fracking

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”.

Comment: The Fracked North has Already been Written Off as ‘Desolate’, Don’t let it Become Dehydrated Too

Read time: 3 mins

By John Hobson, chair of campaign group Defend Lytham

This year we have experienced the longest heat wave since 1976, and we learned this weekend that the North West of England is heading for a hosepipe ban in a couple of weeks. We also discovered recently that Cuadrilla has applied for the final consent from BEIS to start fracking.

For those of us who have been looking into the impacts of fracking over the years, the timing is striking.

Fracking is an extremely water-intensive process. So Cuadrilla could be set to frack it’s first well while the rest of us are looking at our yellow lawns and dirty cars.

Sick as a Dog: Fracking Protests and the Media Blame Game

Read time: 5 mins

By Andy Rowell, Open Democracy UK

North Yorkshire Police are coming under renewed pressure to answer questions over the apparently hasty, heavy-handed and heavily publicised arrest of two campaigners in January this year at the height of the protests against fracking firm Third Energy.

As the protests reached a peak at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, many people believed that fracking could be approved by the Government any day. To add to the heightened tensions, North Yorkshire Police issued a news article which stated that two men had been arrested on suspicion of poisoning a guard dog – potentially with “pellets” made from aniseed balls. The media were quick to pick up the press release leading to stories in the BBC, ITV; Daily Mail as well as local press outlets.

The media was quick to point the finger of blame at the anti-fracking campaigners: “Two men arrested on suspicion of poisoning a fracking site guard dog were environmental protesters”, revealed the Mail Online.

Minister Delays Fracking Decision at Kirby Misperton until Third Energy submits its Overdue Accounts

Read time: 3 mins
anti-fracking activists Kirby Misperton

This article originally appeared on Drill or Drop

The government is delaying a decision on Third Energy’s fracking plans at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire until the company has filed its latest accounts.

Under the Infrastructure Act, the Business Secretary has to give the final consent before hydraulic fracturing can go ahead.

In a written statement this afternoon, Greg Clark said the company must submit its accounts for the year ending 2016 before he would announce his decision. The accounts are nearly four months overdue.

He has also added two further financial checks before giving the company the final go-ahead.

Here’s What to Look Out For on Climate Change in 2018

Read time: 9 mins
Smokestacks winter

As 2017 came to a close, warnings of the catastrophic impact of climate change intensified. Devastating floods and hurricanes have highlighted the vulnerability of some communities around the world and the rise of carbon dioxide levels in the atmospheres shows efforts to tackle climate change urgently need to be ramped up.

In the UK, ongoing Brexit negotiations have brought no more certainty on the future of environmental regulation, while the government continues to support new and old fossil fuels industries.

DeSmog UK’s Climate Year in Review

Read time: 9 mins
Science is not an alternative fact

From the endless stream of news surrounding Brexit and Trump to devastating extreme weather events across the globe, 2017 has been a monumental year.

So, as the final days of 2017 wrap up and everyone attempts to have a moment of brief relief before kicking off 2018, DeSmog UK takes a look back at the headlines and events that have streamed across everyone’s screens and impacted our everyday lives.

BP Labelled 'Irresponsible' for Plans to Frack Patagonia

Read time: 7 mins
Patagonia

BP has been accused of hypocrisy after new research reveals its Argentinian arm plans to drill and frack 37 wells in Patagonia’s “carbon bomb” province.

This is despite BP previously ruling out fracking in the UK because it would “attract the wrong kind of attention”.

Research by oil watchdog group Platform in London and Argentinian-based NGO Observatorio Petrolero Sur (OPSur) sheds light on the scale of BP-controlled Pan American Energy’s (PAE) activities in Argentina.

Fracking Expert: 'We Are Just Doing The Science, But We Are Being Criticised From All Sides'

Read time: 6 mins
Richard Davies

Concerns over fracking are “not as bad as people may think”, but suggesting the technology is safe is “ridiculous”, according to a leading shale gas expert.

Professor Richard Davies, a petroleum geologist at Newcastle University, is used to engaging in difficult debates.  He has repeatedly come under fire from both sides of the fracking debate for trying to shed light on the environmental and social impacts of shale gas exploration.

Today, it has been announced that he is to receive commendation for the John Maddox Prize. The prize, handed out by campaign group Sense About Science, aims to recognise the work of individuals who promote science and evidence on matters of public interest despite facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.

Scotland Promises to Ban Fracking 'Indefinitely'

Read time: 4 mins
A frack pad

The Scottish government has said fracking is set to be permanently banned following “overwhelming” public support for outlawing the controversial process, it was announced today.

Unlike in England, fracking has been under a temporary halt in Scotland since 2015, and an extensive public consultation on its long-term future was carried out earlier this year.

Speaking to members of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, the Scottish environment minister Paul Wheelhouse said the ban should be extended “indefinitely” and that “the Scottish Government will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland”.

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