Why you should be concerned about ‘fracking’

‘Fracking’ is moving in — very possibly to an area near you. People all over the planet are protesting against it. In the UK, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Argentina, South Africa, and also increasingly in the United States and Canada where fracking has been going on for years. In Australia, opposing fracking has become the largest popular movement ever seen in this country.

tar-sands-demo_collage

What all this means is that you need to spend a bit of time now to understand what the issue with that ‘fracking’-method is, and why extracting unconventional gas really is a very very bad idea.

Content on this page

» The resistance movement versus the industry
» Fracking for beginners
» Experts explain fracking
» Musicians explain fracking
» Mingling with the truth
» Links to dig deeper
» One thing is constant: leaks
» Article: Ban the ‘extreme gas’ extraction
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

About gas mining and resistance against it in…
» Australia
» Geelong region
» United States
» Europe
» United Kingdom
» Canada
» Siberia




The resistance movement versus the industry

Expressed both in real-life rallies with thousands of ordinary citizens, many of them farmers, and with innumerous protests in cyberspace, where more than 200,000 videos about fracking have been uploaded to YouTube.com, thousands of Facebook-pages and blogs are being frequently updated and where more than 500 musicians have posted their music videos about fracking, this is a massive uprise by ordinary people around the planet.

France and Bulgaria have banned fracking altogether, Germany is on its way with a seven year temporary ban on fracking (which is called a ‘moratorium’), and the number of states and councils that have declared themselves ‘frack free zones’ in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia can be counted in hundreds.

Governments – including the American, British, Danish and Australian governments – however, are generally telling the fracking industry to ignore these protests, and police is protecting the fracking companies, not the citizens who stand up to stop the ‘frackers’ from polluting their drinking water, from environmental damage and from worsening the climate change crisis.

Australia’s major political parties have accepted almost $2.7 million in donations from companies associated with fracking and unconventional gas between 2010 and 2013, according to The Spectator








Fracking industry: Fastest growing sector
Extracting gas with hydraulic fracturing – ‘fracking’ – has been allowed to become one of the fastest growing sectors of the dirty energy industry which is polluting our atmosphere and causing dangerous disruptions in our climate. The gas mining industry is known to have contaminated groundwater, triggered earthquakes and it leads to releases of methane, which is a greenhouse gas causing 20-25 times more warming of the planet than carbon dioxide.

Once you have spent some time learning about what ‘fracking’ involved, and what the risks are, it will be much easier for you to make up your mind. Because sooner or later, you will have to take a stand.

With that in mind, this page has been compiled with input from various sources and countries. It is an invitation to get started. Lesson One about fracking.

Photos: courtesy of EnergyReality.org

Photos: courtesy of EnergyReality.org





 

Fracking for beginners

Fracking is slang for ‘Hydraulic Fracturing’ and is a method used to extract natural gas.

Here are three videos describing the process of Hydraulic Fracturing used by the oil and gas industry today. And the problems about it.

CNN explains fracking:

Published by CNN on youtube.com on 8 March 2012.

 


The industry itself explains fracking in this way:

‘Hydraulic Fracturing – Shale Natural Gas Extraction’

Published by SMT Learning* on youtube.com on 8 March 2012.

What is interesting about the educational video ‘Hydraulic Fracturing – Shale Natural Gas Extraction’ is that a lot of effort is put into explaining many fine details about the fracking technique, but the speaker does not even mention the up to 600 different poisonous chemicals which are injected into the ground and which make the whole operation so dirty and dangerous. The speaker just says that what they pump in the ground is ‘mainly sand and water’. That is… well, frankly, this is manipulation at a sophisticated level.

And this… unfortunately, is one of the serious problems with the topic of fracking:

fracking-chemicals_visuali5

So, what are we to learn from this video?

That when we read or hear about the wonders of fracking in mainstream news media, we must be constantly aware of that we are dealing with people and an industry which can’t be trusted. It is prepared to use all kinds of tricks, even lying, or simply doing what they can to hide the truth.

* SMT Learning specialises in producing courses and material for clients in the oil industry.

 


See what actually goes on under the soil:




Experts explain the dangers of fracking


Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith explains about toxic risks of CSG at Lismore

Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith is a credible expert who knows why these fracking chemicals are a threat to us all, and why the air pollution from fracking also is an issue. She is senior advisor to the National Toxics Network and an expert on the toxic risks of coal seam gas mining to human and animal health. In this presentation at the Lismore Community Information evening concerning CSG mining in the Northern Rivers, Dr Lloyd-Smith presents a detailed and devastating analysis of the poisonous effects of this destructive industry.

Published on youtube.com 28 April 2012.


Dr Helen Redmond from Doctors for the Environment talks about the impacts of coal-seam gas water contaminants and the impacts on human health.

Published on Vimeo on 4 April 2011.



collage36_560

» The Sustainable Hour on 30 July 2014: Audio-postcard from the future of fracking

Seven experts explain fracking in a 40-minute ‘audio-postcard’ produced for councillors who are seeking education on this issue – in the hope that they will actually listen.


collage21_560

» The Sustainable Hour on 16 April 2014: Impacts of unconventional gas extraction

Audio-recordings of the seminar ‘Unconventional gas extraction and the social, economic and environmental impacts’ which took place in Melbourne on 26 March 2014. It was transmitted via video conference to 11 different locations in Victoria – one of them at Deakin University in Geelong.


“Who is a $1.3bn billion renewable energy cut helping? Mining companies, that’s who.”
Anonymous comment in a discussion thread



Musicians explain fracking

Maybe most educational of them all is this musical way of explaining what fracking is:


» How much concern fracking is causing among musicians and the extend of the public uprise against the fracking industry becomes clear if you browse through this collection of over 500 different music videos that have been produced to illustrate songs about fracking.


Leo Sayer and The Aussies Against Fracking Allstars: ‘No Fracking Way’
Published on youtube.com on 16 December 2013.





Mingling with the truth

“In fact, they have just told lies all the time. They really told you what they want you to hear.”
Doreen Stopforth, who lives half a mile from an exploratory shale gas well in Lancashire



Tar sands spill in Cold Lake Alberta

Tar sands spill in Cold Lake Alberta

“The spill is under control.”
» 9 August 2013: 350.org wrote: “The company responsible for weeks-long tar sands spill in Cold Lake Alberta said the spill was under control. They weren’t telling the truth. A worker from Alberta’s energy regulator revealed the spill is still continuing apace. It’s one of a series of lies by the industry.”


Links to dig deeper

pro-publica_logo

» A series of well-researched articles about fracking: propublica.org/series/fracking


Fracking in Geelong region
» If you live in or near Geelong in Victoria, you will find relevant local information on www.frackfreegeelong.org


 

One thing is constant: leaks

gas-wells-leaking

The oil and gas industry — including the frackers — have a fundamental problem: wells leak. By claiming the opposite, the fracking industry is attempting to ignore a basic rule of engineering: sometimes things go wrong. It’s basic risk management.

The huge number of leaking wells is a structural rather than regulatory problem. That’s because the industry is unable to build wells that don’t leak. In almost every area of the oil and gas industry you find one thing is constant – leaks.

icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Continue reading: frack-off.org.uk/gas-wells-leaking


New Scientist – 12 August 2013:
Fracking could accelerate global warming
The case for fracking rests on its reputed ability to stem global warming. Burning gas emits half as much planet-warming carbon dioxide as an equivalent amount of coal. That is why, after embracing fracking, CO2 emissions have fallen in the US.
But leading climate scientists are warning that this benefit is illusory. Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, concluded in a recent study that substituting gas for coal increases rather than decreases the rate of warming for many decades. By Fred Pearce



Climatic Change – October 2011, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 601-608:
Coal to gas: the influence of methane leakage
“When gas replaces coal there is additional warming out to 2,050 with an assumed leakage rate of 0%, and out to 2,140 if the leakage rate is as high as 10%.” By Tom M. L. Wigley


 

“What I want to ask here is, could any nuance alter the conclusion that fracking is bad and should be stopped, since the following two things are true: Water supplies can get contaminated, and when fracking moves into an area, property values can sink to zero.
Is there anything else in which we deem it okay to ruin peoples’ homes and communities so some people can make more money? Didn’t we decide a long time ago that we need to protect things? What kind of country exempts one practice — fracking for gas — from its Clean Water Act, since the process contaminates water?”
Carl Safina

 


Time for a fracking break?
Take a minute together with Troy McBlur:


 

Seize the Day: ‘Frakka Hakka’

Filmed in Balcombe at the controversial Cuadrilla fracking site in West Sussex, Seize the Day’s ‘Frakka Hakka’ song is performed by the band and protestors at the Balcombe Community Defenders Camp. Published on youtube.com on 12 January 2014




Ban the ‘extreme gas’ extraction

Extraction of unconventional gas and shale gas – ‘extreme gas’ – is both an expensive, dirty and deeply immoral detour to the oil, gas and coal-free society that Denmark officially has set out to become by 2050.

By Thomas Meinert Larsen, Mik Aidt and Jens Hørby Jørgensen, The Climate Movement in Denmark
(This article was originally written in Danish language for a Danish audience)

It was the former Danish Climate Minister Lykke Friis who in 2010 gave the French company Total permission to start test drilling for shale gas in Denmark. At the time only a few Danes had any knowledge — let alone heard of — shale gas and the controversial method of hydraulic fracturing — in English called ‘fracking’ — which is used to extract the unconventional gas. Perhaps her decision can be defended with lack of insight. But with our knowledge today, and with the many tedious, not to mention environmentally disastrous experience with shale gas from the United States and Canada, it is incomprehensible that the current climate and energy minister Martin Lidegaard has not yet put a stop to shale gas extraction in Denmark.

Here are 10 compelling reasons why the government should hit the brakes and stop all plans to extract ‘extreme gas’.


Fossil fuels to be phased out
We know from the International Energy Agency — an intergovernmental energy think tank under the OECD with 200 employees, which works to ensure reliable, economically and environmentally sustainable energy for its 28 member countries — that the world cannot afford to burn more than a third of the already known reserves of fossil fuels, if the globe’s pain threshold at a maximum of 2°C degrees global temperature rise should be maintained.

Therefore, it is absurd if Denmark allows further exploration for and extraction of fossil fuels, and even more absurd with regard to shale gas, which requires a lot of energy to extract.

Denmark’s credibility as a country that contributes positively to the green transition is at stake. If one of the world’s richest countries cannot take the lead and set a good example by saving some of the fossil reserves for future generations, which countries can then?


Local pollution
The widespread extraction of shale gas in Canada and the United States, both in the remote, uninhabited areas and in peri-urban areas, has pulled a sad trail of pollution scandals.

Both local environment, wildlife and drinking water has been spoiled. Shale gas extraction provides major problems with disposal of the large quantities of wastewater from gas production. In North America huge amounts of chemical, heavy metal-bearing production liquid is stored in large open pools directly in the free nature.

This has led to strong opposition in the local population. Several citizen groups fight an intense battle to make the authorities aware of the significant problems, they are being affected by and which is not simply about pollution, but also about the very intense traffic of large trucks that day long carry large amounts of water, chemicals and used production fluid to and from the facilities.

In Denmark, there is also the added risk that the shale layers contain radioactivity, and that the waste water therefore may be radioactive.


Landscape mutilated
But it doesn’t stop here. The experience from North America shows that despite industry assurances that they leave the area in the same condition as when they started, we now see that these industrial installations in the open country clearly disfigure and batter the landscape. The same is expected to happen in Denmark. Shale gas-extraction affects the local countryside, agricultural production and local tourism.


Gambling with drinking water
It has not yet been put into the open how much and what type of water, which Total will apply to fracking in Denmark. However, this may be crucial, because shale gas extraction requires an enormous amount of water consumption. If Total chooses to apply groundwater, it constitutes a risk to drinking water supplies – a risk which potentially could affect drinking water supplies not only locally in Northern Jutland and the northern part of Zealand, but also in the metropolitan areas of the Danish capital, Copenhagen.


A costly business
Proponents of shale gas often argue that fracking provides tax revenue. But they rarely mention that it will also cost the state tens of millions of dollars. For example, energinet.dk has estimated that it will be necessary to establish new mount points for the Danish gas networks and that it may be necessary to bring up to 300-400 kilometres of gas transmission lines in order to be able to transport and export the shale gas. Several reports indicate that a profitable shale gas extraction can only happen in Europe if it relies quite heavily on public subsidies.


The local community bears the burden
Supporters of shale gas in Europe rarely mention the fact that it is the state that owns the underground resources of the subsoil. This is completely different than in the United States where landowners also own the right of subsoil and therefore typically receive a portion of the revenue from the production of shale gas. Any extraction in Northern Jutland and North Zealand means that the local landowners, and, above all, neighbours and the rest of the local society will not have significant income from this type of industry, but that they, in turn, must live with the many inconveniences and hardships that follow.


Questionable climate effect
Proponents argue that gas should be more “climate-friendly” than for instance coal. But even this argument is doubtful. It is well documented that in fracking large quantities of the natural gas methane escapes into the atmosphere — methane, which has a strong greenhouse effect, about 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

In the United States, it has been documented that between 7-10 percent of gas drillings are leaking methane. Field measurements in the United States have shown spills of up to four percent of the gas production. Add to that the emissions which continue take place many years after the drilling taken out of production.

World Resources Institute estimated that methane emissions must be less than one percent in order to ensure that shale gas is actually more climate-friendly than coal. The Danish think tank Concito has also documented that even if it should turn out that Total is able to virtually eliminate emissions of methane, then the shale gas extraction will not have any positive effect on the climate in a Danish or a European context, because the produced shale gas is not going to to replace any coal consumption, but simply replaces the gas Denmark would have imported mainly from Russia.


Unnecessary for self-sufficiency
The argument that Denmark needs fracking in order to be energy self-sufficient is directly misleading. On the homepage of Total, you can get the impression that Denmark will be a net importer of natural gas already from 2021. But it does not match the Government’s own figures, as they have presented in the energy plan ‘Our Energy’. It describes a much lower natural gas consumption than Total does. The official projections of natural gas production from the North Sea will continue to be able to ensure national self-sufficiency in gas for at least 20 years to come – without any shale gas, mind you.


Energy will be not cheaper
In the United States have shale gas production led to a slight reduction in the price of gas. But several reports indicate that the extraction of shale gas in Europe is not going to be just as profitable, and thus will not lead to cheaper energy prices at home. The reasons include the geological nature of the European shale gas, the lack of equipment and expertise to extract the gas, and the lack of infrastructure to process and transport the gas.

There are several examples of companies drilling for shale gas in Hungary, Poland and Sweden which have stopped their investigation because the sparse finds of gas were not commercially interesting.


Removes focus from the transition
The strongest argument against shale gas, however, is about accountability, and that the age of fossil fuels is over. This whole discussion about fracking and shale gas is a distraction that takes away the focus from what Denmark is currently in the process of launching, namely the transition to green energy.

Shale gas takes time, money and attention from our skilled engineers, our politicians, and all those people who in one way or another are going to be involved in the controversial shale gas extraction.

The last thing we need is more fossil fuels. Both peer-reviewed climate science and the United Nations warn us that we are not doing enough to phase out CO2 emissions and that this will lead to catastrophic consequences for the climate.

Renewable energy sources
Our moral responsibility to our children and grandchildren doesn’t even give us a choice: we must wholeheartedly put all our stakes on renewable energy now. The development of renewable energy technology is gaining momentum, and prices have been reduced dramatically in recent years. This development will continue as our demand for renewables increases.

It is nothing but lack of political will which prevents the renewable energy technologies from reaching their true potential and giving countries the necessary security of energy supply. And this within just a short number of years — in combination with new energy ‘infrastructure’ with new storage technologies, heavy power cables linking Denmark with its neighbouring countries, as well as the use of biomass

When we look forward two decades, fossil fuels will play a much smaller role in the Danes’ electricity and heat supply than it does today. The Danish government has even even put forward a goal for Denmark to have all heat and electricity covered from renewable energy technologies in 2035. So why then waste money on investing in new forms of gas extraction?


Short-sighted, dirty and amoral stopgap
Shale gas is a short-sighted, dirty and amoral stopgap, and once the engines and the pollution begins to roll out, it will meet exactly the same grass-roots protests, like those we see in North America — and now also in Norway, after Statoil has involved themselves in gas extraction in Canada.

So, dear minister, please stop this! We kindly ask you to ban shale gas extraction in Denmark. France and Bulgaria have done this. A municipality in New Mexico in the United States did it too, and became world-famous for it at the time. Since then other counties, cities and states have followed. Now it is your turn to show some stalwart Danish common sense and foresight.


icon_small-arrow_DOWN The same text in Danish language:

icon100px_Word

Skifergas kronik


 

Resistance against ‘fracking’

Community groups stand up against this toxic industry all over the world


icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Many more videos about fracking can be found on frack-off.org.uk

What fracking looks like from above

What fracking looks like from above.

Alternet.org – 5 August 2013:
Fracking the Commons: Why Your Public Lands Are Under Assault by Oil and Gas Drilling
A significant amount of fracked wells are currently drilled on federal lands — that is, public land, our national commons. Photo credit: Ecoflight



 

Australia


Gippsland in Victoria

Gipssland protest

This is a 3-minute excerpt from the 20-minutes documentary ‘Gippsland Is Precious’. You can see the full video here.

“Why aren’t Australians up in arms about all of this?”

“This is not a ‘Not in my backyard’ campaign. Because it is in everybody’s backyard!”

For over 100 years, Gippsland has been the beef and dairy heartland of Victoria, producing 23% of Australia’s milk as well as some of the best beef in the country. Farming is one of the biggest employers in the region, especially within the food manufacturing industry. Coal Seam Gas (CSG) threatens all of this.

‘Gippsland Is Precious’ explores what is at stake for the region, and what communities and individuals can do when they unite.

 The documentary was published on youtube.com on 9 May 2013 by Pennie Brown.


A trailer of two films from the Lock the Gate Alliance Australia, ‘Undermining Australia: Coal vs Communities’ and ‘Fractured Country: an Unconventional Invasion’, both of which are published on youtube.com.

These documentaries feature the personal stories of Australians whose lives have been changed forever by coal and gas mining. The films are directed by two Northern Rivers film makers.

» Published on Vimeo.com on 13 August 2013.


‘Point Of Origin – Toxic Rain In An Australian Gasfield’

“Australian children are being poisoned in the gasfields…”

“The Unconventional Gas Companies and Government know all about this. What they do about it is up to you.”

Published on youtube.com on 4 September 2013.






“We are working against allowing this industry into this community…”

Filmmaker Richard Todd visits communities in Sydney, the Scenic Hills and Nattai Water Catchment area, Illawarra, the Hunter Valley and Fullerton Cove in Newcastle to discuss the communities reaction to the potential of CSG coming into their towns and how they were or were treated by the government.

Published on youtube.com on 30 July 2013.

» www.welloftruth.org.au


SantosCSGdrilling-locked-down

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers – 5 April 2014:
Local farmers lock down Santos coal seam gas drilling site
Local farmers lock down Santos coal seam gas drilling site


farmers-against-fracking-banner

Click on the banner to read more about this anti-fracking demonstration which took place in Melbourne, Australia, on 18 August 2013


NSW Govt CSG (Mis)information

“This was posted by someone else on YouTube. Luckily I saved a copy before it was taken down. What’s wrong with balancing lies with the truth?”



icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Facebook page: What’s Wrong With CSG/Shale/Fossil Gas & Oil Mining

icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Facebook page: The Big Ban CSG Petition


Gippsland Farmers Against Fracking. Published on youtube.com on 20 August 2013.


Common Sense Now. 8-year-old Alex made this film about the Farmers Against Fracking rally in Melbourne on 18 August 2013. Published on youtube.com on 1 September 2013.




Geelong region

PEP163

Unconventional gas licences in Victoria: Lakes Oil, trading as Mirboo Ridge Pty Ltd, has two official permits – ‘Petroleum Exploration Permit’ no 163 and no 169 – from authorities to explore for shale gas right in Geelong’s backyard. Sometime between now and April 2014 fracking is permitted under these exploration licences.

 

Geelong ‘front’ of fracking

“A stretch of farmland between Geelong and Anglesea could become a battleground on the controversial mining practice of fracking,” reported Geelong Independent on 28 June 2013 in a front cover story entitled ‘Geelong ‘front’ of fracking’.

“Policies that undermine the development of energy projects and curtail energy production impose real costs on the Australian community in the form of lost jobs, forgone economic opportunity and higher energy bills,” David Byers, head of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association is quoted as saying.


Alcoa ad - August 2013

The fossil fuel company Alcoa’s advertisement in a local newspaper in Anglesea. According to the company’s slogan, Alcoa allegedly are ‘Advancing each generation’. The company generously sponsors the local primary school which happens to be situated right next to the coal-fired Alcoa Anglesea Power Station. [Click to enlarge].


Lakes Oil started drilling in Geelong Region

The Surfcoast newspaper Echo reported on 27 June 2013 that the resources company Lakes Oil has drilled one well in the Geelong Region and was encouraged by the gas reserves found about two kilometres below the water table.

“The company says a State Government moratorium on fraccing where high-pressure fluid is injected into the ground to fracture rocks and release natural gas is limiting its ability to create jobs and drive down Victoria’s gas prices,” reported Greg Dundas in his article in Echo.

Lakes Oil is the oldest oil and gas explorer in Australia and the key player in the development of shale gas and fracking in Victoria.

Corangamite federal Labor MP Darren Cheeseman has called for a blanket ban, saying that the controversial method could lead to a contamination of Geelong’s water supply, cause sink holes and crack the foundations of homes in the Geelong region.

A spokesman for state Energy and Resources Minister Nicholas Kotsiras said the Napthine Government was considering its position:

“A final decision will be made with the Coalition Government taking into consideration the environment, our agricultural sector and Victoria’s needs into the future,” the spokesman was quoted by Greg Dundas as saying.


Lakes Oil in Western Victoria

The following information was distributed in a newsletter from Friends of the Earth Australia on 22 August 2013:

“Lakes Oil have been quietly drilling for gas in western Victoria under petroleum exploration permits PEP163 and PEP169.

These were issued under the Petroleum act for ‘tight gas’, not the MRSD Act which is used for Coal Seam Gas (CSG). One permit allows for 3 wells and to ‘frack’ one, the other permit for one well, drilling only.

These sites are near Timboon and north of Peterborough (PEP 169) and a broad area from Aireys Inlet up towards Winchelsea and across to Geelong, then down through the Bellarine Peninsula (PEP 163).

If you live in either of these areas and want to help stop Lakes Oil, please get in touch. Email: cam . walker AT foe.org.au (remove spaces).

We are hoping to hold an info session in Torquay shortly.
Further info here: melbourne.foe.org.au/?q=node/1240

Gas production from coal
“Through its subsidiaries, Lakes is pursuing a range of unconventional oil and gas options in Victoria, including shale and tight gas, and coal in several very productive dairy regions on the Gippsland Plains.

Lake Oil has operations in the Gippsland basin, Otway basin and Eromanga basin in Australia. In the Gippsland basin, the company operates through PEP 166 and PRL 2 permits. Its onshore Otway basin operates permits: PEP 163, and PEP 169.

They have said publically that they want to see gas production from coal for use in power stations in the Latrobe Valley.

Lakes Oil has been looking for Tight Gas in Gippsand since the early 2000s, and according to its website, has spent $50 million in the search to date.”

Friends of the Earth Melbourne:
What’s happening with Tight Gas in Victoria?



Independent Candidate in Gippsland Opposed to CSG

Press Release from Independent candidate Peter Gardner on 23 August 2013

The only Independent candidate in the seat of Gippsland, Peter Gardner, has spoken out strongly against any development of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) and other fossil fuel developments.

Gardner pointed out that any methane leakage from wells was one hundred times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and rather than being a clean energy source was actually worse than coal. Obviously methane leakage will make climate change worse.

“As such I am a close ally of all the community groups opposed to CSG, tight gas and shale gas exploitation at Sale, Seaspray, Longford, Mirboo North, Morwell, Glengarry, Briagolong and other places. These include “Lock the Gate” groups at many of these locations. CSG exploration licences extended as far as Marlo and covered most of Gippsland,” he said.

Gardner noted that we had only burned about 10% of the earth’s fossil fuel reserves. According to the most reputable of climate scientists James Hansen, “our governments are working for the fossil fuel industry” and “if we burn all the fossil fuels more than half the planet will become uninhabitable… We are already experiencing more extreme events like floods and droughts but the long term consequences are far worse.”

In a similar vein Prof. Steven Sherwood of the University of NSW stated in the New Scientist (17.11.12)“… if we fully ‘develop’ all of the world’s coal, tar sands, shales and other fossil fuels we run a high risk of ending up in a few generations with a largely unliveable planet”.

Jobs are always touted by developers as a major benefit for projects such as CSG but renewable energy projects provide far more employment without destroying or disrupting valuable farmland. The choice should be clear – business as usual means humanity has no future. Choosing to develop renewable energy instead of fossil fuels gives humanity a chance.

Gardner made a plea for politicians to serve the public faithfully rather than pursuing personal ambition, for all parties to take climate change much more seriously, for them to jettison climate change deniers from their ranks and to once more take on a constructive bipartisan approach to this huge problem.
“Does the National Party represent the mining companies or does it represent the farmers and ordinary citizens of Gippsland?” he asked.



Fracking in Geelong region
» If you live in or near Geelong in Victoria, you will find relevant local information on www.frackfreegeelong.org


Flashback

“Local farmers are generally happy because, in the finest tradition of oil and gas exploration, the arrival of a drilling rig generally brings prolonged periods of rain.”

“Lakes executive chairman Rob Annells joked that on a clear day, any gas flare that might be required during the four-week drilling of the $1.2-$1.5 million well would probably be visible from the top of the Rialto in Collins Street, so close is the well to Melbourne.”
Barry FitzGerald in The Age, 29 July 2005



The Age – 29 July 2005:
Plenty of action in the pipeline
Gas potential beneath farmland on the road to Anglesea and 20 kilometres south of Geelong is being put to the test with the drilling of the Bellarine 1 exploration by Lakes Oil and Jupiter Energy. By Barry FitzGerald

This was eight years ago. Are we going to wait for a similar article in 2013 before we start to get organised against this toxic industry in our area?



 

Europe





‘Ban Fracking and shale gas in Europe before it’s too late!’

Published on youtube.com on 28 August 2012.


Geelong Advertiser – 21 February 2013:
Merkel cautious on ‘fracking’ in Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed caution over whether the revolutionary oil and gas technique of “fracking” may be introduced in Germany, saying public safety is the main concern.



“It is all our back yards! I am in France sharing a house with an eminent Professor of Atmospheric Science who tells me that the carcinogens and other debilitating chemicals released into the environment by fracking can affect people 200 kilometres away from the site in question. There is no safe place for fracking, even the so-called ‘unpopulated’ areas.” Further revolving doors shown here
Maddy Harland – in a Facebook note



 

United Kingdom


balcombe

balcombe_TheTelegraphQuote

Bloody hell – what’s the world comin to – it’s getting so a man can’t destroy the planet anymore without some do-gooders trying to stop him…


Balcombe, the leafy West Sussex village where UK shale pioneer Cuadrilla is drilling for oil, is ground zero in an increasingly fiery national debate about fracking, the controversial extraction technique.
Financial Times, 21 August 2013

 

Report from Balcombe

“Our ministers are either willfully lying, or they haven’t done the research. There is unfull evidence of desperate harm that is done – that seismic activity is triggered, that water is contaminated, and the bottom-line is that this industry, this technology, is an extreme eco-cidal technology. It cannot be regulated. (…) It is just insane that this is being allowed to go ahead, instead of reinvesting in safe, renewable energy technologies that will give us energy security, give us lasting employment, and won’t hurt people.”

“A sleepy village in the British countryside is turning into a battleground between fracking giants versus anxious locals and activists. Thousands of protesters have descended on the area where drilling for gas has been halted on advise from the police. Citing America’s tragic experiments with fracking residents fear the worst saying they’re unconvinced by government assurances. RussiaToday’s Tesa Arcilla reports.”
Published on youtube.com on 19 August 2013.


Sheffield Green Party – 5 September 2013:
Green Motion opposing fracking passed by Full Council
Green Councillors on Sheffield City Council won the full support of the Labour administration for their motion on fracking. The motion refers to the evidence about the dangers of fracking, which involves pumping water at high pressure into the ground to extract shale gas. It also points out that, in the UK, it won’t even lead to cheaper energy.



Fracking – Mass Acts of Creative Disobedience

A witnessing to thuggery as police deal with non-violent protesters at the Balcombe anti-fracking site.

Published on youtube.com on 19 August 2013.





‘The Dash for Gas: Independence at a Price’ – UK specific documentary. Published on youtube.com on 25 July 2012

“Independent film maker puts the big tv companies to shame.”
frack-off.org

“30-minute documentary exploring the dangers of fracking in the UK. Looking in particular at the areas of Blackpool and Sussex, we speak to residents, anti-fracking campaigners and also supporters of the shale gas industry to better understand the implications of this method of gas production being used in the UK.”


UK-MP-Caroline_Lucas-arr560

MP Caroline Lucas risked arrest to stop fracking at Balcombe, West Sussex in the UK, joining a nearly month-long community led blockade of drilling. Above is one of the reasons she gave for joining the protest, published on Facebook by 350.org who wrote: “We need more politicians willing to speak the truth – and act on it.”

More about this in: independent.co.uk


Permaculture Magazine – 8 August 2013:
Politics and Business: The Revolving Doors
Who is benefiting from fracking? Find out which government ministers are involved with the shale gas companies!


Click to read more

Click on image to read more. Graphics from 350.org’s Facebook page




“They just want the money. It is all about the money.”
Doreen Stopforth, who lives half a mile from an exploratory shale gas well in Lancashire

Doreen Stopforth and her husband John live half a mile from an exploratory shale gas well in Lancashire. The well is likely to be the location of the next use of hydraulic fracturing in the UK. Cuadrilla the operators of the well are seeking to extend their planning permission for the site.

They along with others formed one of the UK’s first anti-fracking groups, Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) with the sole purpose of informing and warning their community of the dangers of fracking.

Published on youtube.com on 28 July 2013


 

E-mail from Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

Sent on 7 August 2013

Stop fracking before it starts

fracking_map_ready_energydesk

Local opposition to fracking has been all over the news, but it’s not just Balcombe which the frackers have their eye on. Already, 64 percent of England is under consideration. [UK residents:] Take action with Greenpeace, our coalition partner:

Tell your council to say NO to fracking

Local councils have to give planning permission before drilling can begin and they are obliged to take your views into account.

Email your council to defend your neighbourhood

Let’s crank up the pressure on all the frackers out there!

Thanks,
Fiona and Sophia

P.S. Together we are sparking a countrywide rebellion against fracking!     

© Stop Climate Chaos Coalition 2013 | www.stopclimatechaos.org |



 

Siberia




 

Canada


To the Last Drop: Canada’s Dirty Oil Sands – Part 1


 
 

To the Last Drop: Canada’s Dirty Oil Sands – Part 2



 

United States


Frack Checked Video 2: Industry Claims Exposed!

» Series on youtube.com: Frack Checked: Industry Claims Exposed by Frack Free Colorado


Gasland 1 – a personal and upsetting account of fracking experiences in Pennsylvania

Published on youtube.com on 10 June 2013

Gasland 2




Colorado Fracking Site Flooding September 2013

Published on youtube.com on 17 September 2013.


“It’s scary”.

“Money isn’t everything. When the health is gone and the environment is gone, it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got, you can’t eat the money.”

“You need to understand what we are being exposed to.”


‘A Message & Invitation to President Obama – From Vera Scroggins and Citizens of NY and Pennsylvania’. Posted on youtube.com on published on 18 August 2013.


“As a longtime oil and gas engineer who helped develop shale fracking techniques for the Energy Department, I can assure you that this gas is not “clean.” Because of leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, the gas extracted from shale deposits is not a “bridge” to a renewable energy future — it’s a gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments.
Anthony R. Ingraffea

The New York Times – 28 July 2013: Gangplank to a warm future

Anthony R. Ingraffea is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University and the president of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, a nonprofit group.



Nimiipuu Mega Load Protest in Idaho. Published on youtube.com on 6 August 2013.
» More about this protest here.


Mora County bans fracking

Environmental Media Association – 29 May 2013:
New Mexico County Becomes First in the U.S. to Ban Fracking
The 5,000 residents of small, low-income, conservative Mora County in New Mexico decided to put health and safety over profit and have banned hydraulic fracturing (fracking) throughout their county.
Residents of Mora County get their water through wells and in not wanting to compromise the water quality, they became the first county in the nation to pass an ordinance banning fracking.



Fracking fluid kills fish in Kentucky

fish-kill-in-kentucky



Cornell University Professor Anthony Ingraffea discusses how his connection to the Delaware River watershed led him to investigate and speak about the environmental damage caused by shale gas extraction.

Published on youtube.com on 28 August 2013. Read more



Environment and Health – July 2012:
Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Infant Health: Evidence from Pennsylvania (PDF)
“Exposure prior to birth to unconventional natural gas development has adverse effects on infant health at birth for mother’s residences within 2.5 km of a well head.” Abstract


Scientific American – 24 August 2013:
Groundwater Contamination May End the Gas-Fracking Boom
Well water in Pennsylvania homes within a mile of fracking sites is found to be high in methane. By Mark Fischetti


Fracking and drinking water: This map shows where fracking pollutes the most rivers in the USA. Meanwhile, according to Greenpeace, the US federal government is spending $16 million of American tax payers’ money in an attempt to promote tar sands as “environmentally friendly”.



US Petition
» Americans can take action to ban fracking on federal lands here.

Frack Action – building a movement to ban fracking
» www.facebook.com/FrackAction
» www.frackaction.com


Protesting against fossil fuels regarded as terrorism

“Among anti-drilling activists there is a sense that 2013 is a do-or-die year. (…) As the drilling boom moves into ever more populated areas, activists are gearing up for more focused organizing and larger nonviolent protests. With tens of thousands of wells yet to be drilled, at least this much is clear: The industry will be watching closely.”

Utne – 30 August 2013: Climate Activists, Eco-Terrorism, and the Green Scare



fracking-and-draught560

Barnhart in Texas has run completely out of water. But the oil industry is still using 8 million gallons per well to keep drilling for more oil. Then, when the oil and gas is burned, it makes climate change that is causing the drought worse.

The Guardian – 12 August 2013:
A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water
Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty. By Suzanne Goldenberg


ProPublica – 8 August 2013:
New Study Finds High Levels of Arsenic in Groundwater Near Fracking Sites
A recently published study by researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington found elevated levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in groundwater near natural gas fracking sites in Texas’ Barnett Shale. By Theodoric Meyer



Bloomberg – 8 August 2013:
Rail Agency Probes Possible Safety Flaws in Crude Transit
The Federal Railroad Administration said it is investigating the safety of transporting crude oil by rail, including whether chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are corroding tank cars. By Jim Snyder


fracking_wells_western_wyoming

Fracking illustration from the case study




[RESEARCH MATERIAL]

Human and animal health reports

about fracking, coal seam gas, CSG, UCG, CSM, CBM, etc.
PHD and science data world wide

Health case study:
Potential Health and Environmental Effects of Hydrofracking in the Williston Basin, Montana
This case study is part of a collection of pages developed by students in the 2012 introductory-level Geology and Human Health course in the Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University. By Joe Hoffman

“Risks and concerns of fracking:
• Contamination of groundwater
• Methane pollution and its impact on climate change
• Air pollution impacts
• Exposure to toxic chemicals
• Blowouts due to gas explosion
• Waste disposal
• Large volume water use in water-deficient regions
• Fracking-induced earthquakes
• Workplace safety
• Infrastructure degradation”



Fracking Phelimites And Other Gasholes

www.facebook.com/FrackingPhelimitesAndOtherGasholes

“Between disinformation, misinformation and outright lies anti-environmentalist believers are doing their best to confuse the issues related to the environmental damage caused by fossil fuels.” www.facebook.com/FrackingPhelimitesAndOtherGasholes


• Geralyn McCarron: ‘Symptomatology of a gas field – An independent health survey in the Tara rural residential estates and environs’. April 2013.
symptomatology_of_a_gas_field_Geralyn_McCarron.pdf (PDF, 124 pages)


• ‘The Bamberger report’ – by Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald: ‘Scientific Solutions: Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health’. 2012
Bamberger_Oswald_NS22_in_press.pdf (PDF, 27 pages)


• Marvin Resnikoff, Radioactive Waste Management Associates: ‘Radon in Natural Gas from Marcellus Shale’ Executive Summary, January 2012.
radonmarcellus.pdf (PDF, 14 pages)


• Melissa Belcher, M.S. and Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D.: ‘Hydraulic Fracturing – Radiological Concerns for Ohio’ – fact sheet prepared for FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio
OHIO_FACT_SHEET_6-10-13.pdf (PDF, 37 pages)



 

Global and general perspectives on fracking


Climate News Network – 17 August 2013:
Frack first, repent at leisure
The arguments for and against fracking seem clear-cut. But it’s not that simple, and there is mounting evidence that exploiting shale gas may be neither necessary nor sensible. By Alex Kirby


Global Reseach – 14 August 2013:
Fracking and the Shale Gas “Revolution”
“Rock-bottom gas prices on the American market make it extremely difficult to drill more wells and maintain current levels of production, unless technology radically changes. “The cheap price bubble in the US will burst within two-to-four years,” believes David Hughes, a geoscientist and former team leader on unconventional gas for the Canadian Potential Gas Committee.” By Igor Alexeev


The Independent – 13 August 2013:
Fracking: American dream, Chinese pipe-dream, global nightmare
Energy policy should instead focus on renewables. By Assaad W. Razzouk


The Vancouver Special – 12 August 2013:
Our world of carbon doublespeak
Corporations somehow make hydrocarbon development look good, instead of incredibly destructive

“George Orwell used parody and caricature to expose the propaganda lies of the fascists and communists who threatened humanity in the mid-20th century. Today, his talents are badly needed to counter the propaganda of corporate executives who seek self-enrichment by accelerating the burning of the coal, oil and gas here and abroad…”
Mark Jaccard, professor of sustainable energy at Simon Fraser University and convening lead author of sustainable energy policy in the recently released Global Energy Assessment.



commondreams-face560

CommonDreams.org – 8 August 2013:
How to Fry a Planet
“The Third Carbon Age: Don’t for a second imagine we’re heading for an Era of Renewable Energy.” By Michael T. Klare


The Automatic Earth – 6 August 2013:
Shale Is A Pipedream Sold To Greater Fools
“There are lots of numbers floating around in the fracking industry, and the majority of them look unrealistic to the extent of being purely fictional. And not just of the innocent wishful thinking kind either; unrealistically high numbers have been used for pure speculation, to drive up land prices.”


The Carbon Brief – 5 August 2013:
A people’s history of shale gas: How the media story moved from myth to reality
“We chart the course of the shale gas debate over the past two years – and where it might be going next.” By Robin Webster



‘On faith and fracking’

Faith leaders from across New York State talk about our role as guardians of the Creation, our responsibility to each other, and our obligation to future generations. Published on Vimeo in April 2013.



Published on youtube.com on 16 August 2013.



Round off with a satirical comment to the current situation from a group of rappers:




» More articles about fracking on this website




6 comments for “Why you should be concerned about ‘fracking’

  1. Sudan Kelly
    20 September 2016 at 03:13

    I I am totally against fracking anywhere in Australia or the world. it has far too many ramifications to our health and environment than ever the value of the oil is worth. it should be banned as a dangerous procedure world wide.

  2. Ivan Nalder
    24 April 2015 at 00:58

    Here’s the future ? Keep up the good work- Ivan

    By Steve Gorman
    LOS ANGELES, April 23 (Reuters) – U.S. government geologists
    now recognize much of Oklahoma as earthquake country, accounting
    for the bulk of 17 regions newly designated for seismic hazards
    attributed to underground disposal of wastewater from fossil
    fuel production.
    The 17 regions are delineated in the first official map by
    the U.S. Geological Survey documenting areas of elevated and
    increasing earthquake frequency found to be induced by human
    activity, namely deep-well injection of oil and gas wastewater.
    The areas are spread across the central and eastern United
    States, from Colorado to Ohio.
    Oklahoma, long synonymous with the storm-prone area of the
    country known as “tornado alley,” now lies at the heart of a new
    manmade potential disaster zone, comprising by far the greatest
    amount of quake activity linked to wastewater injection.
    The new quake map was part of a USGS study modeling
    human-caused seismic hazards released on Thursday in conjunction
    with a meeting of the Seismological Society of America in
    Pasadena, California.
    It came a day after Oklahoma geologists issued their own
    report documenting strong links between rising seismic activity
    and wastewater injection.
    The USGS reported similar findings last year for Colorado
    and New Mexico. Other states with newly designated human-caused
    seismic zones include Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Alabama.
    “Induced seismicity” has been most pronounced since 2009,
    the USGS said, coinciding with a surge in energy development
    associated with a drilling method called hydraulic fracturing,
    which forces water and chemicals into underground shale
    formations to extract oil and gas.
    The technique, also known as “fracking,” generates large
    volumes of wastewater that get reinjected into disposal wells.
    But scientists said fracking itself is only occasionally the
    direct cause of quakes felt at the surface.
    Oklahoma, the state hardest hit by the new phenomenon, is
    tallying one or two quakes of a magnitude 3.0 or greater daily,
    compared with one or two such tremors annually before 2008, said
    seismologist Mark Petersen, co-author of the USGS study.
    “This is a new hazard for people living in these places,”
    Petersen said. “They live in earthquake country now.”
    USGS hazard maps are used by engineers, zoning officials and
    others in reviewing building codes, retrofits, insurance rates
    and emergency planning.
    While rare, damaging magnitude 5.0-plus quakes linked with
    energy production occurred twice in 2011, in Oklahoma and
    Colorado, Petersen said. The major temblors that struck San
    Francisco in 1989 and Los Angeles in 1994 measured 6.9 and 6.7,
    respectively.

    (Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
    ((steve.gorman@thomsonreuters.com; 213-955-6761; Reuters
    Messaging: steve.gorman.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

  3. 5 January 2015 at 08:29

    Thank you very much for this information – huge numbers of people are deeply concerned about the horrendous pollution of air, land and water and earthquakes and sinkholes. It is insane. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/16/3568090/direct-link-between-earthquakes-and-fracking-process/

  4. 4 January 2015 at 02:59

    Fracking will happen because the companies (at least the Chinese ones) are aware of the issues outlined at http://www.basicfraud.com/
    As Aussies aren’t interested in these issues the Chinese government was notified years ago and the above website downloaded seven times within twenty-four hours of receipt. Thinking through the economic and political consequences of this information being widely known it becomes obvious why the Australian and I assume British government are acting in the way they are.
    I suggest that you get used to fracking.

    Al.

  5. 6 August 2013 at 14:19

    Thanks 4 your insightful comments here Mik. No matter which way we look at extracting unconventional gas, it just doesn’t make sense. It is an industry in its death throes, which continues to ignore the vast majority of peer-reviewed climate science which says we MUST reduce our carbon emissions asap. Such behaviour, no matter what definition of the word we use, is psychopathic.

Comments