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bonnyclark Fri 06-Sep-13 19:57:56

My husband and I are very much against fracking, we have been down to Balcombe a few times to support the protest. My husband is a published songwriter and has donated a power protest song, called 'We Will Never Surrender', (Published by World Domination Music Ltd), all profits going towards the fight against fracking. You can download this song at
If you go into 'Fracking at Balcomber', you will see just how serious the situation is, and how much damage is being done to the planet. If we dont stop this 'assault', our children will never forgive us.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 08:44:41

See, I am not so bothered by the environmental side of things. I live in an old mining area. I have grown up and am used to holes in the ground, and other paraphinalia that goes with that and another industry that somewhat blots the landscape.

I think I am a realist. I realise that for us to have energy, or transport, or whatever, some parts of Britain are going to be have to be dug up.
And windfarms are hardly lovely to look at are they. They are visible for many miles around, whereas a pad may not be?

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 08:46:19

I am not sure about the cracks underground.

It doesnt seem that MN posters seem very bothered about fracking.

IsabellaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 13-Sep-13 10:43:12

If you want Local-specific Talk on issues such as Fracking, try using the Talk boards on Local Sites such as West Sussex:

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 13:56:03

The site looks as dead as my local one. I couldnt find any talk about it on there - perhaps I didnt spot it?
I am not local to that area.

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:02:30

True Insacerre - so much evidence about drinking water being contaminated making people ill, frack fluid spillages causing fish kills harming cattle, well blowouts, earthquakes (that damage the wells which then can cause seepage into the ground and ground water), and the enormous volumes of water which will be used and then lost out the water cycle.......and as for the lack of regulation.....

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:50:20

lack of regulation?

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 19:52:02

Well more precisely lack of enforcement of regulation. For example if a drilling company damages a well they have to tell HSE ( Health and Safety Executive) and DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change). However Cuadrilla continued to frack a damaged well for six months and no one knew about it and received nothing more than a slapped wrist.

There is a fracking report by the Royal Society which outlines 10 recommendations for good practice - these are recommendations not regulations. Many of these have not been adhered to.

Planning applications have been at best ambiguous and at worst inaccurate.

DECC appeared to have no knowledge of the horizontal arm they were drilling in Balcombe...

How is it that it is possible for flaring is being allowed to take place so close to people's homes? Because the regulations are those that are used for offshore drilling - so no regulation exists to monitor that...

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 19:59:41

Oh -and no Environment Impact Assessment is required despite it being a hazardous activity taking place in environmentally sensitive areas.

And they are streamlining the whole process to make permit applications, planning applications quicker and easier and have removed the rights of county councils to comment on flaring, venting and seismic activity.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:03:49

Yes, I couldnt see how it would be lack of regulation. This country is not known for its lack of regulation about anything these days.

Cuadrilla do appear to be getting away with things. Difficult to tell whether the DECC are being light handed, or whether Cuadrilla is keeping things quiet. My guess would be a combination of the two.

Recommendations though. Not much use for anything in life.
Until there is a disaster or 5.

Sounds like the DECC are working after the event so to speak.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:06:38

Wow at your last post. Who are they? The DECC?

Like I have said elsewhere on MN from time to time. The Government, that is any Government of any political persuasion anywhere, can actually do what the heck it likes.

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:20:23

Department of Energy and Climate Change. Three bodies monitor onshore oil and gas exploration DECC, the HSE and the Environmental Agency.

It is shocking - they are just doing what they like. Our local MP recruited Lord Browne as an advisor to the cabinet - he's the Director of Cuadrilla. That's just one of the connections of the government to the oil industry.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:44:06

frazzled, you live at Balcombe?

And it was your MP that recruited Lord Browns? What exactly does recruited mean? Please excuse my ignorance.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:45:02

I thought that they were trying to extract gas, which would be in competition with oil?

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:47:29

Yes re Balcombe.
Francis Maude gave him a job in the cabinet.
" one of his first tasks will be to work with Secretaries of State to appoint Non-Executive Directors to the board of each government department."

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:57:42

Cuadrilla were looking for oil at Balcombe - but oil trapped in the rock. The fracking process is for oil and gas. There's money in oil - so not competition - Cuadrilla would make money out of either. I am not sure if they were hoping to find gas at a deeper level, their stated intent was oil exploration.

Havea0 Fri 13-Sep-13 21:16:52

This is a role within Government but also independent of it"
Ha ha ha ha
That sort of statement always makes me laugh.
By definition, there can literally be no such thing.

Actually that whole Lord Browne thing is shocking. Soooo shouldnt be allowed. Downright disgraceful.

frazzled1772 Fri 13-Sep-13 21:33:15

It is totally shocking. Having seen the huge police presence at the protest site, protecting Cuadrilla's interests, having experienced how the EA have had to ignore local consultations, how planning permission was able to "slip through the net" - democracy is being quashed at so many levels.

Isitmebut Thu 16-Jan-14 15:34:29

In my opinion the different regions should have their own say whether to frack, or not to frack, especially as the reserves are so huge, if we can recover around 10% of the shale gas etc, we could be self sufficient for 30-50-years.

The Uk’s energy policy, by both design and neglect, leaves us relying on Russia and Iran for Europe’s gas supply, an ever politically volatile Arab Gulf for our light crude oil, France for our nuclear electricity and the rest of the world for wind turbines – our supply crisis aside, the Uk has a crisis in energy SECURITY – neither of which more ideological regulation and taxes on ever dwindling supplies and suppliers, will solve.

In the U.S. fracking has been going on for nearly a decade, they will be energy sufficient and EXPORTING the stuff within a few years, the tax receipts have helped the government and the CHEAPER PRICES have made businesses more competitive/ more jobs AND the people’s bills cheaper.

In the UK, fracking has been going on for 50-years near a nature reserve in Beckingham Marshes, Nottinghamshire, apparently with no side affects and everyone around the site is ‘happy’ – so to my mind the benefits are huge IF, and I repeat IF, the process is safe.

The fact is, until we let companies try to lift the stuff, we don’t know if we have an option/problem of being energy self sufficient, or not.

flipflop21 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:52:15

Fracking for shale is very different to fracking that has gone on previously. Only ONE shale well has been fracked using high volume technology in the UK and that was at Preese Hall in Lancashire in 2011. Fracking for shale gas has absolutely not been going on for 50 years.

Isitmebut Fri 24-Jan-14 13:46:03

Hi flipflop21….I apologise for not answering sooner, but it is hard getting links nowadays as so many sources are subscription only, but have a look at the following article and tell us what you think.

“Thanks in part to this original fracking process, allowing more oil and gas to be extracted, the oilfield is still yielding about 300 barrels of crude oil and one million cubic feet of natural gas daily.

The gas, piped under the reserve to a local power station, is now used to generate enough electricity to power 21,000 homes every day.”

flipflop21 Fri 24-Jan-14 19:04:49

Hi itsmebut.
That article is actually very misleading and was published at the height of the protests at Balcombe I believe. There has been such a lot of misinformation and inaccurate journalism about fracking. The industry and the government is keen to persuade people to accept their word about the safety of the process.

This link here will take you to a copy of a letter from DECC, the Department of Energy and Climate Change -the body that permits fracking in the UK and it confirms that only one well has been high volume fracked.

The difference is "high volume" fracking. At Nottinghamshire it is a conventional oil reservoir - ie like an enomous pool of oil underground that needed some stimulation to make it flow. Shale is oil or gas trapped in the rock. It requires much more "stimulation" and uses massive volumes of water,sand and hydrcholoric acid and other chemicals. It also results in a massive amount of waste. In addition the horizontal "arms" from the well head can extend 1000s of metres... I could go on.

If you are interested here's another link which explains it better than I can

Isitmebut Fri 31-Jan-14 13:21:38

Flipflop2…the UK government(s) and therefore ‘we the people’, in terms of energy affecting our daily lives, have run out of time. We can sit here worrying about “acid washing”, or drilling so deep we increase immigration, as thousands of slim Chinese people crawl up through the holes – we have a national energy emergency, government FINALLY has to make decisions TO DO SOMETHING about it.

The government believed a few years ago “"The UK regulatory system is up to the job for the present very small scale exploration activities, but there would need to be strengthening of the regulators if the government decides to proceed with more shale gas extraction, particularly at the production stage,"

The UK government has only just ensured that ‘the mother’ of useless regulation, the EU, doesn’t cause more delays and puts off the private investment VITAL to answering the basic questions on the viability of shale gas etc in the UK – we need to answer those questions with existing regulations.

The UK will have third-world type (aptly named) ‘Brownouts’ at the first severe winter from now onwards, as predicted by Ofgem back in 2012.

As explained in the link below, Labour ministers dithered for 10-years authorising a new generation of nuclear power plants, when half of our ageing reactors were due to be decommissioned within several years - partly because they felt that the resistance to the 11 new reactors(that he realised may not have been enough) would be intense, both from environmental groups and local communities – and partly because they were incompetent in getting the private sector to contractually pay for a new type of reactor that have yet to be completed here, or anywhere else.

In conclusion, unlike the likes of HS2 where we can debate ourselves silly IF the new money being spent on existing lines t’north will be sufficient to help rebalance the North-South economic divide – the UK has already left it too late to decide what energy will be ‘nice’, clean, or without minor risks, whether the country could afford it on not.

Governments inaction due to incompetence and/or electoral reasons has to end, and like everything else from 2010, tough decisions have to be made for ALL of the people, rather than just the environmentalists and local communities affected – as they will moan just as loud as the rest of the country, when their power goes out.

Fracking will not keep our lights on over the next few years, but all energy pipelines need to be open now to give the UK options in energy availability, security and price, for the decades to come. IMO.

flipflop21 Sat 01-Feb-14 09:16:29

Isitmebut -I suppose my question to you then Isitmebut is if you are happy to have fracking in then energy mix, what is your understanding of the risks of fracking?

Spinflight Tue 04-Feb-14 12:22:37

"I can guarantee you that any profits will be siphoned off into the pockets of the rich and powerful, ordinary citizens will not benefit, we will just pay the price."

Shame there isn't someone willing to share the proceeds... Through the sort of Sovereign Wealth fund first promoted by Tony Benn maybe...

Isitmebut Wed 05-Feb-14 15:43:45

Sinflight….Unfortunately since North Sea oil started coming ashore around 1976, the UK has never been in a position to start a Sovereign Wealth Fund like Norway and the governments in the Middle East – as they didn’t have our economic and social problems.

Don’t forget the 1970’s was probably our worst economic decade after the war, especially as around the time oil was piped, Labour had to call in the International Monetary Fund as we could not cover our outgoings and needed to borrow like some third world type nation.

Now I have no idea when Tony Benn suggested a SWF, but I do know he was around under the Labour government of 1978/9, when a decade of declining industrial output/problems culminated in the now famous UK “Winter of Discontent” – so quite when we had money to put by, rather than reduce debt, beats me.

Unfortunately we currently have a Sovereign Wealth Hole, that until our annual Deficit is balanced, it will reach around £1,500,000,000,000 in 2015, so any Fracking help to reduce that, SHOULD mean from a responsible government LESS taxes to the masses to pay that bill for financial incompetence, down.

Until then, incentives for local communities to drill and 1% of the gas lifted proceeds, is currently about it.

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