Monday, 20 July 2015

Fracking Update - July 2015

David Burley from Frack Free South Yorkshire reports on what has been happening with fracking over the last few weeks:

Current Licences Areas:
The government and the shale gas industry is still reeling from Lancashire County Council's rejection of both of Cuadrilla’s' planning applications. Cuadrilla has six months to appeal.

The fight now moves to North Yorkshire where Third Energy want to drill in Ryedale.  They applied to frack at Kirby Misperton but their application failed its validation test with the North Yorkshire County Council. Why? It's been difficult to find out but Frack Free Ryedale obtained a copy via a Freedom of Information request, and it makes very interesting reading. As Frack Free Ryedale say, it "lists a whole litany of problems with the application, some of which are simply astonishing."
Third Energy appears to be unable to fill in an application form correctly, let alone drill into actual rock. http://frackfreeryedale.org/thirdenergy/. Third Energy also wants to drill a frack water re-injection well at Ebberston Moor. The Planning application is on the agenda of the North York Moors Planning Committee meeting of 20th August.

Misson - Nottinghamshire County Council has submitted its response to IGas' new scooping report. There may be a possibility that we can insist on an archaeological dig. That should delay things.

UK Government:
31st July is the deadline for definitions and detail for clauses in the Infrastructure Act on hydraulic fracturing to be laid before parliament. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2015/9780111137932/pdfs/ukdsi_9780111137932_en.pdf

Ok so it happened for only half an hour but hey, for a brief period on Friday 10th July - under ideal conditions of course - renewable energy in the UK generated enough to power 99% of UK homes. Frustratingly, it seems inevitable that our government is going to cut subsidies for renewable energy sources.

The new Energy and Climate Change Committee has launched an inquiry to 'gather views on what areas of DECC’s policies will require particular scrutiny over the years to come'.  It invites responses addressing the following questions in no more than 300 words:
a. Which DECC policy areas do you think require particular scrutiny over the next five years?
b. What should be the Committee’s scrutiny priorities over the next twelve months?
Deadline is noon on Thursday 13 August 2015. All info and terms of reference are here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/energy-and-climate-change-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/ecc-priorities/

Government is to announce early some of the winners in the 14th round of onshore licensing. Expected in a few weeks' time.  There were bids for 95 of the 295 license blocks on offer. How many will here be in Sooth Yorkshire? FFSY's next flyer is on hold pending this news.

South Yorkshire
One of the crucial factors in the success in turning down Cuadrilla's planning applications in Lancashire was the existence of 39 local anti fracking groups. We need to do something similar in South Yorkshire. Would anyone like to set up a 'Frack Free Sheffield' or similar?

General
A study of 198,000 hospital records between 2007-2011 in Northern Pennsylvania suggest that living near a fracking well pad resulted in a 27% higher risk of being victims of one of 25 medical conditions.

Ray Boulger, from leading mortgage adviser John Charcol, said: “Perception is everything in the property market and from the limited evidence already available it is clear that there will indeed be a negative impact on house price valuations in areas with the prospect of fracking happening."

The Shale Gas Task Force published their second report: 'Assessing the Impact of Shale Gas on the Local Environment and Health'.  It highlighted “4 essential ingredients for safe operation”:
Full disclosure of fracking chemicals
Baseline monitoring of groundwater, air and soil from the beginning
Independently regulated strong well integrity
Green completions to minimise emissions and contain gas created
The Task Force came out against the disposal of waste fluid by deep injection.  It called for monitoring of data on health impacts by an independent committee. Lord Smith said concerns about fracking were legitimate.

In 2013 Cameron suggested there could be 74,000 fracking jobs in a UK shale gas industry.
But in the USA the employment generated by fracking in the past decade may not have been all good news.  Jobs offering low-skilled American teenagers a chance to earn big bucks also made it less attractive to finish high school, causing a jump in dropout rates, a new study showed.
So, fracking raises the risk that some workers at the bottom of the skills and education ladder may end up being stuck there, because they made bad schooling choices in a rush to be part of the industry.

Any ideas for FFSY Christmas cards?