Fracking Industry

From WikiCorporates
(Redirected from Fracking)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Unconventional gas is an umbrella term covering different types of natural gas, such as: shale gas, coal-bed methane, methane clathrate, underground coal gasification, tight gas, and so on. What unites them all is their tie to the depletion of fossil fuels,[1] which makes previously uneconomic methods of extraction become profitable - which is where fracking enters the picture.[2]

Fracking is not about "keeping the lights on"; nor is it about a "gentle transition to renewables". It is purely and simply about busine$$. The Fossil Fuel Industry is completely invested in fossils as a resource and, as their current efforts to develop methods of extracting methane clathrate show, have no intention of changing their ways. Fracking is not a solution to our energy problems - it is a taxpayer-funded income stream for the fossil fuel industry as depletion cuts into their conventional activities. The economics have been shown not to stand up to scrutiny ref

Govt Subsidies: Fracking would not be happening without govt subsidies. Amber Rudd's declaration of there being "no magic money tree" for clean energy does not apply to the fossil fuel industry, which receives £billions of annual subsidies.[3] Drax's recent application to replace its coal-burning plants with high CO2-emitting gas-powered alternatives[4] demands govt subsidies to support the project - which will incentivise fracking, and lock us into a high carbon future. A sweet, closed loop of taxpayer-funded fossil fuel industries.

Clean Energy: There is nothing "clean" about shale gas. Compared to coal, shale's GHG footprint is at least 20% greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon, and is comparable when compared over 100 years.ref, ref

Energy Prices: Long-term data in the USA shows no evidence of unconventional gas leading to any decrease in prices - quite the opposite, they have increased.[5] Cameron's claims that fracking would cut energy bills were dismissed as "baseless" by world-renowned economist Lord Stern, and even Lord Browne (former chairman of Cuadrilla) said that shale gas would not have a material impact on gas prices.[6]
What we do now know is that the "dash for gas" in the USA was manufactured by the industry and their Wall Street pals, and that stated reserves were based on exceedingly optimistic forecasts,[7] which ongoing analysis of well production data is showing to have been fallacious.[8] In the UK, the shale gas lobby has used biased data when besieging govt officials.[9]

Energy Independence: The UK squandered its oil and gas reserves by buying into the Ponzi scheme of "Eternal Economic Growth". We live in a closed system - once a resource is gone, it's gone forever. Shale gas won't solve our energy problems: at best, it's a sticking-plaster for 20-30 years; at worst, it won't even do that, but will contamine land, generate toxic waste and exacerbate air polltion.

Malfeasance: Fracking is a political and economic project, made to promote the ideology of a set of people who hold economic and political power. The politicans involved have committed an enormous breach of the public trust; and that negligence is causing huge damage to society through their failure to implement truly sustainable energy and economic policies. They chose to believe the distortions and fabrications of fracking's promoters because they were more reassuring than the reality. They should have been asking basic questions about costs, impacts and benfits – and demanding the production of real and quantified data, rather than the blue-sky fantasies of those who would have us believe that there are no "limits to growth".
If the govt deliberately refuses to consider objective evidence on the impacts of fracking, then they are not going to change policy no matter how much evidence we give them. Fracking fits an ideological purpose; it needs no objective evidence to support it.
The question is: "What are you going to do about it?" And if not now, then when?

Political Timeline

  • Apr.2018: The Court of Appeal overturned a sweeping injunction which had been granted to INEOS against anti-fracking campaigners in Jul.2017, prohibiting anyone to undertake 'harassment', 'intimidation' or 'annoyance' against the shale industry. The Court also agreed that “slow walking” on a public highway was a legitimate form of protest.[10]
  • Jan.2019: Greater Manchester put planning measures in place which created "a presumption" against fracking. Several other authorities, including Leeds, Wakefield, Hull and York, have also expressed their opposition to fracking. The British Geological Survey and the Oil and Gas Authority have identified large parts of Greater Manchester as "shale prospective" areas, and energy firms have been granted licences to pursue oil and gas exploration in the west and north of the region. [11][12]
  • Oct-Dec.2018: Cuadrilla was forced to stop fracking 3 times, after its operations near Blackpool caused earthquakes that breached the legal threshold.[13]
  • Oct.2018: Cuadrilla started fracking operations for the first time since 2011, at the Preston New Road site near Blackpool, despite Reclaim the Power protestors attempting to blockade the entrance.ref
  • Subsequent govt (May) has removed the ability of local authorities to refuse fracking. (?ref?)
  • The Cameron govt deliberately sought to amend the law so that the public cannot challenge govt decisions in the courts, by making the judicial review of govt decisions harder to obtain, and removing legal aid to support review cases. This raises the question as to whether the political executive can, any longer, be held to account by the general public; or whether political accountability is now only a privilege for the wealthy few and large corporations.
  • If the govt does not need objective evidence to make policy, what are the implications of that after [Brexit]]? Despite the lofty promises made to Parliament ref and the public when David Cameron told us to "get behind fracking" ref, promises were made and broken, sometimes within just a few weeks ref. Govts have slowly rolled-back on many of the promised community protections to limit the impacts of oil and gas development. We have recently seen this with the earthquake thing (look this up). There is no reason why, post-Brexit, the govt could not decide to issue its own British version of the "Haliburton Loophole" to large swathes of current environmental and planning law. Not just for fracking, but for other 'essential' industries like farming or waste disposal too. Would the govt do that if it suited them, irrespective of the evidence against it? If you want to answer that question then I suggest that you read the Conservative Party's manifesto for the 2017 electionref.
  • Sept.2018: UK Onshore Oil and Gas lobbied for swifter project approval. A group of Conservative MPs opposed attempts by Energy Minister Claire Perry to streamline the approval process. The new system would scrap the need for authorities to approve seismic surveys and test drilling, reducing the powers of local officials to block drilling. The ECIU noted that initial forecasts for fracking are now drastically reduced. ref
  • Aug.2018: The govt dropped the "For/Against Fracking" question from the Public Attitudes Tracker run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. A BEIS spokesperson responded with "Word Salad".[14]
  • May.2018: The Conservative govt announced plans to fast-track Fracking applications; it wants to streamline the process so planning decisions are made more quickly. Greg Clark announced a consultation on permitting firms to dig test wells without applying for permission. Shale gas developers IGas, Cuadrilla and Ineos welcomed the measures.[15][16]
  • 2017: The Scottish govt banned fracking after a public consultation found overwhelming opposition to it. (?ref?)
  • Nov.2017: Sadiq Khan told councils to deny any planning requests to extract shale gas from under London.[17]
  • Oct.2016: Sajid Javid overturned Lancashire Council's rejection of Cuadrilla's fracking plans. Cuadrilla appealed; Javid granted permission for the Preston New Road site; he said he was "minded" to also grant planning permission at the Roseacre site. The ruling came a day after the Paris climate agreement passed the threshold for ratification. The govt said it had considered a report from its statutory climate advisers in July, which concluded that fracking would break the UK’s carbon targets without stricter rules, but it was not relevant to the appeal process: "How shale gas relates to the obligations such as those set out in the Paris Agreement and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change carbon budgets are a matter for future national policy and not for these appeals."[18] Campaigners said Sajid Javid’s decision to overrule the council is an affront to local democracy.[19]
  • Jun.2015: Lancashire County Council rejected a planning application by Cuadrilla to frack in the county, by 9 to 14 votes. The basis for their decision was "the cumulative effect of the proposal would lead to the industrialisation of the countryside and adversely affect the landscape character". They also rejected another application by Cuadrilla to frack at Roseacre Wood site, on traffic grounds. Centrica, which has a 25% stake in Cuadrilla, said it was extremely disappointed by the decision.[20]
  • Jan.2015: a leaked letter from George Osborne dictated actions to other govt departments, Quite apart from the fact that the govt is specifically supporting Cuadrilla over other companies, this highlights the on-going role of Lord Browne – the Chairman of Cuadrilla, and who at that time was still working as a non-executive minister at the Cabinet Office. Osborne's actions in driving the deregulatory policies of the Treasury's white paper to speed the development of unconventional gas and oil are ill-informed; and likely to result in both public anger and highly damaging developments. His actions in manipulating public assets to serve the needs of a private company, Cuadrilla, whose Chairman was at the time a non- executive minister, is arguably suspect for its propriety. And the awarding of a loan guarantee to Five Quarter Energy's UCG projects, when that technology is known to be highly damaging and high risk, must be considered irresponsible. ref
  • Dec.2014: The 2nd edition of the "Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking" was published. ref The govt ignored it.
  • Jul.2014: A report "Shale Gas and Fracking: Examining the Evidence" was published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and Scientists for Global Responsibility. It stated: "Virtually all economic analysts refute the claim that fracking will reduce energy bills in the UK. Instead, it will lock us into continued reliance on fossil fuels and the increasingly volatile and expensive international gas market. The job creation potential has been substantially exaggerated. Given that, even without shale gas, proven global reserves of fossil fuels are 5 times higher than can be burned without risking a 2°C global temperature rise, the exploitation of shale gas is dangerous and unnecessary." The govt ignored it.
  • Mar.2014: The Angling Trust, National Trust, RSPB, Salmon and Trout Association, The Wildlife Trusts, and the WWT submitted a peer-reviewed report which concluded "... the current regulatory regime is not fit for purpose and therefore unable to adequately manage serious environmental risks that may arise from individual projects and cumulative developments, such as species disturbance, water stress and inevitably the residual risk around pollution. Additionally, there is a significant risk that taxpayers and third parties could be forced to pick up liability for damage caused."ref The govt ignored it.
  • Mar.2014: the European Parliament sought to extend the mandatory requirements for environmental assessment under EU law to all oil and gas activities. The proposal was defeated in the Council of Ministers158, primarily because of objections from the UK and Poland – the two states with a political imperative for developing unconventional gas production. ref
  • Mar.2014: Environment minister Owen Paterson organised a meeting ref between Lord Browne, chair of the Environment Agency Chris Smith, and other fracking interests in order to set up new regulatory agreements relating to the future roll-out of unconventional gas developments in England. Since then, Chris Smith has left the Environment Agency and has gone on to become Chairman of the Task Force on Shale Gas – an industry-funded group, most of whose advisory board represent pro-natural gas positions.
  • Jan.2014: David Cameron stated that he was “going all-out for shale”. ref His support for shale, given the levels of public dissatisfaction here, and the growing evidence of unconventional gas and oil's financial and economic problems abroad, must be driven by some highly convincing information. ref, p.37
  • Dec.2013: DECC) published a strategic environmental appraisal1 ref (SEA) of the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round for consultation. This provided an analysis of the impacts of policy on the environment and human health, and was required under European law to be subject to a public consultation. At the same time DECC issued its “regulatory roadmap” ref for unconventional gas developments without consultation – effectively pre-judging many aspects of the SEA consultation process.
  • Oct.2013: Allen Report published. It is a non-randomised study (the industry told them which wells to sample) of 0.1% of the wells drilled in the USA. A month later, the journal had to issue a correction. A few weeks later, it was revealed that a number of the authors had various conflicting professional interests.ref Subsequent research has discredited the paper; the faulty monitoring equipment had malfunctioned when they measured emissions from the sites under test.ref
  • Sept.2013: MacKay-Stone Report: the report ref was requested by DECC in response to the Howarth Report (Mar.2011). It is the cornerstone of govt policy on climate change and shale gas, but has no objective basis ref. The cherry-picked data used in the calculation of impacts are demonstrably incorrect. The unpublished Allen Report (Oct.2013) was quoted in support of their emissions figures. Even after the Allen Report was discredited, official support for the report, and the policy it underpins, continues irrespective of the "evidence-based" criticism. ref
  • Aug.2013: Onshore oil and gas exploratory operations: technical guidance: as required by the Treasury white paper in Jun.2013, the Environment Agency issued technical guidance for consultation on the new permitting process. It contained no process for the assessment of environmental safety or human health impacts as part of this expedited permitting process, nor any proposals of how assessments might be made within the 2 week deadline. There is no meaningful way to consult the public on the environmental implications of unconventional gas and oil permits within 2 weeks, nor any qualitative means of carrying out assessments to demonstrate safety within that period. The two week period effectively bars the public from commenting on the environmental and health issues related to these processes. ref
  • Jul.2013: The DCLG's new planning guidance on on-shore oil and gas re-stated that the focus of the planning system should be on whether the development is an acceptable use of the land, and the impacts of those uses, rather than any control processes, health and safety issues or emissions ... By restricting the ability of the public to have their concerns listened to regarding the associated environmental impacts of unconventional gas and oil development, the public's rights to consultation under the Aarhus ConventionWikipedia-W.svg were restricted. The move by the Treasury and DCLG also sought to overturn long-developing trends that the public have the right to ask the planning authority to consider issues which encompass more than simply the "acceptable use of the land". ref, para.29, p.7
  • Jun.2013: Investing in Britain's Future: The Treasury's white paper detailed the creation of a planning and environmental "permitting framework" to allow the exploitation of unconventional gas and oil. The paper gave specific directions to the Department for Communities & Local Government that it should publish up-to-date guidance for industry, planning authorities and communities on how shale gas (and other onshore oil and gas) developments should proceed through the planning system. ref, Chapter 4
  • May.2013: George Osborne, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, was secretly lobbied by Ineos, who wanted to promote fracking, slash corporation and income taxes, curb unions' ability to strike, and to reduce the "national disaster" of workers' pensions. Ineos said that phasing out carbon pollution would damage business.[21]
  • Dec.2012: David Cameron stated that Britain must be at the heart of “shale gas revolution”. ref
  • Oct.2012: Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012 ref allows the Treasury to give loan guarantees to companies developing infrastructure and energy projects – and there were energy, road and rail projects worth £33 bn seeking support under the UK Guarantee Scheme ref. The National Audit Office were unimpressed that The Treasury does not consider the overall 'value for money' of projects, but considers the guarantee to be value for money using a narrow test of whether the fee represents a market price for the risk. Amongst the list of projects was "Five Quarter Energy Holdings Ltd - Deep Gas Winning". This is underground coal gasification, for which the company had already received support from the Dept for Business to obtain EU subsidies. The loan guarantee represented another tranche of funding to allow them to develop their Coal Authority licences along the North East coast of England and in Scotland. Underground coal gasification is an experimental, unproven, and thus far highly polluting technology. Tests in Britain, the USA and Spain have all been abandoned. Following tests in Australia, all operators faced prosecution for the pollution caused by the process.
  • Jun.2012: The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering submitted the report which The govt’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington FRS, asked them to do. They recommended (inter alia): "Policymaking would benefit from further research. The carbon footprint of shale gas extraction needs further research. Further benefit would also be derived from research into the public acceptability of shale gas extraction and use in the context of the UK's energy, climate and economic policies." ref The govt ignored it.
  • Mar.2012: National Planning Policy Framework expressly instructed local planning authorities not to consider the impacts of emissions/pollution upon the environment. ref, p.183
  • Nov.2011: Cuadrilla's report on the May.2011 earthquakes recommended an early warning system, and was given to DECC. The report concluded that the cause of the two main tremors and aftershocks was an "extremely rare" combination of factors including a pre-existing fault in the rocks, and that it was "unlikely" to occur at other sites in the Bowland Basin. [22]
  • Sept.2011: Regulation: Fracking industry will be minimally regulated in UK; correspondence between govt and agencies shows companies will face minimal regulation, despite using controversial extraction methods. Energy and climate change minister Charles Hendry played down the need for stronger regulation, citing the USA as an example of a "rigorous regime". ref
  • Sept.2011: Toxic Chemicals: Efforts were made to discover the undisclosed types and amounts of toxic chemicals used; a list of 944 products containing 632 chemicals was compiled. More than 75% of the chemicals could affect the skin, eyes, and other sensory organs, and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Approximately 40-50% could affect the brain/nervous system, immune and cardiovascular systems, and the kidneys; 37% could affect the endocrine system; and 25% could cause cancer and mutations. Many chemicals may have long-term health effects that are not immediately evident. ref
  • May.2011: Energy and Climate Change Committee Report recommended that fracking go ahead, given that methane leaks could "easily be minimised". It also said that fracking was unlikely to lower prices or improve energy security; and could damage renewable energy generation. ref
  • May.2011: Earthquakes in Lancashire: Cuadrilla Resources suspended operations following a 1.5 magnitude earthquake near Blackpool.[23]
  • Apr.2011: Nick Boles was removed from his position as renewable energy minister because his brother had a job with Siemens, who have interests in wind farm contracts - this was perceived to be a conflict of interest. Meanwhile, George Osborne's father-in-law Lord Browne was giving major financial assistance through tax reliefs and regulatory reforms, and lobbying for changes in law and policy. ref
  • Mar.2011: Howarth Report: cast doubt on the "low carbon" claims of unconventional gas, and calculated that burning shale gas was worse than coal on a 20-year time-line due to the impacts of fugitive methane emissions. ref
  • 2011: Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution was disbanded after 41 years of service. The Sustainable Development Commission was also closed, after 11 years. These two bodies may have carried out independent reviews of govt policy on unconventional gas and oil in the public interest. Without them, there is no objective, public interest agency available to carry out research into the environmental consequences of public policy. The issue isn't simply that govt is taking sides – there is no official arbiter of what 'the objective middle' of this debate is within govt. It also begs the question of what the Red Tape Initiative was really about.
  • 2010-2014: Lord Browne was a non-executive minister at the Cabinet Office, during which time he was also (1) a managing director of Riverstone, who still have a major stake in Cuadrilla, as well as other global energy interests; and (2) the Chairman of Cuadrilla.
  • Feb.2008: 13th On-shore Oil and Gas Licensing Round: DECC announced the new exploration licenses. ref
  • 2005: Halliburton Loophole: George Bush passed the Energy Policy Act 2005, which exempted fracking operators from sections of the Safe Drinking Water Act 1974, and the Clean Water Act 1972. it exempts the oil industry from having to report any contamination of water caused by the fracking process. This represented a huge reduction in govt oversight of drilling and fracking operations, and provided the industry with immunity to develop a highly polluting process on a grand scale. ref

More info sources: Seven years of protest: inside the fracking resistance, The Process of Unconventional Natural Gas Production, EPA: Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas Development, EPA: Basic Information about Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards, EPA: Oil and Gas Production Wastes, Who Are Ineos, Food & Water Europe: Reports

Fracking Risks

Fact Sheet E11: Fracking and Coalbed Methane in the UK, Oct.2011. Excellent description of the whole process, from licensing rounds to extraction.
Fact Sheet A1: Do Something!, Mar.2012

  • CO2: Research suggests that energy production from shale gas creates more greenhouse gas emissionsref than stated by its supporters. Methane emissions are at least 30% more, and perhaps more than twice as great as, those from conventional gasref. These emissions occur when wells are hydraulically fractured, as methane escapes from fracking fluids. Compared to coal, the footprint of shale gas is at least 20% greater, and perhaps more than twice as great, on the 20-year horizon and is comparable when compared over 100 years. Study shows that natural gas produced from shale is actually responsible for spewing significantly more greenhouse gases than coal. Getting gas out of the ground is a really, really dirty process (2011). ref
  • Chemicals: a large proportion of the hundreds of chemicals (List of additives for hydraulic fracturingWikipedia-W.svg) that are used to manage/facilitate the well construction and production process are not recovered – they're lost to the surrounding environment. These chemicals do not degrade; they are in the environment forever. Earthworks have an excellent set of pages on Fracking, incl. a list of the hazardous chemicals that are used, their unacceptable disposal, earthquakes, etc. ref Of the 108 volatile organic compounds, or substances that easily become vapors or gases, found in gas from 4 Massachusetts municipalities tested, 27 are chemicals that are considered hazardous by federal Clean Air Act standards, and 12 are suspected carcinogens. ref
  • Casing Failure: The pressures used to create fractures in the source rock are very high – up to 1,000bar or 15,000psi. If the casing of the well below the drilling platform isn't properly sealed, fluid can leak back up the well bore into the near-surface strata – most commonly used to supply drinking water, and which acts as the reservoir for local natural springs.
  • Even at depth the release of fracking fluids can still give rise to longer-term contamination hazards. Where the chemicals are lighter/more buoyant than water they can rise to the surface. If there are nearby geological faults these can become conduits to bring the pollutants to the surface, or to connect the deep strata to shallower strata used to supply drinking water.
  • Geology: the greater problem is the unknown nature of sub-surface geology. All hydrogeological surveys are largely an inference from a very few data points, and so there exists the likelihood that the characterisation of the local geology could be in error. Unknown faults or sub-surface structures might create migration pathways that could bring pollutants back towards the surface. Gas can travel more easily underground then heavier pollutants. This means that any location where methane gas has been forced into groundwater by gas fracking – which is a phenomena now demonstrated in peer-reviewed scientific papersref – could see other pollutants used in or mobilised by the fracking operations travelling to the surface by the same route – although it might take years to do so.
  • Water Contamination: ... Process water must be treated to remove contaminants, but the discharge to local watercourses may still contain a range of pollutants that are harmful to the aquatic environment. In the event of heavy rain, storm-water run-off, slurry lagoon overflows and treatment plant overflows may send untreated contaminants into local watercourses.
  • Water Usage: The industry’s water usage will dwarf domestic consumption for the next two decades. The UK already has a water supply and distribution problem, and allowing an industry to use vast quantities of water in their licence area is extremely questionable. The availability of their principal raw material needs to be guaranteed - and that means consumers taking a back seat. ref
  • Slurry: Drilling wells produce a large quantity of slurry, which can be contaminated with everything from heavy metals, radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and radium, to the oils and chemical compounds used as lubricants for the drill. The slurry is usually allowed to settle in lagoons on-site, and may need de-watering and processing to be sent to local landfill sites if the contamination from drilling operations exceeds certain levels. Slurry lagoons require careful constructionref, and create various risks, from impacts on wildlife to groundwater and air pollution – for example, if they dry out the fine dust they contain can become airborne and affect local air quality and amenity.
  • Air pollution: Gas production produces air pollution from the vents and safety valves of the well-head gas processing equipment, as well as pollutants which may evaporate from the slurry lagoons, and this can exacerbate local air pollution – especially summertime photochemical smog produced from the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from the process. Perhaps the greatest issue yet to be properly exposed in relation to unconventional gas is air pollutionref. As noted above, methane releases have a large effect on the carbon footprint of the process. But with the methane comes a variety of other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can contribute to the formation of smog. Even where these gases are flared, the gas flare can also lead to the formation of secondary pollutants, such as sulphur compounds, and of nitrogen oxides which also increase air pollution – unless a more expensive catalytic oxidation process (rather like the catalytic converter on cars) is used to burn the gas.
  • It's not just ONE well. Many hundreds of wells may have to be drilled to extract shale gas, and those wells need to be regularly re-bored every few years to keep gas flowing. Shale gas represents an ongoing and incessant level of disruption across the areas actively mined for gas. Both shale gas and coalbed methane fields sink 100+ production wells just to develop one installation. A Cuadrilla Resources spokesman stated that, "About 400 wells could be expected as a conservative estimate... with up to 800 in the licence area between Blackpool and Southport over the next 15 years. ref
  • Earthquakes: Often both the waste water from the process and the waste slurry are re-injected into deep rock strata via a disposal well. The problem is that the large volumes of fluid involved can lubricate deep geological faults – in the USA, deep disposal of waste water has been linked to the high level of earthquakes ref from unconventional gas operations. ref Induced seismicity - microearthquakes setting off larger ones (eg. the Blackpool, and other, earthquakes) can lead to fracking fluids polluting groundwater areas. ref, p.18
  • Methane Leakage: All the pipework in the production plant must have safety valves to prevent over-pressure damaging the system. Some dissolved gas may diffuse out of the slurry lagoon. Gas may be flushed from the system during maintenance. This means that the site might have a high level of fugitive methane releases ref – the main factor in recent research which shows that shale gas/CBM carbon emissions are as bad as / worse than coal. The gas industry criticised the first paper on this issue ref, but new research shows, as outlined in the revised paper ref, that the methane emissions are far closer to those stated in the original paper than the levels claimed by the gas industry. US research also indicates that conventional gas fields have high leakage rates ref, meaning that gas may not be the "bridge fuel" to a low carbon economy.
  • Pipeline construction: How the gas processing is organised is largely a balance between the efficiency of centralisation versus the ever greater costs of burying more and more pipelines to transport the raw gas from the pads to the processing site. The issue of pipeline construction is rarely mentioned, but in the UK's highly-developed landscape, the level of pipeline construction required to develop a gas field will have a significant impact upon agriculture, hedgerows and local hydrology.

Ponzi Scheme

Why is the govt trying to bring an unpopular, environmentally destructive and financially risky industry to the UK?[6] The short answer: speculation.

Ineos secretly lobbied George Osborne in 2013 to convince him to back fracking – and to cut workers' pensions, and curb unions' ability to strike.
While Amber Rudd was Energy secretary, her advisor took cash payments from a company which seeks to profit from fracking. George Osborne provided the biggest tax breaks in the world to the Fracking industry while David Cameron's head strategist was representing fracking companies with subsidiaries in the UK. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas is also almost entirely funded by companies with interests in fracking. Many of the key environmental protections and directives which campaigners have relied on to stop fracking in the UK are also at risk of being discarded of once the UK leaves the EU, and INEOS has already been lobbying govt to exempt the chemicals sector from green taxes after Brexit.
Fracking investments in the UK represent an increasingly financialised and unsustainable accumulation model dependent on continuous capital flows. A significant amount of misinformation and hype was necessary to make sure investors and the media jumped on the fracking bandwagon, but cracks are already starting to show. While it was originally claimed that over 4,000 wells would be drilled by 2035, a secret unreleased govt report from 2016 said that the number would only be 155 by 2025, meaning the number of jobs to be created were purposefully exaggerated to fuel the fracking "hype" in the UK.
Third Energy have shown losses of £3.8m and debts of over £50m. Fracking firms are struggling to get funding from banks, and Energy secretary Greg Clark is now withholding consent for Third Energy to frack on the grounds that their finances are not up to scratch.
Shale gas companies have abandoned their fracking plans in Poland, Denmark and Romania after disappointing returns, low yields and popular resistance. Fracking has been halted or banned from Scotland to France and Germany. England is one of the few places left where fracking companies are still trying to get a hold in Europe, but already this year 7 of 8 applications to carry out exploratory drilling have been rejected by local councils.
Fracking means putting local communities and the climate at risk so a tiny minority can profit from financial speculation. A greener economy is not just environmentally more sustainable but also socially, as opposing fossil fuels is intrinsically an issue about power relations and demanding a more just economic system which serves people and the planet.


  • Apr.06.2018: Fight the power of the frackers by changing energy supplier. Howard Hardman suggests dumping the big six to stop the drilling; Austen Lynch says Lancashire’s fracking wells won’t provide much of an energy dividend; Neil Anderson on France’s tidal power station success. Letters, The Guardian.

Health Concerns

  • Feb.12.2018: Fracking chemicals linked to breast cancer in new study. New research points to disturbing implications for those who live near a drilling site. Mice exposed to a combination of 23 fracking chemicals developed lesions in their mammary glands, researchers found, suggesting that breast tissue is sensitive to the chemical cocktail that drillers typically use to blast through shale. "Even at low doses we're seeing lesions in the mammary gland." Amy Martyn, Consumer Affairs (USA).

Fracking = More Plastics

  • Aug.22.2018: UK fracking push could fuel global plastics crisis, say campaigners. Govt aims to end plastic pollution undermined by keen support for fracking, says Campaign to Protect Rural England. Companies including Ineos, Cuadrilla and Third Energy are all attempting to pursue fracking projects in the UK. Campaigners warn that plans outlined by business secretary Greg Clark earlier this year will mean that many of the democratic planning controls that are preventing the drilling of shale wells in England would be removed. A govt spokesperson reiterated its determination to reduce plastic pollution and said there was "no correlation between shale gas exploration and increased plastics production". However, last year the Guardian revealed that a huge boom in the US shale gas industry has resulted in a £180bn investment in plastic production facilities by fossil fuel giants such as ExxonMobil Chemical and Shell Chemical – contributing to a 40% rise in global plastic production over the next decade. The American Chemistry Council told the Guardian the reason was straightforward: "I can summarise [the boom in plastics facilities] in two words,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist at the ACC. “Shale gas.” Ineos is a major plastics producer, and is at the forefront of the push for fracking in the UK. For fracked gas to displace what we import, the number of wells required would cause harm to the English countryside on an industrial scale. Ineos explicitly and publicly states on their website that they want to frack for their plastic production. Matthew Taylor, The Guardian. See also Chemistry Growth Partnership - lobby group set up by Ineos et al to push for fracking.

Environmental Concerns

  • May.24.2018: Commodities at a Glance: Special Issue on Shale Gas. The report asseses the suitability of shale gas, bearing in mind the Paris Climate agreement and pressing energy needs. Synopsis: Fracking should not be done at the expense of Renewable energy; it should only be seen as a short-term bridge to renewables. BUT shale gas is a fossil fuel that emits harmful CO2, and methane's global warming potential is 28 x that of CO2. The vast quantites of water used by fracking is also a major concern. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  • Feb.11.2015: Should the UK frack for gas? News headlines point the finger only when pollution occurrs. But the same levels of pollution are associated with conventional oil and gas operations. The problem is that oil and gas companies in the USA are exempt from some federal regulation: in 2005, Congress exempted fracking chemicals from the Clean Water Act. Many conventional oil and gas operations now inject the same chemicals as for fracking into their wells. "The difference with shale is that it's closer to people's homes, so they see the impact." The risks cannot be eliminated, but they can be minimised. "It’s just a matter of investment, though, as with any fuel operation, there will always be a risk of accidents. The difficulty in the USA is that by the time people became concerned about gas and chemicals seeping into their drinking water it was too late. The real clincher against fracking in the UK isn't in the chemicals – it's in time and emissions. Oil and gas industry representatives estimate that it will take at least 10 years for the UK to produce a meaningful amount of shale gas, making it a poor substitute for dwindling North Sea production in the short term. Catherine Brahic, New Scientist.

Related Organisations

  • Frack Free United believe fracking operations pose risks to soil, water and air from leaks and spills, with impacts on health and well-being, the environment and to our climate.
  • Drill or Drop chronicles the events of the onshore oil and gas industry across the UK. DoD follows the regulators, political decision-makers, legal developments and the opposition campaign, and looks behind the headlines to investigate what is driving the industry and the campaign against it.
  • Frack Off is a central resource for communities who want to fight fracking, and is packed with information, How-Tos, advice and helpful info. Across the UK and Ireland, 200+ community groups have formed to fight fracking.
  • Corporate Europe Observatory exposes and challenges the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in policy making.
  • Carbon Brief covers the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy.
  • Talk Fracking's Resources page with videos and films about fracking. link


  • Dec.11.2018: Fracking paused in Blackpool after biggest tremor to date. Quake near Cuadrilla site is on par with one in 2011 that led to moratorium. The 1.5-magnitude quake occurred at about 11.20am on Tuesday, shortly after the shale gas company Cuadrilla resumed fracking after a month-long break. The tremor was far higher than the regulatory threshold of 0.5 magnitude – the level at which firms have to stop fracking. In total there have been 47 minor earthquakes since mid-October. Adam Vaughan, The Guardian.
  • Oct.27.2018: Fracking paused after earthquake. Fracking in Lancashire was suspended yesterday after Cuadrilla caused a minor earthquake that breached govt limits. The 0.76-magnitude tremor detected by the British Geological Survey was the largest of 17 tiny quakes to have been recorded in the vicinity of the company’s site near Blackpool since it resumed operations last week after a 7-year hiatus. Under the “traffic light” system, the company must stop fracking for 18 hours after a tremor with a magnitude of more than 0.5, although those below 1.5 cannot be felt at the surface. Stuart Haszeldine, Professor of Geology at the University of Edinburgh, said what mattered was not whether the quakes could be felt but the possibility of damage to the bore-hole and “the potential to create gas pathways from the shale towards larger faults, towards shallower aquifers, and to the surface”. Ben Webster, The Times.
  • Sept.26.2018: The jailing of fracking protesters tells us we are winning this fight. This draconian clampdown on peaceful protest reeks of desperation from the fracking industry and the govt, and a clampdown on the right to protest. Fracking protesters have been sent to prison for the first time. Five years after former chancellor George Osborne embarked on his “Dash for Gas”, Cuadrilla hasn’t been able to get the industry off the ground. Third Energy in Yorkshire couldn’t muster the financial backing to get consent for fracking, and has since packed up its operation at Kirby Misperton. Now, on top of national opposition and local resistance, MPs from across parliament are joining the campaign against plans to force fracking on communities without their consent. Caroline Lucas, The Guardian.
  • Sept.16.2018: Labour is divided over its proposed fracking ban – Cuadrilla chief. Cuadrilla has accused the Labour party of being divided on its proposed fracking ban, and of unnecessarily politicising the search for shale gas. John McDonnell recently said opposition to fracking was a core issue for the party, but Francis Egan, Cuadrilla's chief executive, argued Labour was not united on a ban. A growing number of Conservative politicians are also voicing opposition to fracking, in particular over the govt’s recent proposals to help shale projects through the planning system. Lee Rowley, the Tory MP who chaired a parliamentary debate on the proposals last week, said plans by Ineos to drill for shale gas risked “wholesale industrialisation” of the Derbyshire countryside in his constituency. Cuadrilla said the govt’s most significant proposal was the move to make drilling shale wells “permitted development”, meaning they would no longer need planning permission. Adam Vaughan, The Guardian.
  • Aug.17.2018: Legal challenge to government fracking policy. Paul Andrews, mayor of Malton, is challenging a Written Ministerial Statement by Greg Clark, which radically changes how fracking will be dealt with by planning authorities and prevents local councillors from representing their communities. Crowd Justice.
  • May.08.2018: INEOS Pitches Corporate Power Against Democracy with Challenge to Popular Fracking Ban. Ineos is today challenging the Scottish govt over its decision to ban fracking. After introducing a moratorium in 2015, ministers announced the prohibition in Oct.2017 which was subsequently endorsed by a vote of MSPs. The company, which has faced local opposition in the rest of the UK, is trying to overturn the Scottish ban which doesn’t involve legislation but is an instruction to local authorities not to consent planning for any fracking-related activities. INEOS' claim is based on the idea that this ban is unlawful as the licences were originally issued by the Westminster govt. The case is being seen by campaigners as a landmark battle of corporate power versus democracy. The Scottish govt announced an ‘effective ban’ on fracking on Oct.03.2017 following a 33 month moratorium which included an extensive evidence gathering process and a public consultation to which 99% of the 60,000 respondents opposed fracking. Mike Small, DeSmog UK.
  • Mar.21.2018: Exposing the economic lies behind the fracking hype. Fracking isn't just bad for the environment - it's a Ponzi scheme poised for economic disaster. The most common pro-fracking arguments are “we need to keep the lights on”, or “it’s good for the economy, it will create more jobs”. But fracking will not fulfil these promises. The top oil and gas companies in the US shale boom have lost $tens of billions over the past decade. A shale gas well's production rate falls by about 70% after its first year, so companies have to constantly keep drilling wells just to stay operative. The industry is drilling at a higher cost than it can charge for its shale gas and oil. Many fracking firms have simply rolled over their debt with the help of investment banks like Goldman Sachs, who finance them despite production being unprofitable. So why is the govt trying to bring an unpopular, environmentally destructive and financially risky industry to the UK? The answer lies among a murky mixture of lobbying, conflict of interests and media hype, which has left ordinary people without a voice. Red Pepper.
  • Feb.24.2018: National Trust faces vast bill over fracking. The National Trust is facing a High Court challenge likely to cost it hundreds of thousands of pounds over its refusal to allow fracking tests for shale gas on one of its country estates. The govt's Oil and Gas Authority has given Ineos permission to take legal action after the trust rejected repeated requests by the fracking company for permission to carry out seismic surveys in the Clumber Park estate in Nottinghamshire. Ineos has accused the trust of adopting "overly and overtly political" opposition to fracking. The company believes that £billions worth of gas could be trapped in rocks under the 3,800-acre estate. Ineos applied to the OGA for permission to take the trust to court to exercise its powers under the Mines Act 1966 to conduct surveys on land without the landowner's permission. The OGA reminded the trust that it was govt policy to support shale exploration and Ineos needed to do the survey to assess the area’s potential. A trust spokesman said: “We believe Ineos has not yet followed the proper planning process, which would involve them fully considering the potential environmental impacts". Ben Webster, The Times.
  • Feb.10.2018: Secret UK govt report lowers fracking expectations. The govt's unreleased Implementation Unit Report on Shale Gas foresees only 155 wells drilled by 2025. Dan Lewis, senior adviser at the Institute of Directors which forecast 4,000 wells, said: "The 2013 projection hasn't come to pass for a variety of reasons. One major factor is that further research into the UK's geology has been held back by planning. Another is the fall in gas prices that have made exploration harder to justify. Cuadrilla said the timeframe was outdated. Caroline LucasWikipedia-W.svg said "This is further evidence that the fracking industry is doomed. It simply isn’t looking viable even by its own measures". Drew Henry, the Scottish National Party's business and energy spokesperson, said: "Not content with the white elephant that is Hinkley C, fracking is now seen not only to be environmentally risky, but wildly optimistic". It is widely agreed that 2018 will be a make-or-break year for fracking, with Cuadrilla buoyed by the recent gas find in its Lancashire license block but Third Energy's ambitions derailed by financial woes. Zachary Davies Boren, Lawrence Carter, Unearthed.
  • Jan.25.2018: Harthill fracking test well application rejected. An application to drill a controversial test well at site earmarked for possible fracking has been rejected. Energy firm Ineos wants to construct a 2.8km (1.7 mile) deep well on land to the east of Harthill, near Rotherham, to extract rock samples for testing. Campaigners say work to drill the well would lead to pollution and increased traffic volumes in the area. The application was rejected by Rotherham Council. It is now due to be referred to the Planning Inspectorate. Lynn CalderWikipedia-W.svg, commercial director of Ineos, said she believed the firm had a "strong case to be considered". Similar applications have been submitted to drill test wells on land in Woodsetts, near Worksop, and Marsh Lane, in Derbyshire. BBC News.
  • Jan.25.2018: Govt tells fracking firm it must prove "financial resilience" to start drilling. Greg Clark tells Third Energy it must submit accounts before any decision can be made on whether it can frack in North Yorkshire. The firm has failed to publish its 2016 accounts, even though the deadline was Sept.30.2017 — nearly four months ago. Clark said he has asked the Oil and Gas Authority to seek further financial information from the company, including the required set of accounts. Third Energy said: "We are delighted that the Secretary of State is satisfied that Third Energy has met all of the 13 technical requirements set out in section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998. Our annual accounts are being finalised and we will now be working with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and the Oil and Gas Authority towards achieving hydraulic fracturing consent from the Secretary of State." Caroline LucasWikipedia-W.svg, leader of the Green Party, said: "Fracking is doomed... this reveals another reason to distrust the fracking firms – they can’t even get their financial house in order." Zachary Davies Boren, Lawrence Carter, Unearthed@Greenpeace.
  • Jan.16.2018: Fracking is one of the least sustainable ways to produce electricity, says new study. When comparing environmental, economic and social sustainability, scientists find shale gas extraction ranks 7th out of 9 different energy sources. In a study published in "Science of The Total Environment", a research team has for the first time examined the environmental, economic and social sustainability of shale gas. Josh Gabbatiss, The Independent.
  • Jan.18.2018: Carillion’s boss is also in charge of a tax-avoiding fracking company. Like Carillion, Third Energy is in financial trouble, with the govt at one point threatening to dissolve it. The govt has granted Third Energy a licence to extract shale gas by hydraulic fracturing at the KM8 site in the village of Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire. Its operations have been controversial. The Kirby Misperton Protection Camp group has identified that Keith Cochrane, Carillion’s interim Chief Executive, is also the Non-Executive Chairman of Third Energy, appointed on Sept.04.2017... Steve Topple, The Canary.
  • Jan.09.2018: Fracking firm Cuadrilla to reignite West Sussex plans. Cuadrilla has again been given a green light from West Sussex council to explore the oil and gas reserves near Balcombe, almost 5 years after bitter protests against the plans first erupted. Cuadrilla will be allowed to test wells in the Sussex countryside until 2021 to see whether the fossil fuel flows from underground limestone rock could be a commercial source of homegrown energy. Jilliam Ambrose, The Telegraph.
  • Oct.31.2017: The Great Gas Lock-in: Industry lobbying behind the EU push for new gas infrastructure. Heavy lobbying from the Gas industry could see us locked into fossil fuels for another 40-50 years. Rather than focusing on renewable energy and reducing demand, the EU and its govts want to build a new generation of pipelines and other gas infrastructure. A new report by Corporate Europe Observatory exposes the power of the gas industry lobby in Brussels, and the impact it has had on the EU's energy policies. It explains who the big players are, the tactics used and the role lobbying has played in the construction of new pipelines such as BP's scandal-ridden mega-pipeline from Azerbaijan to Italy, and MidCat, the Franco-Spanish interconnector. Frack Free United.
  • Feb.23.2017: Fracking Is Dangerous To Your Health -- Here's Why. This post looks in greater depth at the health problems linked to fracking. These are not hypothetical concerns—there are now more than 700 studies looking at risks—and more than 80% of the health studies document risks or actual harms. It’s also important to note that these risks are likely to be seriously underestimated, because the environmental agencies have been downplaying the risks to the public. Fracking profits go to private industry but the public—families and communities—bear the costs of the many health complications from the drilling. Judy Stone, Forbes.
  • Jan.15.2017: 'Meet the Frackers’: a Spinwatch lobbying tour. When Theresa May took over as prime minister in Jul.2016, she vowed her govt would represent the concerns of ordinary people over big vested interests. Within 3 months, her communities secretary Sajid Javid used powers created under David Cameron’s administration to override Lancashire county council’s refusal of plans for fracking test wells. Theresa May is backing fracking, and the well-oiled revolving door between her govt and the energy and lobbying industry is in free flow. One stark example is Patrick Erwin, a former top civil servant in the Department of Energy & Climate Change and the Department for Communities & Local Government. Three years ago, Erwin was seconded to work at Ineos, the petrochemical giant. His move coincided with the firm's foray into fracking. As Ineos Upstream's new commercial director, he was central to the development of its shale gas plans, helping it secure over one million acres in govt licences to become Britain’s biggest onshore oil and gas operator. Erwin was Ineos' point-man for its ‘relationship with govt and industry’. Documents reveal how in 2014 he organised meetings for Ineos' owner, Jim Ratcliffe, with permanent secretary Stephen Lovegrove and other DECC top brass, ahead of the company’s final decision to enter the shale gas market. Erwin has argued that fracking is vital for the country’s future. In summer 2015, he warned that without shale gas the UK risked becoming an environmental ‘theme park'; a strategy he called ‘massively irresponsible’. At the same event Erwin acknowledged the importance of talking to and 'standing up in front of communities' in potential shale gas areas. Less than a year later, he and two other senior Ineos directors held a series of closed private meetings with parish councillors to discuss plans for Ineos license blocks in Cheshire, Derbyshire and North Yorkshire. DECC refused to publicly name Erwin as the govt’s man. Erwin only declared the secondment on his LinkedIn profile after it had ended in 2016. Last month he joined Northern Powergrid as its policy and markets director. Melissa Jones, SpinWatch.
  • Feb.11.2015: Should the UK frack for gas? The dash for shale gas in the US has persuaded its proponents in the UK. The UK govt backs it. The Environment Agency has just granted energy firm Cuadrilla permits for exploratory fracking at two sites in Lancashire. An attempt by a group of MPs to impose a moratorium on fracking was defeated last month. Meanwhile, NGOs say that fracking on UK soil would be an environmental disaster, one we should avoid at all costs. They cite a range of concerns, such as water and air pollution. So would fracking really wreak havoc on the environment? And if not, should the UK press ahead and make use of this controversial source of gas? The UK does need to re-think its energy supplies. It also triggers concerns that once a fracking industry is in place, it will displace future renewables, per Prof. Paul Stevens. Catherine Brahic, New Scientist.
  • Jul.19.2013: George Osborne unveils 'most generous tax breaks in world' for fracking. Environmental groups furious as chancellor sets 30% rate for shale gas producers - that compares with a top rate of 62% on new North Sea oil operations and up to 81% for older offshore fields. National Grid has scrapped the greenest growth scenario from its energy planning models, saying the scenario is no longer credible. The company, which operates the pipes and pylons for UK energy infrastructure, said it would only use two, more modest, modelling options: "gone green" – under which carbon reduction targets are hit – and "slow progression" – where they are not. Terry Macalister, Fiona Harvey, The Guardian.


  1. ^ The End of Cheap Oil. Global production of conventional oil will begin to decline sooner than most people think, probably within 10 years. Scientific American, Mar.1998.
  2. ^ There are three different technologies for extracting the various types of gas; however, for our purposes, we will use the word "fracking" as an umbrella term, since we are focusing on political, social and environmental impacts, and not the technologies themselves.
  3. ^ Energy minister gets 'tough' on subsidies, backs fracking. Speaking at the Conservative conference, Amber Rudd says that there is no magic money tree to support the transition to low carbon economy, cites attractiveness of fracking as a “cheaper alternative”. PV Magazine, Oct.06.2015.
  4. ^ Scores of environmental groups call for government to abandon support for UK’s largest gas power plant. Drax, the UK's biggest CO2 emitter, has admitted its plans will "represent a significant net increase in greenhouse gas emissions and have therefore negative climate impacts". Allowing the development of a gas power station of this scale locks the UK into a high carbon future totally incompatible with our international obligations. Josh Gabbatiss, The Independent, Aug.29.2018.
  5. ^ US Residential Natural Gas Prices and Primary Energy Consumption. FRAW, May.28.2014. Original archived
  6. ^ a b Exposing the economic lies behind the fracking hype. The most common pro-fracking argument is "we need to keep the lights on". But fracking will not fulfil this promise. The top oil and gas companies in the US shale boom have lost $tens of billions over the past decade. Anna Baum, Red Pepper, Mar.21.2018.
  7. ^ Shale and Wall Street: Was the Decline in Natural Gas Prices Orchestrated? Deborah Rogers, Shale Bubble, eb.2013.
  8. ^ Shale Reality Check. Drilling Into the US Government's Rosy Projections for Shale Gas & Tight Oil Production Through 2050. David Hughes, Post Carbon Institute, Feb.04.2018.
  9. ^ Fossil fuel firms use 'biased' study in massive gas lobbying push. Industry urging govts and business to reject renewables in favour of 'green' shale gas. Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, Apr.20.2011.
  10. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named sw-2019.04.04
  11. ^ Greater Manchester tells fracking firms they are not welcome. City region’s move deals blow to industry amid wider discontent in regions. Helen Pidd, Matthew Taylor, The Guardian, Jan.04.2019.
  12. ^ Local councils heading for fracking showdown with government. Ministers are facing a fresh confrontation with local councils over their controversial plans to expand fracking, after one of the biggest combined authorities in the country set out plans to ban the practice. Helen Pidd, Matthew Taylor, The Guardian, Jan.04.2019.
  13. ^ Cuadrilla forced to stop fracking as quake breaches threshold. Shale gas firm halts work near Blackpool after 17th quake is over the 0.5 magnitude limit. Adam Vaughan, The Guardian.
  14. ^ UK government drops fracking question from public attitude tracker. The number of people against extracting shale gas has outweighed those in favour since 2015. The latest polling found just 18% in support. Friends of the Earth said: "Perhaps ... they were just scared of a record bad survey result, ... so have stopped even asking". Despite Cuadrilla being rapped by the Environment Agency for how it handled waste at Preston new Road, fracking will shortly begin at two wells between Blackpool and Preston. Ineos was given the go-ahead to explore for shale gas in Derbyshire, drawing criticism from Tory MP Lee Rowley, who said the decision was “simply wrong”. Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, Aug.16.2018.
  15. ^ Fury as Tory government makes fracking 'as easy as building a conservatory'. Planning authorities will be handed £1.6m over the next two years in order to speed up the system, and a new shale environmental regulator will be created this summer. Mikey Smith, The Mirror, May.17.2018.
  16. ^ IGAS Energy plc: Response to Written Ministerial Statement. IGas welcomes the govt's support and commitment to our industry as laid out in the Written Ministerial Statement from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. The statement itself constitutes a material consideration in planning decisions and reiterates that shale gas development is of national importance. Govt will publish revised planning practice guidance on shale development in the summer alongside the launch of a consultation that will consider allowing exploration wells to be drilled under permitted development (ie. without the requirement of a planning application) and consult on the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime. Euro Investor (IGas Energy), May.17.2018.
  17. ^ Sadiq Khan to tell London councils they should ban fracking. Health dangers and high water use of shale gas extraction make it unacceptable, says mayor’s draft plan for the capital. Michael Savage, The Guardian, Nov.26.2017.
  18. ^ Fracking given UK go-ahead as Lancashire council rejection overturned. Communities secretary, Sajid Javid, has accepted an appeal from Cuadrilla against an earlier decision to turn down their plans to frack on the Fylde. Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, Oct.06.2016.
  19. ^ 'He’s rewriting the rules': locals furious at minister's fracking intervention. Hundreds of residents have united in opposition to Cuadrilla’s plans, but it has come at a high price. “The children were banned from talking about fracking in school so we removed them,” one parent said. “Democracy is dead as far as we’re concerned.” Josh Halliday, The Guardian, Oct.06.2016.
  20. ^ Fracking application rejected by Lancashire county council. Adam Vaughan, The Guardian.
  21. ^ Ineos boss lobbied Osborne to bust unions and back fracking. Jim Ratcliffe, the boss of Grangemouth petrochemical giant Ineos, secretly lobbied George Osborne when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer to muzzle the unions, cut company taxes and back fracking. Rob Edwards, The Ferret, Feb.27.2017.
  22. ^ Fracking 'probable' cause of Lancashire quakes. Controversial 'fracking' technique to extract gas from the ground was the 'highly probable' cause of earth tremors, report finds. Juliette Jowitt, Hanna Gersmann, The Guardian, Nov.02.2011.
  23. ^ Blackpool earthquake tremors may have been caused by gas drilling. Environment group calls for fracking procedure to be banned after safety concerns over minor earthquakes in Lancashire. Jonathan Paige, The Guardian, Jun.01.2018.
  24. ^ a b Refers to Theresa May's attempt to re-brand the Conservatives as "Green" in Jan.10.2018.
Cite error: <ref> tag with name "guardian-2018.10.15" defined in <references> is not used in prior text.