Wednesday, 15 October 2014

WE SHOULD TRY TO STOP THEM FRACKING SCOTLAND

It's only part of Scotland, at the moment.
I just had an email from Greenpeace.
It seems that David Cameron’s plan to allow fracking firms to drill under our homes has been rubber-stamped by the House of Lords.

This makes a total mockery of Cameron’s claim that UK fracking regulations are some of the most stringent in the world. And it clears fracking firms of any responsibility for clearing up the mess they create. 
We all know that neither the government nor the fracking firms give a stuff if your pets are poisoned or your kids start being sick.
The only thing that matters to them is the bottom line, and making a massive profit.
Lord Smith of Kelvin (where have I heard his name before)
wants to bring fracking to Scotland
The fracking industry has already been mired in accidents and mistakes. In April 2009, cattle were discovered dead near a drill site in Louisiana. An investigation later found fracking fluid had leaked from the well pad and run into an adjacent pasture. And in July 2013, US fracking firm XTO Energy was forced to shell out $100,000 in compensation after a spill of contaminated wastewater in Pennsylvania. 
Despite claiming that the UK has tough regulations to prevent disasters like this, the government is now rushing to remove obstacles by pushing through laws that will put the interests of shale drillers before the safety of our environment, our climate and most important, our people.
Mr Ordinary doesn't want to bring fracking to Scotland
Greenpeace has a petition which you may be interested in signing.
Remember the people who are set to gain from this are mates with the likes of Osborne and Cameron. They are not the kind of people who care what happens to your house, your family, your possessions or you if you are anywhere near being an ordinary person.
Sensible countries that give a damn about the environment, or the people who live in it, have put fracking on hold. The Uk of course wants to press ahead as it seems to think there is a massive amount of money to be made, and money is their god. 
Fergus Ewing our energy minister, thinks that the power to issue or not issue licences should be held in Edinburgh, closer to the people, not London where they simply don't care about Scotland, but it's too late for that now. We blew the chance to rule our own country It's a done deal and London has the power.
We didn't vote for this bunch of SPIVs. We mustn't let them frack Scotland.

41 comments:

  1. They may try, however Scotland has been energised, like no other time in living memory. I cannot see any fracking, being successful, due to mass civil unrest and protest. They are no longer our masters, they may have won the vote, they did not win the hearts and minds of the people. (Nico, you are the exception here, no heart and a strange mind)

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    1. Yes, we can stop them, by other ways that having our government legislate.

      We can certainly make it difficult and expensive and time consuming for them to get anywhere near our land.

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  2. Tris

    Not if they put exclusion zones around the areas or designate roads off limits such as when missiles are moved through Scotland.

    Heavy Policing from the cough home office and done at night. What's the bet certain planning regs go back to London such environmental responsibilities did to allow this in the first place. It's coming if we like it or not.

    Bruce

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    1. They can;t really put exclusion zones round people's houses though, Bruce.

      In any case there are some people who are quite practised at disrupting this kind of thing as we know from the nuclear protesters. It may not stop it, but it makes them look so bad and that is bound to affect their share prices.

      I don't think they will get that much out of it anyway. I've read reports that the returns will be very small. I hope so.

      It would be nice to see Osborne's father in law go broke...

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    2. Tris

      I don't think they go near people's houses but under them but I hope you are right. Just because this gas might be there doesn't mean we have to risk more of the environment to get it. I don't accept the cheaper gas argument. When have these companies ever reduced prices.

      Bruce

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    3. Yes Bryce when did they ever reduce prices, Nuclear was going to make electric so cheap it wouldn't be metered.

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    4. Fair comment Bruce. You can go under from miles away and people wouldn't know until their house collapsed into the ground

      Apparently when hydro started in Scotland, people were told that once the dams were paid for, electricity would be virtually free.... so much for that then!

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  3. More info can be seen at frack-off.org.uk site, pretty depressing stuff, including the bit from Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith about Dart Energy leaking toxic stuff Benzene into the Forth of Forth when test drilling.

    Map of areas on offer to frack 6/10/14: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/337209/14R_Offer.pdf

    twitter.com/Frack_Off/status/522309795123302400/photo/1

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    1. Thanks anon... I'll look.

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  4. Funnily enough just signed this petition before coming here. I've always said tho fracking can be ok if done properly these beggars are only after the money and do not care about the resultant after effects on we ordinary mortals grrrrr

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  5. Im commenting anon because Im unable to log in to wordpress for sound reasons today.

    You cannot relentlessly pursue kneejerk anti business positions without looking at all ramifications. There are downsides to fracking. I have concerns about exactly what chemistry is pumped. I am concerned that many houses are on old mineworked sites - grouting brownfields is very common nowadays - and I am wary of seepage.

    However the gas the frackers want is at depths far below the surface. SEPA do actually do their job - too well some people think - and I dont believe that any major operation will get away with pumping anything that would poison animals into the ground. Farmers are the number 1 lobby in the UK remember.

    People want low gas prices. We have a strategic problem in Europe - our gas arrives by ptpeline from Russia. The US has a competitive advantage. They are producing vast amounts of cheap ( 1/4 UK prices ) gas which they do not export. That is used as feed stock in the chemical plants competing with Grangemouth.

    The issue is complex. Like indy was. But kneejerks are not smart. Profit is not immoral. Employment and reasonable heating costs are a benefit to society.

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    1. "our gas arrives by pipeline from Russia. "

      No it doesn't.
      we dont buy gas from Russia,
      . Where does the UK's gas come from?

      International politics has been influenced by European fears about dependence on Russian gas for some time.

      But in 2012, the majority of the country's gas came from Norway. It also got some gas from the general European network via pipelines - or interconnectors - that run under the sea from Belgium and the Netherlands. These interconnectors can be used to import or export gas as needed, and in 2012 they were switched from export to import mode.

      The rest came in liquid form, in supertankers, from Qatar:

      http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/04/decc-energy-statistics,-march-2013

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    2. I don;t think profit is a bad thing. I do think that the profit that British companies seem to want to have is a bad thing.

      We were told by Cameron that Britain would go ahead with fracking because unlike other countries, britain would have the strictest possible standards. Like most of what Cameron says, it turns out to be a lie.

      I understand that Germany has put a moratorium on fracking and France has banned it altogether.

      People may want cheaper fuel. Most would like cheaper everything, for one reason or another. But until they can prove that it is not dangerous to human and wild life I say we shouldn't do it, just to make George Osborne's father in law rich.

      The trouble for me, I suppose, is that I wouldn't trust Cameron's word on anything at all. When he says 'the most stringent conditions', I simply don't believe a word of it.

      I believe they will do it on the cheap and then leave a mess behind the,m, and just like the banks, they will walk away with money and leave the state to clear up... and probably the state will not be able to afford to clear up.

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    3. A lof of the gas from Norway, actually comes from Scottish fields. For some reason, it is sold to Norway, who clean it up and sell it back, making a profit in the process. No Russian involvement at all, it's all squirrel stuff from Westminster.

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    4. Why Norway has to be better at this stuff than Scotland is, or indeed the mighty and second most important nation in the world, GREAT BRITAIN is... is somewhat of a mystery.

      I thought Britain did everything best?

      Seems not...

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    5. Better Together with Norway, I'd buy that!

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  6. Anon

    As far as I'm aware no reduction in costs have been passed on to the consumer in American. Told by friends in America.

    Bruce

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    1. Interesting Bruce, but not surprising.

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  7. According to Max Keiser fracking is a loss maker for companies involved in USA. Only reason they keep at it is availability of very cheap credit - which will probably never be paid back. All part of the financial Ponzi scheme.

    The reason fracking companies will not be required to clean up the mess is that their friends in Government know the cheap money will have ended by then and profits will have long disappeared from our shores

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    1. Hi Clachangowk.

      Yes, a Ponzi scheme sounds about right. I'm afraid that given the involvement of so many "in" people here, the likelihood is that we will being fiddled and left with all sorts of horrific illnesses to clear up.

      Very worrying is the size of the area they are fracking. And the fact that the population there is pretty much 80% of the country.

      On the basis that they don't care about nuclear being 20 miles form Glasgow, but won;t even consider it on the south coast of England, I'm suspicious that the most dodgy of trials will be in Scotland.

      Jocks don't matter syndrome.

      The only cleaning up they will do is with the huge loans from government/ government owned banks, which we will be left of shoulder.

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  8. Thousands of frackings have been done in the USA without incident. Greenpeace opposition appears ideological than practical. It wishes to stop the use of all fossil fuels, including all of Scotland's huge natural energy resources and rely only on wind and solar power. None of this is practical. Wind power transfers large sums of money from the most poor and vulnerable to the rich. It is much more expensive to produce than fossil fuels. Deaths from hypothermia are on the rise in the UK .
    Greenpeace activities can and do cause direct harm.
    sam

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    1. Sam, I don;t doubt that there are many places where so far everything has been fine, but there are also reports of poisoned water courses.

      Of course unless one is a scientist, one doesn't know, one simply puts together what one has read.

      For me when the German government puts it on hold until more information is available and the Brits say that they are being as strict with regulations as anywhere in the world and then... at the, last moment... change the law to allow the companies to do no clean up, then I am suspicious.

      I'm not saying never; I am saying that we should do what the Germans are doing, and put the profit on hold till we can be sure what the risks are.

      I also say I don't trust London to make sensible decisions for Scotland. Poisoned land will be a long way from anyone who matters.

      Make the politicians in Edinburgh responsible for this. They will be far less likely to take risks with land and people they represent.


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    2. There is absolutely no reason to frack, in the UK never mind Scotland. Get rid of trident and open up the vast reserves, on the west coast. Only gready short-termist carpet baggers want to frack.

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    3. Well, that would make sense. As Jim Sillars has pointed out, that would make a huge difference to an area which has been left to decay.

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  9. correction
    wind power energy is more expensive to produce than fossil fuel energy.
    sam

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    1. Yes, I'm sure that it is Sam, but sometimes the cost is overtaken by the possible consequences.

      Electricity and gas could be cheaper if the companies made less profit.

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  10. tris

    As I read what you have said I think you are over-anxious about fracking.

    We know that the film Gasland is a lie.

    The poisoned water courses in USA may be true or not but such a thing is pretty unlikely here. Drilling will be done well below the water table.

    I have looked at the frack off website posting on contaminated water. What I find is absurd. The volume of benzene found in the effluent is measured in micrograms and almost meets the acceptable quality levels of drinking water. Does anyone think that a regulator might not have looked at this?

    Dart Energy does not intend to frack to produce coal bed methane. However, friends of the Earth typically add the frack hashtag to their tweets to convey the impression that there will be fracking.

    What illnesses do you have in mind that might be caused by fracking?

    What do you mean that the exploration companies will not clean up? what have you in mind?

    It is unclear whether the big energy firms are acting as a cartel and fixing prices higher than they should. That is currently being investigated. What we do know is that the subsidy paid to onshore wind electricity is about twice the price of wholesale electricity. The subsidies cost around £2billion now and will rise to about £5 billion in 2018.

    I have done a bit of googling to come up with this. By the way, "sometimes the cost is overtaken by possible consequences"?

    sam

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    1. Sam:

      I'm prepared to admit that there may be much exaggeration, and that the risks may not be nearly as high as some people (including Greenpeace) make them out to be.

      That said, I am worried that more sensible, more people oriented, and more accountable governments are taking a cautious approach to handing out these licences to big business.

      In the fullness of time it may be proved that fracking is a sensible way to get gas. At the moment that isn’t considered proven to some European governments.

      I'm afraid that I wouldn't trust the spivs in Westminster as far as I could spit them when it comes to anything that will make money for their friends... and it seems to me there are an awful lot of Tory peers involved in this game, not least Gideon's beau père! They have already started to water down the safety through the House of Lords. What else will they slip in there while most of them are asleep after a good subsidized lunch?

      I admit that I don't know what kind of illness I'm talking about, because I'm not a scientist, nor a medical person, but it worries me that pumping hundreds of poisonous chemicals into the ground and allowing them to be left there, is not a healthy option and has potential for horrendous consequences even if it is policed hard. The fact is that big business is not policed hard in the Uk. (FSA for example.) They will cut corners and no one will know, until a school of children dies, or kids start being born with deformities; fields of dead animals are discovered and woodland starts to die off.

      And that’s before you consider the earthquakes that are reputed to be caused by this process.

      Why can't they wait till we are sure? I repeat that I don't trust Westminster to do the right thing; red or blue Tories. Why don’t they wait like Germany, Ireland, France and Bulgaria... and many other countries are doing?

      That's nothing to do with my desire for Scottish independence, just a plain fact. These people aren't to be trusted anywhere, but least of all in Scotland where they have nothing to lose but the odd seat in the Scottish parliament. At l3east if the matter were devolved to Edinburgh parliament itself would be being fracked under. And we could catch hold of the people responsible, who are within reach, not hidden in a royal palace with special privileges.

      As for the cost of subsidising green energy? They can blow a couple of billion killing Iraqis. They have no problem blowing another billion or so on income tax cuts for the rich and changes to inheritance taxes, which will benefit those who leave fortunes.

      I meant sometimes an increased cost is worth it when you take into possible consequences of taking the cheaper option.

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    2. Sam the shale deposits in the UK are much closer to the surface than those in America and so make the risks far greater to contamination leaking into aquifers as well as elsewhere. Each well drilled peaks production within six months and consequently falls as fast leading to a doubling of wells every six months or so just to maintain the original output.

      The only reason that shale gas looks economic is because of cheap credit just like the housing bubble which put all of the risks into the public domain as none of them were sustainable. It is nothing more than a financial scam aided and abetted by corruption of our ruling classes.

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  11. Replies
    1. Love her... she's so interesting. Love the Huts and I never cease to be amazed by how much better things are in Scandinavia and Ireland, Germany and the Low countries, than it is in this beknighted land where all we ever care about is making money.

      I agree with her too that we need to make much more of our relationships with Europeans in the North Atlantic.

      Norway, Sweden, Faroes, Iceland, Ireland, Finland, Denmark...

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  12. What I'm more concerned with is we do not need the small amount of fuel to be got from fracking. We have more than enough. We do not need every last drop of fuel in the earth or we will all end up frying.

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    1. Yes. Exactly. You take risks with things that you HAVE to have, because the alternative is worse than not taking the risk.

      If we had no way of creating electricity and no gas, well it would be better to take the risk that something new brings, rather than we all die of cold.

      But we don't need to take that risk.

      We need to do more studies.

      It's such a pity we can't trust the government. It's such a pity that we disbelieve everything they say as a matter of course. Being able to trust them to do the right thing by us would make life very much easier.

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  13. Hi, CH

    I think what is happening in the USA with fracking is the companies doing it are having to learn as they go along. Geology is different in each shale formation. The Permian seems to be attracting great interest just now. The drillers have to adjust the volumes of sand and chemicals used and to play with the kind of choke that permits the oil and gas to come to the surface. Their hope is that their exploration and production experiences can inform them enough to keep ahead of the drilling curve. That is why, in some cases, large debt is all there is to show for their effort. Scam? No, don't think so.
    I found this. Don't know if it is true. Over 1 million frackings in the last 60 years in USA and Halliburton driller drinks the drilling fluid to show it is safe. That is after they had chemicals supplied from the food industry. Not a joke, apparently

    No, we probably will not need to frack for a while. But cheap , reliable sources of energy are really good for mankind and access to it will lift lots of people out of poverty. Getting it involves risk everywhere - loss of life, oil spillage.

    sam

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    1. Fracking's Return on Investment is a Myth

      Hughes notes that discussions about energy are often marred by vested interests, rhetoric and overblown expectations. In Drill, Baby, Drill, a historical examination of government oil and gas forecasts shows that production is invariably overestimated; Hughes then turns his attention to the recent enthusiasm for fracking.

      As to drinking drilling fluid it is like the same claims that glyphosate was safe to drink by chemical distributors some time ago, salesmanship.

      Cheap like nuclear will be far to cheap to meter rhetoric peddled by the industries/politicians heavily involved with them. EROEI does not stack up unless one ignores certain aspects including the environment.

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    2. This is almost undoubtedly why the more people friendly, les neo-liberal governments in Europe are being wary.

      Let's make absolutely sure first.

      As has been said above, Scotland doesn't actually need this stuff at the moment. We can afford to wait until we are more certain that it isn;t criminally dangerous.

      It may turn out not to be so. In which case fine, we can mine it (or whatever they call it).

      If we were absolutely stuck for fuel, it might be worth taking a risk on something... but we are not. We have a hundred years of poil (it suddenly grew by 400% when we voted no), and we could develop oil and fas fields in the Clyde (if David Cameron's ticket to the Big Boy's table weren't there). The there is all the resources in the Atlantic.

      This smacks to me of making a fortune for the Tory's funders, with payback for the pond life currently in the Commons.

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    3. All forms of energy provision have costs and benefits. Almost all that I can think of may, directly or indirectly,cost lives.

      I am far from convinced that "green" energy is a good thing. It is always going to need a subsidy because of "intermittency" - it stops working at predictable (solar) and unpredictable times (wind). Storing wind energy may not be feasible. If it is, it is some way off.

      And it is no surprise that the benefits of wind are over-hyped. The industry has had to admit that the levels of carbon dioxide "saved" are half what was originally claimed. Also, scientists claim that in the peat areas of Scotland there is no carbon dioxide saving. The disruption to the sites in erecting and maintenance work releases carbon dioxide from the peat.

      A form of energy supply that is around 20% efficient, that requires constant backup in such a manner that the support supply - usually gas - has its own efficiency impaired is -well -not ideal. Wind energy is more costly than energy sources like nuclear and coal. Colin Gibson a former director of the national Grid has produced a paper which is online in which he compares the costs of different types of energy production. He says the costings are unreliable because the data is, but the trends are there to see.

      What puts me off wind completely is this. It is that the very rich are signing up in droves to benefit from the subsidies that can be had. I mean very rich. Dukes, a cousin of the queen, big landowners. For me. wind is a scam that transfers money from the poor and most vulnerable to the already rich. We all pay for that in our energy bills. And some people will die as a result because it is eat or heat. Me and the missus live in fuel poverty. There are plenty of others many much worse off.

      sam

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  14. For the person trying to sell us fracking - forget it. Scotland does not need or want fracking.

    We are self sufficient in energy - the Nordic countries are going to have the majority of generators fed with renewable energies - that's what we can do in Scotland.

    Fracking is for the greed of big business and will be campaigned against vigorously.

    Again not anonymous, don't use wordpress. Liz

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    1. Hi Liz,

      I agree. If we needed the gas, then I could see that it would ahve to be looked at in a different light.

      But we don't.

      I know that there are costs involved in green energy, although I suspect that these will reduce over time.



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  15. If the comment made by Liz is directed at me - "the person trying to sell fracking" i am not trying to do that. I am indifferent to whether there is fracking in Scotland for the reason you give - we don't need it. In an independent Scotland we don' need it. However, the energy sector has been mismanaged and there is a chance, particularly if the winter is bad, that there will be blackouts. So energy, from whatever source, is probably a priority for the UK. I don't share the misgivings Tris has about the safety of fracking. I think the EPA in the USA would have stopped it long ago if there were real concerns. That is not to say that, as always, business won't cut corners, doesn't follow best practice. If that were not so there would be no oil leaks, no burning platforms and no lost lives.

    Is it true that Scotland does not want fracking? There may have been opinion polls that I have missed. You may well be right - I certainly don't know.

    Fracking and renewables both are for the greed of big business.

    What mean "Again not anonymous....." Do you want to know my name. I have no objection. It is

    sam mccomb

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    1. Sam. You said it all. The UK needs it.

      Scotland does not.

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