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“We’re all in it together”, David Cameron scrawled in his Telegraph article on fracking. Presumably this means he personally has invested heavily in the process as the evidence suggests there are appalling drawbacks for the majority of the UK.
The article, “We cannot afford to miss out on shale gas”, is sub-headed “Safe fracking will cut energy bills and create wealth without ruining precious countryside, writes David Cameron”.
Let’s put the alternative view immediately. Fracking would involve drilling large numbers of directional wells at regular intervals – coating the landscape with far more than the eight in the current largest onshore gas field in the UK, at Saltfleetby in Lincolnshire. Thousands would be required to temporarily – that’s right, temporarily – replace just one North Sea field. Production from a typical shale well declines by 70-80 per cent in the first year alone, meaning new wells must be drilled constantly to maintain production.
The method is to inject millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals into the wells, under massive pressure. Water consumption and contamination is a major issue, and disposal of the huge amounts of toxic waste produced by the process is extremely difficult – it seems attempts to inject it into the ground are causing large numbers of earthquakes.
Air pollution means high ozone levels, along with carcinogenic hydrocarbon vapours that can be blown hundreds of miles from the source, creating breathing difficulties, cancer clusters, neurological and reproductive problems in humans and animals living in the shadow of these industries. The typical response from industrialists (and government, to judge from Mr Cameron’s comments) is to demand proof from people who have neither the funds nor the health to do so.
Methane gas emissions amplify the global warming effects of burning other carbon fuels.
This is the process Mr Cameron wishes to inflict on you.
“If we don’t back this technology, we will miss a massive opportunity to help families with their bills and make our country more competitive,” he wrote in the Telegraph. He’s clearly forgetting that families wouldn’t have such serious problems with their bills if a previous Conservative government hadn’t privatised the energy companies, giving them to greedy shareholders who have raised prices far above increases in inflation, every year. As for making the country more competitive, he is forgetting that the Conservative government of Mrs Thatcher reduced our competitiveness by closing down the coal mines in order to chase cheap fuels from abroad, that have now risen in price. What a false economy that was!
With such a track record, why should we now believe a Conservative’s claims about this form of energy extraction?
“Labour’s mismanagement of the economy means that many people are struggling with the cost of living today.” To clarify: Labour did not mismanage the economy – the 1997-2010 government recently received a clean bill of health, as reported on this blog and elsewhere. This is a repetition of a lie that Conservatives have been spouting gleefully, ever since they decided on a whim that they no longer support what Labour did to save the economy after the credit crunch. Previously, they backed Labour all the way but this has been retrospectively changed. They seem to like retrospective alterations.
According to the BBC, “the government’s own energy department DECC says it’s not clear whether fracking will bring down bills or not”. So Mr Cameron is contradicting his own experts.
“Where we can act to relieve the pressure, we must.” Fine. Since there are more fossil fuels stockpiled today than we can burn at once, without causing the climate change that has been feared for so many years, the answer is to cut fuel bills by forcing the energy companies to stop being so stupidly greedy and charge realistic prices. Obviously.
“Secondly, fracking will create jobs in Britain.” But these people will then contract fracking-related diseases and be invalided out of work. They’ll go on to claim Employment and Support Allowance and/or Personal Independence Payment, be refused by “Returned To Unit”‘s* Department of Work and Pensions and die. The deaths will go unnoticed because the government has already decided to stop collecting death statistics.
“Thirdly, fracking will bring money to local neighbourhoods.” This sounds enticing, but no reference is made to how this money will be distributed. It goes to communities, not to people. “This is money that could be used for a variety of purposes – from reductions in council tax bills to investment in neighbourhood schools.” Those are both benefits that could be negated by, say, reductions in government grants to local councils, meaning the local levy must increase, and privatisation of the education system, meaning local people will need to find other ways of educating their children.
“I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits: north or south, Conservative or Labour. We are all in this together.” Does anybody remember the fuss when the route for the new HS2 rail service was revealed to pass through a government minister’s constituency? That was bad for the government’s image and won’t happen again. Expect fracking to be confined to areas away from Tory heartlands, where ministers and backbenchers won’t complain about it.
“Local people will not be cut out and ignored… firms looking to frack should make people aware of their plans well before they apply for a permit…. if residents express specific concerns, then companies should take them on board.” None of this guarantees that firms will be prohibited from fracking if sufficient public objection is raised; they’ll just say they’ve taken those concerns on board and carry on regardless.
Look at Balcombe, in West Sussex, where the firm Cuadrilla is facing determined opposition from protesters who were horrified when permission for drilling was granted last December. It seems likely that the firm will have to seek – and will receive – the necessary permits for fracking, but the community may receive no benefits as the oil targeted will be in rocks that are “not shale”.
Objections have been raised and ignored. That is what will happen to you.
“International evidence shows there is no reason why the process should cause contamination of water supplies or other environmental damage, if properly regulated,” said Mr Cameron, leader of the Party of DEregulation. Conservatives do not know how to regulate anything and it is against their ideology to do so. “If any shale gas well were to pose a risk of pollution, then we have all the powers we need to close it down.” Note that he does not make any mention of exercising those powers.
Plenty of independent information is available on fracking – certainly on the Internet – and readers are encouraged to look it up and decide for themselves.
And tell other people to do the same – otherwise we all stand in danger of having our land raped by a money-grubbing liar whose political party caused the problems he claims this environmentally-disastrous process will resolve.
*Iain Duncan Smith.
Anyone with a brain cell can google images of fracked sites and see for themselves what a lying POS the get is.
Not forgetting that he used to ride his bike, sledge in the Arctic and make promises of this government being the greenest there has ever been.
Thomas M said:
The sooner the Tories and their little yellow helpers get tossed out, the better.
David A Palmer said:
Read this from 1993 – CONLABLIB – have been lying for years, they are on the path of The New World Order. Hansard on Mastricht Treaty 1993 –
Denise Clendinning said:
This government never ceases to amaze me with the crap that they come out with and were supposed to believe it well mr big mouth do us all a favour and and shut the fu// up iv had enough of them and can,t wait unlit they have gone
Pingback: Cameron has lied so often that there is no reason to believe him on fracking | SMILING CARCASS'S TWO-PENNETH
Smiling Carcass said:
Reblogged at http://smilingcarcass.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/cameron-has-lied-so-often-that-there-is-no-reason-to-believe-him-on-fracking/
dark earth said:
What Cameron should have said: http://makewealthhistory.org/2013/08/12/what-cameron-should-have-said-about-fracking/
Geoff Foxwell said:
Re, Fracking in Sussex. Speaking as an Ex Driller. I have worked on drilling rigs in Sussex and that part of the UK. “A very long time ago, early 70’s”. Whats happening there at the moment is also a lot to do with NIMBYism as well you know. I can see their point though as who really want’s Fracking in their area really?. Deep boreholes with chemicals being added then the sub-strata highly pressurised to dislodge the gasses’s. Where I was we were drilling for gas and found it as well, not enough to make it viable and to fit a gas terminal atop the boreholes though. We were drilling not far from Hastings and very close to the sea and near a place named Fairlight and in the sand quarry there. After the Fiasco of the broken undersea cut off valve in the Gulf of Mexico recently I do not blame any of you being rather careful about any sort of drilling in your location. Not slightly conversant with fracking but must sure as shit know considerably more than the mouthpiece “who’s presently stonewalling and door blocking 10 Downing Street”. Look at it this way, could be worse, you could have “Egg Millistein in number 10”. No way is Millistein a socialist and never will be and if possible knows marginally less than Camaron, if possible.
I have a feeling that the chemical they will introduce into the borehole in the fracking process will be some sort of acid in an effort to allow more gas to escape to the atmosphere and to the surface eventually. I am wondering what the quality of the groundwater will be like in the Sussex area when they have a few 100 thousand gallons of Acid being blasted through the aquafa. The very name of the company hardly fills me with confidence either. Off the top of my head it’s named “Quadzilla or something”. It may as well be named “Micky Mouse Financially dodgy tacticians”. aka “another dodgy company getting onto the gravy train”.
Mike Sivier said:
Geoff, is there a reason you included your email address in the comment? I’ve taken the liberty of removing it because I wouldn’t want anyone with an axe to grind deciding that they’ll cause you some aggro and mailbombing your inbox or simply emailing you with abuse if they don’t like what you’re saying (not that anyone reading this blog would do such a thing, would they?)- or were you hoping for replies?
Geoff Foxwell said:
“Someone mentioned on here about owning the land where fracking is being planned”.
I have a feeling that if your family has owned land “from day one” you only own so many feet below ground and below that it’s the property of the Crown and the IGS aka the Institute of geological services. I think that in places like the USA if you own the land there you also own the minerals assorted and fossil fuels in their entireity. Not so in this country I fear unless they have changed the law’s quite recently. If they have changed the law’s recently it will be in favour of government anyway. Geoff Foxwell.
Mike Sivier said:
I believe you are correct, if I recall accurately.