Friday, April 21, 2017

Aristocratic Fracking Rights

Under the "Petroleum Exploration And Development Licence 299" the following companies are given rights to apply for planning authority for fracking operations in the pink areas shown on the following map - INEOS Upstream Limited, Europa Oil and Gas Limited, Shale Petroleum (UK) Limited and Upland Resources (UK Onshore) Limited.  They may thus seek to work in co-operation with each other.

The white area in the centre is not, however, excluded from potential fracking operations. For the authority to seek such planning rights in that area are held historically (as traditional aristocratic powers) by the Duke of Devonshire. Is he likely to make use of such rights and will he do this in association with the above firms ?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Challenging Fracking : Use Official Coal Authority Information

 Image result for Coal Authority
Areas where coal was extracted or where coal reserves still remain, are likely to be linked to the existence of shale gas. They are, therefore, prime avenues of interest for firms such as INEOS who are interested in obtaining horizontal underground fracking rights to engage in seismic action to release and obtain shale gas.

The Coal Authority has undertaken considerable work to discover where coal either still remains in the ground or has historically (up to centuries ago) been extracted. It provides details of its findings on both an Interactive Map and also on a set of almost 200 surveys covering Local Planning Authority Areas.

These sources will shock many people who will be able to find just how close they live, work, shop and play near such potential underground fracking territory. For many places where coal was extracted (or left in the ground) in the past have long since been built upon. These areas should not now be disturbed by the impact of underground fracking.

To check your own area, turn to the following two avenues.

1. The Coal Authority Interactive Map found via this link.  You will need to manoeuvre when onto their map to find the area which interests you. You can then link into some highly informative material which is shown on a chart in the top right hand corner of the map. I found it helpful to click onto the first category marked "Mine Entry".  This shows former mine entries and exits via red crosses - which can be clicked onto to seek more details. Then there will be adits shown by brown crosses. This is where coal had been dug out of hillsides or was used from drainage or other pit purposes.

Whilst leaving these crosses in place, it is then helpful to link into a category entirtled "Development High Risk Area". These are shown with small black crosses. Sometimes they cover a wide area of territory, but where there are rashes of red and brown crosses then often only single or very limited numbers of these black crosses normally appear - and can easily be missed. But these are still areas of very high risk.

After checking these above two avenues there are many other informative links to turn to - and you can also click onto a fresh list of categories. To aviod clutter, some of the earlier categories you were examining may then need to be deleted.

2. Next a separate Coal Authority avenue can be turned to which deals with "Development High Risk Areas". There are almost 200 of these appearing via this link and in alphabetic order. In my case I turned to the "North East Derbyshire area".  Three maps can then be opened within your chosen area. The first of these maps is particularly important as it shows the Development Risks across the whole of your chosen local government area. Although in my case, it will be the higher local government authority of the Derbyshire County Council that an appeal will need to be submitted to against INEOS applications for fracking rights. 

The above forms of evidence provided by the Coal Authority are substantial when we finally need to submit appeals. They also need to be drawn upon by anyone making the public case against fracking.

We need to use these Government Sources to undermine the Government's own commitment to fracking.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Two Worlds of George Osborne

 Image result for George Osborne

So far this year, George Osborne has only managed to make verbal contributions on the floor of the Commons or during Westminster Hall Debates on a total of three occasions.

The two items in the Commons were on the Industrial Strategy Consultation on 23 January and during the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal Bill) on 3 February. Then on 7 March he contributed to the O'Neill Review in Westminster Hall.

Now that he has become a newspaper editor will he even manage to keep up monthly contributions ?

To keep an eye on what he manages to do under various Parliamentary Procedures pay an occasional visit to this link.

It is clear that MPs can not serve the parliamentary interests of their constituents or society in general if they have extra employment and outside paid interests. Perhaps Osborne could seek to produce a Private Members Bill of his own on such lines, before deciding on whether he should retire from either the Commons or from his editorial role - and from other paid work. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Film and the Fracker

 The following is not written by myself, but by someone calling themselves "Angry of Eckington". It appears here as it has my full endorsement.

Daniel Blake and Jim Ratcliffe are tied together - the Film and the Fracker.

I, Daniel Blake.png

On Saturday evening 180 people brought contributions to a food bank to watch the film “I Daniel Blake” in Eckington. The same afternoon 400 people marched from Mosbrough and Eckington to protest against the fracking proposal by INEOS at Marsh Lane.

The two events have a more direct connection than many people realize. Kate Rutter, one of the Daniel Blake actors, spoke to us about how the iniquitous cuts to Welfare and to health, go hand in hand with tax bonuses to millionaires.

The founder and owner of INEOS is one-time Mancunian Jim Ratcliffe. He moved INEOS to Switzerland to evade [‘save’] £100 million a year in UK tax. George Osborne wanted him back and in a private meeting in 2013 they discussed the need to curb union rights, reduce worker pensions – and did a deal to enable INEOS to introduce fracking for gas on a vast scale. Marsh Lane is the company’s first fracking test site. It will spearhead their aim to spread a pox of gas wells in scores of blocks throughout the former coal mining areas of the north.  Each licensed square block is 6 by 6 miles and could have over 100 wells each.  You do the maths!  If they succeed in North Derbyshire, there will be nothing to stop their ambition to monopolise gas extraction in most of England and Scotland.

The pieces of Government policy fit together – and Ratcliffe is at the heart of them: reducing tax for the extremely rich paid for by harsher cuts on all social services for the rest of us; restricting workers’ rights. Add wiping out funding for renewable energy in order to clear the way for ruthless exploitation of fossil fuels by fracking.

He is personally worth more than £3bn to become “Britain’s most successful post-war industrialist” (Financial Times), has a private yacht costing £100 million, a luxury hotel chain, a new vast estate in Iceland, etc. etc.. He intends to make further billions from fracking, with very little benefit to our local communities affected by it.

Theresa May says she wants to “restore fairness”, and “responsible capitalism” and that only the Tories would "stand up for the weak... up to the powerful". What’s the betting that she won’t be standing up to Jim Ratcliffe, even though a number of other nations have either banned fracking altogether or imposed a moratorium.