fracking

Protestors Target Companies Supporting Fracking in UK Day of Action

Read time: 3 mins

Anti-fracking campaigners gathered in Windsor today to protest against Centrica’s investments in the fracking industry.

The demonstration was part of a UK-wide day of action targeting companies that support oil and gas production by providing finance, materials, and infrastructure to the industry.

We are targeting companies such as Centrica, that are linked with Cuadrilla,” said Annabel Gregory, a member of Reclaim the Power, the anti-fossil fuel group that organised the protests. “This is a series of coordinated actions to expose the supply chains. Centrica is implicit in supporting fracking in the UK.”

Blow for UK Fracking Industry as Government Refuses Regulation Change

Read time: 2 mins

By Megan Darby for Climate Home News

The UK government has rejected calls from shale gas companies to loosen limits on earth tremors, in a potentially fatal blow to British fracking.

Ineos and Cuadrilla said the rules, which require drilling to be halted for 18 hours after any tremor exceeding 0.5 on the Richter scale, are “absurd” and “unworkable”. In the US, the limit is 4 magnitude.

In principle, the Conservative administration supports shale gas exploration. Climate minister Claire Perry said in October gas had a role in a low-carbon future and it was “pragmatic” to back fracking.

However in a statement on Thursday morning, the energy ministry said: “We set these regulations in consultation with the industry and we have no plans to review them.”

From Brexit to COP25: 7 Things to Look Out For on Climate Change and Energy in 2019

Read time: 12 mins

As 2018 came to a close, urgency to tackle climate change intensified. 

The year was marked by the publication of a landmark scientific report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warned that the world has 12 years to nearly halve greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. 

While across the world people are rising up to demand radical climate action, governments have been accused of failing to “deliver what the world needs”. 

In the UK, ongoing uncertainty over Brexit leaves many unanswered questions over the future of environmental regulation. Meanwhile, the future of the country's burgeoning fracking industry appears a bit shaky. 

DeSmog UK takes a look at seven environmental and climate stories to look out for in the year ahead.

Support for Fracking Remains Low after Government Reintroduces Survey Question

Read time: 5 mins

By Ruth Hayhurst, Drill or Drop

The government has resumed its quarterly survey of public attitudes to fracking and shale gas. The latest results, published this morning, show support for fracking stands at 15 percent, down 3 percentage points, and opposition at 31 percent, down 1 point.

The previous Wave tracker survey, published in August 2018, dropped questions, for the first time since 2013, on whether people supported or opposed fracking.

At the time, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the questions would be asked only annually in future to allow space for “more focused questions” on subjects, such as consumer issues or employment rights.

But BEIS explained last week why the questions were returning:

With the UK entering a new era of shale gas exploration it is only right that we routinely gauge the opinion of the British public and so the questions on supporting/opposing shale gas development will return to each quarter of the tracker.”

The fieldwork for today’s results was carried out before a series of earth tremors linked to Cuadrilla’s fracking at Preston New Road near Blackpool.

Who Decides When Fracking Starts and Stops After an 'Earthquake'?

Read time: 7 mins
Fracking traffic lights system

For the second time in four days, fracking company Cuadrilla halted and restarted its fracking activities at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire because of seismic activity, leading to many “earthquake” headlines in the media.

But who decides when fracking needs to stop and can be restarted? DeSmog UK unpacks the monitoring and real-time decision-making process behind fracking.

Government Meets Fracking Industry: Redacted Notes Show Energy Minister Claire Perry's Vision For 'Success'

Read time: 7 mins

By Ruth Hayhurst, Drill or Drop

Several shale gas wells in production would be seen as success by the government, according to recently released notes of a round-table meeting between the energy minister and the industry.

Once the first well was in production, the notes said, the government believed “we will be in a better position”.

And according to the notes, ministers intended to streamline regulation for shale gas and create a “UK model” for shale extraction that can be exported around the world.

Fracking Campaigners Freed As 'Manifestly Excessive' Jail Sentence Overturned

Read time: 5 mins

Three judges have quashed the prison sentence of the three anti-fracking protestors, ruling the sentence to be “manifestly excessive”. The court room erupted into applause, when the decision was announced.

Simon Blevins, Richard Roberts and Richard Loizou will walk out free of Preston prison in Lancashire this evening and go home to their families.

The appeal case was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday morning in a packed court room with Blevins, Roberts and Loizou appearing through a video link from Preston prison.

'It's Not Over': Lancashire Protestors Vow to Continue as Cuadrilla Get Fracking Go-Ahead

Read time: 5 mins
Cuadrilla's Lancashire site

The rig standing in a field in Little Plumpton, Lancashire, is about to start drilling. Today, Cuadrilla finally got all the all-clear to start fracking, after the High Court rejected a request for a last-minute injunction.

Activists stationed outside the site have been disrupting Cuadrilla’s plans for over a year. They’ve used lock-ons and legal challenges to obstruct the company’s plans, but it looks as though Cuadrilla has leapt the final hurdle.

None of the protesters are about to go home. They see this as a legal hiccup on a longer road to victory.

Government Drops Shale Gas Question from Survey After Fracking Opposition Consistently Outstrips Support

Read time: 4 mins

By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop

For the first time since 2013, a quarterly public attitudes survey for the government has not asked questions on whether people support or oppose fracking.

The latest findings, published this morning, cover only whether people were aware of the process.

Previously, 18 surveys for the Wave public attitudes tracker had asked whether people supported or opposed fracking for shale gas and by how much. It also asked why people supported or opposed.

Government Recruits Fracking Commissioner to 'Facilitate Communication' With Residents

Read time: 5 mins
Preston New Road site

The UK government is recruiting a shale gas commissioner to “facilitate communication” with residents and push what is sees as the benefits of a new fossil fuel industry. The position was announced days before the government gave the go-ahead for fracking to start in Lancashire.

The new role of shale commissioner has been described by the government as “an independent appointment” which will have no powers of enforcement or investigation but will aim to “improve local understanding of shale gas operations by directing concerned local parties to relevant and impartial fact based information”.

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