal et al. It is a bit like house building, in that there are few permanent Barrat employees, but lots jobs while they are being built. Security is a new thing, there are plenty of oil wells in Lincs Notts without security as indeed were mines back in the 1970s and 80s. Times change I guess.

        • Harry – maybe you could give us an idea of the accuracy of the event locations in the coal boards database. I’ll give you a hint – it was based on a very sparse array with a poor velocity model – it’s not good.

          • Suggest that you contact them to see what they think of your theory. The problem with them is that they don’t cash in on the wide area of activity and research they engage in. Otherwise they would knock fracking for six.

            • Gosh you really do hold the Coal Board in high regard don’t you Harry. I must admit they have been useful regarding the identification of key area where to drill for CBM in the UK.

        • Refraction – fortunately I don’t live in Lytham – the nimbyism would drive me mad. I do, however, have a property close to one of the other sites although I must admit that I seldom use it as I try not to spend too much time in the UK any longer. I’ve spent lots of time living close to well sites in the USA and Canada and I simply don’t see what the issue is. We use energy so we should have to put up with the minor inconvenience of producing it.

            • Refraction – No – it’s “I’ve spent lots more time living near to fracking sites than you have so I know what I’m talking about”.

              • Oh really Judit? So where were these fracking pads you lived near, how many wells were on each one and how close did you actually live?

                I am genuinely interested but doubt you will tell us (any more than you can substantiate your undermining of that government report).

                • No you are not reaction. You ask a question and get a sensible answer, so to try and deflect you simply ask a secondary nonsense question to mask the fact your first question has been answered. I am sure it causes you great amusement, however the rest of us appreciate that Judith has a great deal more practical experience than you do, and as a result, you need to try and discredit that. All a bit too obvious.

                • The Great Martini, instead of trying to impress us with your fake mindreading act why not provide “a sensible” answer to my question about your comment on donations above.

                  I doubt Judith really has a a great deal more practical experience of living near shale gas sites than I do, but if she can demonstrate this to be true then I will be happy concede that she does.

                  Maybe we should let her speak Martin. We know how she likes to impress us with her knowledge.

                  Anyway back to those donations you were on about…

                • Well done, reaction. Thanks for proving my point.! But, no one will have noticed. Oh yes they did.

                  Try a new technique. That one is showing its age.

                  Sorry you have your doubts-but, surprising as it may be, that’s your issue. I will make up my own mind about credibility. Perhaps if Judith starts to post pictures of undies on a fence, I may change my opinion.

                  Anyway, nice to see you back and that Sherwulfes attempts to excommunicate anyone with a BMW engine has not been successful.

      • When Lee realises a lot of litter picking can be managed from a £2m-£3m Community Fund, he may have to answer a few more questions regarding pros rather than cons. Supporting local raising of funds for Councils is a Conservative policy. Don’t think central government will look too kindly upon cries for more money if reasonable efforts have not been made locally.

  7. I watched Lee Rowley’s presentation live on TV today. He spoke very effectively for his allotted 10 minutes without using any notes. A Ten Minute Rule Bill is a first reading, which he was able to carry without anyone opposing his proposal. This does not mean that the Government accepts his measure, only that his Bill will now appear for its second formal reading on Friday this week. It will be low down on the list and is unlikely to be called for debate. Someone perhaps from the Government has only to shout”no” when it is eventually raised to block it. On the other hand his Bill has the backing of 10 other Conservative MPs including Sir Graham Bradley who as Chair of meetings of Conservative MPs (known as the 1992 Committee) is close to the Prime Minster. But even if the Bill received its second reading on the nod, it then needs to find its way into its Committee Stage and the Government can move its own measures around to block its progress. But it is a good move to have raised and now to be pursuing the matter. The seconders of the measure are 10 fellow Conservative MPs, plus Kevin Barron a Labour MP who was an adult student in a NUM class I taught politics to many years ago. It is helpful for Lee Rowley to have pulled in Conservative support. He is restricted to the number of MPs whose names are now to be printed on his Bill. An alternative would have been for him to have sort support from MPs from the Lib Dems, the SNP, the Welsh Nationalists, the DUP and an Independent. That would still have left room for Graham Bradley and four other Conservatives to add their names to the Bill. When watching the debate, Lee Rowley had to hand a copy of his proposal to the Speaker who when initially calling for him to speak had pronounced Rowley’s name incorrectly. The Speaker later apologised for this error. It was a strange mistake, for however you might feel about the Speaker I know of few people with a more poweful memory. It showed that he was not used to Rowley seeking to speak in the Commons, for he has concentrated more up to now on debates in Westminster Hall rather than in the Common’s Chamber and Westminster Hall debates are not chaired by the Speaker. But now that Rowley has made a break through with his 10 Minute Rule Biill and with such ease, perhaps he will upgrade his future activities in the Chamber. It is an avenue more open to the view of both the public and the Government.
    An area, however, where I felt that Lee Rowley needed to adjust his stance was his claim that INEOS’s actions in his constituency would only hit rural and green belt areas. It is clear from the areas PEDL as issued to INEOS and from the Coal Authorities Interactive Map that it is fracking under surrounding urban areas which will create the greatest dangers.

    • An MP who can speak for 10 minutes without notes!

      Is that where the bar is these days?

      Ken Dodd could do so for hours on end.

        • I’m not sure it shows that Harry. If an MP finds that difficult or challenging very odd. I have listened to many talk much longer than that without notes, and they had no clue whatsoever regarding what they were talking about.

          Thanks for the compliment. I do try to keep my “audience” entertained with my good humour and common sense, laying bare the mythology of the vested interests.

          Happy happiness day.

    • Harry, “It is clear from the areas PEDL as issued to INEOS and from the Coal Authorities Interactive Map that it is fracking under surrounding urban areas which will create the greatest dangers” – increasing risks from zero to practically zero really isn’t worth worrying about.

  8. “Britain’s first new deep coal mine in 30 years has been given the go-ahead by Cumbria county council, sparking protests from climate change campaigners that the decision would harm the UK’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

    The £165m Woodhouse colliery was backed by Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors, who said it would bring vital jobs to the area. Copeland’s Conservative MP Trudy Harrison has “wholeheartedly” endorsed the proposed undersea mine, saying the investment it would bring to the area was crucial.

    The developer West Cumbria Mining Limited said the site, along the coast from Whitehaven, would process 2.5m tonnes of coking coal a year for the UK and European steel industry, replacing imports from the US, Canada, Russia and Columbia.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/19/deep-coal-mine-gets-go-ahead-in-cumbria-despite-protests

    Replacing imports……..

    So why not shale gas / Surrey oil etc…..?

    Perhaps Cuadrilla / UKOG need to build a solar farm near by? Even the LibDem(s?) voted for this.

    • Paul – it is rather surprising there isn’t more opposition from the antis considering that coal mining uses more water, creates more seismicity and creates more GHG emissions that shale gas production.

      • Because the mine is not near their homes. Water use, seismicity and GHG emissions only become a concern for most on this BB if they are near home…

        This is why no one objects to imports even though they could possibly be replaced by home production.

      • Judith
        There is opposition to the mine
        https://keepcumbriancoalinthehole.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/west-cumbrian-papers-at-last-some-grrr-over-the-coal-mine-plan/

        However, it is all pretty local given that

        1. There is only one mine ( not many spreading across the countryside )
        2. There is no drilling or fracking, though plenty of subsidence.
        3. The extraction is out at sea, so, like offshore oil and gas, out of sight and out of mind.
        4. The water use ( primarily for dust suppression and machinery cooling ) is small and requires no chemicals ( although they will probably pump more strata water out than they pop in, as most used water comes out with the coal ).
        5. It does not mine coal for electricity generation

        However, the opposition has used some anti fossil fuel stuff

        1. Seismic activity from mining will affect Sellafield ( even though that site is designed to cope with real quakes plus any local events ).
        2. The coal is gassy ( ! )
        3. More jobs could be provided by local renewables ( but the project does not stop that development )
        4. Steel should be made using renewable electricity
        5. It will use a lot of water and there is a shortage in the country ( but not the lakes ), but also produce a lot of water ( which will not be immediately drinkable ).

        That this is all low key may be due to other reasons ( in proximity to 1st April )

        1. Flouridation

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11430233/The-extent-of-water-fluoridation-in-the-UK.html

        Cumbria pops fluoride in the water. So the councillors and protestors are just zombies, easily led by the government or indeed anything they read or hear in the pub. Hence the lack of activity.

        This also explains why Bolsover is so keen on fracking, they drink fluoride so must be in the thrall of the gov ( but not in the thrall of their MP it seems, or is that vica versa ).

        2. Nuclear Waste Disposal

        Mining produces more space for the sneaky disposal of nuclear waste than all the planned fracking wells ever expected in the UK. The proximity of the mine to Sellafield is no surprise, so we all know that the mine is only there to pop nuclear waste into it. And no one has noticed due to 1 above.

        • hewes62 – that’s very interesting an makes sense. Although I’m a little surprised about the low water usage. Figures that I’ve seen from the USA suggest that far more water is used in coal mining than in shale gas production when scaled to the BTU consumed by the end user of the energy. The issue of “gassy” coal is also interesting – obviously coal can sorb lots of methane, which will be released to the atmosphere in many cases – I’ve not seen the figures for the gas content of the coal in this area

          • Judith

            Thanks

            Water useage is in the context of the one mine. That part the country is not water stressed, so that one mine can provide the UKs Coking Coal requirement rather than import it from more water stressed parts of the globe. No wheel washing either as the coal will be sent by rail.

            The water used by the steel industry in the UK would be used no matter where the Coal came from ( as per the concerns for Wressle vs Scunthorpe Steelworks water demand ).

            Overall water useage for coal powered generation is, as you note, higher than that for gas ( single cycle, flue gas desulphurisation and more cooling water required ).

            The gas issue was raised as a safety issue for the mine rather than a greenhouse has issue.

  9. Pretty safe from the antis Paul. Too much water.

    There are some in Cumbria who are independent minded. Seem to remember they were keen to have some of the on shore wind turbines scrapped.

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