The Anti Fracking Industry II

Mortal Mindy's picture

Keeping it local, the evening was introduced by Lab Cllr & PPC Margaret Pinder,">http://beverley.... Margaret said that her CLP had put forward a motion to LP Conference calling for a moratorium on fracking in the UK. So I was quite surprised when later Ian Crane declared that only the Green Party was 'anti-fracking', especially Margaret having introduced Ian to the 100 or so congregation as a former oil industry executive, Schlumberger ( Enough. There followed a very informative message from local campaigner Jon Mager attending with his wife Val. (the first Crawberry Hill protestors to be arrested by the police. The Green Party report: Jon a former district councillor imparted that it was the next 48 hrs that was vital not only to protect the local area but the North Sea from the threat of fracking.Crawberry Hill could be reaching out under the North Sea note how Wytch Farm reaches out 6000 m. (hence the earlier reference?) Jon then informed the congregation the newspaper notice had given until the 12th Sept so therefore there were still another 48 hrs to object to the application from Rathlin. Some letters of objection had been drafted out for others to use as an outline or to sign and date. It was important to get the letters in. These were also availabe on the FrackFree East Yorkshire Website. "" This website also gives details of the actual planning application details from Rathlin, under the heading A Coalition of Groups Opposed to Extreme Energy. Jon explicitly advised that when objecting not to use the 'f' word ... 'fracking' it was important to object to what Rathlin was actually proposing and not the potential or to object to the motivation of Rathlin. Send by email with an attachment letter and do not use offensive or defamatory language. The Application in 2012 - 12/02945/STPLF; note that this only gave Rathlin 24 months / two years; the reasons for that? because the area was recognised as a high value landscape; had quantative protection zone with a chalk aquifer (google Yorkshire Chalk aquifer); The British Geological Society (BGS) in 2006 Section 5 is not mentioned by Rathlin. Given the special ecology of the area it is important to protect and preserve. Officers of the Council in 2012 decided a 1 ha site did not need an EIA. (Environmental Impact Assessment). Rathlin Energy own 2.5 ha but their site is just short of the 1 ha subject to an EIA. So Rathlins proposal is for a site smaller than that needed for an EIA. Why? Why are Rathlin Energy requesting a further 24 months? The landscape has not changed. So what has? The Environment Agency permit for drilling was required and includes a 'mini-frack' into the shale. They have 90 days to pressurise the rock with water ... a deadline of 5th November to complete their exploration. At West Newton, Rathlin have installed high security. This is because well pressurising is dangerous. At Crawberry Hill the protestors set up camp on 12th May 2014. It is good to see those people here tonight. Thank you. Jon continues with the public consultation; 2011/12 Rathlin did hold public meetings and they stated there was nothing to worry about. There was only a 1 in 10 chance of finding oil/gas. They told neighbours at Bishop Burton and Walkington. The aquifer provides and produces more than half the drinking water for the East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull. Democracy? We have a European Right to protect and/or even cause annoyance. The police have a duty to protect us. Rathlin have not held a proper consultation. Had Rathlin gone out to neighbours and invited the public ... there is a democratic deficit in their plans.

Shirly Ross, Planning Officer who writes the report for recommendation or refusal said "Jon, they never ever throw a letter in the bin. Anyone affected by the application can give a view." Material Considerations; impact on the environment, the visual; the planning history of the site; Rathlin have not explained their decision to start at West Newton before Crawberry Hill; they have breached their current planning permission; consider the overbearing nature of thier proposal; - on the ecology - the ecology report was paid for by Rathlin.  On the aquifer - impact on the aquifer runs a risk to a huge population - the loss of ecological habitat and the impact on wildlife - the ERYC Development Plan; to reduce carbon emission. For example' Barn Owls - they rely on echo location to hunt their prey ... generators ... no Barn Owls at Crawberry Hill. Focus on the material considerations and the breach of the planning permission - traffic management - chemicals transported on the public highway should be clearly labelled - they don't. They don't stick to the traffic management plan from Southcave, if they don't stick to it now, why will they? - lighting - their lighting plan is ignored and pointing upwards instead of downwards, the glare makes it almost impossible to see the road when it is raining.  Tank - their fluid tank is rusty and leaking - the leached white liquid has been ditched onto fields - fields that grow peas for Birdseye Peas! We have written to Birdseye legal department to ask if they test their peas for radioactivity. What of Rathlins secret meetings? Rathlin's PR people say there is not going to be any more public meetings. They are not following their own consultation policies.

On Planning policy- does it enhance economic growth or security?   Rathlin have a 50 year lease; 25 years with an option for a further 25 years.  They need to consider climate change.  What about a low carbon economy? What about flooding in the East Riding? We have had THREE severe rainfall events since 2012.  We need to question the temporary nature of the proposals.  

The licence is for 220,000 acreas, not just two hectacres.  This is a precursor - a precursor to full extraction of shale gas.

The decision is to be made on 2nd October 2014.  Legally anyone who wants to be in the meeting has to be able to attend.  If the venue is not big enough they have to postpone the meeting and reconvene. 

We are trying to build up momentum and are inviting people to Crawberry Hill camp each and every Monday between 6.00 pm and 8.00 pm - this is an open invitation to meet people and network.  On May 12th Rathlin talked about outsiders. I grew up locally, this meeting would not be taking place without the protectors.  

75% of those present were locals.

Ian Crane rounded off the meeting by asking how many are left undecided?  Only one raised their hand and then left.  Ian then went on to state that the Labour Party must change it's stance.  Even the Toris are realizing this is a vote loser.  Will the Labour Party do an about face?  (NB I took exception to that) and as Ian continued with talk about civil disobedience ... direct action ... social licence ... public apathy ... the USA desperate to find an export market for thier shale gas to raise the price ... more about the Labour Party and a moratoriu, ... the safe technology - they could not come up with it in ten years ... etc etc.

I began to question the 'anti-fracking industry'.  And indeed did ask if Ian Crane would repeat his statement about it all being irrelevant in five years time.  He did.

So after the meeting was closed I managed to ask Ian about the 'Anti Fracking Industry' - wot with fracking not being viable in the UK, apart from the geopolitical,  "What do you really think is on the Agenda?" And he explained his 'theory'. (not for publication)

Anyhow many thanks to Ian Crane for bringing his anti fracking show close to home, he certainly presents in an interesting and enthusiastic fashion.

Also the local detail, knowledge and minute understanding of the planning procedure presented by Jon Mager has given some very useful strategies to come away with. 

It was also a delight to meet with the originators of Frack Free Ryedale Group, who as mentioned earlier on this website have provided a clear and concise factual summary of what is going on with 'fracking' in our area, explaining the shale gas process etc :  

In particular I like the phrase “Extreme Energy” over the term ‘fracking’.

Further reading ;-)