While most of Louisiana was spared Barry’s wrath last week, Isle de Jean Charles, a quickly eroding strip of land among coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico, was not. A storm surge swept over...
By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop
Results from the latest government survey on fracking shows that public opposition has risen to its highest level so far and support dropped to a record low.
The quarterly Wave tracker survey indicates that opponents regard fracking as a risky or unsafe process and are concerned about earthquakes and the impact on climate change.
Environmental activists representing more than 200 organisations have called on the EU and the US to put an end to a booming transatlantic trade in fracked gas or face “taking the world far beyond safe climate limits”.
In an open letter to the EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, campaigners warn that the continued use and import of fracked gas “torpedoes critical climate targets and violates basic human rights”.
The statement comes after the US Department of Energy announced that Perry would be attending the first EU-US Energy Council High-Level Forum in Brussels on Thursday.
The U.S. exported a record 3.6 million barrels per day of oil in February. This oil is the result of the American fracking boom — and as a report from Oil Change International recently noted — its continued growth is undermining global efforts to limit climate change. The Energy Information Administration predicts U.S. oil production will increase again in 2019 to record levels, largely driven by fracking in the Permian shale in Texas and New Mexico.
And the U.S. is not alone in trying to maximize oil and gas production. Despite the financial failures of the U.S. fracking industry, international efforts to duplicate the American fracking story are ramping up across the globe.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.