Thursday, 30 March 2017

Missed Days & Chemicals Under the Sink...

Although it is now Day 62 in the Cuadrilla House... and the good people are relentlessly doing all they can ...I haven't been able to write the days since Day 54 due to too much happening and too little time. This past fortnight and next few days have been at debates/panels in various places and at one (in Leeds last week) - it was a debate between Bill McCaffrey, Professor of Clastic Sedimentology in the Department of Earth and the Environment, University of Leeds, and Research Director of Petroleum Leeds, the University's Centre for Integrated Petroleum Engineering and Geoscience... and me. I worried about this one and wrote up research for far longer than proved necessary. He came essentially with two main points... that "shale gas was a bridging fuel and that the chemicals were pretty harmless as many were under our sinks."

The last part of that about chemicals came undone when I asked if he thought chemicals behaved differently deep down at shale level with increased temperatures/pressures and environment - than they do under our sinks (they do) and for the first bit about 'bridging fuel' there was a UK government study that showed that to be a false and purposeless arguement.

When searching for that 2015 report - about how by the time UK shale gas is even able to contribute with any significance to the energy market, the price and availability of renewables will mean it isn't worth it economically... I also found an excellent article around the subject from 2015 - worth your time for the excellent research and links in it. The part for the research about UK Government’s own Environmental Audit Committee report is this:

[Any large scale extraction of shale gas in the UK is likely to be at least 10-15 years away. It is also unlikely to be able to compete against the extensive renewable energy sector we should have by 2025-30 unless developed at a significant scale. By that time, it is likely that unabated coal-fired power generation will have been phased out to meet EU emissions directives, so fracking will not substitute for (more carbon-intensive) coal. Continually tightening carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act will have significantly curtailed our scope for fossil fuel energy, and as a consequence only a very small fraction of the possible shale gas deposits will be burnable.]

...and the report went on to recommend:

[A moratorium on the extraction of unconventional gas through fracking is needed to avoid the UK’s carbon budgets being breached in the 2020s and beyond, and the international credibility of the UK in tackling climate change being critically weakened — already a prospect if the provisions in the Infrastructure Bill aimed at maximising North Sea oil extraction are passed.’]
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Looking forward to tomorrow's panel at GPEW Spring Conference & Global Greens & European Greens Congres - the panel includes people with experience of gaining bans in Victoria, Australia and I so hope to gain something we can use to replicate this for the UK. Back at Preston New Road Rolling Roadside Protest next week x

Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/177845559394157/