In a landmark ruling, Governor Cuomo has declared a ban on fracking in New York State. “I will be bound by what the experts say,” Cuomo said at a press conference.
In his remarks at the conference, Cuomo lamented the emotionally charged nature of the debate over fracking and quickly turned the press conference over to state health and environmental officials.
The officials said the potential health and environmental impacts are too great to allow fracking to proceed in the state at this time, and pointed to a dearth of studies regarding the long-term safety of hydraulic fracturing. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will issue a legally binding, supplemental environmental impact statement next year outlining its findings on the issue.
This is a huge win and shows that when politicians actually take time to look at the science and health reports, then they come to the conclusion that the health and environmental impacts of fracking are too dangerous to allow this to happen. If only our government would read a health impact assessment once in a while …
You can read and download the full report here.
(If that fails you can also download a copy of the pdf from our website here (1.6MB).)
Members moved a motion at their meeting on Monday night regarding their “unresolved concerns” about Third Energy UK Gas’s intention to hydraulically fracture its KM8 site in Kirby Misperton.
The full text of the motion, which was approved unanimously, reads: “We have unresolved concerns about important aspects of fracking and are opposed to any fracking activity in our area until satisfactory answers are forthcoming.”
Cllr Michael Clarke said his main concern was the visual impact the mining rig at KM8 would have on the area – and the longer term knock-on effect on the district’s tourism industry.
“I am conscious that Ryedale is reliant on its tourism,” he said. “If it goes ahead, it will be to the economic detriment of the district. People will be reluctant to come into the area.”
Mr Cameron was being grilled by MPs on the liaison committee when he was asked by the Thirsk MP to explain why the public were being kept in the dark on issues surrounding social and housing safety as detailed in the controversial Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report.
In a confrontational exchange Ms McIntosh said that the PM’s support for fracking was unlikely to impact on his constituents, pointing out that fracking would “not be coming to Witney anytime soon,” though the PM insisted he would welcome it if it did.
Ms McIntosh told the PM: “You are asking the public to take a lot on trust, so why is the shale gas economic report so heavily redacted? Will you ensure an unredacted copy, particular on social impact, housing impact and safety in relation in flares is published unredacted?”
Show us the report, Mr Cameron. In the meantime, read the full article in the Yorkshire Post.
The recent debate at Kirkbymoorside and concerns of local residents was the focus of a recent segment on Look North. In the broadcast the focus was on an anti-fracking talk at the Methodist Church in Kirkbymoorside, and also the recent announcement of Third Energy to frack at Kirby Misperton.
You can see the full broadcast on Look North Yorkshire.
Chancellor George Osborne’s final Autumn Statement said the government would be “taking steps to ensure that the UK leads the way with shale gas regulation” by allocating £31 million in funding for “sub surface research test centres” as well as £5 million in funding to better engage with the public on the shale industry’s regulatory process.
The test centres, to be funded through the Natural Environment Research Council, will produce research relevant to both the shale and carbon capture and storage industries, the statement said.
The government will also fund a £5 million drive to “ensure the public is better engaged” with the shale development regulatory process through independent evidence on “the robustness of the existing regulatory regime”.
In addition, Osborne confirmed plans to establish a long-term investment fund for communities in the north of the country hosting shale development using revenue from shale tax to ensure that the economic benefit to the area continues for generations.
So the government are cutting public spending to its lowest level since the 30s, but have given the shale gas industry £36 million of taxpayers’ money. Sounds fair …
Read more in Utility Week – amazingly, hardly reported in the mainstream press. Actually, not that amazing …
Chemicals from fracking pose “serious health risks” to pregnant women, babies, and children, a new study has claimed.
Research published in the peer-reviewed journal Reviews on Environmental Health today finds fracking operations use and create chemicals linked to birth defects, infertility, miscarriage, impaired foetal growth, low birth weight, preterm birth, and premature or delayed sexual development, among other health problems.
The report’s authors, from the non-profit Center for Environmental Health (CEH) in California and the Institute for Health and the Environment at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, find more than 750 chemicals may be used in fracking operations, many of which are “routinely released” into the environment, posing a potential threat to nearby communities.
They state that the substances include about 130 known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which have been linked to a range of health problems including altered reproductive function, increased incidence of breast cancer, abnormal growth and developmental delays in children, and changes in immune function.
Still, the fracking fluid that Third Energy are planning to use at Kirby Misperton only contains ‘non-hazardous’ chemicals and is completely harmless, so no need for us to worry …
Read the whole article in Business Green.
Balcombe anti-fracking campaigners have lost a High Court bid to block further exploration for oil and gas exploration in their West Sussex village. A residents’ group from Balcombe claimed the planning permission granted to energy company Cuadrilla to carry out testing was unlawful.
Permission for the site at Lower Stumble was granted in May this year. At a two-day hearing in London last month the Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association (FFBRA) argued the decision to grant planning permission was flawed by “errors of law”.