Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Thankyou for these excellent comments

Huge thankyou to everyone who commented on the Environment Agency Permit Application by Rathlin Energy for West Newton, which looked very much like fracking.

70 people commented online and more by email, and of the comments that were public I couldn't see a single one in favour.

One of the strongest themes to emerge was that the public had not had enough information and therefore the public consultation could not be effective.  We also don't believe there is enough clarity for the EA to properly regulate.

The consultation for Crawberry Hill remains open until 12th March please comment here, the comments below may help.

3 favourites:

Withernwick Parish Council considered your consultation note at its meeting last week and resolved that I should pass on its views as follows:
1. The Council is not minded to be supportive of the activities of Rathlin because so little information has been pssed to the council about these matters. There has been a lot of bad local press recently and parishioners and the council are worried about the effects on the local population and countryside.
2. There are references to "medium risk radio-activity". What does this mean? How dangerous is that? What safeguards are in place? Where are the Risk Asseswsments?
3. How much disruption will be caused? How much noise? How much night-time activity?
4. When will work start? How long will it last?
5. The Council wants answers to such comments/questions before any work commences.

Phil Wilson CPFA
Parish Clerk

Here's an excellently written one, which I notice is by Professor Fiddlessticks.

The UK has signed up to the Climate Change Act 2008 which commits us to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, based on a 1990 baseline. This is a legal obligation, and in my opinion, a moral one, if future generations are going to be able to cope with the climate chaos which will already happen because of the current CO2 levels, which have risen from about 280ppm in pre-industrial times to 400ppm today. The accepted 'safe' level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 350ppm, so anything which puts yet more fossil carbon into the atmosphere has to be wrong, immoral and should not be permitted by a civilised society.

If we 'invest' in more exploration for oil and gas, and the exploration finds these materials in amounts which makes it cost effective for the company to extract them, then they will apply for an extraction licence and require permission for that. As I'm opposed to this, I see no sense in allowing them to explore.

My second reason for objecting is that none of the gas extraction companies can absolutely promise to have no fugitive emissions of methane. Methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, over a 100 year timespan, about 23 times as powerful, but over a 20 year timespan, due to its half-life of 14 years, it's effect is somewhere between 70x and 130x that of CO2. We absolutely cannot have ANY methane leaks due to the aforementioned climate catastrophe waiting to impact on our children and grandchildren.

Finally, I'm not convinced that aquifers will be adequately protected. The vertical bores go down through areas of saturated rock, which are often the source of fresh water for agriculture and livestock. Although the petrochemical companies do their best to put casings around the boreholes, these do have a statistical chance of breaking, and thus there's a chance that aquifers could be contaminated with whatever is being put down the well, or what comes up. Because of this, I do not support ANY drilling for oil or gas through water-bearing rocks.  
I ask you to reject this application.
Yours, John Cossham

And finally this comment raised an interesting issue that hadn't occurred to me.
Fracking at West Newton would mean an activity known to trigger small earthquakes close to a large underground natural gas storage facility.  It's on the coast used to store gas as it comes on shore from the North Sea.  What could possibly go wrong?!

This is clearly a fracking operation despite Rathin Energy publicly denying this to the media, 2/03/2014.
 ... There is certainly not enough information to make me assured that Rathlin are aware of the potential risks.
They are proposing to carry out this operation approximately 4 miles from an underground storage facility, if the reports, which have not been publicised, are true, then there are risks of minor earth quakes this could then damage this storage facility, or at least we have no assurances that this cannot happen. 
We have not been given a public meeting to discuss this. Rathin Energy UK tonight denied to the media that they are intending to carry out tests for fracking. However; this is not how this application reads. It smacks of dishonesty. Therefore I oppose this application on the grounds that there is not yet enough transparent information about this project. 
I have a gas site on my doorstep, I have a massive wind farm being erected at my beach, piling into the night, plus all the massive areas of wind farms. I do not want a toxic waste site on my doorstep.

(I think I'll brush over the comment about the wind turbines, which have to be an important part of the alternative to fracking.)

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