Bristol Greenpeace: Fracking Post Osborne ‘Autumn Statement’

FROM: The Bristol GREENPEACE website:;


In anticipation of the coalition government’s commitment to shale gas exploration in the UK,The Bristol GREENPEACE Group held a meeting in September , so we have a “FRACKING ” network in place – if and when the need arises we will publish details of another public meeting – so watch this space.

– Following Osborne’ s refusal to a target for carbon emissions, as expected his Autumn Statement gave pro-fracking commitments in the form of :

01. TAX RELIEFS for shale gas production;

02. “An office for unconventional gas & oil ”  exploration within DECC.

03. Ed DAVEY is expected shortly to lift the moratorium on “Fracking” presumably before any consideration of a review for appropriate regulation. After all even the pro-fracking report from the Royal Society and Royal Engineers stated ” as long as it is regulated” [29JUNE2012]

The chancellor’s shale gas annnouncement has generated a solidarity of opposition among environmentalists and some members of the public.

Such concerns have led to bans or moratoria on fracking in some places.

France has banned fracking from shale rock and New York state has introduced a moratorium.

Environmental groups in the UK have been calling for a moratorium at least until environmental and safety impacts have been addressed.

In Australia, ground water and soil contamination fears have led farmers and green groups to form an unlikely alliance against fracking.

Concerns have also been raised that fracking could pose a threat to Bath’s world-famous hot springs.Bath and North East Somerset Council said in September that  if allowed to go ahead,it could harm the springs.They are currently considerating a planning application from UK Methane for an exploratory borehole at Keynsham

Despite this the Chancellor today told MPs: ‘We must ensure we make the best use of lower cost gas power, including new sources of gas under the land.

‘We don’t want British families and businesses to be left behind as gas prices tumble on the other side of the Atlantic.

‘We are consulting on new tax incentives for shale gas and announcing the creation of a single office so that regulation is safe but simple”. Just like their plans for the press?

The Chancellor is desperate to boost domestic gas exploration as a way of reducing Britain’s dependence on foreign gas supplies.

The sharp decline in North Sea gas finds makes Britain more reliant on energy supplies from Qatar, Russia and the US.

But environmentalists attacked the move for undermining investment and jobs which could be created in clean technology, as well as pushing up energy costs for consumers as the UK would remain tied to increasingly expensive fossil fuels.

The Office for Unconventional Gas and Oil will join up responsibilities across government departments to provide a single point of contact for investors and streamline the regulatory process.

Even if ten per cent of the gas in unpopulated areas is extracted, it would still be worth £150billion.

Nick Molho, head of energy policy at WWF-UK, said: ‘The UK’s over-reliance on gas is, environmentally and economically, highly risky.

Greenpeace political director Joss Garman said: ‘The Chancellor is misleading people to position shale gas as the answer to UK’s energy woes.’


Posted on: December 7, 2012