indecisonThe fiasco in the brewery that Lancashire County Council is failing to organise about the decision to drill in the county shows that the issue is too complex a decision to be left to them alone.  

This is certainly not a reflection on the planning officer's report, a very complete affair, which rejected everything except local noise and traffic concerns, and will set a valuable precedent for the rest of the UK. But it's obvious that the committee are uncomfortable in the middle of an emotional debate. Many planners have told me privately that they want the cover of someone deciding for them and actually resent being given the responsibility to do central government dirty work. Conversely it makes the planning system even more likely to bend over backwards and get outside consultants who back up their no action at all choice. The misconceptions, exaggerations, fears and sadly, often outright lies, put forth by Friends of the Earth in particular are a powerful tool when combined with a major negative PR campaign itself founded on fear that the vested interests of renewable lobbies would be damaged by natural gas. I’ve noted on several occasions how wrong that is. The US experience shows how even in the midst of the shale boom, more renewable energy generation is being built than any other type. Texas (!) produces more wind energyby percentage than Ireland, Denmark or Spain, over a third of actual delivered electricity in winter 2015. Methane levels in Pennsylvania have fallen by half in ten years, ten years of a gas boom. Health impacts are entirely conjectural, not medical as a report from only yesterday has shown yet again.

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  • Striebs

    Regardless of the authenticity of central govt's support for UK unconventional , the LCC made no effort to process the planning application properly and resorted to anarchy instead . In days gone by such a gauntlet thrown down would not have been tolerated by central govt . Such poor and weak lea...
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  • Mark

    It was particularly ironic to hear a councillor who was opposing the development talking about fearing the "industrialisation of the countryside". In a way I see the fear but this is a development the size of two football pitches, and it's a development near Blackpool, a town built on the developing...
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ises“Connecting the Unconnected” was the theme of the 3rd International Student Energy Summit (ISES) in Bali, Indonesia the week before last.

Students from 100 countries attended, but there was an especially wide range of energy experts from all corners of the globe. It was good to see old friends like Barry Goldstein, Energy Regulator of South Australia and make new ones like Chris Bromley, IEA lead on Geothermal Energy and Liu Xiaoli from China’s Energy Research Institute and the World Economic Forum. Professors in renewables from the US, experts in Urban Planning and Energy from Amsterdam, my favourite Russian gas expert Tatiana Mitrova  were there along with the brightest environmentalist going, Mike Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute. We even had Chris Nelder, representing the disappearing world of Peak Oil and an inspiring speech by former President of the Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, someone with an obvious interest in global sea level rises.

 

rodney dangerfieldEd Davey is the Rodney Dangerfield of British shale gas. He don’t get no respect. As one of the most powerful Liberal Democrats in the cabinet, he gets an inundation of abuse from Conservative bitter enders who still don’t get the difference between getting the most seats in the 2010 election, and not actually winning the election. Being a Lib Dem and the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, the right wing narrative is one of a Brussels stooge out to destroy the shale industry. 

Therefore. any positive statements he makes on shale gas can be conveniently ignored.  

The Green narrative (no longer-left BTW), is one where he has to pay lip service to his Conservative partners, especially Chancellor Osborne. He’s secretly one of ours seems to be the message. 

Therefore. any positive statements he makes on shale gas can be conveniently ignored.

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  • Ed Davey is the Energy Minister. If you are frustrated by the lack of progress on fracking, isn't he the guy you should be blaming?
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  • Draughtsman

    TooWindy - Yes, but when it comes to wind 'farms' local council opposition is often over ridden on an appeal from the developers. It will be interesting to see what happens in this regard if fracking ever does get going. I suspect there will be a bad case of double standards vis a vis wind and shale...
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  • TooWindy

    One has to follow the UK shale politics to upstanding that all these empty rhetoric from Ed Davey, Fallon, Cameron mean nothing for shale development or UK energy security or competitiveness. They have meaningless in making things things happen and moving. They have no power in these issue because t...
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Ukraina Hotel Moscow Russia MoscowOne of my stranger speaker invitations recently was earlier this month in Moscow to an Adam Smith conference on Russia EOR (enhanced oil recovery), where I found myself in the ironic position of giving a presentation to reassure the audience that fracking,for oil was safe.

Fracking is fracking and there is little or no difference between the methods used for gas or oil. Oil fracking in it’s modern form of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing using less chemicals than before was introduced by Harold Hamm in the North Dakota Bakken about ten years ago and the impact on US oil is now well known. The Bakken turned around the idea that US oil had peaked, and the technology rippled out to the Eagle Ford, Permian and Niobrara formations. One of the nails in the Peak Oil coffin has been the realisation by even the conventional wisdom this year that shale oil can go international. It’s already happening in Argentina, Australia and China, but the big prize is in Russia’s Bazhenov shale in Western Siberia.

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  • Alex K.

    It's easy to find info on fracking in Russia since the largest providers are publicly traded. The largest contractor by job count is probably C.A.T.oil, which does about 30% of all fracs in Russia. Then there's Trican and Calfrac and Schlumberger, of course. I would guess about 9,000 frac jobs were ...
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