Fracking – Fact or Fantasy

The green movement doesn’t like Fracking but they do like Wind. Why? Fact is wind is intermittent, drives people into fuel poverty, devalues neighbourhood homes and has to be supported by subsidy. Fracking on the other hand has reduced energy prices in the US, created thousands of jobs as energy prices tumble to the benefit of US industry and needs no subsidy. So why has the Green Lobby reacted so viciously to fracking. Their web sites are a liturgy of lies and obfuscations.

fracking objectors

They are the great unwashed, the swampies and the anti capitalist objectors and yet they are also rent a mob. Never has a Wind Farm objection rally needed the police manpower that fracking does. Truth is that it is simply political activism, what Patterson referred to as the Green Blob. How seldom do we see locals in their ranks. Those that are have believed the hype and failed to properly study the fact. Flaming faucets: cold bed methane in groundwater that would be there without any mining. Nothing to do with fracking at 8000ft well below groundwater. There are dangers, but none that cannot be adequately addressed by good management and oversight by an effective regulator. After all it is not in the developers interest to be faced with expensive clear up costs and loss of production. And those toxic chemicals? Another myth perpetrated by the Green Blob. Cuadrilla are perfectly transparent on what chemicals are used. See here for Fracking Fluids

So what about the real legacy of fracking. In the south we have been drilling the Wytch oil field for years and few even know it exists. Fracking, as a technique, has been used for the best party of forty years but new equipment and deep wells have brought it into it’s own more recently. Centrica have been fracking wells for gas in Norway for the last few years. Interestingly they are using mostly Scottish engineers. Good well paid jobs for the indigenous population.

A wind farm requires 700 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a fracking site, according to analysis by energy department’s recently-departed chief scientific advisor.

Prof David MacKay, who stood down from the Government role at the end of July, published analysis putting shale gas extraction “in perspective”, showing it was far less intrusive on the landscape than wind or solar energy.

His intervention was welcomed by fracking groups, who are battling to win public support amid claims from green groups and other critics that shale gas extraction will require the “industrialisation” of the countryside.

Hundreds of anti-fracking protesters on Thursday occupied a field near Blackpool neighbouring a proposed fracking site for energy firm Cuadrilla.

Prof MacKay said that a shale gas site uses less land and “creates the least visual intrusion”, compared with a wind farm or solar farm capable of producing the equivalent amount of energy over 25 years.

He rated each technology’s “footprint” against six criteria covering aspects of land use, height, visual impact and truck movements to and from the site. […]

Prof MacKay said the analysis showed that “perhaps unsurprisingly, there is no silver bullet – no energy source with all-round small environmental impact”. He said that all sources “have their costs and risks” and said the public should “look at all the options”.

So what effect does fracking have. Essentially a fracking site will experience disturbance for about forty weeks after which it will revert to a simple well head. There was one incident at Witch Farm that bears mentioning. During a well test a large group of people were spotted marching up and down the access roads with signs. Since they were in a restricted area one of the crew was dispatched to ask them what they were doing. It turned out that they were there to demonstrate against the oilfield because it was horrible or something. However, they were puzzled that they had been told where it was – but couldn’t find it.They were quite surprised to find that they had been walking past all the wells for the last few hours and hadn’t actually spotted any of them.

Fracking well head

This is in Marcellus, New York State, and cannot be seen from the road. The alternative is something like this at Ardrossan.

Ardrossan

Ardrossan

Of course the first runs 24/7/365 for some forty years and the second runs as about 21% when the wind blows and has a life of about 16 years before it needs re-powering. We have all been promised a maximum of 25 years but do we believe them? No way. Read the small print. In practice what will happen is either the death of the industry with wholesale bankruptcies and rusting hulks littering our scenery or bigger monstrosities here for forty years or more.

For a safe, sustainable, future the truth is we need deliverable energy at a cost we can afford with a mix of clean coal, gas, nuclear and hydro. It is without doubt that as civilisation moves forward we will have an expanding demand for electricity, not because it is green, but because it is easy. Cars, buses, trains will all demand much higher energy requirements than we could currently(sic) supply. So listen to the Royal Geological Scociety, the Nuclear Industry and the engineers in the power industry. Don’t listen to the Swampys and green ideologues as they peddle dis-information. Get your facts from people who know, not the Green lobby with their eschewed values which even their founders now despair of.

We need to build a future based on fact, not fantasy!

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About Dougal Quixote

Slightly mad. Always believes a cup is half full so continues to tilt at Wind Turbines and the politicians that seem to believe it is their god given right to ruin Scotland for a pot of fool's gold.
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