Monday, 27 October 2014

Nature: Fracking Unlikely to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Some people (including local MP Graham Stewart) have said that because burning natural gas produces less CO2 emissions than burning coal (a notoriously filthy fuel) that fracking could help in the fight against climate change.

However, it seems likely that this would not be the case, according to this article that has just been published in Nature:

Limited impact on decadal-scale climate change from increased use of natural gas

Thursday, 23 October 2014

EA Letter to West Newton Local Residents

This letter was sent to residents who live very close to the West Newton well site, where serious problems with the well continue.  Testing that should have been completed weeks ago hasn't even begun, and well intervention equipment is still present on site this week.

The letter states that the noxious smells that have been emanating from West Newton have stopped.
This is not the case.  The smells continue to be reported.

We also note that the EA state,
Monitoring results will be sent to Public Health England to check that any emissions do not have the potential for effecting public health.
Which exposes as a lie Rathlin's claim that the smells are not harmful- they can not possibly know that.  Rathlin don't even know exactly what the smells are, and have proved themselves incapable of controlling them.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

East Riding Council stifles democracy by excluding public from controversial planning meeting

In what seems like a deliberate attempt to stifle democracy, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is regularly excluding some members of the public from controversial planning meetings.

Planners met at Beverley County Hall this afternoon to discuss the Crawberry Hill well site planning application, which was know in advance to be controversial and have a large public interest.

So they chose to limit public access to just 40 people, and only allow them access to the gallery where it is impossible to see the speakers and difficult to hear.

More than that number again were outside the building demanding access, but were refused entry.

A formal request was submitted immediately prior to the meeting notifying them of the situation and requesting adjournment to a bigger room, but this was not even acknowledged.

Kayte White is a local resident from Newbald, just a few miles from the development and was left stood on the pavement outside while the meeting proceeded inside:
"Several of us from the village are here and have not been allowed in- we're shocked and absolutely appalled.  This directly effects us and we have a right to see what goes on.  They must have known this would happen, and there needs to be provision for this situation."

Richard Howarth from Frack Free East Yorkshire said:
"This is a shocking attempt to exclude members of the public who have a right witness these proceedings.  This is supposed to be a democratic country and it's important democracy is seen to be done.  In other areas of the country it is standard practice to find a bigger room- but East Riding Council are stuck in the past, and it's simply unacceptable.

The situation inside wasn't much better.  The few people who did manage to get in all complained that they couldn't see what was going on, and couldn't hear properly- it was an absolute joke."

Minutes from ERYC Planning minutes (available here) show that the average number of members of the public attending is over 40 people.  Controversial developments regularly attract far more.

Cherry Burton Village survey- 94% opposed to fracking

Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) survey results
Cherry Burton September 2014

Question:-Do you support hydraulic fracturing?

Yes    2    4%
No    45    94%
Don’t Know    1    2%

Comments (reproduced verbatim)

Yes: - none received

Don’t Know:- One received
1) I am confused with the different information in newspapers and TV from both the fors and against. We need more info told in simply terms.

No:- Thirteen received.

1) Several countries have banned fracking due to environmental problems. It is not safe.
2) We are concerned about the water supply, which comes directly from the Wolds. Fracking can cause contamination. Could it also cause long term subsidence?
3) Fracking will industrialise the countryside and increase traffic, disrupting rural communities and farming conveyance. (Cause earthquakes?) Fracking could contaminate water aquifers and soil causing danger to the health of the public, crops, livestock and wildlife. If so ……. Contamination would occur by contact ingestion and inhalation of chemical leakage. Effects:- Possible rejection of East Riding crops and livestock – farmers loss! Possible boycott of the Tourist Industry Possible water shortage Probable drop in property value Probable defacement of the beautiful countryside Maybe friends, family, visitors and guests would avoid the area. Major Questions:- What about the disposal of the poisonous waste water/chemical solution/suspension? Where and how would it be stored? The Future Generation ---- what for them?
4) We are concerned about the environmental impacts, the pollution of water supply and the potential of earthquakes as a result of fracking. I don’t feel it is a safe viable alternative to our energy demands (as a nation).
5) House prices will go down
Houses will be uninsurable
Water pollution
Can Yorkshire water guarantee water aquifer contamination will not occur? And Rathlin.
Financial guarantees to compensate should polluting occur.
Countryside destroyed.
6) Rathlin Energy do not get back to you on the telephone number that they have published on their leaflets and do not follow up messages on their message box. So what are they hiding?
7) Grave concerns over contamination of water courses.
Concerns about resultant earth tremors A small land mass such as Great Britain is totally unsuitable for negative effects of fracking.
8) All the risks are ours and with very little benefit!
There are a number of concerns but my main concern is that if things go wrong we have to live with the consequences. There is no way of reversing such things as
a) Contaminate aquifers
b) Sink holes/earthquakes
c) Loss of property values etc etc.
If drilling and fracking go ahead, only the energy companies win. We should have continuing payments into local coffers not 1 off payments.
9) If it’s been banned in various European countries and several states in America, there has to be cause for doubt.
Despite much talk, no-one seems to be able to say that this process is completely safe – apart from those with a commercial interest. Hardly reassuring!
10) Should do it out at sea and use the sea water.
11) Can we have honest answers to questions not rhetoric?
What effect will it have on groundwater, both levels and quality?
What effect will it have on aquifers?
Will additional water in ground affect land stability, especially under houses, land
inclines eg hills?
If so much extra water is being pumped into the ground, won’t it be less able to absorb rain from the torrential flood type rain that we now experience on a regular basis
(take this summer for instance)?
12) Only in so far as 1) reservations re water supply
2) Long term developers plans. Lack of detail/transparency
13) Too damaging to the environment especially the water aquavers.

Compiled by Cherry Burton Against Fracking
Survey forms available to view.

Newbald Village survey: 96% opposed to fracking

This survey was posted through every door in the village of Newbald.

Respondents were able to leave optional comments about their views on Fracking, of the 51 respondents 28 people felt strongly enough to add comments. All comments have been duplicated below.

Comments in Favour of Fracking

Advanced civilisation needs energy, and gas is far cleaner than coal. More gas available = less coal; less oil and coal imports, plus less dependency on undemocratic states that supply the UK with gas. More energy = more competitive and jobs for my sons.”

Comments against Fracking

The health and lives of the people living in East Yorkshire will be adversely affected.”

The potential risk of water contamination is too high”

VERY concerned about this issue and frustrated that that we seem unable to stop it happening”

fear of damage to aquifer and water pollution”

mining /drilling always in the long run affects ground water”

I am opposed to fracking for shale gas because, 1.As a country we should not be looking for new sources of fossil fuels but alternative greener sources of energy and 2. we should not be supporting ANY PROCESS such as fracking which has, ANY POTENTIAL to poison both surface and ground water supplies as well as risking air and soil pollution.”

I am concerned about the health implications of this industry which have been seen in other countries which have fracking. We need to ban this like Germany and France have.”

Not happy about potential contamination of water supply; not happy about damage to landscape
I feel very strongly about this. I am well informed about the matter and have researched both in favour of and against fracking. My decision to be against is an informed decision.”

Not enough research being done into risk of damage to chalk aquifer, try it and see not sensible approach, Who will manage security of wells once shale gas is removed and the developers move on?”

I oppose Hydraulic Fracturing in East Yorkshire”

We are worried that is might affect our water and wildlife. We are both dead against fracking and don't want it to go ahead.”

Nice little earner for those involved, but I cannot believe that it is without risk in terms of subsidence or to the water supply. Also there is the clutter to consider.”

Poisoning our water course, our children , ourselves will lead to destruction of our area, which is beautiful and currently a healthy place to live. Stop Fracking, put recourse into sustainable renewable energy.”

strongly disagree. I have done several online campaigns, I also filled in gov campaign and got many of my facebook contacts to do so, really worried about water supply and wonder why this has been banned in many countries! why are we doing this in the uk! so short sighted of councils everybody needs to think of the effect on the surrounding varea as it will affect everyone. what about house insurance and de valuing our beautiful village!!”

I have concerns about contamination of water supply, the impact on wildlife and the fracking sites spoiling the look of our beautiful countryside”

I do not support Fracking near Newbald as I am concerned about the impact on our water supply and on the local wildlife.”

banned in usa,germany,france for health risks environmental reasons”

it appears to us that if fracking goes ahead we will be left with a dangerous mess to clean up. lets all do as much as we can before this happens”

grave environmental and health risks,industrialised landscape,loss of tourism, house prices falling,its time to favour renewables or catastrophic climate change is a real possibility.”

I fear for the health implications that are unknown in the already fracked areas in the world. The industry is not tried and tested.”

It is in principle wrong to expand the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy. They are all on balance associated with negative long term consequences. Alternatives need to be developed. I do, however, find the antifracking movement shrill and hypocritical and rather immature in its approach. The same people objecting to fracking because of the putative dangers and its antidemocratic implementation also object to the expansion of windfarms in the area. Fracking needs to be seen in the overall context of UK energy policy. It is only reasonable to object to both fossil fuels and green energy if you can at the same time promote an alternative. We need to encourage people to use less energy overall, and to use the energy that they have to consume as efficiently as possible. I want the taxes that I pay to be used not to support the private sector to increase fossil fuel consumption, or the inefficient production of energy from wind turbines, but to subsidise energy saving and cheap green energy production. So - my taxes should go towards subsidising home insulation projects; preventing the loss of household energy to the environment; the adoption of solar panels by private households; public transport etc. In addition, private individuals and corporations should be penalised severely for wasting energy if such waste is avoidable. Also, private households should be provided a good price (an incentive) for diverting their surplus solar energy into the national grid - energy companies shoudl not get this energy on the cheap. Choose wisely grasshopper.”

I don't think we know enough about the concequences of Fracking and I am concerned about the implications this could have on our children's lives”

Worried about the future for my grandson”

I am most concerned about contamination to drinking water through leaked chemicals into our aquifer.”

scared of the risk of pollution to potable water sources and the industrialisation of our countryside”

I believe fracking will damage our water supply and is unnecessary.”