Saturday, 3 November 2012

Fracking: Now we know, we will resist

Energy issues seem to be making the headlines daily in Wales at the moment - nuclear power, offshore and onshore windfarms, tidal lagoons and now Fracking.
 This post gives some of the background to hydraulic fracturing and why it's becoming an issue for Wales - or particularly the former coalfield areas of Wales. That was why local activists organised a public meeting to raise awareness about the matter and to discuss what could be done to prevent drilling in the area.
 The meeting on Thursday, at Saith Seren in Wrecsam, heard Jill Evans MEP and Gareth Clubb, director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, give very useful information about the impact of fracking and why it's such a bad idea.
 Multinational companies are keen to bleed the planet dry of natural resources regardless of the impact on communities and, from their perspective, making use of coal bed methane or shale gas is perfectly logical.
 For Welsh communities that have seen coal being exploited by the wealthy over the past two centuries, only to leave us with slag heaps and dust diseases, it's important to understand that this could be a repeat performance if we don't resist.
 It was great to hear from a wide range of people in the audience - not least the activists from Staffordshire who have direct experience of how gas leaks can occur in old capped mines. Luke Ashley, a former oil-rig worker from Wrecsam, spoke convincingly about the dangers too.
 There is an imminent threat to the Flintshire and Wrecsam area posed by Dart Energy, an Australian multinational mining firm that has already applied to test drill in the Penley and Bowling Bank area. One was refused planning permission but the other was approved and has until June 2013 to start drilling. It is now evident that that test drilling could involve fracking to see whether gases can be released in commercial quantities underground. The technology used for these test bores can apparently reach as far as two miles from the bore site.
 The mood of the meeting was to ensure that no drilling will take place in Wrecsam because planning authorities have not been told of the potential dangers posed by this "test". Dart Energy - you have been warned!


Jac o' the North, said...

Fracking in the US has reduced prices to consumers by up to 50%. Here, the Green lobby wants to condemn us to soaring prices.

Socialists have to decide where they stand: is it tackling fuel poverty, or is it pandering to environmentalism, the latest fad of English left intellectuals.

If the Welsh Government got to grips with this issue fracking could both give us some control over our resources and create employment.

What a welcome change that would be from the foreign exploitation and no jobs of 'Green energy'.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Can you source your initial claim - prices of what? "up to" is meaningless without context.

Socialists know where they stand - and that doesn't involve making false choices between tackling fuel poverty and left fads. Cmon Jac - not everybody falls for this kind of argument.

If you really think that Aussie multinationals are only interested in developing shale gas to reduce fuel poverty in Wales, you really need a reality check.

And just because your bete noire - "the environmentalists" - want to stop wrecking the Welsh environment, does that make it a bad thing?

Where we do agree is in having control over our energy needs. It's a basic democratic right and an energy plan for Wales would mean we benefit from the energy we produce rather than Scottish Power shareholders.

But that goes against the right-wing views you articulate, which is to trust in the free market rather than expecting governments and democratic institutions to deliver. So what's it to be?

Luke Ashley said...

Fracking in the US has led to contaminated water supplies, earthquakes and increased CH4 emissions which are 100 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2. When USA boasts about reduced greenhouse gas emissions, they `re taking about CO2. With increased hydrocarbon extraction, production and transportation comes increased CH4 emissions. So while USA are boasting about their drop in CO2 levels, they are actually INCREASING their contribution of climate changing gasses into the atmosphere. There is another one of those `industry backed` studies in progress to try and establish how much CH4 is leaking from the well pads, but this study does not take into account the leakage during transportation via pipeline or otherwise nor does it account for the millions of plugged and abandoned wells which are leaking. As with the `industry backed` study into water contamination during fracking, it failed to take into account failed well integrity during production, during disposal of waste frack fluids and chose to totally ignore first hand accounts right across 6 States of America. Here`s a good video that PROVES the case of water contamination and how fracking companies, regulators and Government leaders choose to turn a blind eye.

Have you seen the new poll that shows a clear majority of people want more wind farms in the UK Jac and why?

Could it be that unlike you jac, they have done their homework and know how wells leak.?

Or is it because they know a thing or two about the evil twin of shale gas. Coal bed methane extraction??

Or maybe they can see right through all the spin and hype from misinformed people such as yourself Jac.

It might even be due to the total lack of trust the majority of the UK population have in this right wing profiteering Government. You REALLY need to do some homework Jac

But most of all jac, I think It`s because the Welsh are a very proud peoples and don`t like to be pushed in the wrong direction by corrupt central government and want to Improve our quality of life, living within environmental limits and guarding the planet for future generations by promoting and using 100% renewable energy that`s clean, cheap and safe and that can also provide far more jobs than the likes of finite energy sources such as shale gas that make the frackers and their investors richer yet force more and more people into fuel poverty. It`s because we Welsh know what we are talking about. We are forward thinkers, not fossil fools.

Jac o' the North, said...

Listen, Luke, I don't know who are you are but I'd guess you're an enviro-extremist. I haven't read all your comment but I did laugh at the bit that said "a clear majority" wants wind farms - according to Renewable UK. No different to saying 'most people blame aliens for the banking crisis' - says Barclays.

I did provide a fuller answer to an earlier comment but it seems to have got lost. Can't be bothered doing it again. Because this fight is already over, and you know you've lost.

Wind farms are yesterday. And when people here realise how domestic gas prices in the US have halved due to fracking nothing you say or do will stop fracking.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Jac - I'll let Luke answer for himself but difficult to categorise a former oil rigger as yer typical knit-your-own-yoghurt "enviro-extremist".

Time to answer the questions rather than attacking the messenger.

Please supply a source for your ludicrous claim that gas prices have halved due to fracking.

Jac o' the North, said...

In the USA fracking is not only driving down prices it may even be strengthening the position of the USA in the world. That may be bad news for socialists and others reading this, but I'd rather have the US as the world's leading economic and military power than China, Russia or an Islamic confederation.

If fracking can achieve anything like the same results over here then it'll be game over. For fracking - unlike wind and other green 'energy' - is reliable, constant, cheap, creates employment, provides cheaper energy to commercial and domestic users, and also removes the reliance on imports from unstable or potentially hostile countries.

Yes, there are problems to be overcome and strict legislation will be needed. But the potential benefits make it all worthwhile.
Among those benefits will of course be the savings on subsidies.

The game is up for wind turbines. We all know that. For any sensible Green the priority now should be to ensure that the baby is not thrown out with the bathwater. By which I mean ensuring that viable forms of renewable energy are not discredited through association with wind energy.

So my advice would be - and I'm being sincere here! - to hold your hands up, say, 'Ok, we got it wrong on wind. But there are Green technolgies that work'. But sticking with wind. Defending the now indefensible, could be dangerous.

Luke Ashley said...

Your absolutely right about ONE thing jaco, you DON`T know who I am, but you can guess all you like.
This could be why you don`t have a sound argument,..You`re full of guesses.

I don`t know you either but refuse to lower myself to your standards by name-calling or putting labels on you.
You turning a blind eye to the evidence laid before you by stating you have not read all my comment and followed the links attached, and then telling me you can`t be bothered to back up your claims that shale gas extraction will be good for this country, and THEN tell me I`ve lost the fight, is helping your case.

I`ve had previous offshore drill crew experience and more recently the last two or three years research into not just fracking, but the extractive industry as a whole. Along the way, I have come to realise the importance of a healthy environment and above all, biosphere. It is key to the future well-being and survival of humanity. I understand how we are all connected. Nature to Humanity, Humanity to Nature. I know how the melting of the ice caps can affect the salinity of reaching the rivers of the Amazon, which can affect the life of the giant snails that live on the mud banks, which in turn can affect the growth or decline of algae which live in the oceans, which gives us a large amount of the oxygen we breathe. If you take the time as I have Jaco, to do some reading up on a few things, instead of providing personal `opinions` with no backing to your claims, and that could have a serious or fatal effect on peoples lives or the life support systems they depend upon, .... if more people did some unbiased research of their own instead of jumping on someone else`s band wagon,. and if people stopped relying on uninformed idiots to guide them i.e the bind leading the blind, then the world would be a much better place.

I don`t label myself as an environmentalist, I just know a thing or two because i take the time to read other peoples posts and go on to do my own research.

Wind farms are not yesterday. have you been up to Scotland lately? Again, do some homework before making such comments cos you just make yourself look daft. Check out what wind farms are under construction as I write this.

Luke Ashley said...

The Cold war is still very much alive. And if you know what I know you will realise that this is why the fracking frenzied freaks of mother fracking capitalism in the USA have kicked off. They will say It`s all about reducing the dependency on imports from russia, when in fact it is about controlling global prices so that the likes of USA can play the Russians at their own game and make some profits of their own. The USA does not want all this gas to sustain their energy needs for decades to come, they want to make as much profit as they can by exporting it. Nobody will buy it unless it is a good price. Come on jaco, i`m sick to death of having to re-explain all this common knowledge to the likes of you over and over again. All I ask for people to take the time to do their OWN research. Oil and gas is a tool to make the super powers more powerful. They do not want to give up this power by allowing other forms of energy to get in the way. There is not much profit to be had in wind farms, solar or wave/tide technology. It`s what the majority of us want, clean, safe, cheap and 100% renewable energy, but the powers that be have done a great job in coercing sheeple like you jaco and making you believe what they want you to believe. You underestimate the collective wisdom and knowledge of an ever increasing number of people in this country with credentials that far outweigh anything you will ever have. Why do you think that fracking has not already taken off in the UK as it has done in the US?? Come on Jaco, think about it. It`s because the gov understands the power of well informed individuals who are uniting, taking a stand for what is right and saying, "Hang on a minute, you CAN`T do that, and THIS is why."

You`re wrong jaco, I`ve won this particular `fight` as you call it between you and I. We ARE stopping fracking, Arctic drilling and many other things and there is a lot more I can say and do. So unless you have any GOOD reason why fracking should go ahead, don`t bother replying.
The part of my last comment that you could only be bothered to read was an independent opinion poll set by YouGov website and nothing to do with Renewable UK. Again , if you had bothered to dig deeper, you would have realised that, lol. Nuff said. Hopefully we can now get back to RESISTING the wishes of Central government to frack our lands and poison our waters purely to satisfy their own personal need for greed.

Jac o' the North, said...

Jesus! I hope you wiped down your monitor.

Luke Ashley said...

It`s so easy to debate with right wingers. I put my case to them, they choose to ignore it and stick to their political view which is,
Me, how can I boost my status in society? Myself, how can I earn more money? I, I am always right. (even when I know I`m wrong)
You use words like, `strengthening position`, `military might`, `economic power over others`, `political benefits`, `game changer`, `boost to economy`.
None of that really matters to people any more. It`s only a minority who want and need those things because they are the ones who are going to benefit. The rest of us, THE MAJORITY, want an end to nuclear weapons of mass destruction, we want peace in the world not more divide and rule policies. We fairness in society not wider divisions between the rich and the poor. We want more freedoms, not more laws and police brutality. Transparency not secret corrupt deals behind closed doors. We want to make our own decisions that help our local communities and not be told to do this or that by central government who don`t know the first thing about us or our needs or our towns.
If all the people the right wingers hate just sat around not complaining or taking a stand, this world would have self destructed a long time ago.

matt said...


it does my heart good to read your comments.

Good for you mate.