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Fracking Protests

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Angry protests break out as David Cameron says he is going "all out for shale" with a promise of £1.7m drill cash for councils.

 

David Cameron has announced £1.7m for councils which agree to drill for shale gas sparking angry protests from campaigners who say it amounts to little more than bribery.
 
David Cameron said the Government was "going all out for shale" as he announced local authorities that allow drilling will receive 100% of the business rates collected from the scheme - double the current 50%.
 
Whitehall officials estimate that could be worth £1.7m extra a year for each site a council agrees.
 
The announcement sparked angry scenes at a fracking site in Barton Moss, near Salford, Manchester, where protesters confronted lorries entering the plant, then handcuffed themselves to the vehicles.
 
The business rates money will be in addition to a promise last year that shale exploration firms will also pay out £100,000 when a test well is fracked and 1% of revenues, a deal which could in total be worth up to £10m.
 
 
However, campaigners dismissed the business rates payout as bribe money and said it was not enough in the face of the vast profits that stand to be made by the energy firms and the damage that would be caused to local areas.
 
Mr Cameron's announcement comes as the French energy giant Total has announced it will invest millions with a 40% interest in two shale gas exploration licences in the UK.
 
Mr Cameron said: "A key part of our long-term economic plan to secure Britain's future is to back businesses with better infrastructure.
 
"That's why we're going all out for shale. It will mean more jobs and opportunities for people, and economic security for our country."
 
An exploratory drilling site for shale gas known as Barton Moss in Salford
The protest was against an exploratory drilling site known as Barton Moss
Jackie Anderson, a teacher who lives within a mile of an exploratory drilling site at Barton Moss near Salford, was on Sunday protesting about the effects of fracking on the community.
 
She told Sky News: "For the local residents it's got no benefit whatsoever. More and more the businesses and the councils are going to benefit because the incentives are going to them and we're getting none of the benefits at all."
 
A Local Government Association spokesman said: "Given the significant tax breaks being proposed to drive forward the development of shale gas and the impact drilling will have on local communities, these areas should not be short-changed by fracking schemes.
 
"One per cent of gross revenues distributed locally is not good enough; returns should be more in line with payments across the rest of the world and be set at 10%."
 
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a process that involves drilling thousands of feet down into the earth to create a narrow well. Water and chemicals are then pumped in at high pressure to create fractures in the rock. Gas then flows from the cracks and is captured.
 
Vanessa Vine, who founded the British Anti-Fracking Action Network, said: "Concerns of local residents range from everything from heavy traffic through villages, damage to the roads, right up to triggering of earthquakes and permanent, potentially permanent contamination of the groundwater, of the aquifer, of drinking water."
 
The Government estimates the industry could attract £3.7bn a year in investment and support 74,000 jobs.
 
Last year, a study by the British Geological Survey suggested there could be enough shale gas in the north of England to supply Britain for 40 years.
 
A map showing areas of Britain that could be affected by fracking
Areas of the UK affected by fracking
It is thought there may be as much as 1,300 trillion cubic feet at the Bowland site in Lancashire alone.
 
Energy minister Michael Fallon said he expected between 20 and 40 wells to be drilled over the next couple of years.
 
He told Sky News: "We know now that we are sitting on top of hundreds of millions more cubic feet of this gas than we originally thought. What's so important now is to encourage companies to go down there and find out whether we can get it out as a new, home-grown source of energy.  
 
"That is extremely important for every local community and what we are doing today is saying it is for that local people, who have some of the hassle when they are getting it out, when they are exploring for it, that they should be able to retain all of the benefits."
 
Lawrence Carter, from Greenpeace, said: "This is a naked attempt by the government to bribe hard-pressed councils into accepting fracking in their area.
 
"Cameron is effectively telling councils to ignore the risks and threat of large-scale industrialisation in exchange for cold hard cash."
 
Shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex said: "Gas will remain an important part of our energy mix in the future, and if shale gas can replace our rapidly depleting North Sea reserves it could help improve our energy security.
 
 
Vanessa Vine, founder of the British Anti-Fracking Action Network Said
"It is right that any communities that host nationally significant energy infrastructure are able to share in its rewards.
 
"But the Government must get its priorities right. Only by fully addressing legitimate environmental and safety concerns about fracking with robust regulation and comprehensive monitoring, will people have confidence that the exploration and possible extraction of shale gas is a safe and reliable source that can contribute to the UK's energy mix."
 
 
 
 

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I'm not a fan of "fracking" - in a country like the UK we have other ways to get renewable energy.

Fracking has many dangers - one is ground pollution and the pollutants getting into the food chain and water supply.

Of course profit comes before the publics health, but each successive government never listens. As always.

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Not really clued up on the whole fracking scene, but annoyingly it took me a while with my Dog to get through the crowd of Protesters on Sunday at Barton Moss -  that's where I live.

 

Cool scenes though, lots of Caravans and Tents, and a lot of "hippy" looking people - most were friendly enough to be honest... "Hey Dude, love the Earth" kind of comments. I'm cool with that.

 

P.S - Gaz, just wacked my screen for no reason.

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I'm a fan of fracking. The minority of people have seen false information, making it seem worse than it is. The USA's fracking isn't regulated either, it will be a different story here.

Many types of tracking are already going on (hydraulic fracturing has been going on for over 30 years to be exact) here in the Purbeck area, we have Wytch Farm, they are basically fracking to obtain oil, there has been no problems with it at all, it has brought masses of work to the area, and with the possibility of shale gas, it will be a huge money saver but also it will bring money to communities. If 10% of the shale gas was extracted in the north, it would supply the whole country with energy for 50 years, that's a huge bonus considering how much is imported.

Edited by Mapantz

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Never let reality get in the way of a good protest opportunity.

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Autumn Statement: Shale gas tax breaks to attract 'billions of pounds of investment'

 

Tax breaks for shale gas explorers confirmed, saving companies 24p in tax for every £1 spent developing projects.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/10498330/Autumn-Statement-Shale-gas-tax-breaks-to-attract-billions-of-pounds-of-investment.html

 

Total Invests in U.K. Shale Gas

 

LONDON—France's Total SA FP.FR -1.02% said Monday it bought a 40% stake in two shale-gas exploration licenses in the U.K.—marking the first time one of the world's major oil companies has turned its attention to Britain's unconventional gas reserves.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303819704579316330280447464?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303819704579316330280447464.html

Edited by knocker

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I'm a fan of fracking. The minority of people have seen false information, making it seem worse than it is. The USA's fracking isn't regulated either, it will be a different story here.Many types of tracking are already going on (hydraulic fracturing has been going on for over 30 years to be exact) here in the Purbeck area, we have Wytch Farm, they are basically fracking to obtain oil, there has been no problems with it at all, it has brought masses of work to the area, and with the possibility of shale gas, it will be a huge money saver but also it will bring money to communities. If 10% of the shale gas was extracted in the north, it would supply the whole country with energy for 50 years, that's a huge bonus considering how much is imported.

Indeed, fracking in one form or another is far from new and as you say has been going on for decades around the world.  Bit like the Polar Vortex, it is this seasons "key" word.

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Compared to a few months ago i think i've managed to trawl through the different points of view on fracking and i feel more comfortable with it than i did, say, 6 months ago.

As long as the controls around it are kept in place.

I did have a chuckle this afternoon, whilst watching Sky News and a discussion between an Institute of Directors guy and a rep from Friends of the Earth.

I've always thought the Friends of the Earth types were an all-inclusive kinda people; you know a bit huggie to everyone but this lady made a right sneering remark at the news of a "French company" (Total) getting involved in the UK. And the "Sneer" in her voice was because Total is a "French" co.

True colours, maybe?

Edited by Bristle boy

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Autumn Statement: Shale gas tax breaks to attract 'billions of pounds of investment'

 

Tax breaks for shale gas explorers confirmed, saving companies 24p in tax for every £1 spent developing projects.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/10498330/Autumn-Statement-Shale-gas-tax-breaks-to-attract-billions-of-pounds-of-investment.html

 

Total Invests in U.K. Shale Gas

 

LONDON—France's Total SA FP.FR -1.02% said Monday it bought a 40% stake in two shale-gas exploration licenses in the U.K.—marking the first time one of the world's major oil companies has turned its attention to Britain's unconventional gas reserves.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303819704579316330280447464?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303819704579316330280447464.html

It's no different to any other alternative energy schemes, look at those awful iron monsters and the tax breaks handed out there, I suppose there has to be tax incentives but at least with Fracking we will see a viable end product and just for Pete a few extra coffers in the Eton elite's pockets.Posted Image

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just for Pete a few extra coffers in the Eton elite's pockets.Posted Image

they need the money, poor souls.

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Ahh the Cameron bribe a few false figures to cash strapped councils. Where's there's a profit to be made to heck with the environment. Anyway lets drill a well in Chequers why not.

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Cool scenes though, lots of Caravans and Tents, and a lot of "hippy" looking people - most were friendly enough to be honest... "Hey Dude, love the Earth" kind of comments. I'm cool with that.

 

 

 

Justifying their existence by such stunts sure beats the hell out of holding down a job, any day.

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Justifying their existence by such stunts sure beats the hell out of holding down a job, any day.

Makes you wonder how clued-up these people are about their apparent grievances. Most come across (to me) as people who protest for the sake of it, or because they feel they are obliged to because it broadly conforms to their general belief system.

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I've studied fracking in Uni, so I'm not quite as uninformed as the hippie, tree huggers or whatever terminology people wish to use to dismiss people against fracking.

 

There have been numerous studies on links between fracking and contaminated water supplies around the wells, so it's far from false or disinformation. The fact that so many families living near fracking sites in the US have been paid off with gag orders to prevent them speaking of their illnesses and problems says a lot too.

 

There is great potential for huge short term profits with fracking, but with the risk of land/water contamination and health issues which could prove more costly in the long run if things are not conducted with the highest possible standards. Fracking could also be a great help in maintaining energy supplies while investment in renewable energy and a better energy infrastructure could be put in place.

 

Some people will endorse any fossil fuel exploitation regardless of the risks, and deride anything that goes against their love of oil and gas. For the more reasonable, uncertain and sceptical folk, I think a few questions would need to be answered before any real endorsement of fracking could be given.

 

  • Are the regulations in the UK strict enough to prevent the health problems seen in the US?
  • Will the gas be kept for domestic use or shipped off got the highest profits?
  • Will the UK get much money or will the foreign investors reap the benefits?
  • Are there less risky alternatives?

 

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I've studied fracking in Uni, so I'm not quite as uninformed as the hippie, tree huggers or whatever terminology people wish to use to dismiss people against fracking.

 

There have been numerous studies on links between fracking and contaminated water supplies around the wells, so it's far from false or disinformation. The fact that so many families living near fracking sites in the US have been paid off with gag orders to prevent them speaking of their illnesses and problems says a lot too.

 

There is great potential for huge short term profits with fracking, but with the risk of land/water contamination and health issues which could prove more costly in the long run if things are not conducted with the highest possible standards. Fracking could also be a great help in maintaining energy supplies while investment in renewable energy and a better energy infrastructure could be put in place.

 

Some people will endorse any fossil fuel exploitation regardless of the risks, and deride anything that goes against their love of oil and gas. For the more reasonable, uncertain and sceptical folk, I think a few questions would need to be answered before any real endorsement of fracking could be given.

 

  • Are the regulations in the UK strict enough to prevent the health problems seen in the US?
  • Will the gas be kept for domestic use or shipped off got the highest profits?
  • Will the UK get much money or will the foreign investors reap the benefits?
  • Are there less risky alternatives?

 

The difference being though that regulations here in the UK are far, far stricter than the US, and besides there are no viable alternatives on the table as wind farms are useless and destroy vast swathes of countryside and kill upland birds which leaves solar, which at this moment in time the technology isn't up to the demand. There are no easy solutions and we need a quick fix as well as investment in Nuclear, which will probably never happen now. As for our beloved fossil fuels, well if you dislike them that much then unplug your PC and stop wasting energy.Posted Image

Edited by Sceptical Inquirer

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Having listened to the views of the protestors just now on the news not one could articulate why they thought it's bad or unsafe. Not one had a logical or rational reason.

It was just all emotional 'reasons' - nothing scientific about their reasons for protest.

BFTV's post did make me think though, but then i've read recently that UK procedures will be much stricter than in the US.

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Just heard that Cheshire East will be "fracking free". You mean Alderley Edge, Prestbury and Wilmslow residents don't want drilling sites around their villages and towns?

Who'd have thought it, eh?

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Having listened to the views of the protestors just now on the news not one could articulate why they thought it's bad or unsafe. Not one had a logical or rational reason.It was just all emotional 'reasons' - nothing scientific about their reasons for protest.BFTV's post did make me think though, but then i've read recently that UK procedures will be much stricter than in the US.

The entire Green movement is based on illogical and emotive reasoning.

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Even better idea why don't we completely ban protesting of any kind whatsoever? We are far from behaving like a real democracy should be doing, so on that basis, which one is it to be...an authoritarian state or dictatorship - take your pick.

Nout wrong with protesting, in fact the freedom to do so must be upheld at all costs - we don't need another Peterloo.However, There is a difference between protesting and deliberately causing disruption, though. Edited by March Blizzard

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So..you have every trust in the 'scientists' - and heaven forbid politicians!The idea hasn't been quite sold to everyone just yet - but the good news is, despite possibly having an objection to it, bribery and blackmail is rife in Britain today - here's some cash and shut them up....Democracy - dream on.Any evidence to back this up - apologies but this reply also sounds like an 'emotional' response.

Off course, all of the greens manifesto and stance of all things environmental and don't get me started on it's viewpoint on climate change and how the IPCC were using documented evidence from unscientific sources, i.e. Greenpeace and WWF.

Edited by Sceptical Inquirer

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There is a difference between protesting and deliberately causing disruption, though.

Oh boy, we have had to endure frustrating roadworks for weeks around here, why the council then to decide to go ahead with fracking experimentation on Barton Moss when there is a major construction also going on in the area is beyond me. The further disruptions by the protestors are only going to p off the locals. I know, I'm one of them!

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Oh boy, we have had to endure frustrating roadworks for weeks around here, why the council then to decide to go ahead with fracking experimentation on Barton Moss when there is a major construction also going on in the area is beyond me. The further disruptions by the protestors are only going to p off the locals. I know, I'm one of them!

Typical, I wonder why the council didn't wait  until the major construction had finished prior to giving this the green light?

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Typical, I wonder why the council didn't wait until the major construction had finished prior to giving this the green light?

Maybe so they could blame the protesters for all the disruption? :) Edited by March Blizzard

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Makes you wonder how clued-up these people are about their apparent grievances. Most come across (to me) as people who protest for the sake of it, or because they feel they are obliged to because it broadly conforms to their general belief system.

 

A goodly proportion of them are probably the very same people who chelp and bang on relentlessly about that hilarious AGW thing. I'm going to start a protest against protests.

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