FEATURED BLOGGER REPORT: UK State Terror: ‘Fracksurfers’ jailed for opposing climate meltdown – //The Free #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Oct.01: Editor says here’s a really well written bloggers post from #TheFreeOnline on #Fracking and how the British government deals with those that fight against damaging our world #AceNewDesk reports

The British Government has overruled local councils to promote fracking and its right wing courts have begun to give prison sentences to anti fracking protestors despite firm evidence that it is climate and environmental dynamite

Blackpool Activists Jailed for Anti-Fracking Protest

by Frances Perraudin .. shared with thanks

Three environmental activists are believed to be the first people to receive jail sentences for an anti-fracking protest in the UK.DoARqKKXsAA8vrAFreedom for the #FrackFree4 frackfreefoursupporters.org

Simon Roscoe Blevins, 26, and Richard Roberts, 36, were given 16 months in prison and Richard Loizou, 31, got 15 months on Wednesday after being convicted of causing a public nuisance by a jury at Preston crown court in August. climate heroesAnother defendant, Julian Brock, 47, was given a 12-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to the same offence.’

The four men were charged after taking part in a four-day direct action protest that blocked a convoy of trucks carrying drilling equipment from entering the Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool.
DFLSkjXXkAA9DM8The #RollingResistance sets off from Manchester

on a 50m action bike ride to Preston New Road

@reclaimthepower

FRACKOFF

DETAILS HERE..http://frack-off.org.uk/extreme-energy-fullscreen/

Image result for cuadrilla activists jailed for lorry protest

At approximately 8am on Tuesday 25 July 2017, as seven lorries containing drilling equipment attempted to approach the site, Roberts, a piano restorer from London, got through a police cordon and climbed on top of the first lorry, bringing the convoy to a standstill. Loizou, a teacher from Devon, climbed on to the cab of the last lorry.

At about 3.18pm, Blevins, a soil scientist from Sheffield, also climbed on to one of the lorries. In the early hours of the following morning, Brock, from Torquay, also climbed on to a lorry in the convoy.

Fellow protesters threw blankets, food and water up to the men as they camped out on the vehicles. Loizou came down on 27 July at 5.10am after 45 hours. Blevins did the same at 4.45pm on 28 July, having spent just over 73 hours on his lorry. Roberts descended at 8.13pm the same day, after 84 hours. Brock did not climb down from his lorry until 29 July at 11.35am, after an estimated 76 hours.Related image

The site near Preston New Road has been a focal point for protests since the government overturned a decision by Lancashire county council and gave the energy firm Cuadrilla consent to extract shale gas at two wells on the site in October 2016. More than 300 protesters have been arrested since Cuadrilla began constructing a fracking pad at the site in January 2017.

The company has said fracking is likely to start within the next few weeks, confirming on Monday that 28 lorries had brought fracking equipment to the site.

Sentencing the men, the judge, Robert Altham, said he thought the three men posed a risk of reoffending and could not be rehabilitated as “each of them remains motivated by an unswerving confidence that they are right”. He added: “Even at their trial they felt justified by their actions. Given the disruption caused in this case, only immediate custody can achieve sufficient punishment.”Image result for cuadrilla activists jailed for lorry protest

He said that while the defendants were motivated by a serious concern for the environment, they saw the public as “necessary and justified collateral damage”.

Members of the men’s families sitting in the public gallery burst into tears when the verdicts were read out. They sang a song described as a “native tribal song of power” and blew kisses to them as they were led out of the dock.

Kirsty Brimelow QC, the head of the international human rights team at Doughty St Chambers, representing Roberts on a pro-bono basis, told the judge it had been a peaceful and political protest. She said the right to freedom of speech went beyond “simply standing and shouting” and extended to non-violent direct action.

Related image

“It is relevant that there is a huge amount of scientific study that points to the damage of increasing climate emissions,” she said, referencing intergovernmental climate panel findings that climate change would displace 75 million people by 2035 and lead to the extinction of one in four species by 2050.

Speaking outside the courts after the sentencing, Blevins’ mother, Rosalind Blevins, said: “We are all absolutely devastated by the sentences they have received. My son, like the others, was protesting against fracking because of his deep concern about climate change, which would more appropriately be called climate chaos … I am proud of him and of them for standing up for what is so, so important for all of us.”

Source: thefreeorgSeptember 30, 2018:

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CALIFORNIA: Votes to ban #Fracking even though the BIG #Oil companies paid BIG MONEY to stop them the people’s votes ruled in their favour over fears of environmental concerns – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – Nov.17: California county bans fracking, even though big oil spent big money to stop it.

In a rare bit of good environmental news, voters in California’s fourth-largest oil-producing county passed a measure to ban fracking and other fossil fuel extraction techniques. Proponents won even though #oil companies outspent them 30 to one.

“David beat Goliath in Monterey County’s stunning victory against #oil industry pollution,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. “This triumph against fracking will inspire communities across California and the whole country to stand up to this toxic industry.”

#Fracking, the process of extracting natural gas from underground, emits high levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. It also contaminates ground water, has been linked with a variety of health effects, and is connected to the emergence of thousands of earthquakes in the midwest.

Fracking remains popular in other parts of the country. In Colorado, voters approved an amendment supported by the #oil and #gas industry that will make local fracking bans harder to pass.

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LONDON: ‘ FRACKING COLLEGES TO OPEN FUNDED BY THIRD PARTY GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS ‘

#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – Nov.22 – According to a recent UK Government Press Release: The first national UK shale colleges were today given the go-ahead by Business, Enterprise & Energy Minister Matthew Hancock MP.  

The new centres of excellence will train a generation of onshore oil and gas specialists, helping the UK to seize the economic opportunities offered by natural shale gas.

The National College for Onshore Oil and Gas will be head-quartered in Blackpool and linked to colleges in Chester, Redcar and Cleveland, Glasgow and Portsmouth.

According to Energy Minister Matthew Hancock: 

“Shale gas is an enormous opportunity for the UK and one that we simply can’t afford to miss out on.

“Imagine if we had passed up a similar opportunity to go into the North Sea some fifty years ago. What if we’d let that oil and gas stay in the ground? What if we’d said it was too difficult or too controversial?

“The whole country would be poorer, finance would account for an even greater share of our economy; Aberdeen would be a seaside resort rather than a regional powerhouse.

“I am not prepared to pass up a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity, with the potential for industry to invest up to £33 billion in the next 15 years or so.

“Families, villages and towns across the UK could benefit from this new industry and its supply chain which could create 64,500 jobs.

“That’s why we are investing in the people behind project. Only by arming people with the skills they need to be shale specialists can we provide career opportunities for thousands of young people, boost the power and competitiveness of our firms and help the UK economy remain strong and competitive.

“To make a world-class cluster of expertise in the North West of England, just as Aberdeen is a world class cluster of expertise for offshore oil and gas.”

The Government is providing £750,000 of development funding which will be matched by industry bodies and education providers to develop the College.

Further capital funding will be available from the National College programme to support the college on an industry-matched investment basis.

The National College will:

  • Provide high level specialist skills needed by the industry from ‘A’ level equivalents right through to postgraduate degree level, and train teachers and regulators.

  • Accredit relevant training and academic courses run by other institutions.

  • Carry out research and development for improved equipment, materials and processes that will increase the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of operations.

  • Work with schools to encourage children to consider careers in the industry, and to help them make the right subject choices early on.

Blackpool and the Fylde College’s Lancashire Energy HQ will deliver a comprehensive range of qualifications up to postgraduate level, with facilities including a drill simulator and emergency control simulator.

The University of Chester’s Faculty of Science and Engineering at Thornton Science Park will deliver a number of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses as well as specialist masters, MRes and PhD programmes, and has recently been awarded funding to construct an Energy Systems Demonstrator.

Portsmouth’s, Highbury College’s Centre of Excellence in Construction, Energy & Sustainable Technologies provides a comprehensive range of accredited and bespoke courses to support entry to and progression in the onshore energy industry. The College is also developing strong links with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, located in Calgary, Canada’s hub for oil and gas operations

Redcar and Cleveland College’s Teesside Oil and Gas Academy will deliver a range of accredited and specialist bespoke courses in 2014-15, including Drilling and Petroleum Engineering, Geology and Geophysics, Quality management systems, and Piping and Pipeline Engineering.

The Weir Advanced Research Centre, based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, will accelerate the development of high pressure pumping, hydraulic fracturing and other above ground hardware together with the training of highly skilled employees to operate the equipment.

The Minister will also be opening the new Advanced Technology Centre. The centre will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment that will become the Centre of Excellence for advanced engineering, technology and energy solutions on the Fylde Coast and across Lancashire. An estimated 6,000 students from the age of 14 years through to adults will benefit from this training and education every year.

Industry group, the United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), led the bid to set up the college. Oversight by the industry will ensure that these colleges ensure students achieve the high level specialist training to meet the current and future needs of the industry, and keeps the UK ahead of the competition in drilling, hydraulic fracturing, site development and environmental management.

Further capital funding will be available from the National College programme to support the college on an industry-matched investment basis.

#ANS2014

#fracking, #shale-gas

‘ Fracking Should be Allowed in National Parks According to Chris Smith of Finsbury ‘

#AceWorldNews – BRITAIN – June 28 – Fracking should be allowed to take place in national parks because its visual intrusion is minimal and the environmental risks have been “exaggerated,” according to the outgoing chairman of the UK’s Environment Agency.

Chris Smith, also known as Lord Smith of Finsbury, told the Times http://tinyurl.com/lomtzwx that if hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – is properly regulated, then it could be safe and “useful” in minimizing the UK’s reliance on climate polluting coal-fired power stations and imported gas.

Smith is scheduled to step down from his post next month.

The controversial process of extracting gas trapped in rocks deep underground has been criticized by environmental campaigners and local residents who don’t want to see the British countryside ruined by fracking, as its impact on the environment and human health is still not completely understood.

#ANS2014

#fracking, #britain, #british

` Report by `Durham University ‘ has Stated that ` Fracking Barriers ‘ could `Break-Down ‘ causing Pollution ‘

#AceEnvironmentNews – BRITAIN – March 25 – A report on fracking has warned it is “likely” that planned wells may leak and damage the surrounding environment in the UK. Scientists also noted there was not enough information in the public sphere to accurately predict the effects of mass fracking.

The research by Durham University draws attention to a number of concerns with the British government’s plans to expand the exploitation of shale gas across the UK.

Fracking is a technique used to extract shale gas trapped deep underground. In order to release the gas, chemicals are blasted at high pressure into fissures in the rock.

The practice was discontinued in the UK back in 2011 after a number of small earthquakes close to the northern city of Blackpool were found to be linked to fracking.

The British government is now championing fracking as an answer to rising gas and energy prices, but researchers have urged caution, citing previous cases when mass exploitation has resulted in pollution.

“It is likely that well barrier failure will occur in a small number of wells and this could in some instances lead to some form of environmental contamination,” warned the study, which was published in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology.

UK Local News and Media Sources – Extract – Plans to expand shale gas “fracking” in the UK must learn from leaks and poor monitoring at existing onshore oil and gas sites, scientists say.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26692050

#ANS2014

#fracking, #blackpool, #britain, #british, #durham-university, #rt-news, #uk

` Fracking Operations are ` Halted ‘ in `Ohio ‘ following two Earthquakes ‘

#AceWorldNews Ohio authorities have halted a fracking operation in following two quakes. Both the authorities and the operator say there is no evidence linking Hydraulic fracturing with the tremors, but in the past an Ohio well was closed for causing quakes.

The Ohio tremors were felt on Monday in Poland Township and the village of Lowellville near the Pennsylvania. The first 3.0 magnitude quake stroke at about 2:30am and was followed by a second 2.6 magnitude quake at 11:45am, the US Geological Survey reported.

Two smaller aftershocks were reported later in the day.

Following the quakes Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) ordered suspension of drilling operation at Carbon Limestone Landfill in Lowellville, local media reported. Texas-based Hilcorp Energy has about a dozen wells in the area and was performing horizontal drilling as part of fracking production of hydrocarbons.

“Out of an abundance of caution we notified the only oil and gas operator in the area, and ordered them to halt all operations until further assessment can take place,” Mark Bruce, ODNR public information officer, said in a statement. “ODNR is using all available resources to determine the exact circumstances surrounding this event and will take the appropriate actions necessary to protect public health and safety.”

RT News USA

#ANS2014

#fracking, #hydraulic-fracturing, #odnr, #ohio, #rt-news, #us-geological-survey

` Anti-Fracking Rallies take place across `UK ' across with largest in Manchester '

#AceUKNews says hundreds of protesters marched through Manchester, England on Sunday in what is believed to be one of the largest anti-fracking rallies to take place in the UK.

A recent survey carried out by the Manchester Evening News found that 73 percent of Greater Manchester residents are opposed to the controversial gas extraction technique – so on Sunday at noon, up to 1,000 demonstrators gathered in down-town to march from Piccadilly Gardens to Cathedral Gardens.

Many of the speakers and demonstrators included members of the long-standing Barton Moss protest camp in neighbouring Irlam, just south of Manchester.

There, energy firm IGas is carrying out test drilling to explore potential shale gas reserves beneath the green belt site at Barton Moss.

Football related placard at the anti-fracking rally in Piccadilly #mufc#mcfcpic.twitter.com/umnvikNMT9
— Chris Slater (@chrisslaterMEN) March 9, 2014

The purpose of the march in Manchester was to send a clear message to the government and energy companies that the vast majority of Britons oppose fracking,

Martin Porter, a spokesman for the Barton Moss camp and a member of Frack Free Greater Manchester, told the Manchester Evening News.
“The purpose of the day is to send a message out that we don’t want fracking in Manchester or anywhere else. At the moment, Barton Moss is at the centre of attention across the country but before long two thirds of people in England and Wales might find a #Fracking rig on their doorstep,” Porter said.

#SayNo2Fracking

#ANS2014

#barton-moss, #england, #greater-manchester, #igas-energy, #irlam, #manchester, #manchester-evening-news, #twitter

“‘CEO ExxonMobil : Joins a lawsuit that `Challenges the Construction’ of a `Water Tower’ connected to a `Fracking’ Operation”

#AceWorldNews says the CEO of ExxonMobil – the top producer of natural gas in the US – has joined a lawsuit that challenges the construction of a water tower connected to hydraulic fracturing operations near his Texas home, given that it may reduce the property value.

CEO Rex Tillerson and other plaintiffs claim the hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – project will cause unwanted noise and traffic associated with trucking water from the 160-foot tower to the drilling site, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The tower will provide water “to oil and gas explorers for fracing [sic] shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards,” according to the lawsuit.

The water tower is owned by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation.

#fracking, #cross-timbers-supply-corporation, #exxonmobil, #the-wall-street-journal

#Fracking : “Police go too Far in Trying to Frame Cameraman During an Anti-Fracking Protest”

#AceNewsServices says according to 21stCenturywire this incident took place at Barton Moss, near Manchester, England, on the site of a peaceful anti-fracking protest.

The UK police officer shown in this video has been caught red-handed on a power-trip gone too far, or so it seemed. What eventually transpired was even worse than that.

First the officer in question (pictured below) clearly shoves the cameraman knocking him to the ground — and appears unbothered by what he has done, but he’s only getting warmed up.

Not content to merely to harass and intimidate (that’s come to be expected by police in the new corporate security state), he then attempts to frame the man filming on a fake DUI charge — only the victim was actually a pedestrian walking on a public footpath.

It’s clear from this footage that the videographer was targeted by this crazed copper because police did not want him filming them as they roughed-up peaceful protesters (since police appear to be able to wipe their conscious while playing the role of corporate thug, they don’t like the idea of being filmed at their worst).

After lying on camera claiming that the innocent man filming “already admitted to having a drink”, this shameful police officer then hands the victim over to two new police officers who threaten arrest if the victim does not consent to giving a roadside breathalyzer test. The victim then refuses and the two brainless police officers proceed to place the victim under arrest.

The second two police officers will probably give a predictable ’pass-the-buck’ excuse like, ‘we were just doing our job – we were told that the man handed over to us had been drinking and driving’. But they did not bother to question the fantastic accusations of first dodgy copper. Worse, the second two officers were so dumb, they did not even consider checking to see if the man actually owned a motor vehicle in the first place.

Still, they still arrested him anyway.

Straight out of Keystone Cops, only these two are real.

Read More: http://21stcenturywire.com/2014/02/03/police-psychopath-caught-on-camera-framing-innocent-fracking-protester-for-dui/

#fracking, #copper, #police, #protest, #victim

#Fracking : Cameron Ignores Plea’s from “People About Environment and Health” and Bribe’s Council’s”

#AceNewsServices says according to the latest UK #Fracking news from the BBC also with Video

Councils that back #fracking will get to keep more money in tax revenue, David Cameron has said as he urged opponents to “get on board”.

The prime minister said English local authorities would receive all the business rates collected from shale gas schemes – rather than the usual 50%.

In a visit to a Lincolnshire fracking site, he predicted the process could support 74,000 jobs and reduce bills.

Against fracking 01

Against fracking 01 (Photo credit: Bosc d’Anjou)

But Greenpeace accused ministers of trying to “bribe councils”.

Mr Cameron’s announcement on business rates came as French company Total confirmed plans to invest about £30m to help drill two exploratory wells in Lincolnshire. It is the first major energy firm to invest in fracking in the UK.

The British Geological Survey estimates there may be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas present in the north of England.

But the process to extract it – called fracking, which is short for “hydraulic fracturing” – has led to protests, with environmentalists fearing the technique could cause small earth tremors, water contamination and environmental damage.

On Monday protesters at the Barton Moss fracking facility in Greater Manchester climbed on to lorries entering the site.

But Mr Cameron argued that the UK had the “strongest environmental controls” and pledged: “Nothing would go ahead if there were environmental dangers.

“Shale is important for our country,” he continued. “It could bring 74,000 jobs, over £3 billion of investment, give us cheaper energy for the future, and increase our energy security.

“I want us to get on board this change that is doing so much good and bringing so much benefit to North America. I want us to benefit from it here as well.”

Infographic showing shale gas extraction

Fracking involve’s drilling deep underground and releasing a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals to crack rocks and release gas stored inside.

Whitehall officials said the business rates commitment would mean councils keeping up to £1.7m extra a year from each fracking site.

Separately, the mining industry has pledged to give communities £100,000 for test drilling and a further 1% of the revenues if shale is discovered, they added.

Energy minister Michael Fallon said councils could benefit by up to “£10 million per well-head” if shale gas was successfully extracted in their communities, through the 1% levy on revenues.

“How fracking recovers natural gas from shale”

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England, said the announcement was a “step in the right direction” but any packages had to “fairly remunerate” those affected.

“Start Quote

This is a naked attempt by the government to bribe hard-pressed councils into accepting fracking in their area.”

According to Lawrence Carter of Greenpeace

“One percent of gross revenues distributed locally is not good enough; returns should be more in line with payments across the rest of the world and be set at 10%,” a spokesman said. “The community benefits of fracking should be enshrined in law, so companies cannot withdraw them to the detriment of local people.”

Responding to the LGA’s call for 10% of revenues, Mr Fallon said: “This is something obviously the industry will keep under review.”

For Labour, shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex said it was right for communities to share in the potential rewards from shale gas, but he called on the government to “get its priorities right”.

“Only by fully addressing legitimate environmental and safety concerns about fracking with robust regulation and comprehensive monitoring will people have confidence that the exploration and possible extraction of shale gas is a safe and reliable source that can contribute to the UK’s energy mix,” he said.

Friends of the Earth’s Jane Thomas argued that the new policy “highlights the depth of local opposition to fracking and the desperate lengths ministers are prepared to go to try to overcome it”.

‘New North Sea’

Lawrence Carter of Greenpeace added: “Having had their claims that fracking will bring down energy bills and create jobs thoroughly discredited, the government is now resorting to straight up bribery to sell their deeply unpopular fracking policy.”

St Anna's Road siteThe “fracking” technique to extract shale gas has proved controversial

The Institute of Directors welcomed the move on business rates, with chief economist James Sproule arguing: “Investment from Total is a vote of long-term confidence in the UK shale industry, and is a welcome sign that the government is creating the conditions necessary to maximise the potential benefits of a new domestic energy source.

UKIP energy spokesman Roger Helmer warned  that “all the financial benefits [of fracking] could be swallowed up by bureaucracy” and urged the government to create a sovereign wealth fund so that  fracking  profits “would ensure financial security for future generations”.

Map showing areas of the UK licensed for oil and gas exploration and areas under consideration for licensing

 

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#acenewsservices, #british-geological-survey, #david-cameron, #england, #greater-manchester, #greenpeace, #hydraulic-fracturing, #local-government-association, #local-government-in-england, #michael-fallon, #roger-helmer, #tom-greatrex

#Fracking Causing Environmental Damage “But It Is Our Children’s Health That Will Really Suffer” in the End

#AceEnvironmentNews says latest news about #fracking is intensifying as more evidence comes to light, not just about damage to our environment and people are starting to want answers.

Question is do we want  cheap energy at the cost of our health?

English: Mind map showing a Summary of Growth ...

English: Mind map showing a Summary of Growth Hormone Physiology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This recent report from University of Missouri and U.S. Geological Survey researchers suggested that fracking may be responsible for elevated levels of hormonedisrupting chemicals found in some water.

University of Missouri System

University of Missouri System (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The release of this report was followed by a rash of fear-mongering headlines like “Sex-change chemicals linked to fracking” (The Telegraph) and “Fracking chemicals could cause infertility, cancer and birth defects” (ABC 7 News).

But such coverage steamroll over many of the study’s crucial complexities.

In fact, there’s no evidence that exposure to fracking chemicals will change your sex or disrupt your sexual function or cause infertility, cancer, or birth defects.

The new study these stories were based on was published Dec. 16 in the journal Endocrinology. While it did find higher levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in water collected near the sites of fracking accidents, understanding what that means and whether you should be concerned requires a more nuanced understanding of both EDCs and fracking.

Endocrine disruptors: the basics

EDCs are substances that have the potential to affect the behavior of hormones like estrogen and insulin, and research in animals and in the lab suggest they may have a role in infertility, cancers, even obesity and diabetes. Fetuses, babies, and young children may be especially vulnerable. Some scientists also suspect that EDCs may have an effect on sexual development, though evidence of these effects in human populations is scant.

Researchers run into a big problem though when they try to link the presence of EDCs to illness: Such chemicals are known to be widespread in the environment and come from many different sources.

They’ve been in drinking water for more than a decade and are also in the air, our food, cosmetics, pesticides, and countless man-made materials, most famously in the common chemical BPA, which is found in many plastics, on store receipts, and in the lining of cans of food and soda. Even naturally occurring substances like some found in soy can disrupt the endocrine system.

The term EDC just stands for a general class of chemical: those that have the potential to interfere with our hormone-regulating (endocrine) system. They can mimic, block, or cause over- or under-production of certain hormones. But different chemicals will have different effects, which will vary by species, gender, age, and amount of exposure.

Crucially, the presence of an endocrine disruptor does not mean that it is doing damage, and  little agreement about the levels at which EDCs may be safe in humans. One recent roundup of the research in Endocrine Reviews suggested that traditional methods for assessing chemical safety might not be applicable to EDCs.

Hormone feedback cycles

Hormone feedback cycles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On one hand, the Endocrine Society, an international professional group of hormone researchers and practicing endocrinologists, released a statement on EDCs last year concluding that, especially in fetuses and newborns, “very low-dose EDC exposures [could] have potent and irreversible effects.”

On the other, in a comprehensive report on endocrine disruptors, the European Food Safety Authority emphasizes that “for most toxic processes, it is generally assumed that there is a threshold of exposure below which no biologically significant effect will be induced.” And substances may have physiological effects on the endocrine system, the report notes, without provoking any adverse consequences.

In sum, the potential dangers of environmental EDCs are very complex. As the EPA notes in a primer on endocrine disruptors, “the relationship of human diseases of the endocrine system and exposure to environmental contaminants is poorly understood and scientifically controversial.”

The fracking question

Fracking, Cabot OilWhat does this have to do with natural gas? Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly called “fracking,” is a process that shoots a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals deep into the ground to extract natural gas.

These chemicals are somewhat mysterious, and for years there have been anecdotal reports of miscarriages, headaches, nausea, tumors, and other health problems that sufferers attribute to fracking, but there is precious little data.

Some conclude most evidence suggests fracking is safe; others argue that we shouldn’t be guinea pigs.

The Endocrinology study researchers wanted to see if they could offer more clues about fracking chemicals by finding out whether there were increased levels of EDCs in areas near fracking sites and spills.

The exact mixture injected into wells is kept secret by fracking companies, but an investigation by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce identified 750 of the chemicals used, which ranged from “harmless” (salt, citric acid), to “unexpected” (instant coffee), to “extremely toxic” (benzene, lead). The most widely used chemical was methanol, a toxic air pollutant

Just because a chemical is used during the fracking process does not mean that it leaches into the water or the air. The potential of such contamination is a reasonable fear, noted in the House report — it’s even a documented problem — but it’s not a certainty. While a preliminary Department of Energy analysis has yet to determine that fracking-related contamination is a problem, much more research is needed.

One small study of a Colorado town associated #fracking with higher levels of toxic chemicals like benzene in the air. Another study in Pennsylvania suggested that home-owners living less than 1 kilometer from fracking sites are more likely to have drinking water that’s been contaminated by stray gases.

But even if toxic chemicals are detected, they might not reach levels high enough to harm humans. As NPR detailed in its 2012 series on fracking, “the mere presence of a chemical isn’t enough to show it caused a symptom.”

Are fracking chemicals messing with your hormones?

In short: We really don’t know, and anyone who claims to know for sure — either way — may have an agenda.

Theo Colborn, an anti-fracking activist and zoologist who pioneered research into endocrine disruption, published a recent study for which she sampled the air quality of a fracking-dense Colorado county and detected 30 suspected endocrine disruptors. But the design of that study meant that while it insinuated that fracking was the source of the EDCs, it could not actually prove any relationship between the chemicals and nearby fracking sites.

The new Endocrinology study also did not prove that fracking causes EDC contamination. But the researchers did find a strong association between fracking-dense areas and water with higher levels of EDCs.

To show this, they purchased twelve suspected EDCs known to be used in #fracking operations and ran a cell culture test to measure whether each chemical would either mimic or block the behavior of certain hormones. They confirmed that — in cells in the lab — all but one had some effect on estrogen or androgens like testosterone, which proved that they were indeed EDCs but not that they were harmful (or safe) to humans. These tests gave the researchers a blueprint of what kind of activity they were looking for in the fracking sites.

Then the researchers collected water samples from several sites in Garfield County, Colo., where fracking is widespread and a fracking accident had occurred in the past six years. (These can include things like fracking fluids spilling into a creek or a fracking wastewater tank leaking.) They also collected water samples from the Colorado River, where runoff from the region collects.

As a control, they collected water from sites in Garfield County where drilling was sparse and in (unfortunately faraway) Boone County, Mo., where drilling was absent.

Back in the lab, they didn’t identify any specific chemicals in the water, but they used the same cell culture test to measure the overall endocrine activity of the water samples. Eighty-nine percent of the samples — including the controls — showed at least some effect on hormone production, but the levels of activity varied widely, and endocrine activity was elevated across the board in the water from fracking-dense regions.

Anti-androgenic activity, which suppresses the functions of hormones like testosterone and was an observed effect of some of the tested fracking chemicals, was detected in samples from all but one of the fracking sites and none of the control sites. (The researchers suggest that the one fracked site without such activity may have been different because the fracking accident there involved chemicals spilling into a creek, perhaps carrying them away more quickly.)

Still, the study did not examine the health effects of fracking on humans directly. It did not investigate whether non-spill sites also contain elevated levels of EDCs. And sampling water from regions in two different states, from counties with very different population densities, may have confounded the results somewhat — although since the Missouri control county is more urban, EDCs from wastewater contamination and other sources may have actually been higher there than in a comparable rural region.

Unquestionably, this is the beginning of research into fracking and EDCs, not an open-and-shut conclusion.

“It is the first tiny little study in what needs to be a wealth of research attention focused on this issue,” study author Susan Nagel, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri School of Medicine at Columbia, Mo., told Business Insider.

Says who?

So how did this study come to be?

It was a collaboration between an endocrinologist, a research toxicologist, a bio-statistician, and others. The authors, some of whom have a longstanding research interest in EDCs in the environment, suspected that fracking might be yet another a source of these increasingly ubiquitous chemicals.

The lead author, Christopher Kassotis, is a graduate student in biology funded in part by a $126,000 EPA grant “to determine the relationship between various hormonal activities in natural sources of water with hydraulic fracturing processes.” The results aim to “increase understanding of the potential hazards associated with hydraulic fracturing and provide a basis for regulatory agencies to develop science-based standards of safety and containment of waste from hydraulic fracturing processes.”

Key funding for the study was also provided by the Passport Foundation’s Science Innovation Fund, designed to provide support for projects “advancing the environmental health science needed to promulgate effective chemicals regulation [and] public health policies.” (Passport Foundation, the now-defunct philanthropy arm of Passport Capital, also made grants to organizations that either oppose fracking or support stricter regulations, including the Environmental Defence Fund, Earth Justice, the Environmental Working Group, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.)

Given this funding mix, it’s clear that while the science is solid and the findings are notable, there was probably an endgame in mind: more effective regulation around a potentially harmful but still largely mysterious process.

Energy in Depth, an oil-and-gas industry group that clearly has a horse in this race, quickly responded to the study, highlighting what they saw as several problems. They pointed out, for example, that the researchers can’t know for sure that all the EDCs they detected were from fracking, which is true, but they unfairly took issue with the fact that data was collected from fracking spill sites — such accidents are a pervasive problem, not an anomaly.

The bottom line

The upshot is this complicated tale: The Endocrinology study is a cause for concern, not alarm. It suggests scientists should do more research to investigate how fracking might be interfering with our sensitive endocrine system and that fracking accidents in particular may be a source of risk. But the only route to clear proof of harm or safety may be human tests that would be unethical and illegal.

In any case, fracking’s hormonal effects would likely be subtle, varied, and hard to track. With EDCs all around us, we can’t yet know how much fracking contributes to them.

So are the chemicals used in fracking really responsible for elevated levels of endocrine disruptors in the water? As Nagel told Business Insider, “it’s a hypothesis that we’re testing, not a proven phenomenon.”

 

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MU Researchers Find #Fracking Chemicals Disrupt Hormone Function

#AceHealthNews says that Endocrine-disrupting activity is linked to birth defects and infertility

Shale GasUniversity of Missouri researchers have found greater hormone-disrupting properties in water located near hydraulic fracturing drilling sites than in areas without drilling. The researchers also found that 11 chemicals commonly used in the controversial “#fracking” method of drilling for oil and natural gas are endocrine disruptors.

Endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s endocrine system, which controls numerous body functions with hormones such as the female hormone estrogen and the male hormone androgen. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as those studied in the MU research, has been linked by other research to cancer, birth defects and infertility.

Dr. Nagel
Susan Nagel Phd

“More than 700 chemicals are used in the #fracking process, and many of them disturb hormone function,” said Susan Nagel, PhD, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health at the MU School of Medicine. “With #fracking on the rise, populations may face greater health risks from increased endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure.”

The study involved two parts. The research team performed laboratory tests of 12 suspected or known endocrine-disrupting chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, and measured the chemicals’ ability to mimic or block the effects of the reproductive sex hormones estrogen and androgen. They found that 11 chemicals blocked estrogen hormones, 10 blocked androgen hormones and one mimicked estrogen.

The researchers also collected samples of ground and surface water from several sites, including:

  • Accident sites in Garfield County, Colo., where hydraulic fracturing fluids had been spilled
  • Nearby portions of the Colorado River, the major drainage source for the region
  • Other parts of Garfield County, Colo., where there had been little drilling
  • Parts of Boone County, Mo., which had experienced no natural gas drilling

The water samples from drilling sites demonstrated higher endocrine-disrupting activity that could interfere with the body’s response to androgen and estrogen hormones. Drilling site water samples had moderate-to-high levels of endocrine-disrupting activity, and samples from the Colorado River showed moderate levels. In comparison, the researchers measured low levels of endocrine-disrupting activity in the Garfield County, Colo., sites that experienced little drilling and the Boone County, Mo., sites with no drilling.

“#Fracking is exempt from federal regulations to protect water quality, but spills associated with natural gas drilling can contaminate surface, ground and drinking water,” Nagel said. “We found more endocrine-disrupting activity in the water close to drilling locations that had experienced spills than at control sites. This could raise the risk of reproductive, metabolic, neurological and other diseases, especially in children who are exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.”

The study, “Estrogen and Androgen Receptor Activities of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Surface and Ground Water in a Drilling-Dense Region,” was published in the journal Endocrinology.

Courtesy of  MU

 

#boone-county, #colo, #colorado, #colorado-river, #doctor-of-philosophy, #endocrine-disruptor, #endocrine-disruptors, #endocrine-system, #endocrine-disrupting-chemicals, #garfield-county, #groundwater, #hydraulic-fracturing, #natural-gas-drilling, #susan-nagel, #susan-nagel-phd, #university-of-missouri

#AceNewsServices says according to Fiona Maharg Bravo #Breaking…

#AceNewsServices says according to Fiona Maharg-Bravo – #Breaking Views
Will the shale boom ever reach Europe’s shores? It has had a remarkable impact in the U.S. Thanks to fracking, American chemicals and steel companies pay two-thirds less than European counterparts for natural gas, according to Eni, the Italian oil and gas firm. They pay half the cost for electricity. The International Energy Agency expects U.S. manufacturers’ share of global energy-intensive exports to grow slightly over the next two decades on the back of cheap energy, against a 10 percent decline in Europe. Thanks in part to the lower energy prices, the Boston Consulting Group reckons the U.S. will create up to 5 million factory and services jobs by 2020.

In theory, Europe could have cheaper energy too. It has vast quantities of shale gas, particularly under France and Poland. But there are problems. Europe’s shale layers are deeper, making it more expensive to extract than in the U.S. Difficulties have led Exxon, Talisman and Marathon Oil to throw in the towel in Poland.

There is also a lack of direct economic incentives. In the U.S., landowners share in the spoils because they own the subsoil. In Europe the profits usually flow to governments. This is no-hard-and-fast rule: fracking is banned in the state of New York and is thriving in Alberta where the subsoil is owned by the Canadian government. But social, political and environmental attitudes weigh more heavily in Europe.

It is more densely populated and that makes fracking more disruptive. Gas is released after blasting underground rock with explosives and pressurized water, sand and chemicals. That creates environmental concerns and understandable reticence by those who live near potential drill sites. In addition, water is hard to come by in certain parts, such as Spain. France has banned the practice.

It is too early to write off European shale gas reserves. U.S. exports of liquefied natural shale gas should also keep a lid on global gas prices, and that helps lower costs for Europeans. Old world economies can find competitive advantages in less energy-intensive industries. Gas is one of the less significant costs when it comes to hand-stitching a Christian Dior gown.

Cheaper energy would provide just the fillip Europe needs. Sadly, it is a pipe-dream.

The author is a Reuters Breaking Views columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

#breaking-views, #fracking, #canadian-government, #fiona-maharg-bravo-shale-gas, #france, #gas, #poland, #reuters, #spain, #us

UK Government: Changing Law So #Fracking “Could be Carried out Under People’s Home’s Without Need to Notify Owners”

#AceNewsServices says according to the latest from RT that Hydraulic fracturing may soon take place under thousands of homes across the United Kingdom without their owners’ knowledge. Based on a proposed law change the burden of notifying home-owners will be lifted from energy companies, the Guardian reports.

Planning Minister Nick Boles said a change in UK law will allow gas companies to put in drilling applications without notifying those in the area whose property could be affected, the Guardian reported. Companies will instead have to post notices in local newspapers and erect site displays in local parishes.

Many opposed to #fracking cite potential health risks, air pollution and water contamination, as well as possible earthquakes. Nevertheless, the government portrayed alerting all those possibly impacted by localized #fracking as too much of a burden for companies to weather.

It would require a “disproportionately large number of individuals and businesses” to receive notice, said Boles in a statement to MPs.

Hydraulic fracturing, or #fracking, is the highly controversial process of injecting water, sand and various chemicals into layers of rock in hopes of releasing oil and gas deep underground. Because it takes place far below ground, the gas companies themselves may not understand exactly where they are drilling.

“The associated underground extraction takes place very deep below the Earth’s surface, over a wide geographical area,” Boles said. “As a result, it is often not possible to identify the exact route of any lateral drilling.”

Without the changes to the secondary legislation, the widely drawn area on planning applications for onshore oil and gas projects would require the notification of a disproportionately large number of individuals and businesses. This would be unnecessarily excessive when other forms of complimentary notification exist.”

Ministers have dismissed any safety or environmental concerns posed by #fracking, instead touting the economic benefits while saying any drilling will be done responsibly. Other MPs are nervous about the new edict, The Guardian reported, based on high-profile protests in areas where drilling has been proposed.

On Tuesday the Conservative-led government issued a 49-page energy roadmap outlining ways in which oil and natural gas, including shale deposits, could be exploited in the country.

Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change identified new areas across the UK thought to hold rich, untapped stores of shale gas, The Daily Telegraph reported. As part of a new initiative by Westminster, these areas may become subject to test drilling, which could pave the way for #fracking if large deposits of shale gas are found.

“The government is keen to explore the potential for shale gas in the UK which could bring major benefit in terms of growth, jobs and energy security,” British Energy Minister Michael Fallon said in a statement. “However we must develop shale responsibly, both for local communities and for the environment.”

In a letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made public on Tuesday, Prime Minister David Cameron warned that European Union regulations could stifle investment in Britain’s shale gas industry.

“I am not in favour of new legislation where the lengthy time frames and significant uncertainty involved are major causes for concern,” Cameron wrote in the letter dated December 4, Reuters reports. “The industry in the UK has told us that new EU legislation would immediately delay imminent investment.”

#NoFrackingHere

#NoFrackingHere

#Fracking has met widespread opposition in the UK, with local communities taking to the streets in protest. In the city of Salford, Greater Manchester, activists blocked access to a test drilling site on Monday, placing a 1.5-ton wind turbine blade in front of the Barton Moss facility in what they called a “symbolic” act of protest.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Tony Bosworth called the government’s moves on #fracking objectionable given the drilling technique has been identified by officials as having “potentially significant local impacts.”

#StopFrackingUpOurLives

#StopFrackingUpOurLives

“People should be notified personally if firms want to drill or frack for oil and gas under their homes. Removing that right is a further blow to local communities who are rightly concerned about the impacts of #fracking,” he said. “Ministers should be strengthening rules to protect local people, not weakening them in yet another sop to an industry that wants to keep us hooked on dirty fossil fuels.”

A new report published in the latest edition of the journal Endocrinology shows a dozen chemicals used regularly in #fracking are suspected of being endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs — chemicals that can interfere with the human body’s endocrine functions and have been linked to heightened risks of cancer, low fertility rates and decreased sperm quality.

EDITOR: says so how can this situation have arisen and who really owns the land two metres below the surface? Well having done some recent research and this article it states as follows:

COLUMN-Frack on Your Majesty, you may be a shale gas winner:Kemp
Fri, Dec 14 15:22 PM GMT

By John Kemp

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II could be in line for a windfall now that her government is prepared to start granting licences to frack for shale gas again.

In her capacity as the Duke of Lancaster, the Queen owns more than 50,000 acres and subsurface rights to tens of thousands more across northern England, the part of the country that has drawn the most interest from companies hunting for shale gas. #Fracking firms will have to pay to put wells on her property or to drill through the subsurface mineral layers that she owns.

Potential payments to the Duchy are just one example of a wider phenomenon. The prospect of widespread #fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has helped set off something of a rush among the owners of ancient mineral rights to register them ahead of an October 2013 deadline set by the Land Registration Act, in order to claim possible compensation.

THE DUCHY OF LANCASTER:

The Duchy of Lancaster, which dates back to the 14th century, is separate from the Crown Estate, historical land holdings and other royal possessions. Revenue from that property goes to the government in exchange for an annual payment to help cover the costs of running the monarchy.

The Duchy holds assets in trust to provide an income for the Queen and her successors as sovereign. In March 2012, it had assets valued at 405 million pounds ($653.5 million) and was providing an annual income of 13 million pounds, which the Queen uses to meet her private expenditure and official expenditure incurred as sovereign.

The Duchy has valuable commercial property in central London (clustered around the ancient manor of the Savoy around the Embankment and the Strand) as well as in northern England.

But the major part of its landholding, in terms of surface area, is held as rural estates spread across the counties of Lancashire (10,000 acres), Yorkshire (16,000 acres), other parts of northern England and the Midlands.

In addition, over the centuries when the Duchy sold off some of its holdings, it reserved ownership of the subsurface mineral rights. As a result, it also owns mineral rights beneath tens of thousands more acres across the north of England, even though the surface is now owned by others.

ANCIENT LORDS OF THE MANOR:

Mineral rights and royalties produced an income of just $270,000 in the year ended March 2012. However, like other major landowners, including the Church of England, the Duchy has been busy registering its historic ownership of these mineral rights ahead of the deadline set by the Land Registration Act.

“Mineral interests are a relatively small element of the Duchy portfolio, but windfall opportunities do emphasise the importance of protecting these interests,” the Duchy explained in its annual report.

“The Land Registration Act has necessitated mineral owners to register their titles with the Land Registry, and the Duchy has been doing this in respect of both its surface and mineral ownership.

#Fracking has set off a modern land rush. According to the “Daily Telegraph” newspaper: “The Duke of Northumberland, Duke of Bedford and Earl of Lonsdale have all registered manorial rights. Ordinary people who live in manor houses or old rectories may also have ‘lordships of the manor’ and therefore own mineral rights in the area.” (“Lords of the manor to cash in on fracking” November 2012)

DRILLING AND ANCILLARY RIGHTS:

Like other private landowners, the Duchy of Lancaster does not own the oil and gas found under its estates or as a result of its reserved mineral rights.

In contrast to the United States, where oil and gas deposits are in private ownership and the owner receives royalties from #fracking firms for extracting them, in the United Kingdom petroleum resources are in state ownership.

Under the 1934 Petroleum Production Act, all oil and gas deposits are owned by the Queen in her official capacity as “the Crown”, which in practice means they are government property.

Section 1 of the Act states: “The property in petroleum existing in its natural condition in strata in Great Britain is hereby vested in His Majesty, and His Majesty shall have the exclusive right of searching and boring for and getting such petroleum”, which means oil and natural gas.

Licences to explore and exploit oil and gas resources onshore are granted by the government. But “the rights granted by the landward licences do not include any rights to access, and the licensees must also obtain any consent under current legislation, including planning permission,” according to the British Geological Survey.

So anyone wanting to get at the oil and gas must negotiate with the surface owner for permission to drill a well and build other facilities such as access roads and storage tanks. If the surface owner refuses, the driller must apply for a court order under the 1966 Mines Act to acquire the ancillary rights needed to get access to the oil and gas and pay what the court rules to be appropriate compensation.

As a major landowner in the north of England, the Duchy of Lancaster will be able to charge anyone who wants to drill on surface land it owns. Under a recent court ruling, however, it may also be able to charge anyone who wants to drill through the underground areas it owns, even if they build surface facilities on someone else’s land.

DEVIATED WELLS, SUBSURFACE OWNERS:

In 2009, in a case that pitted Star Energy against Bocardo, a company ultimately owned by well-known businessman Mohammed Al-Fayed, the Court of Appeal ruled that Star had to pay compensation for trespass for drilling a deviated (angled) oil well under Bocardo’s property, even though the well started on someone else’s land and was at least 800 feet below the surface when it entered the area under Bocardo’s land.

“I reach this conclusion with reluctance,” the judge explained. “The trespass is purely technical, because it did not interfere with Bocardo’s use or enjoyment of its land one iota. More over, Bocardo has lost no rights because it neither owned the oil that has been removed from strata within its land; nor did it have the right to search, bore for and get such petroleum. Those rights belonged exclusively to the Crown and its licensee (Star)”.

Nonetheless, even though Star possessed a licence, it still needed to negotiate Bocardo’s permission to drill through all the other layers and mineral’s Bocardo owned underneath its property or apply to court and pay compensation. Having failed to do either, Star was ordered to pay £1000.

But that was for using three pipelines  beneath Bocardo’s land at depths between 800 and 2800 feet below the surface, and extending just 500-700 metres below Bocardo’s Oxted estate. Fracking will employ much longer horizontal wells and affect much bigger areas of the subsurface. The compensation required could be correspondingly larger.

Since the Duchy of Lancaster owns the mineral rights across large swathes of the north of England, frackers will have to negotiate appropriate payments to drill through all the strata it owns (including for example the coal deposits it has been busy registering).

In contrast to conventional oil and gas fields, which have a fairly limited impact on the surface and cover a restricted underground area, fracking involves drilling a much larger number of wells with horizontal sections extending thousands of feet. It has a very large footprint on both the surface and the subsurface, and a corresponding increase in compensation payments to a large number of land owners.

Revenues  from #fracking are unlikely to put the Queen’s personal income on a par with the sultan of Brunei, and she should probably not starting ordering a new Royal Yacht, but they could make a small addition towards the cost of running her household.

Ace Related News: 

EPA

Natural Gas

Birth Defects 

White House Government View 

Public Health Authority View  

New York’s View  

 

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Fracking Chemicals Linked to Birth Defects, Infertility

#AceEnvironmentNews says a lot of the articles that l have read about #fracking ,seem to lead to the water supply for a town or village, and originate from the water table. This is due to the chemicals being used in the #fracking process leaking into the water table #SayNo2Fracking

HumanSinShadow.wordpress.com

Fracking Chemicals Linked to Birth Defects, Infertility

Activist Post
Fracking diagram from Gasland movie

A controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses many chemicals that can disrupt the body’s hormones, according to new research accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society‘s journal Endocrinology.Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are substances that can interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system. EDCs can be found in manufactured products as well as certain foods, air, water and soil. Research has linked EDC exposure to infertility, cancer and birth defects.

“More than 700 chemicals are used in the fracking process, and many of them disturb hormone function,” said one of the study’s authors, Susan C. Nagel, PhD, of the University of Missouri School of Medicine. “With fracking on the rise, populations may face greater health risks from increased endocrine-disrupting chemical…

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