To God There is no Zero

The BBC Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire’s report on fracking (20 Jan 2014) is pretty good. [It will go off the iPlayer very soon, so watch it now.]

The highlights include John Blaymires, Chief Operating Officer of iGas, standing in the deserted frackpad at Barton Moss, and explaining that the whole thing is a charitable enterprise.

We believe that it is worth pursuing this because, it’s got an enormous benefit for, not just to the country as a whole in terms of energy security but for the region as a whole in terms of jobs, training, employment and everything that goes with it.

iGas presumably has absolutely no financial interest in this, then. Asked if the water supply could be contaminated, he replies with the agreed industry line:

There has been evidence of some contamination but that has been caused because the well has not been constructed properly, and there is absolutely no evidence that it has been caused by fracking, per se.

Blaymires seems like an honest man who knows he has been told to speak nonsense and is uncomfortable with it. What he’s trying to say is that it is not the fracking which contaminated the water, but defects in the construction of the well.

A normal person might think that the construction of the well is part of the fracking, but the brilliant media minds hired by the gas industry are more careful than this. Drilling the well is one thing. Injecting the water down the well to crack the shale is another thing, and this is what they mean by ‘fracking’.

By the same logic, if I cook you a meal and give you food poisoning, I could say that it was not my meal that poisoned you, but those germs that I left in the food.

It takes a lot of education to come up with this kind of nonsense: Professor Richard Davis of Durham University says the same sort of thing, telling the Journal:

Fracking is not the cause of the [water] contamination. […] the wells were not cemented effectively. So it’s not the fracking itself but often the other associated operations that need to be focused on.

In fact, even by their own crazy definitions, they can’t say that fracking doesn’t contaminate the water, since to prove that one way or another, someone would have to crawl down the well shaft and then squeeze through all the cracks in the shale and see if they could find long connecting fissures that lead up to the aquifer. And the incredible shinking man has been paid off by the fracking companies to stay out of it.

Fracking – is it safe?

A very informative article in the Journal by Peter McCusker today airs the arguments over fracking in a most helpful way.

In other news, The Telegraph notes that council leaders in George Osbourne’s own constituency have declared that they will not permit fracking, saying they prefer to experiment with geothermal energy instead. In a statement , leader of Cheshire East council Michael Jones said: “Fracking may well be a useful technology for other areas and good luck to them if it is, however the people of Cheshire East have our assurance that there won’t be any in our borough.”

Cameron: ‘all out for shale’

The government today announced that it is going ‘all out’ for fracking, promising incentives for local authorities and communities to accept fracking in their areas. Although long expected, this is a serious and dreadful development — especially during this period of austerity during which local authority budgets have been cut.

Perhaps the cash bribes will help us to bring Newcastle City Pool back into operation. We can use it to store a tiny fraction of the toxic waste water from the fracking and gasification wells.

Frack-Free Tyne and Wear

Frack-Free Tyne and Wear has formed to resist the development of extreme energy in the north-east, specifically Underground Coal Gasification (UGC), Coal Bed Methane (CBM) and Hydraulic Fracturing (HF or fracking), and to promote safe alternatives which create long-term sustainable jobs and protect our environment and resources.

Helping to keep the north-east un-fracked