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GuardianWitness - Fracking debate in the UK: does it affect you?

GuardianWitness - Fracking debate in the UK: does it affect you? | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The Scottish government has announced a moratorium on all planning consents for unconventional oil and gas extraction, including fracking.



But elsewhere in the UK, Lancashire county council has had to defer planning decisions on two proposals from shale gas explorer Cuadrilla, despite recommendations from council officers to refuse the application. A revised plan will be put out to public consultation - an eight week delay on a decision on what would be the UK's first full scale fracking.



Are you in an area that has been part of demonstrations or discussions about fracking? We want to hear your experiences about how this has affected where you live.



Share your stories, photos and videos and we will publish the best on the site alongside our coverage and as part of a Guardian Live event.



Your safety and welfare are most important – so please think about this when taking part in the protests and when sharing your content with us.
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The Guardian gives a boost to the debate on fracking in the UK.

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Taxpayers to fund hundreds of fracking boreholes across the UK- The Guardian

Taxpayers to fund hundreds of fracking boreholes across the UK- The Guardian | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Drilling of holes to monitor ground movement and water pollution slammed as an attempt to dupe public over shale gas safety
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Hundreds of government-funded boreholes are set to be drilled across Britain to try to persuade the public that a looming shale gas boom can be developed safely, the Observer has learned. Sensors in the boreholes would detect possible water pollution or earthquakes caused by fracking and the information would be made public.

“We will be taking the pulse of the sub-surface environment and will reveal if things are going wrong, but also if they are going right,” said Professor Mike Stephenson, director of science and technology at the British Geological Survey, which would drill the boreholes. “The aim is to reassure people that we can manage the sub-surface safely.”

The plan, called the energy security and innovation observing system, will cost taxpayers £60m-£80m. It is awaiting final approval from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where energy minister Matthew Hancock, a fracking enthusiast, holds another ministerial post.

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Methane burned vs. methane leaked: Fracking’s impact on climate change

Methane burned vs. methane leaked: Fracking’s impact on climate change | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Despite its problems, the fracking boom is still better than burning coal.
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The 4 Big Dangers of Fracking

The 4 Big Dangers of Fracking | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Here’s a look at what we’ve learned about the dangers of fracking in the last few weeks.
Artur Alves's insight:

"By now you’ve likely heard that the U.S. is expected to overtake Russia this year as the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas. The surge in production comes from a drilling boom enabled by using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, along with, in many places, horizontal drilling. These technologies have made previously inaccessible pockets of oil and gas in shale formations profitable.

But at what cost? Accidents, fatalities and health concerns are mounting."

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Fracking’s Threats to Drinking Water Call for a Precautionary Approach

Fracking’s Threats to Drinking Water Call for a Precautionary Approach | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
 At least one aspect of fracking’s risks to drinking water became a little clearer this week.
Artur Alves's insight:
"A study led by Rob Jackson of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that drinking water wells located within 1 kilometer of a shale gas well in a region of northeastern Pennsylvania are at high risk of contamination with methane.The research team analyzed 141 drinking water wells in northeastern Pennsylvania’s gas-rich Marcellus shale region and detected methane in 82 percent of them.  For homes within 1 kilometer of a gas well, the average methane concentration was six times higher than in water wells located further away. Nearly 1 in 11 of the household wells analyzed had methane concentrations above the threshold level set by the U.S. Department of Interior for immediate remediation; all but one of those drinking water wells was within 1 kilometer of an active shale gas well."
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The Real Story Behind the Fracking Debate

The Real Story Behind the Fracking Debate | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"Fracking is not good or bad: it is a process to increase the production of fossil fuels, primarily natural gas, from certain geological formations. But good or bad things can happen as a result of fracking, depending on how it is implemented, where it is pursued, the technologies used, and the actions taken to increase its benefits and reduce its impacts. And whether or not you support or oppose fracking depends on how those benefits and impacts are perceived, distributed, addressed, and valued -- and whether it is in your backyard.."

 

Good article in the Huffington Post on the US fracking debate.


Via Willy De Backer
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For The First Time, Scientists Prove Fracking Caused An Earthquake Strong Enough To Be Felt By Humans

For The First Time, Scientists Prove Fracking Caused An Earthquake Strong Enough To Be Felt By Humans | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
This is the first time a study has linked an earthquake large enough to be felt by humans to fracking.
Artur Alves's insight:

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The scientists, from the University of Miami, identified 77 earthquakes of varying size in the Poland Township of Ohio, all occurring between March 4 and March 12 and all located near a group of oil and gas wells. The quakes ranged between magnitudes of 1.0 and 3.0, but the local community reportedly only felt one, a magnitude 3.0 on March 10.

According to study co-author Robert Skoumal, that magnitude 3.0 quake was “one the largest earthquakes ever induced by hydraulic fracturing in the United States.”

To make his determination, Skoumal and his colleagues compared the series of earthquakes to reports that showed the timing of fracking at those oil and gas wells, all operated by Hilcorp Energy. They found the earthquakes “coincided temporally and spatially with hydraulic fracturing at specific stages of the stimulation,” the BSSA said in a press release.

The research doesn’t prove that all fracking causes earthquakes, but it does suggest that fracking occurring near fault lines has the potential to cause them. The BSSA noted that the 77 Ohio quakes occurred along one fault line within .06 miles of the well sites, and that fracking occurring at other nearby wells not near that fault line produced no seismicity.

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Wastewater well suspended after “frackquakes” rock Colorado

Wastewater well suspended after “frackquakes” rock Colorado | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Regulators are calling the move a "cautionary step"
Artur Alves's insight:

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The (literally) earth-shattering implications of fracking have officially hit Colorado, where officials suspended a well used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling after researchers linked it to seismic activity in the area.

A 3.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the typically “aseismic” Greeley on May 31, its epicenter about 2 miles from the wastewater injection site. But it was a second, 2.6 magnitude quake this past Monday, picked up by a team of researchers from the University of Colorado that had been monitoring the area, that convinced regulators to take action.

In a statement, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission explained that it ordered High Sierra Water Services, the well’s operator, to stop disposing wastewater for 20 days, “as a cautionary step.”

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The U.S. has about 145,000 wells like the one suspended in Colorado; they’ve been linked to hundreds of quakes in Ohio. In April, Ohio suspended drilling at a number of wells after officials confirmed that there was a “probable connection” between earthquakes and fracking itself.

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Shale gas: make polluters pay for the social cost of fracking

Shale gas: make polluters pay for the social cost of fracking | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
While the prime minister has shown unequivocal support for exploiting Britain’s shale gas reserves, stating the country should “go all out for shale gas”, more cautious voices point to possible effects…
Artur Alves's insight:

"While the prime minister has shown unequivocal support for exploiting Britain’s shale gas reserves, stating the country should “go all out for shale gas”, more cautious voices point to possible effects such as minor earthquakes, contamination of water sources and industrialisation of the countryside.

Besides these, shale gas will contribute to climate change in two ways, from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when the gas is burnt, and from the fugitive emissions of underground methane (CH4) that leak into the atmosphere as the gas is extracted. These concerns have led to protests against the drilling of shale gas exploratory wells. Others are more willing to accept shale gas, but as a fuel used only for a few years as the country gears up for a low carbon future.

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The social cost of methane has been much less studied. We know from estimates of Global Warming Potentials – the warming effects of each greenhouse gas – that methane, tonne for tonne, is much more potent than CO2. Initial results from the PAGE09 model indicate that at our present rate of emissions, the best estimate is that the social cost of methane is a little over US$1,500 per tonne. This is why the prospect of considerable methane emissions from fracking has caused such concern."

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New Brunswick fracking protests are the frontline of a democratic fight

New Brunswick fracking protests are the frontline of a democratic fight | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Martin Lukacs: Images of burning cars and narratives about natives breaking the law obscure the real story about the Mi'kmaq people's opposition to shale gas exploration
Artur Alves's insight:

On the construction of the native as a violent protester.

 

"There is only one reason the police were unleashed. Not because of the New Brunswick Premier's claims about the dangers of an "armed encampment"; protestors had been unswervingly non-violent for months. Ever since 2010, when New Brunswick handed out 1.4 million hectares of land – one-seventh of the province – to shale gas exploration, opposition had been mounting. Petitions, town hall meetings, marches on legislature had slowly transformed to civil disobedience, and in October, to the blockade of equipment that Texan SNW Resources was using for seismic testing. The company was losing $60,000 daily, and the non-violent defiance had put a wrinkle in the Premier's plans for a resource boom. The blockade had to go.

The pundits howl or hand-wring about destroyed police cars, but say nothing about the destruction wrought by fracking. Short for "hydraulic fracturing," fracking pumps a toxic cocktail of chemicals, sand and water into deeply drilled wells. It shatters the bedrock to free shale gas. The chemicals – many of which are kept secret by industry – are linked to cancer and other illnesses. The process contaminates ground water and even causes earthquakes. And it doesn't just do violence to the earth: it releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes massively to climate change. Such concerns have spurred citizen movements to win moratoriums in Quebec, New York and France."

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Gaz de schiste : des fuites de méthane plus importantes que prévu

Gaz de schiste : des fuites de méthane plus importantes que prévu | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Selon une étude américaine, les puits de gaz de schiste laissent fuir 9 % de méthane dans l'atmosphère, mettant en cause le bilan climatique de ce gaz non conventionnel par rapport au charbon.
Artur Alves's insight:

Methane leaks make shale gas extraction via fracking a very dirty and dangerous tech.

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