#AceWorldNews – JAPAN – October 10 – Japan has launched public debates on restarting nuclear power plants with a first in a series of town hall meetings held in Satsumasendai, a coastal city south-west of Tokyo, that hosts the two-reactor Kyushu Electric Power Co facility, Reuters reported.
Organizers had to introduce a lottery system for those who wanted to attend, due to the high interest.
The authorities were criticized for limiting the number of participants and for banning certain questions, like evacuation plans, from discussion.
Greenpeace has described the meetings as a “farce.” Following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, opposition to nuclear power has been strong in Japan.
The country halted its last nuclear reactor a year ago. PM Shinzo Abe’s government would like to see the plants back on-line, and has promised tougher security measures.
#AceWorldNews – NORWAY – May 29 – Norwegian police stopped a Greenpeace rally that blocked the Transocean Spitsbergen drilling rig of the Norwegian company Statoil in the Barents Sea after two days of protest, ITAR-TASS reported.
Transocean Spitsbergen will continue its way to the Apollo well.
The Greenpeace activists claim the company is violating the ban on drilling closer than 50 kilometres from the ice boundary.
The move follows an earlier attempt to end the protest by Norwegian authorities, who removed seven activists from the same rig in the early hours of Thursday morning following a 48 hour occupation. All activists have now been released without charge.
Speaking from the bridge of the Esperanza, Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner Sune Scheller said: “We were not sure whether to continue this action after two cold days on the rig, but the public support we have received has been a huge boost.
The Esperanza is a small ship, but we are determined to stay on top of this drilling site and stop Statoil from risking Bear Island.
This company is desperate to present an image of safety, but the world is starting to see the dangerous truth behind its fancy logo. Arctic oil drilling is risky, it is dangerous, and it must be stopped.”
Seven Greenpeace International activists were removed from Statoil’s oil rig Transocean Spitsbergen after 48 hours between 0330 and 0530 CET this morning.
The activists were taken by helicopter to a police station in Tromsø but have all now been released. The activists are not under any charges.
Statoil has a permit to start some drilling operations, but cannot drill into oil bearing rock before the Norwegian Ministry of climate and environment rules on a Greenpeace complaint.
Source: Greenpeace, May 29, 2014 –
Ace Related News:
1. 29/05/2014 – http://tinyurl.com/q8bn4gq
#AceWorldNews – ROTTERDAM – May 01 – Dutch Police have detained 30 Greenpeace activists who were trying to dock alongside a Russian oil tanker, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency.
The incident took place at the port of Rotterdam as the Russian tanker was looking to moor, carrying oil from the Arctic.
A vessel from Greenpeace blocked the pier to try and stop the ‘Mikhail Ulyanov’ from completing its delivery.
Dutch police asked the activists to vacate the vicinity, which they refused to do and were subsequently arrested.
Gazprom started to deliver oil to the platform at the end of 2013.
More than 300 thousand tons of oil are expected to be delivered over the course of the year.
#AceWorldNews Greenpeace said it will sue Russia before the European Court of Human Rights for the detention of its members last year during a protest against Arctic drilling.
The 30 Greenpeace activists and journalists were detained – and their ship was seized – by Russian forces in September as they protested at an offshore oil rig owned by state energy firm Gazprom.
The 30 were held for around two months before being allowed bail and amnesty. Greenpeace is seeking compensation and an admonishment for the detention, as they say it was illegal to imprison them for a peaceful protest based on rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, which Russia has approved.
“We think the Arctic 30 were apprehended and detained in flagrant violation of applicable international and Russian laws,” said lawyer Sergey Golubok.
RT – News Sources
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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”.
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.”
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”.
- Prime Minister promises financial boost for ‘fracking’ councils(coventrytelegraph.net)
- Anti-fracking protests fail to halt interest in shale gas(theguardian.com)
- Cameron promises fracking windfall for councils(channel4.com)
- David Cameron promises fracking tax boost for councils willing to approve projects(independent.co.uk)
- Cameron promises tax boost for councils that approve fracking projects – The Independent(independent.co.uk)
- ‘We’re going all out for shale,’ admits David Cameron(theguardian.com)