The NYMNPA is coming under ever increasing pressure as Viking Gas Ltd ups its game by confirming its plans to 'Frack' parts of the North York Moors National Park and areas just outside of Scarborough. John Blaymires from Igas explicitly told the attendees that they are currently operating at least one test well in the area. (Believed to be at Westerdale, just north of Whitby, TBC) http://www.third-energy.com/yorkshire-news/42-viking-uk-gas-ltd-announce... John, throughout the debate continually denied as 'rumours' and 'speculation' the damage and negative impacts on the environment, water supply, chemical leaching etc and firmly denounced the famous 'setting fire to tap water' scene from Josh Fox's American 'Gasland' film as being a 'naturally occuring event'. He asked us to look a the facts and only the facts. Describing the 'fracking' drilling process as a periscope reducing to 8.5 in diameter drill bit two miles under ground. Fracking is only part of the whole process. Regulations are not the same in the USA as they are here. The fracking occurs below fresh water aquifiers which need to be sealed off. He claimed the solution used was 95% water, 4% sand and less than 1% made from chemicals, everyday chemicals found in lipstick and other household items. When pressed to answer how the gas, end product would be distributed, this was to be plugged into the National Grid by a connection of small pipelines.
Another speaker (Chris Bovis, Prof. Bus. Law Hull Uni. ) tried to pursuade the debate that Fracking was of great benefit to the UK's energy supply and kept banging on about the UK's failure to enthuse over Nucleur Energy. It seemed for him this was a binary choice, either Nuclear energy or 'Fracking', he was pushing Cameron's rhetoric about the UK needing more energy to attract and meet the expansion of business needs of energy within the UK.
Much was said on the diverse energy requirements of the UK, and how 'fracking' had its part to play. Arguments were raised about 'fracking' conflicting with European Policy to reduce CO2 emmisions and conflicting with Govt, policy on investment within the renewable energy markets.
The debate was recorded and edited by the Yorkshire Post, here: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/general-news/fracking-pa...
Some of the audience asked why or how Linda from Rydale District Council had ever become elected. Her contribution was based on opinion and of little knowledge.
My own question relating to exclusion zones and new planning legislations was answered after the close of the debate by Mark Hill. Meanwhile it was great to see present some leading members of the York Potash team.
If the simple question of 'Fracking' or a 'Potash Mine' was my intention, I am afraid the answer is far more complex and needs a fuller report which I will try to answer more compreshensively later. Firstly I need to confirm that no sensitive information is released without misrepresenting either or any of the parties involved.
Meanwhile it would seem that our North York Moors National Park is coming under ever increasing pressure, and may find itself caught between a rock and a hard place in a race between oil, gas and mineral companies exploiting our natural resources.
More to come later. Watch out for the Yorkshire Posts interpretation of the debate.