Saturday, 23 August 2014

Fracking: agree to differ

The issue of fracking is everywhere:
Futures Forum: Fracking: "smoke and mirrors"

There's some criticism of how the industry is handling the PR:
From polls to protests, the shale gas industry is its own worst enemy - 14 Aug 2014 - James' Blog: a blog from BusinessGreen.

This posting is from the NEF:

Energy round-up: [redacted]

Photo credit:   Imahornfan

Three things you shouldn't miss this week

  1. ArticleFrom polls to protests, the shale gas industry is its own worst enemy - a week from hell for the shale gas industry.
  1. Chart: “Disclosure of early thinking could close down discussion” - what’s left of Defra’s fracking impact report:
  1. Chart: UK public back renewables over shale – DECC’s survey of energy technologies:

The government’s case for shale looked increasingly shaky last week as a draft Defra report on the potential impact of fracking in rural areas was released with most crucial information simply removed.
The justification? “Disclosure of early thinking could close down discussion”. Given the ranging concerns on fracking — from health and safety to environmental impact — this lack of openness is far from reassuring, particularly given regular reports of safety issues from the US where the industry is now in full swing.
The government’s position on shale stands increasingly at odds with public opinion – according to the Coalition’s own polling data, support for fracking has fallen 5% since March. An industry-sponsored poll claiming the opposite was roundly criticised on methodological grounds.
Industry enthusiasm for shale gas in the UK highlights the desperate state of traditional fossil energy as more accessible resources, including North Sea oil, dwindle. While it is true that fracking has temporarily revitalised US oil production after years of decline, recently released data from the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) shows that this rejuvenation has been fuelled by debt. Data for 127 major oil and natural gas companies shows the gap between cash earnings from operations and expenditure increased from $18bn in 2010 to $110bn in the past three years. The cost of producing oil is soaring while a fragile global economy keeps prices pegged around $100/barrel.
The oil and gas industry is unsustainable environmentally, and increasingly unsustainable economically. It’s time to get off fossil fuels.

Energy round-up: [redacted] | New Economics Foundation

Earlier this evening on Radio 4, there was an attempt to see each other's point of view:

Episode 1 of 3

Most discussion formats set out to define opposing points of view and offer the listener a choice between them - maximum disagreement, minimum consensus. Agree to Differ is Radio 4's new discussion programme where the aim is to give listeners a completely new way to understand a controversial issue and to decide where they stand. Often when it comes to debates in these contested areas the protagonists spend more time attacking and caricaturing each other than they do addressing the heart of the issue. Agree to Differ will use techniques from mediation and conflict resolution to discover what really divides them - and just as important - if there's anything they can agree on. The mediator is Matthew Taylor the chief executive of the RSA and subjects for this first series will be fracking, vivisection and the future of Jerusalem

BBC Radio 4 - Agree to Differ, Fracking

See also - latest news stories:
BBC News - Anti-fracking protesters cause disruption in UK cities
Despite Compromise, Colorado's Fracking Fight Rages On | ThinkProgress
BBC News - Cuadrilla in legal bid to remove anti-fracking protesters
Oil companies fracking into drinking water sources, new research shows - LA Times

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