Tories Make UK “Fracking Mad’: Even Charles Worries
“Andy Chyba, Co-Founder of The UK Anti-Fracking Network joins World View with Denis Campbell to discuss the Tories mad dash to frack for natural gas across the UK and the potential newest ally in the anti-fracking/climate change wars, none other than Prince Charles.”
Who is Fracking the UK? May 12, 2013
The company it holds a stake in, Igas, has an interest in a license area which includes chancellor George Osbornes constituency.
Igas is one of the largest holders UK drilling rights alongside fellow unconventional gas explorers Dart, Cuadrilla, Viking and Coal Mine Methane firm Alkane. CNOOC is also linked to Cuadrillas co-owner, AJ Lucas through a Hong-Kong based investment fund.
The ownership of many of the firms proved impossible to verify as the full list of share owners was obscured by large nominee share holdings through financial institutions. One firm, Viking, is owned by an investment division of Barclays.
The latest development comes as the UK’s onshore gas industry enters a period of rapid change – thanks to the prospect of tax breaks and exploratory drilling licenses for unconventional gas.
Whilst global energy giants including BP have suggested that UK shale gas will not be a ‘game changer’, smaller firms – many from Australia, Asia and Canada – and some UK aspiring gas barons have taken an interest in the UKs relatively low-cost exploratory drilling licenses
This means they would be amongst the first to benefit from any profits in the industry.
The UK’s Department Of Energy and Climate change (DECC) has made significant efforts to make all license and block ownership information public and their data, showing ever UK onshore drilling license and its owner, is now available on a Google Map here.
|UWC-Atlantic College Global Faculty students created this highlight video from a two hour debate on Fracking during a 3-day Sustainability Conference at the school in March. Created by Samia from Bangladesh, Mark from Northern Ireland and Ruyi from China, this video highlights the debate and then speaks with the students about their experience. Those debating were Gareth club from Friends of the Earth, Sissel Dyhraug from Statoil in Norway, Gerwyn Jones from Coastal Oil and Gas in Wales and Denis Campbell of World View Show.
Ken Corn and Lucy Male of Atlantic College are Global Faculty advisers at Atlantic College which is loacted at St. Donat’s, Llantwit Major, Nr Bridgend.
Official Site: www.promisedlandthefilm.com
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Written by: John Krasinski, Matt Damon and Dave Eggers
Produced by: Chris Moore
Starring: Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Frances McDormand, Lucas Black, Rosemarie DeWitt, Scoot McNairy and Hal Holbrook
Corporate salesman Steve Butler arrives in a rural town with his sales partner, Sue Thomason. With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man who counters Steve both personally and professionally.
SOUTH WALES INITIAL RELEASE VENUES:
ODEON – RED DRAGON CENTRE – CARDIFF BAY
CINEWORLD – MARY ANN ST – CARDIFF
ODEON – PARC TAWE – SWANSEA
CINEWORLD – NEWPORT RETAIL PARK – SPYTTY, NEWPORT
Nationwide release details: http://www.filmdates.co.uk/films/4813-promised-land/
Signed, sealed and delivered!
Some clowning about, while Laurie looks pensive!
The shirt I was forced to take off before entering the Senedd.
Good point, well made!
Action Against Fracking in Wales; Frack-Free Wales demo 16th April – Senedd, Cardiff Bay April 9, 2013
Following the announcement that the UK Government is planning to push ahead with Fracking/Coal Bed Methane Extraction in Wales and the UK despite the obvious and well-documented risks, we are holding a peaceful protest outside the Senedd to highlight the dangers posed by fracking to the general public and the environment.
At the end of the action we will hand a letter and a report written by Andy Chyba (will be published here on 16th April) outlining our concerns to First Minister Carwyn Jones. If you cannot attend and would like to sign the letter please post to that effect on the event wall.
Please share this event widely and invite anyone you feel is as concerned as we are.
Full details of where to assemble at 2pm will be added soon.
|The relevant part of Osborne’s budget speech today:
“But I also want Britain to tap into new sources of low cost energy like shale gas. So I am introducing a generous new tax regime, including a shale gas field allowance, to promote early investment. And by the summer, new planning guidance will be available alongside specific proposals to allow local communities to benefit. Shale gas is part of the future. And we will make it happen.”
Where to start!! The sheer stubborn stupidity of the man is staggering.
“Low cost energy like shale gas” – who on earth is he trying to kid?
If renewables received similar tax breaks and subsidies as those dished out to the fossil fuel industries and nuclear, the need for these dangerous and expensive technologies would soon disappear. Even as things stand, renewables will beat shale gas to lower power prices in the UK, according to an analysis from bank Citigroup and other moe credible sources than the Oil & Gas industries.
We could and should be following the example of countries like Germany. The share of electricity produced from renewable energy in Germany has increased from 6.3 percent of the national total in 2000 to about 25 percent in the first half of 2012. In 2010, investments totaling 26 billion euros were made in Germanys renewable energies sector. According to official figures, some 370,000 people in Germany were employed in the renewable energy sector in 2010, especially in small and medium sized companies. This is well over twice the number of jobs in 2004 (160,500). Germany has been called “the world’s first major renewable energy economy”. In 2011 20.5% of Germany’s electricity supply was produced from renewable energy sources, more than the 2010 contribution of gas-fired power plants.
And what about Denmark? It is already the world leader in wind power, getting a fifth of its power from wind turbines. They are committed to “an historical effort to become even better at saving energy and create an even more competitive and energy-effective company culture in Denmark, also for households,” Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Martin Lidegaard has said. The portion of Denmark’s electricity from renewables would rise to 52 percent by 2020 under their plan.
WOULDN’T IT BE REFRESHING TO HAVE SOMEONE WITH LIDEGAARD’S VISION AND COMMONSENSE IN OUR GOVERNMENT?
“Generous new tax regime” - for all the wrong people doing all the wrong things!
Public subsidies for the development of wind power in the UK are dwarfed by the tax breaks enjoyed by fossil fuels, a new Guardian analysis has revealed. Financial support for fledgling renewable energy industries has increasingly come under attack in recent months, but the new data shows that the older industries benefit to a far greater extent. Gas, oil and coal prices were subsidised by £3.63bn in 2010, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development , whereas offshore and onshore wind received £0.7bn in the year from April 2010. All renewables in the UK benefited from just £1.4bn over the same period, according to data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc). http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/27/wind-power-subsidy-fossil-fuels
The boss of a company set to build two nuclear reactors in Somerset has been demanding cuts to renewable energy subsidies and to help for people in fuel poverty while quietly lobbying the European Commission for financial help for new nuclear power stations. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/nuclear-boss-wants-to-cut-family-fuel-aid-8537553.html . The coalition promised no subsidies fro nuclear power, but the following forms of support for the nuclear industry have been recorded in
“New planning guidance” – this is likely to mean that the largest projects could have the option to apply for the go-ahead through a central Government process rather than via local authorities. They thereby hope to bypass any possibility of grassroots local groups of concerned residents (like the Vale Says NO! and Frack-Free Wales) having any real say over the decimation of their futures. As Neil Sinden, The Campaign to Protect Rural England’s director of policy, said today: “We will make sure communities are not sidelined in the decision-making process.” We will take to the streets and ensure our voices are heard and the frackers are held to account every step of the way!
As for “Allow local communities to benefit” – perhaps Osborne would like to explain how they will benefit from:
These are amongst the certain impacts everywhere the frackers pitch up. On top of this is the absolute lottery of when and where things will go wrong. Not if, but when and where there will be:
Finally, the sheer arrogance of “we will make it happen” - quite simply, not if I have anything to do with it, George!. Me and whose army? The ever growing legions of fractivists around the country, indeed around the globe, who will not stand by and watch the rape of the countryside and the destruction of our futures.
Fracking in Bath & NE Somserset: A public debate March 12, 2013
|Keith Ross and Andy Chyba are attending this event on Thursday – if you are interested in going let Andy know (there will be no cost).I will be surprised if Gerwyn turns up – he tends to be a little too honest for his own good! I expect to see the same cronies he sent too the Llandow Inquiry. Could be fun!
Just for clarity – UK Methane is the same tiny band of speculators that are behind Coastal Oil & Gas – they are both based in the same small un-manned office on Bridgend Industrial Estate.
We will be leaving Bridgend at 5.30pm
More considered letter from DECC Correspondence Unit re Fracking February 26, 2013
|You may recall the letters that we delivered to Downing Street on 1st December:
http://bridgendgreens.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/letter-to-david-cameron-re-fracking-ban-1-12-121.pdf plus one from the Vale Says NO! Group.
This illicited this initial response in mid January:
This was clearly a poorly thought through ‘fob off’ response to which I duly responded thus on 22 January:
I am pleased to report a rather more considered response from the DECC Correspondence Unit this time around, which still contains too many subjective opinions, alongside acknowledgement of lots of uncertainties. It also, particularly in the Ministerial Extract (pts 3&4) details the seismicity precautions they are supposedly putting in place that should, if applied stringently, put a considerable spanner in the works of Cuadrilla and co.
See the attachments:
THE GLOBAL ANTI-FRACKING MOVEMENT – What it wants, how it operates and what’s next? January 30, 2013
|The attached PDF document (see end of post) constitutes the most thorough attempt at analysing the fractivist movement across the whole world, and makes very interesting reading.
It is published by London-based company ‘Control Risks’. They describe themselves thus:“Control Risks is an independent, global risk consultancy specialising in helping organisations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments. We support clients by providing strategic consultancy, expert analysis and in-depth investigations, handling sensitive political issues and providing practical on-the-ground protection and support.
As such they are clearly not our friends, but allies of the industry. I am not sure that it is always true that friends of our enemies are necessarily our enemies; and in this case their comprehensive global review can possibly be more useful to us than the industry.
The review starts with this introduction:
“Unconventional natural gas is often described as game-changing and transformative, a revolution heralding a golden age of cheap, plentiful energy for a resource-constrained world. But only if it makes it out of the ground.
As shown by local bans in the US and Canada, national moratoriums in France and Bulgaria, and tighter regulation in Australia and the UK, the global anti-fracking movement has mounted an effective campaign against the extraction of unconventional gas through hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has largely failed to appreciate social and political risks, and has repeatedly been caught off guard by the sophistication, speed and influence of anti-fracking activists.
As unconventional gas development spreads worldwide, and becomes more central to government energy policy and corporate investment strategy, a better understanding of the anti-fracking movement its goals, structure, methods and trajectory is essential for companies, policymakers and other observers of the emergent energy boom.”
Its perception of what ‘fractivists’ want is fair enough, as they would appear to have been infiltrating social media (at the very least) with shills, as well as comprehensively reviewing online postings. (I will be disappointed if they do not read this at some point – so )
They categorise us as follows:
“The specific agendas of anti-fracking groups vary according to local priorities and group composition. Public consultation is critical in France, for example, while rural conservation issues dominate in Australia. However, the movement as a whole falls into four broad camps: those desiring a better deal from the gas industry; those advocating further study into the environmental and economic impacts of unconventional gas development; those demanding a complete ban on hydraulic fracturing; and in the majority those demanding tighter regulation of gas development.” I can recognise that elements of the fractivist camp fall into all four categories – but my feeling is that the longer people stay involved, and the more they learn about what is at stake, there is a gradual drift towards demands for an outright ban. And I firmly believe they are seriously under-estimating us when they say:
“2012 is likely to set the high-water mark for the anti-fracking movement.”
We are only just getting into our stride and, as they themselves point out, there are various ways that the movement is likely to develop – into broader issues (the whole range of extreme energy threats for a start); into wider territories (as more an more places become targets of the frackers); and into greater radicalism (in the form of much greater direct action). I wouldn’t argue with any of that!
There then follows a section that offers suggestions to the industry on how they could respond and counter our threat; very worthy of our attention.
Finally, there is a global Anti-Fracking Risk Register that we certainly need to respond to. It acknowledges that Anti-Fracking Activism in the UK is “Significant“, but rates the UK as merely LOW in terms of Political Risk and Security Risk.
I would suggest that we are going to have to force them to re-assess this if their overall predicted outcome, that ultimately the industry will prevail in most parts of the world, is to be confirmed to be the sop to the industry that sells their services to the industry, that I think it is, rather than a complete misreading of our determination to achieve Vanessa’s ultimate clarion call:
Not On My Planet!