SAFE treatment and disposal of waste water from fracking could cost more than Â£1 million per well, according to new research.Scientists from Edinburgh University have found that a lack of specialist waste treatment facilities could add the sizeable sum across the lifetime of each well. This would therefore limit the development of the controversial practice in the UK, according to the researchers. Their research, published in Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, studied wells in the US to better understand the volume of waste that would be generated by the UK industry. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting gas from shale rock by drilling underground and and injecting water and sand at high pressure. The practice was indefinitely banned in Scotland at the star t of October after a moratorium that lasted two years. A ban in the UK was lifted in 2012, and subsequent attempts to set up sites have been met with resistance. One of the main concerns with fracking is the disposal of the waste water. The US documentary Gasland highlights this issue, saying that each of the options – moving the waste water to a treatment facility, moving it to injection wells deep underground, or recycling it by using it in other fracking jobs – carries risks to the environment. Now the Edinburgh team has identified the potential costs of disposal.
The National 18th Dec 2017 read more »
The government is to allow Britain’s Â£2tn workplace pension schemes to dump their shares in oil, gas and coal companies more easily, empowering them to take investment decisions to fight climate change. Until now, pension schemes have been hamstrung by “fiduciary duties” that effectively require schemes to seek the best returns irrespective of the threat of climate change. Many have rebuffed calls by members for fossil fuel divestment, citing legal obligations. But in what has been hailed as a major victory for campaigners against fossil fuels, the government is to introduce new investment regulations that will allow pension schemes to “mirror members’ ethical concerns” and “address environmen tal problems”. The rules are expected to come into force next year after a consultation period and will bring into effect recommendations made in 2014 and earlier this year by the Law Commission.
Guardian 18th Dec 2017 read more »