Lord Howell of Guildford on fracking

i Oct 21st No Comments by

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 11.44.50In May this year, Lord David Howell published this short opinion piece on fracking, in the Journal of Energy Security.

He opens by saying that he had recently attended two key meetings, that between them “gathered just about all the expertise in the planet on shale oil and gas and fracking issues.”

And then he summarises the current situation, and lessons learned from the USA, before drawing five conclusions for fracking in the UK.

I’ve summarised his points below, though to be honest his piece is very short and you would likely be better off reading the whole thing here.

And what I think this means for us in Ryedale is:

  1. Ryedale must be very close to the top of the target list for fracking, since our population density is so low.
  2. They know fracking damages the water supply, and has other ‘environmental’ impacts, but they want to go ahead anyway.
  3. Fracking in the UK is currently only borderline achievable, physically, financially, and politically.
  4. They believe (or Lord Howell believes) that people have the potential to stop fracking in its tracks, physically, and economically, and politically.

Remember also that since this article/viewpoint was published,

i) Rather than trying to negotiate, the government has chosen the path of confrontation, seeking to impose fracking via the so called ‘Infrastructure Bill’,  currently before the House of Lords.

ii) Third Energy has made planning applications to NYCC to put in place some of the critical infrastructure without which it would not be able to frack.


Extension granted for Ebberston Moor planning application

i Sep 18th No Comments by
Gas drilling at Ebberston in the North York Moors National Park

Gas drilling at Ebberston in the North York Moors National Park

As you may know, there is a planning application for an injection well and other works at Ebberston Moor in the North York Moors National Park. If you’ve looked at the planning application, you’ll see that there are hundreds of documents and thousands of pages.

For this reason, the two authorities that are responsible for the application – the North Yorkshire County Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority – have kindly agreed to an extension of the time available for people to comment on this application, after consultation with Frack Free Ryedale and Frack Free North Yorkshire.

The deadline for comments on this application is now 24th October 2014. For written confirmation of this, please see this document, from the NYCC planning website: 140910_Extension-to-consultation-period

We have some experts looking at the application in detail and will be posting some guidelines on how best to object to this planning application as soon as we can. Watch this space!

Radioactive water to be pumped back into ground on North York Moors

i Aug 21st No Comments by
Gas drilling at Ebberston in the North York Moors National Park

Gas drilling at Ebberston in the North York Moors National Park

Third Energy, the same company who is behind the survey in Ryedale, is set to begin working Ebberston Moor in the North York Moors after winning permission to get rid of a vast amount of potentially radioactive waste water – that will come up with the gas – by pumping it back into the ground.

According to documents seen by The Independent on Sunday, the Environment Agency (EA)  has been warned that public water supplies could be affected. Yorkshire Water is concerned about the re-injection well which will travel through the rock from which they draw water, called the Corallian limestone aquifer. In submissions to the EA the water company said the water re-injection may “directly affect their asset”.

Russell Scott, of Frack Free Yorkshire, said: “Third Energy intends to inject via mechanical means a total of 5.88 million cubic metres of waste over a nine-year period. Third Energy’s suggestion this process will not have any negative impacts on the integrity of the well casing protecting our drinking water from the injected waste is simply ridiculous.”

Read the full article here.

North York Moors National Park faces further cuts — one quarter of budget taken since 2010

i Jul 28th No Comments by



The North York Moors National Park is to cut more staff and scale back its operations after another cut to its budget.

A meeting on Monday will discuss plans to save £720,000 over the next year with the loss of 13 posts.

Andy Wilson, chief executive of the park authority, claimed the cuts would leave the park less well protected.

Since 2010, the authority’s grant from central government has dropped by more than 24%.