Fossil Fuels

Energy firm Ineos is threatening to take legal action against the National Trust so it can carry out a fracking survey on its land. The company said it had been trying for almost a year to get permission for a seismic survey at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. Ineos said it has repeatedly tried to arrange a meeting, adding that the Trust refuses to speak to the company. “If the National Trust refuses to change its position, Ineos will have no choice but to write to the Oil and Gas Authority, asking for permission to seek a court order enforcing its rights to carry out these surveys on National Trust land,” said a statement.

Independent 20th July 2017 read more »

Tensions at Britain’s most high-profile fracking site have risen after an increase in violent clashes between protesters, security guards and police. One demonstrator said she had been left unconscious after a “pretty brutal” scuffle with security officers on Wednesday, and another activist fell from his wheelchair, the same day, when police officers pulled him out of the way of a 40-tonne lorry. Both protesters said they planned to report the incidents that had occurred at energy firm Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, near Blackpool, to Lancashire police.

Guardian 20th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 21 July 2017

Fossil Fuels

British companies working in the fracking industry have told government they are “suffering” and struggling to secure finance, according to documents obtained via freedom of information. In a meeting last May with then-business minister Anna Soubry, the Onshore Energy Services Group (OESG) said raising the money needed to develop a widescale fracking infrastructure was proving difficult. “Industry are finding it a challenge to get support from British banks… all funding therefore comes from overseas and self-growth,” the group said, according to the government’s minutes of the meeting. “British banks are saying the companies are too small.” The trade association, which represents small and medium-sized oil and gas companies [SMEs] in Britain, also raised concerns that if fracking takes off, supply chain companies won’t be ready to provide the equipment needed to build the infrastructure to support the industry. It told government that “incremental gains” will be made in making individual fracking sites operational, but that the “social license will be more important when this industry scales up”. In other words, getting public support will be key.

Energydesk 14th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 July 2017

Fossil Fuels

MANY THANKS to everyone who has written to oppose the coal mine. We now have a period of time to build a campaign against this plan “The earliest Committee the application could be presented to is the 20 September 2017.Representations received after the report has been finalised (usually 10 days before the Committee meeting) will be verbally reported to the Committee on the day of the meeting.”

Keep Cumbria Coal in the Ground 15th July 2017 read more »

Companies hoping to take part in the Government’s promised fracking “revolution” have been “finding it a challenge” to get finance from British banks. According to minutes of a meeting between the industry and a Government minister, some firms were “struggling” or “suffering”. They added that some conventional oil and gas projects had been “affected by protests as well”, according to the civil servant’s notes. Environmental campaigners said the account of the meeting, obtained under freedom of information laws by an activist, showed that fracking was a “failed industry in the UK” and called for the Government to help the “booming renewable energy

Independent 15th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 16 July 2017

Fossil Fuels

Spanning 350 miles, by 2018 the $3 billion twin ME2 pipelines plus an existing ME1 pipeline are slated to bring 345,000 barrels per day of ethane, propane, and butane – classified as “hazardous liquids” by the US Department of Transportation – from the Marcellus Shale region across 17 counties to a storage facility at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook Industrial Complex. From there, the ethane will set sail for the Ineos petrochemical complex at Grangemouth on “dragon ships” to build the company’s proposed plastics empire. In the first part of a major US fracking investigation funded by the digital campaign group, 38 Degrees, The Ferret reported in May that eyes teared up with fear and sadness in the western part of Pennsylvania. But farther east in Huntingdon County and the Philadelphia suburbs, jaws are set in anger. Campaigners say their basic rights are being trampled – no small thing in the state where the US Constitution was born – and they are fighting to halt this pipeline and others like it. Or at least, to win the safeguards to which they believe they’re entitled. For while excavation and pipe laying proceeds apace, the ME2 is not really a done deal. Barriers include multiple lawsuits, three of which are making regular headlines as the pipeline’s owner and campaigners chase the cases up the courtroom ladder. Whoever prevails in this David vs. Goliath battle, Scotland should watch with interest as its politicians weigh whether to permanently ban fracking.

The Ferret 11th July 2017 read more »

Jonathon Porritt’s objection to the proposal from West Cumbria Mining regarding a new coking coal mine at Whitehaven.

Keep Coal in the Hole 11th July 2017 read more »

Global investment in coal-fired power plants is set to decline “dramatically” after passing an all-time high during the past several years, says the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Carbon Brief 11th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 12 July 2017

Fossil Fuels

In this guest post, Dr David Lowry, of the Institute for Resource and Security Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, highlights warnings in recent reports on potential health impacts from fracking. A study published by independent academic researchers at the University of Missouri at the end of 2013 found greater hormone-disrupting (so-called ‘gender-bender’ chemicals) properties in water located near fracking than in areas without drilling. Endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s endocrine system, which controls numerous body functions with hormones such as the female hormone estrogen and the male hormone androgen. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as those studied in the MU research, has been linked by other research to cancer, birth defects and infertility. Other US-based scientists at Yale University have found 55 fracking pollutants linked to cancer, including 20 associated with leukaemia or lymphoma.

Drill or Drop 9th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 10 July 2017

Fossil Fuels

The impasse over fracking in Scotland is likely to continue for years, ministers have acknowledged privately, because their decision is likely to be subject to a judicial review. Nicola Sturgeon is due to decide this year whether the controversial gas extraction method should be allowed. However, ministers expect the losing side to seek a judicial review, whatever decision the first minister makes. The Scottish government introduced a moratorium on fracking for gas in January 2015 and ministers have still to decide whether this should be made permanent. Gas reserves have been identified across the central belt but Ms Sturgeon has said in the past that she is “sceptical” about fracking and is understood to oppose it. The Scottish government insists that it has not made up its mind, and launched a consultation this year which drew more than 60,000 responses – more than twice as many as responded to the consultation on an independence referendum in 2012.

Times 7th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 7 July 2017

Fossil Fuels

Britons could be cooking Sunday lunch on US shale gas this weekend after it emerged that the first UK delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from US fracking fields was en route to Kent. Energy analysts at Icis said a tanker carrying the super-chilled gas was scheduled to arrive at the Isle of Grain LNG terminal on Saturday after a 13-day journey from Sabine Pass in the Gulf of Mexico. The Maran Gas Mystras vessel is capable of carrying 1,045 gigawatt-hours of gas, equivalent to about half of daily UK gas demand this week, Icis said. Last year Ineos, the petrochemicals company, imported the first UK cargo of ethane derived from US shale gas for use as feedstock for its Grangemouth refinery in Scotland. Saturday’s shipment would, however, be the first of natural gas for distribution to homes and businesses via the UK gas gr id.

Times 6th July 2017 read more »

FT 5th July 2017 read more »

Telegraph 5th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 6 July 2017

Obituary

Tributes have been paid to the climate change campaigner and supporter of shale gas, Stephen Tindale, whose death was announced today. Stephen Tindale was the co-founder of Climate Answers and from 2000-2005 the executive director of Greenpeace UK. He was an adviser to the industry-funded Shale Gas Task Force and since November last year a consultant to INEOS Shale. He argued that shale gas was necessary for decarbonisation.

Drill or Drop 5th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 6 July 2017

Fossil Fuels

Scientists will investigate how fracking can affect drinking water and its role in earthquake tremors of the kind caused by shale gas operations near Blackpool, as part of a taxpayer-funded £8m research project. The programme, backed by the Natural Environment Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council, will examine hydraulic fracturing’s environmental impacts on land, water and air, as well as public attitudes to the controversial extraction technique. The funding green light comes as a key shale firm submitted its official plan for minimising the risks of any seismic activity caused by its planned fracking operations in North Yorkshire.

Guardian 5th July 2017 read more »

The G20 nations provide four times more public financing to fossil fuels than to renewable energy, a report has revealed ahead of their summit in Hamburg, where Angela Merkel has said climate change will be at the heart of the agenda. The authors of the report accuse the G20 of “talking out of both sides of their mouths” and the summit faces the challenge of a sceptical US administration after Donald Trump pulled out of the global Paris agreement. The public finance comes in the form of soft loans and guarantees from governments, and, along with huge fossil fuel subsidies, makes coal, oil and gas plants cheaper and locks in carbon emissions for decades to come. But scientists calculate that to keep global warming below 2C, most fossil fuel reserves must be kept in the ground, requiring a major shift of investment to clean energy. The new report by a coalition of NGOs found that the G20 countries provided $71.8bn of public finance for fossil-fuel projects between 2013-2015, compared with just $18.7bn for renewable energy. Japan provided the most at $16.5bn, which was six times more than it allotted for renewables.

Guardian 5th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 5 July 2017

Carbon Capture & Storage

CARBON capture and storage (CCS) is too expensive and will “never be viable”, a former World Bank advisor claims. Economics professor Gordon Hughes, of Edinburgh University, says the anti-climate change measure is “little more than a utopian dream”. The claims are made in a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank, set up by Tory peer and climate change sceptic Nigel Lawson. The body challenges scientific data on the impact of pollution and has called on the UK Government to scrap targets to reduce harmful fossil fuel emissions. David Cameron’s government had planned to invest £1bn in developing CCS technology in the UK. A scheme in Peterhead was amongst the projects in the running for the grant, alongside the White Rose project in North Yorkshire. However, the contest was axed in 2015, something Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said was a “disgrace”, and power firm SSE, which was working on the Aberdeenshire bid along with Shell, called it a “significant missed opportunity”. In 2015, Stuart Haszeldine, professor of geology and carbon storage at Edinburgh University, insisted the infrastructure in place for the oil and gas sector makes the central North Sea “as near to perfect as you will find anywhere in the world” for offshore sub-surface CCS.

The National 28th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 28 June 2017