Keith Baker & Peter Styles: With a general election underway, Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, recently announced that fracking has been halted in the UK – but a closer look at this moratorium covers reveals a loophole. The suspension applies in the north of England, but the small print reveals that similar fossil fuel exploration in many traditionally safe Conservative constituencies in south-east England will be just as open for business as before. The term fracking (from “hydraulic fracturing”) has come to describe a range of methods of drilling for oil and gas that are more correctly known as unconventional extraction. These are techniques reserved for oil and gas that is hard to access. Fracking – the injection of sand, water and toxic chemicals at high pressure to widen small fractures in shale rock, releasing trapped gas or oil – is just one of them. The government’s moratorium makes clear that fracking in Lancashire is a no-go. After government agency the Oil and Gas Authority reported that it was not possible to predict the probability or size of tremors from fracking, Cuadrilla’s operations at the now infamous Preston New Road site – which caused a magnitude 2.9 earthquake – are no longer lawful. The same is true for other fracking sites in earlier stages of development in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.
The Conversation 8th Nov 2019 read more »
The European Union should halt funding of oil, gas and coal projects, EU finance ministers said, potentially cutting €2bn (£1.7bn) of yearly investments. The finance ministers called upon the European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU’s financing department, to cut its funding. Previously, they had only called for coal projects to be dropped. Since 2013, the EIB has funded €13.4bn of fossil fuel projects. Last year it funded about €2bn worth of projects. Some gas projects may be excused after Hungary suggested that Croatia and Ukraine might otherwise rely on Russia, Reuters reports, citing confidential documents.
BBC 8th Nov 2019 read more »