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Govt Lifts Fracking Ban; Ed Miliband Throws A Wobbly!

September 23, 2022

By Paul Homewood

h/t  Robin Guenier



Well, at least we know where we stand now!

Ed Miliband has made it totally clear that Labour have no interest in the UK’s energy security, or getting energy bills down. Instead they are doubling down on their obsession with renewable energy.

In his interview, Miliband makes three points:

1) Fracking won’t reduce gas prices, because these are set on the international market.

It is the same tired old argument against oil and gas exploration. But it is also wrong-headed.

There is no reason at all why the licences needed for distributing shale gas into the gas grid should not be conditional on some form of Contracts for Difference, just as offshore wind is.

Even if the gas is sold at international prices, the government will still be able to earn billions in tax revenue from shale, just as it has done for years from the North Sea.

Obviously the effect on retail prices will depend on how much shale gas is produced. Many anti-frackers argue that very little gas will be produced anyway. This may be true, but by the same argument the climate change and other environmental impacts will be negligible too.

2) Fracking is not safe

The newly published British Geological Survey report makes clear that they have very little data on which to estimate the risk of earth tremors, particularly since the geology of the Bowland Basin is complex.

But when did we ever ban something because we could not accurately measure the risk? The only way forward is to drill some more wells to get that data.

There will still of course be all of the existing safeguards in place, with seismicity being constantly measured. The current threshold of 0.5 on the Richter scale will quite rightly be reviewed, and we will hopefully get something much more practical, in line with all other industrial processes.

But Miliband is not interested in anything practical. Instead he quite disgracefully talks of “a charter for earthquakes” and “a dangerous experiment”. Both claims are utterly without foundation, and will simply serve to deceive the public, who are entitled to the facts and not hyperbole.

As the Royal Society review of fracking in 2012 pointed out, the seismic incidents measured from fracking are not “earthquakes” but “tremors”, so small as to be not even noticeable.

The highest measurement from a fracking operation was 2.9, and most have been much smaller. Bear in mind that the Richter scale is logarithmic.

It is highly irresponsible of Miliband to try to alarm the public in this way.



As for his claim that this is all a dangerous experiment, he apparently does not realise that fracking has been widely used in the UK for decades, without any of the problems he alludes to. Again according to the Royal Society:



3) Renewables are the answer

According to Miliband:

“You cannot escape a fossil fuel crisis by doubling down on fossil fuels. Renewables are today nine times cheaper than natural gas”

This is an absurd argument. The energy crisis is solely due to an imbalance in supply demand. And the answer to that is to increase supply, not reduce it.

Comparing the price of renewable electricity and gas is a meaningless exercise, as you cannot simply replace the latter with the former.

All of the official projections clearly state that the UK will need plenty of natural gas for many years to come, despite big increases in renewable capacity.

He is also misleading by comparing the current international price of gas. What is relevant is the cost of extracting shale gas.

Companies like Cuadrilla and INEOS have been keen spend billions on fracking, even when prices were much lower than now. Just eighteen months ago, for instance, wholesale gas prices were a tenth of what they are now. Under Miliband’s own argument, shale gas should be cost competitive.


The Unions Don’t Agree!

It is highly significant that Labour’s Trades Union bosses don’t agree with Miliband, slamming his policies as “bourgeois environmentalism”:


Labour must back fracking, hydrogen and new nuclear power plants to solve the energy crisis rather than bowing to the “bourgeois environmental lobby”, the head of one of the UK’s most powerful trade unions has said.

Ahead of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool this weekend, Gary Smith, the general secretary of the GMB, denounced the party’s pro-green agenda, declaring that a “sprint for renewables just doesn’t cut it”.

In an interview with the New Statesman, Smith accused Labour of a “lack of honesty” and of “not facing reality” over the scale of energy development needed to guarantee the UK’s energy supply, the fragility of which has been shown up by the war in Ukraine. Smith said it was “demonstrable” that fracking could be done safely. “We import a huge amount of fracked gas and we import methane from America, which is basically fracked gas,” he said.

“Now we have a choice: we are either going to import gas that has been fracked somewhere else in the world and put on diesel-bombing ships or we take responsibility for our own carbon. If it can be done safely, and that is demonstrable, then it’s time that we took responsibility for our own carbon emissions.

“We should not get caught up in a bourgeois environmental debate driven by the bourgeois environmental lobby …The debate on the left needs to seriously talk about climate change, but it needs to be focused on jobs. And the renewables industry, and many of those who espouse it in politics, have no interest in jobs for working class communities. And we should stop pretending that we’re in an alliance with them. The big winners from renewables have been the wealthy and big corporate interests. Invariably the only jobs that are created when wind farms get put up, particularly onshore wind, have been jobs in public relations and jobs for lawyers.”

Gary Smith is spot on.

Miliband’s obsession with wind and solar power is a dangerous illusion, a naive fantasy. It will put our energy security at risk, cost jobs and cripple the UK economy.

  1. tomo permalink
    September 23, 2022 12:28 pm

    Miliband Minor is is a wobbly

    • September 23, 2022 10:01 pm

      He is not known as Minibrain for nothing.

    • Philip Mulholland permalink
      September 25, 2022 9:56 pm

      Would that be a 0.5 Richter wobbly?

  2. September 23, 2022 12:36 pm

    Its religious fervor. There is no rational conversation with these people.

  3. devonblueboy permalink
    September 23, 2022 12:38 pm

    Hardly surprising that the green loon who gave us the Climate Change act is doubling down on his fairy tales. Renewables are better classified as Unreliables

    • September 23, 2022 4:13 pm

      Or to give the Act its full name

      Climate Change and Destruction of the Economy Act, 2008

  4. Brian Smith permalink
    September 23, 2022 12:39 pm

    Governments, ours included, have banned or otherwise controlled many types of export, weaponry being the most obvious example. To try and establish anything different is just dishonest.

    If the government decides to intervene in where oil and gas extracted within the UK is sold then it is entirely free to do so.

  5. john cheshire permalink
    September 23, 2022 12:45 pm

    This is the same public servant who pushed through the Climate Change Act just before the last Labour government was kicked out of office.
    I believe most if not all of what we are now suffering is a consequence of that Act of Parliament and it’s to the shame of all governments since 2010 that they didn’t repeal it.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      September 23, 2022 2:41 pm

      The only reply to that is that since only 5 MPs voted against the Bill, the Conservatives were just as signed up to the scam as Labour. And it was never going to get repealed between ’10 and ’15 while the Conservatives were in a coalition with the Lib-Dems. Especially with the Lib-Dems!!
      The problem then as now is that the whole CO2 argument (whether sincere or not) was carefully crafted and lots (and lots!) of excellent but non-scientific minds saw no reason to argue. And scientific minds in other disciplines saw no reason to rock the boat, assuming that fellow-scientists knew what they were talking about.
      It was left to “awkward buggers” like us — and even more like Watts and Homewood and Montford and many many others — to dig their heels in and argue that “this just doesn’t smell right”!
      Fortunately it is beginning to look as if the determination not to be browbeaten by watermelons with an agenda — which (I suspect) has nothing to do with either climate or saving the planet — is starting to pay off.

  6. Nick Dekker permalink
    September 23, 2022 12:54 pm

    If you really believe that fracking in England will make any difference to GB’s long term energy dependency, then you are believing your own fantasy. There is absolutely no sensible comparability between fracking in the USA and fracking here. Just listen to the real experts, and even the Chancellor himself.
    Ed Milliband is right.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 23, 2022 1:48 pm

      With respect, I like to think John Egan might be a better judge of what’s available and profitable than you or Ed Miliband. It seems he is willing to go for it.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      September 23, 2022 2:47 pm

      Since those who know the industry (would you care to tell us your credentials?) believe that there is potentially, and we won’t know without looking, enough recoverable gas in situ to make the UK self-sufficient for the rest of this century.
      It doesn’t need to be on the scale of the US; we aren’t the US. Every litre extracted adds to the national wealth one way or another.

      • Vernon E permalink
        September 23, 2022 3:09 pm

        Mike: A search of the extensive and relevant literature from the US based on their shales reveals that they have had plenty of seismic incidents notably at Youngstown (3.9 LM) 2011 in the Marcellus shale and Irving near Dallas (3.6 LM) 2015 in the Barnett shale (which the BGS report completely omits from its tabulation) and others, all of which caused structural damage (inccluding to the wells themselves).

      • catweazle666 permalink
        September 23, 2022 6:17 pm

        I live on the Craven Fault in the Yorkshire Dales, incidentally over part of the Bowland Shales.
        We regularly get tremors in the mid to high three and low four bracket.
        They are barely detectable, the last time we had one I looked out onto the road because I thought a car had crashed or something, my wife reported her ornaments shook on the mantelpiece.
        The only damage I can recall in the last half century amounts to one tree branch fallen off and a single chimney pot fell down – both of which were in a precarious condition to start with.
        They can come and frack round me any time they like!

      • Gerry, England permalink
        September 24, 2022 11:49 am

        Where I used to live if there were glasses in the cabinet touching each other they used to tinkle every time a train went along the nearby railway cutting. That’s the joy of living on clay.

    • mikewaite permalink
      September 23, 2022 4:00 pm

      OK, Nick, I accept your challenge . Just tell me who are “the real experts” and how and where I can read their contributions to the debate on fracking and related topics.

    • Carnot permalink
      September 23, 2022 4:21 pm

      Nick, you are 100% correct. It is wishful thinlkng to believe that resuming hydraulic facturing will have an impact any tine soon, or even ever. The US shale story is not far removed from the climate change story over here. Repeat it enough and the population believes it. The anti-fraccing nuts are just that. They are as clueless as the climate change supporters, and in many cases are one and the same. I am not ant-fraccing, I am just a realist that has worked more than 44 years in the business, starting my career as a mud logger in 1978. Dig deep and you will easily unravel what many in the US call a giant shale Ponzi scheme( others refer to it as the chum circle and with investors as mullets). Go to the Haynes and Boone website and you can see all the bankruptcies. Early investors lost everything due to lax corporate governance and companies (well known) wilfully misleading the SEC in terms of the purported reserves and the actual recovery rates. It has on average not been profitable.
      Shift to the UK. There is really only one interested party at present. Caudrilla/ Ineos and frankly I do not have much faith in either. Ineos is a successful petrochemical producer, but has not expereince in the oil production arean, and I am inclided to believe that neither does Caudrilla. You simply cannot compare the US with the UK. In the US the resource covers a wide area with very variable resource quality. The UK is not comparable and is resource is deeply folded. That gas is present is not disputed. What is important is at what would it cost to produce, how much of the landscape would be adversely impacted (a lot) and how much would the gas gathering system cost, because the gas has to be collected and processed. The US essentially already had in place the gas gathering network, the UK, and rest of EU would have to start from scratch.

      • mjr permalink
        September 23, 2022 5:37 pm

        Havent we got a gas gathering network already? When we went to North Sea gas all those years ago, it was piped all over the country. And the Morecambe bay and Irish sea gas rigs? where does the gas from them go?
        Looking at various online gas network maps it seems that part of the main trunk network passes by the Bowland shale

      • catweazle666 permalink
        September 23, 2022 6:10 pm

        “how much would the gas gathering system cost”

        We already have a country-wide gas gathering system, I know that because over half a century ago I participated in its construction

      • AC Osborn permalink
        September 24, 2022 9:22 am

        “What is important is at what would it cost to produce, how much of the landscape would be adversely impacted (a lot) ”

        Compared to Wind Farms you would hardly know a fracking well head was there.
        Talk about hypocrisy.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        September 24, 2022 11:51 am

        Good luck trying to spot the 2 oil extraction sites near junction 6 of the M25 on Google.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        September 24, 2022 1:41 pm

        “how much of the landscape would be adversely impacted (a lot)”

        Actually, compared with solar panels and windfarms, many with their associated pylons, a minuscule amount.

      • Vernon E permalink
        September 25, 2022 4:51 pm

        Catw: more confusion from you as usual. Gas distribution and gas gathering are two different things,. Sure, we have gas distribution – the grid. “Gathering” refers to the network of smaller bore pipes that connect the individual wells to the manifold ready for onward processing. I can’t speak for Groeningen (Europe’s only large onshore gas field) because I haven’t been there but I have visited many other gas fields and the gathering pipes are normally surface laid. If the new regulations allow the frackers to achieve even the minimum viable per well flow of 600 MCFD (which they have got nowhere near on their tests so far), it will take hundreds of wells to produce any significant amount of gas (say 10% of demand, same as theMorecambe Bay offshore field used to). Hard to imagine what the effect on the environment would be.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        September 25, 2022 6:02 pm

        You’re really desperate to discredit the whole notion of fracking in the UK, so you really can’t help yourself, can you?

        I rather think we can’t create the “network of smaller bore pipes that connect the individual wells to the manifold ready for onward processing” until we have drilled some wells to couple them to, can we?

        And are you familiar with the concept of Octopous technology, iy doesn’t seem like it.

        Nice try, but no cigar!

      • Carnot permalink
        September 26, 2022 9:31 am

        Vernon, Thank you for your comment. You are absolutely correct, yet again. Had any of the other experts actually worked in the business then they would be well aware of gas and oil gathering networks. A gas gathering system is very different from the distribution system. As not a lot of gas has been produced so far the quantiy and quality of what can be produced is unknown. Gas is predominately formed in deeper source rocks that are overmature and have expelled the gas into conventiaonl reservoirs or source rock that thas expelled oil and gas and the remaining hydrocarbons are trapped in the source rock pore space (typically a fraction of the total). You simply cannot connect a gas well to distribution system as the gas will unlikely meet the specification. It must be processed to remove acid gases and water, and the gas processed to reduce the NGL’s to match the calorific value ( Wobbe Index) of the gas supply. Since the wells will have steep decline curves the pressure will vary considerably throughout the well life, so the gas will have to be compressed.
        Making comparisons with US and UK gas pricing is simply not a good idea. The US is a major gas producer( the biggest) and a major consummer. Over decades it has built and depreciated a massive gas gathering and processing system- the biggest in the world. Natual gas is not a fungible product. It can only be moved by pipeline or as LNG. LNG adds considerably to the cost; around 120% of the gas is consummed during liquefaction, shipping and regasification. To utilise LNG you need to build a receiving terminal.
        In the UK fraccing will not have an impact any time soon EVEN if the cost of drilling, completion and processing is profitable. It is going to require a lot of wells. The US is very roughly placing 8 x 10000 foot (3000m) laterals in 2 square mile blocks, and the amount of sand varies from about 5-20 thousand tonnes per well, and it is not any old sand. How many trucks( 250 -1000)? Then there is the vast quanity of water required to do the facturing; notwithstanding the flowback water, which is usually highly saline, needs careful disposal. In the US there is big money in salt water disposal wells. So for all those whose think fraccing is easy I suggest that you get busy and do some homework. Better still take a flight to Midland Texas and see for yourself.

      • Vernon E permalink
        September 26, 2022 10:32 am

        CatW: Allow me to be very, very clear. I have absolutely NOTHING against the use of fracking – if it is viable. By now you know that I don’t think it is (in the UK) but in the meanwhile all the obfuscation and vague promises are distracting from what should be practical ways of improvinfg the cost and reliability of energy here. As I have said ad nauseum my first preference is to burn liquid fuels in our gas turbine generators and save the gas for domestic use.

    • September 23, 2022 5:42 pm

      Miliband – like his brother – is an ill-informed idiot.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      September 23, 2022 10:34 pm

      The chancellor is no expert on fracking. He knows less about it than Vernon E for a start. He simply regurgitate a line to take fed by civil servants heavily invested in green technology, whose careers would end were truth to come out.

      • Carnot permalink
        September 26, 2022 3:07 pm

        I have repeatedly said that I am not anti-fraccing(correct spelling). How many more times do I have to repeat that statement. Done properly it is perfectly safe, notwithstanding some earth tremors which are rarely an issue. What I wish to point out is that it not that simple to just drill a hole and fracture it. It certainly will not be cheap because we do not have the personell and equipment waiting around idlely for a job. A typical fractured well in the US costs around $10 million. It will cost much more in the UK, possibly double and that is before all the infrastucture costs are included. The gas will not be cheap and investors will want to see a return which is not unreasonable. I would say to you all, let those with the balls drill some holes. But do not be disappointed if that is all they do. Poland was supposed to be a play. Some holes were drilled and they were not worth pursuing. I would be more excited if the big boys were interested, but that does not appear to be the case?

      • catweazle666 permalink
        September 26, 2022 5:09 pm

        You don’t consider Ineos ( ) to be “one of the big boys”?

      • Carnot permalink
        September 27, 2022 8:00 am

        Err, no. Ineos are a petrochemicals company with some refining assetts acquired from BP. They are not an oil or gas producer and have no skin in the game on E&P, unlike Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP and others who have invested in E&P. Interestingly Both BP and Shell have sold off shale assetts and Exxon have not done too well on shale. Most of the US shale is produced by pure E&P companies.
        Whilst I am replying I may as well comment on you mis-understanding between gas distribution and gas gathering networks.. We do not have an onshore gas gathering and processing network, though there are several gas processing plants located on the east coast to receive gas from the north sea oil and gas fields, but would be in the wrong location for any onshore shale.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        September 27, 2022 2:42 pm

        Once again you (wilfully?) miss the point.

        Ineos imports large quantities of LNG from the US to utilise as feedstock and are prepared to finance any shale gas extraction themselves with no taxpayer subsidies as it would be more cost-effective and environmentally preferable to shipping it in across the Atlantic as LNG and then re-gasifying it.

        Why not let those companies get on with it if it’s their own money they’re spending, the necessary infrastructure is far, far less obtrusive and damaging to the environment than widespread, endless vistas of windfarms and solar panels with all the associated electrical collections, note that the necessary and extremely expensive low level connection hardware, pylons, substations etc. precisely analogous to your “gathering” facilities for those doesn’t currently exist either, funny you don’t seem to object to that.

        You’re really determined to badmouth shale gas extraction in this country, have you an ulterior motive?

        Got shares in “unreliables” have you, by any chance?

      • Carnot permalink
        September 27, 2022 4:57 pm

        Good grief, have you been smoking something whacky. Can you not read? I dislike wind energy and solar pv as much as you. But I also clearly know more than you do about oil and gas. Ineos do not import LNG into Grangemouth and Rafnes. They import ethane for their steam crackers for ethylene production at these locations, as well as utilising some of the ethane that is still produced from the North Sea. Ineos do NOT have an LNG terminal. The ethane is usually loaded at Morgans Point in Houston. There are also loading facilities at Marcus Hook near Philadelphia. You can track their ships on the internet.

        If you did install a gas gathering system fifty years ago then you have clearly confused yourself, yet again, because it was most likely the distribution network, and the gas plant that you “worked on” was one of the old town gas plants.

        My view is get on with the test wells. Do the evaluation but do not be surprised if the resource does not meet expectations. One thing for sure is that the resource will not be homogenous, and that maybe only some areas are commercial. There is real concern in some quarters that due to faulting and folding that occurred millions of years ago that the gas has flown the nest. The only way we will know is with test wells. Best be cautious and realistic. A bird in the hand comes to mind.

        You also might like to engage your brain before your mouth spurts out more nonsense.

    • September 24, 2022 8:40 am


      theory is one thing and practice is another.
      The only way to prove or otherwise the viability of our shale gas is to resume fracking.
      If companies are willing to put their money into testing then they must have some real data to make the risk worthwhile?
      The decision to curtail fracking was political not practical and should never have been implemented.
      Your opinion that it won’t work will never be tested unless we try.

      Gas, as I’m sure you are well aware, is essential not least as a fuel to keep our electrical grid operating smothly, despite the unsettling amount of renewables we have connected

      • September 24, 2022 9:18 am

        “Renewables” – a.k.a. “Unreliables”

      • George Lawson permalink
        September 25, 2022 10:25 am

        If the Millibands and the anti-fracking brigade say it won’t work then what are they trying to stop it?

  7. Realist permalink
    September 23, 2022 1:00 pm

    Lifting any ban is a good start. But what really needs doing is drastically reducing, ideally scrapping the extortionate taxes on the essential items of petrol, diesel and central heating oil. Just look at what those taxes on diesel are doing to the price of everything!

    • dennisambler permalink
      September 23, 2022 2:31 pm

      They are also easing planning controls for on-shore wind. Inspectors will be told to over-ride local councils who refuse them.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    September 23, 2022 1:01 pm

    The manufacture, delivery and installation of renewables (solar, wind, nuclear) requires the use of conventional vehicles that run on fossil fuels. What other energy can do that? Fracking provides those fuels.

  9. Gamecock permalink
    September 23, 2022 1:32 pm

    It’s time for England to bring back bills of attainder. If ever one was justified, Miliband should be banned from any use or benefit from natural gas.

  10. emhmailmaccom permalink
    September 23, 2022 1:33 pm

    These are the measured productivity levels for Weather-Dependent “Renewable” power generation over the last decade 2011 -2021 in Europe, the data is provided by EurObserER, a promotional organisation for “Renewable” Energy funded by the European Union.

    EU+UK 2011-21 installed nameplate European “Renewables” ~384 Gigawatts:
    Onshore Wind power 22.5%
    Offshore Wind power 32.7%
    Combined EU Wind power 23.5%
    Solar PV 11.6%
    Combined Weather-Dependent power: 18.7%
    compared to
    Conventional Generation 90.0%
    • produce much more energy for use by civilisation than the energy they need to be built and run: Energy Return on Energy Invested. Not so with “Renewables”.
    • run 24/7
    • can be turned on when needed to match demand
    • use small land coverage
    • can be located close to centres of demand
    • use limited materials for their installation
    • are substantially cheaper for their power production, even at current elevated European Gas prices

    The US EIA publishes comparative figures power generation both for capital and long-term costs. When those costs are merged with the measured productivities above and are compared to Gas-Firing for power generation, the comparisons can be seen for a unit of power actually supplied to the grid. However, these comparisons do not account for the problems arising from “Renewables” intermittency and unreliability. They do assume that European gas prices are four times higher than in the USA.

    capital costs of power production accounting for productivity:
    Onshore Wind ~6 times
    Offshore Wind ~10 times
    Solar PV on grid ~9 times

    long-term costs of power production accounting for productivity
    Onshore Wind ~4 times
    Offshore Wind ~10 times
    Solar PV on grid ~6 times

    Would anyone sane buy a car costing ~5 – ~10 times the normal price that only works one day in five, when you never know which day that might be ? And then insist that its technology is the only way to power the whole economy.

    These simple net cost calculations show that any claim that Wind and Solar power for the power they produce are now cost competitive with conventional fossil fuel generation are patently false.

    They only represent the comparative costs of each unit of power supplied to the Grid. They do not account for the cost burdens on the Grid that arise from intermittency and unreliability of “Renewables”, nor for the need for continuous power back-up to replace the Weather-dependent power whenever the Weather fails.

    • Orde Solomons permalink
      September 23, 2022 2:22 pm

      I consider that both Miliband brothers have feeble intellects.

      • john cheshire permalink
        September 23, 2022 2:54 pm

        As I recall, David Miliband as foreign secretary, during his first meeting with the Russians, President Putin effectively told him to shut up because of the rubbish he was spouting.

        We have been governed by low grade people for decades and I put that down to being in the EU, when MPs were subordinated to the diktats demanding from Brussels. When someone else is making the big decisions, you only need children to fill the national posts.

        I think it could be another decade before all of the useless eaters have been flushed out of our national institutions.

      • Orde permalink
        September 23, 2022 8:02 pm

        It’s the principle reason why I voted for Brexit.

        Orde Solomons

      • September 23, 2022 5:47 pm

        Miliband Major

        At Defra, responsible for the F&M outbreak, refusing the £50j needed to fix the waste disposal system at the lab from which F&M escaped. Via the … you got it … the waste disposal system

        FCO a total disaster

        Sold off the world renowned library
        Pissed off Russia, Sri Lanka, Israel and India, who shipped him home. Mandelson was flown out to pour on troubled waters – India would not let him disembark and turned the plane straight round and sent him back.

        They are both feebs who traded on their nauseating Lefty father’s name

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      September 23, 2022 2:37 pm

      Am very impressed by the trouble you have taken to set out measured productivity levels . For some time I have felt that some of the arguments have been too sophisticated or detailed to be taken on board by Ed. Miliband and the other passengers on the Clapham omnibus.
      Europe is a bit remote for some and the case made for the extravagance of turbines and panels is better expressed in terms of the UK situation to have real traction with readers and viewers of the domestic press/media/whatever.
      Which is the better source for stats. to be able to set out a graph to show output against installed capacity for wind driven renewables and for PV installations? That graph should be current and referred to on every possible occasion with perhaps some covering text about Lord Deben and friends
      We are all sick of being told that 64,000 households will be powered by the latest wind farm just commissioned.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 23, 2022 7:31 pm

      Thanks. That’s a keeper.

  11. Vernon E permalink
    September 23, 2022 1:57 pm

    The level of ignorance about fracking being displayed by our politicians and MSM is mind-boggling. The BGS Report is deep and complex but avoids a conclusion. It is also blinkered and does not address any of the issues of permeability and gas release from the fracked shale. I found the following quotes quite relevant though

    3.2 Edwards et al (2021) conclude that significant occurences of minor to major structural damage are likely for magnitudes within the range 3.5 – 4.5 ML

    4.5 (Basle, Switzerland) The largest event had a magnitude of 3.5 ML and was widely felt across the city by thousands of people

    7 Conclusions. HF (hydraulic fracturing) can trigger earthquakes large enough to cause structural damage.

    The applicants are asking for 4.0. Cuadrilla has already fracked to 2.9 without achieving viable gas flow.

    The public are being conned: shale gas is not going to save us (but by all means have anpother go and put an end to this debate once and for all).

    • September 23, 2022 2:07 pm

      Your level of ignorance about fracking really is Astounding

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      September 23, 2022 2:07 pm

      The chance of structural damage is remote, but not as remote as piling for wind turbines.
      The UK has earthquakes of the orders supposedly associated with fracking every other day. There was a 4.2 only last month.

      • Vernon E permalink
        September 23, 2022 3:19 pm

        Mr G: Interesting. Can you pride the refence please?

      • Adam Gallon permalink
        September 24, 2022 8:14 pm
        4.2 on 26th August. However, it was off the coast of Norway, near Florø, so calling it UK is stretching things rather a lot.

      • Vernon E permalink
        September 25, 2022 6:17 pm

        Adam: Thank you for that. Nobody doubts that naturally occurring earthquakes can be severe. All the more reason not to trigger them by deliberately inducing seismic disturbances where there may be potential faults.

    • Mikehig permalink
      September 24, 2022 10:57 am

      Vernon E; “4.5 (Basle, Switzerland) The largest event had a magnitude of 3.5 ML and was widely felt across the city by thousands of people”
      If memory serves, that was nothing to do with shale gas geology. It was an attempt at geothermal energy where the water injection lubricated some fault lines, triggering the tremors. Wastewater injection has caused similar problems in the US and so is mostly banned, aiui.

      • Vernon E permalink
        September 25, 2022 4:37 pm

        Mikeng: Yes the report makes that clear but its irrelevant. It was still a seismic disturbance.

      • Mikehig permalink
        September 25, 2022 8:57 pm

        Vernon E; your post:
        ” I found the following quotes quite relevant though
        3.2 Edwards et al (2021) conclude that significant occurences of minor to major structural damage are likely for magnitudes within the range 3.5 – 4.5 ML
        4.5 (Basle, Switzerland) The largest event had a magnitude of 3.5 ML and was widely felt across the city by thousands of people
        7 Conclusions. HF (hydraulic fracturing) can trigger earthquakes large enough to cause structural damage. ”
        So the conclusion is based on an event that was unrelated to shale gas or fracking?

      • Vernon E permalink
        September 26, 2022 10:40 am

        Mike: I didn’t write the report.

  12. Martin Brumby permalink
    September 23, 2022 2:03 pm

    There is no danger of me taking lessons on anything from a thoroughly nasty gobshite who is deeply ignorant, to the extent that he can’t even eat a bacon buttie like a normal human being.

    The onus is on him to demonstrate how the Yanks have managed to frack a million wells without causing any significant seismic damage but it is ‘dangerous’ here.

    Even the comments I’ve seen from the BGS are deeply disingenuous.

    “Oooh! Golly! The geology is so complicated that we can’t predict fracking earthquakes!” they squeal, clutching their pearls.

    OK, sunshine, tell us anywhere on earth where any type of earthquake can be predicted with confidence?

    Let’s see the record of earthquake predictions and how they worked out! It is only a few years ago that Italian Seismologists were banged up in prison because they had underestimated the effects of a quake which was clearly imminent. Wrongly imprisoned, obviously, but I’m disgusted that the BGS hedge their bets when ALL the evidence is one way.

    It should be noted that the UK isn’t affected by the major boundaries between the techtonic plates, unlike Japan or Indonesia, say. But there are still significant geological faults and when (due to plate pressures and movement) there is movement at a fault you get a tremor or maybe even a quake. In between times, of course, the pressure just slowly builds up.

    With the possible exception of a multi megaton H bomb explosion, there is nothing mankind has developed that could cause an earthquake where one wasn’t already in prospect at some future date.

    Fracking? Injection of wastewater? You are having a laugh. And that is what has been associated with most tremors in the USA, not actual fracking. Injection of wastewater is anyway banned at present.

    The wastewater is thought to lubricate the fault line, triggering a low grade tremor.
    In other words, preventing a significantly larger tremor at some future date.

    No good telling Milipede. He isn’t even bright enough to recognise how ignorant he is.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 23, 2022 7:39 pm

      I have experience of many ‘quakes’ caused by old mine workings. But Scargill put a stop to them.
      I don’t think fracking is going to be worse.

      • Adam Gallon permalink
        September 24, 2022 8:24 pm

        They still occur. A pair on the 11th September occurred in the Ashfield area, near Mansfield. Sutton, Silver Hill, Summit & Teversal collieries were in the area.

  13. September 23, 2022 2:05 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a statement from a politician with do many blatant lies in it

  14. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 23, 2022 2:15 pm

    The problem is that the UK has been subjected to an extremely sophisticated and long term fracking disinformation campaign, funding from Russia being funnelled through eco groups and other agents with anti-UK agendas and ulterior political motives. Many people have been brainwashed into robotic useful idiots, as demonstrated by some of the comments on here.

    • Vernon E permalink
      September 23, 2022 4:02 pm

      Mr G: Really. I assume you are referring to me. Unfortunately I seem to be the only poster who has creawled through the technical literature on this subject. C-, try a bit harder.

  15. Coeur de Lion permalink
    September 23, 2022 2:55 pm

    How many fatalities in the USA due to fracking?

    • Vernon E permalink
      September 23, 2022 4:08 pm

      CdeL: Fatalaties don’t usually occur below about 6 LM but buildings crack lond before that. How many would you like there to be? I lived through a 6.5 in Cairo about 1994. Its horrific walking past a collapsed high rise knowing there are families inside. Not to be encouraged.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        September 23, 2022 6:24 pm

        You appreciate that the Richter scale is logarithmic, hence a R6 earthquake IS NOT three times more powerful than a R3 quake, it is in fact three orders of magnitude more powerful, right?

      • Vernon E permalink
        September 23, 2022 6:43 pm

        Cat w: More statements of the blindingly obvious. Do you think you are the only person with a brain?

      • catweazle666 permalink
        September 23, 2022 10:25 pm

        No Vernon, I don’t.

    • Gamecock permalink
      September 23, 2022 10:07 pm

      Same as the number of fatalities due to melting Arctic Sea ice.

  16. Peter Yarnall permalink
    September 23, 2022 3:14 pm

    Talking to a geologist a couple of years ago, I was told that the Fylde coast was clay, as is lots of West Lancashire. When clay gets very wet or very dry, movement will occur and cause tremors. This has been happening for years in the area including the Quadrilla site on Preston New Road and, because opposition to lefty propaganda is banned, was allowed to be blamed on Fracking. Now Lancashire Tory MP Mark Menzies has sided with Milliband by questioning the safety of Fracking and denouncing the NATO claims that “Frack Off” was funded by the Wagner Group. I think we need to bombard this idiot with as many posts as possible!

    • Vernon E permalink
      September 23, 2022 3:23 pm

      PY: Clay is certainly the engineesrs nightmare. It causes sinking when wet and lifting when dry clay becomes wet. But “tremors”? I’ve never heard of that

      • Martin Brumby permalink
        September 23, 2022 5:39 pm

        Yet another illustration of the fact that the “trawling through the technical literature ” of which you boast has apparently left you with a weaker grasp of geotechnics, geology, seismology, civil engineering and fracking technogy than my Great Granddaughter.
        And I’m not kidding.

        I once worked in an office outside Selby which was constructed, with good foundations, on the alluvial deposits of ancient Lake Humber.
        A succession mainly of saturated silts and clays wuth occasional sand lenses, together some 20 metres thick. The water table was close to the surface and was notably sub artesian. There was a railway line around 400 metres away and tremors from each passing train were inescapable, even at first floor level.
        I never bothered to set up a seismograph as there was no problem experienced but would guess it must have been Richter 2.5 – 3.0.
        So you’ve learned something new today.
        And for the avoidance of doubt, as a Chartered Civil Engineer with fifty years practical experience in all the fields I mention above, I am very disappointed in your ignorant contributions on this thread.

    • September 23, 2022 5:50 pm

      My old man, brought up in Crumpsall in North Manchester in the 30s recalled a quake their that dumped the crockery off the shelves. They are in fact quite common in the North West. Green hysteria is the problem, not tremors.

    • mjr permalink
      September 23, 2022 5:52 pm

      Menzies used to be my MP – very much a sheep in sheeps clothing. Also in response to “local opposition” yes there were some locals against the Preston Road site but most of those protesting at the gate were not local. Usual rentamob crusties. Most of the locals were ambivalent about fracking but anti the protestors.
      And as for tremors, never felt anything. Never met anyone that had. Had more vibration from the bus driving past the house, or the wife breaking wind

  17. grammarschoolman permalink
    September 23, 2022 4:35 pm

    Goodness, a trade union I could support. Never thought I’d see the day.

  18. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 23, 2022 8:22 pm

    It’s hilarious really. Putin’s useful idiots give their game away.
    If they are so sure UK fracking is not viable why are they so angry?
    Why are they so desperate for us to listen to their claimed expertise?
    It costs us nothing if energy companies, the true experts, believe there is potential that it is economically viable and want to try. Let them.

  19. Mark Hodgson permalink
    September 23, 2022 8:26 pm

    The claim that renewables are “9 x cheaper” than gas is borderline dishonest. It is based on the latest CfD round prices, yet we know that those prices won’t be achieved, since CfDs, it turns out, are not binding contracts, but one-way options. There is no renewable energy anywhere in the UK being supplied to the National Grid at 1/9 the price of gas. And yet that 1/9 or 9x claim is now everywhere, despite being bogus.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      September 23, 2022 10:29 pm

      Gas is 9x cheaper than gas. At least if you live in a country that does lots of fracking, like the US. And it’s real, not just a CFD bid that won’t be exercised. It would undercut those windfarms completely. Which is why the greens fear fracking. It would destroy their investment.

  20. catweazle666 permalink
    September 23, 2022 8:30 pm

    “The claim that renewables are “9 x cheaper” than gas is borderline dishonest.”
    That’s a very charitable interpretation.
    I’d call it a barefaced lie myself.

  21. Chris Morris permalink
    September 23, 2022 8:48 pm

    I live in Taupo, right beside the lake of the same name. There is an article just out in the local paper about in the last six months we have had 700 shallow earthquakes under the lake. Biggest 4.2 and a couple at 3.6. So these are comparable but a lot more numerous than anything fracking would cause. All those earthquakes and only the biggest three felt. Very similar to a passing truck hitting a pothole in your street.
    That is the reality. Most even very shallow earthquakes ❤ you never feel and only seismometers tell you they have happened. Any scare stories telling otherwise are just lying. Call them out on it.

    • Chris Morris permalink
      September 23, 2022 8:49 pm

      I don’t know why the heart symbol is there. I had < 3 in the text (but without a space between them) I wrote

    • roger permalink
      September 23, 2022 10:35 pm

      Ah! Taupo and Tongariro at the far end where I stayed and fished forty odd years ago for the mighty trout that abounded in that enormous beautiful lake.
      Ah yes, I remember it well!

  22. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 23, 2022 10:41 pm

    Perhaps Miliband can explain why UK NBP gas prices in July were half those the other end of the BBL interconnector at TTF in the Netherlands.

    Gas prices are local, and when we are self sufficient (normal demand is very low in July) we are not influenced by global prices.

  23. emhmailmaccom permalink
    September 24, 2022 10:35 am

    The reason Milliband threw a wobbly was that he and his many other supporters have been clearly exposed as Putin’s useful idiots, (Lenin’s term), in his imposition of the 2008 Climate Change Act. The Act was a massive act of self-harm induced by the actions of the enemies of capitalistic democracies. Incidentally it was voted through, whilst it was snowing outside in London in October, that might have been a clue. Sadly, most of the Commons joined in and the UK is well lumbered with it.

    At the time the Act looked like wonderful and harmless “do gooding virtue signalling” but as predicted by many sane people the outcome in economic damage to the West and in energy bills is now clear to see.
    It has now become starkly evident, since Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, that the whole of “Green / Net Zero Thinking ” is the outcome of a long-term fifth column operation supported by Russia and probably China over the last several decades:
    • These undermining processes, aimed at the West were well recognised and understood as a geopolitical threat by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as early 2014.
    • An excellent way to damage Western economies has been to render their power generation unreliable and expensive.
    • This damaging result has already been achieved and it is already anticipated that there will be real and severe energy crisis in Europe in the Winter of 2022 – 23.
    • European Nations are dependent on Russia, an aggressive supplier, capable of restricting its energy supplies to Europe thus bringing vast economic damage.
    • the European Energy Crisis will have been self-imposed self-harm induced by the “Virtue signalling” from the imposition of Green policies.
    • As Sun Tzu, the Art of War said
    “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
    • Western Green Thinking and Net Zero Climate policies attempting to avoid small levels of CO2 emissions have already done massive, fruitless self-harm to Western economies and Western populations.
    • The well understood logarithmic diminution of the effectiveness of CO2 as a warming agent, means that the temperature effect of any future Man-made CO2 emissions beyond the current ~420ppmv level can from now on only ever be marginal and so irrelevant.
    • From now on forward Global overheating from Man-made CO2 emissions causing a “Climate Catastrophe” is only a minor problem amongst other priorities: those other problems would be much cheaper to address and would have vastly more worthwhile results for the well-being of Man-kind overall.
    • The burning of fossil fuels in the West and CO2 emissions will continuously be overtaken by the under developed world but will no longer leading to global catastrophe.
    • The poor productivity and unreliability of Weather-Dependent power generation means that the use of “Renewable Energy” is an “Appalling Delusion”. “Renewables” do not liberate much useful energy beyond the power required for their manufacture, installation and maintenance.

    • Cheshire Red permalink
      September 24, 2022 11:46 am


      Worth an uptick, that. +1.

  24. Gamecock permalink
    September 24, 2022 3:02 pm

    Excellent, emhmailmaccom.

    I would add one to your list. Fossil fuels give independence to its users. Transport, industry, etc. The core problem, the reason why Russia, China, et al, want to destroy the West, is our belief in freedom and liberty. The sovereignty of the individual over the state.

    Public transport is the only acceptable transport. Well, except for the commissars, of course.

  25. stevejay permalink
    September 25, 2022 9:50 am

    Starmer wants to double the number of on shore windfarms and quadruple off shore. Apart from building more solar farms. Has this madness been costed by Labour ? Wind turbines have high maintenance costs and a short lifespan. We don’t have the climate to get tbe best out of solar on the scale we need. Has Starmer heard about the Crescent Dunes prodect in the Nevada Desert,? Abandoned after 4 years leaving US taxpayers to pick up 737 million dollars of debt. This scheme would NOT give us energy security.

  26. stevejay permalink
    September 25, 2022 10:12 am

    Sorry for typos but my reply box is only showing the top half of the letters

  27. John C permalink
    September 25, 2022 10:45 pm

    There needs to a full and transparent review of the financial models, technological feasibility and risks along with their respective assumptions that have been used by the CCC to inform Government policy and regulation. The fact the CCC only released their net-zero workings after a legal battle and information tribunal ruling speaks volumes about the integrity of the people, their processes and any subsequent output. The only rational explanation for spending nearly 2 yrs trying to keep secret the workings behind their cost benefit analysis for net zero is knowing how seriously flawed their recommendations were and how they had completely failed in their remit of identify risks and avoiding as best possible under/overstatement of likely costs and benefits. I really don’t know if the bias evident in the data they were eventually forced to release was politically motivated to ensure the conclusion matched the desired result, to validate CCC’s previously selected winners (renewable wind and solar generation supported by massive subsidies)as having always been the solution, confirmation bias arising from the make up committees and working groups already holding a quasi-religious belief in CO2 causing AGW or simply a manifestation of the many conflicts of interest present. Agreeing that the science is settled closed down healthy debate and crystallised a starting point, parameters and problem statement for experts in a myriad of other fields resulting in research academics, economists, governments, regulators, entrepreneurs, investors and businesses focussing their efforts be that availability research grant funding to develop experimental proof of concept solutions, understanding , legislation and regulation inc manipulating markets via tax or direct/indirect subsidies to encourage early entrance & adoption steering investment and capital allocation towards r&d and infrastructure seeking to take short term advantage of the opportunity these market conditions create

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