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Here you can find details of upcoming actions that are fighting extreme energy in the British Isles. The map is interactive: click on symbols to see group details. Please contact us if you want your action added.
Frack Free Somerset will be taking action on December 1st.
UK Methane have applied for planning permission to test drill for Coal Bed Methane in the Hicks Gate area of Keynsham. If UK Methane are allowed to execute their development plans unhindered there will be something in the region of 2100 wells drilled by this one company in Somerset alone.
Want to get involved with The Big Rig Revolt on Dec 1st? Contact Frack Free Somerset at email@example.com
- Location: Kingsmead Sqaure, Bath
- Time: 11am
- Date: 2012-12-01
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/554059604610258/#!/events/554059604610258/
Sussex Extreme Energy Resistance (SEER) will be taking action on Dec 1st.
Public displays of dissent and sharing the truth about what is in store for us all if we don't stop this fracking insanity in its tracks. Join us at 1pm New Road, Brighton. Opposite Theatre Royal. Dress up if possible as anything relevant. We'll take it from there. If you wanna get involved in planning/organising please contact email@example.com xx
SEER are a new anti-unconventional gas campaign group based in the South East. UK Earthquake gurus Cuadrilla Resources have an exploration license in Balcombe, Sussex and the local community is seriously unhappy about it.
Want to get involved in The Big Rig Revolt on December 1st? Contact Honourthewater@gmail.com
Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) will be taking action on Dec 1st.
REAF are at the coal face of the fight against shale gas extraction in the UK. Earthquake gurus Cuadrilla Resources have plans to drill roughly 6000 wells in the Lancashire area alone.
Want to join The Big Rig Revolt on Dec 1st? Contact REAF at firstname.lastname@example.org
Safe Energy Wales will be taking action on Dec 1st.
Swansea Bay is looking likely to be the UK (and Europe's) first serious foray into the hellish world of Underground Coal Gasification (UCG). UCG involves setting fire to un-minable coal deposits (underground) in an attempt to produce synthetic gas. On top of that, the wider Swansea area itself is peppered with licences to extract Coal Bed Methane - a process which often involves fracking.
Want to join The Big Rig Revolt on Dec 1st? Head to http://www.facebook.com/FrackedSwansea
- Location: Swansea
- Time: tba
- Date: 2012-12-01
- Website: http://www.facebook.com/FrackedSwansea
Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) will be taking action on Dec 1st.
The plan is to meet at St Annes railway station at 12.00 pm and then walk/cycle (3 miles) to Anna’s Road with a model rig and any banners, plackards, etc you may have. The group should reach Anna’s Road at about 1.30 in solidarity with the London marchers, who plan to build a “fracking rig” outside Parliament also at 1.30 pm. Obviously, not everyone will want to walk or cycle that far, so you can make your own way to Anna’s Road for 1.30 pm.
Want to join The Big Rig Revolt on Dec 1st? Email email@example.com
NATIONAL CLIMATE MARCH, Assemble 12 noon at Grosvenor Square
Saturday 1st December - midway through the Qatar Climate Talks - COP 18
12.00 -1.30 Assemble Grosvenor Square and build the "Grosvenor Square Keystone pipeline" from the Canadian High Commission to the US embassy !
1.30 - 3.30 March to Parliament
3.30 - 4.30 Build a giant fracking rig outside parliament !
This year has seen the passing of an awesome milestone in the accelerating escalation of the climate crisis - the record shattering disapearance summertime arctic sea ice, which has now been predicted to disappear completely by 2015 (see further here and here). Something that was not predicted to happen till the end of the century is happening right now! But not only is climate change already altering the planet's basic geography, the rapid changes in the arctic have been linked to recent extreme weather events that have destroyed crops and sent food prices spiraling, hitting the world's poorest hardest.
Yet even as the world is poised on the brink of a tragedy of unimaginable scale, none of our leaders seems to be so much as blinking an eyelid in response. Worse than that humanity is engaged in a madcap suicidal dash to unearth yet more of what caused the problem in the first place - fossil fuels. Even as some fossil fuels are becoming more expensive to extract new types - of often more carbon intensive - fossil fuel are being discovered and exploited. We believe it's time to "get fracktious" about the criminal insanity of the way we are responding to probably the biggest threat humanity has ever faced.
12pm-1.15pm 'Extreme Energy' walking tour of Huddersfield - visiting sites in the High Street linked to fracking and tar sands extraction.
You'll never see Barclays, HSBC, Superdrug or the BP petrol station in the same way again!
Are you an early bird? 10am-12pm Market Place Huddersfield. Stall collecting postcards supporting the Early Day Motion for a moritorium on fracking.
For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: Market Place, Huddersfield
- Time: 10am/12pm
- Email: email@example.com
Live news from anti-fracking actions around the country
4.30pm We're finishing up here - many thanks to everyone involved, it's been a fantastic day. Thanks for reading!
4.02pm Tim Padmore from Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change: “Climate change means that it’s essential that we keep unconventional fossil fuels – like shale gas and tar sands – in the ground. In the days after the government’s failed Energy Bill, we want to remind the public that there is a climate crisis and there is a sustainable and viable alternative to conventional fossil fuels and extreme energy.” See what's been happening in Huddersfield here.
3.57pm London. Says it all:
3.50pm Gas lobbyist Nick Grealy has been spotted in London trying to get interviewed by the BBC. An activist elbowed him out of the way and did the interview herself. Cuadrilla pay Grealy to advocate on their behalf - although he never admits it. Except here (search for 'Grealy')
3.21pm Amid all this fantastic community organising, let's not forget that there are powerful advocates of fracking who stand to make a whole lot of money from hydraulic fracturing, notably Lord Browne, Lord Green, Lord Howell & Baroness Hogg. Reigning in these vested interests will be key in the fracking fight.
3.14pm Now Safe Energy Wales are at it, out on the streets of Swansea today (see right).
3.06pm News just in from Brighton where Sussex Extreme Energy Resistance have hit the street. The group started near the Jubilee Square library with their hand-crafted rig & a sound system playing fracking & earthquake noises (!). A fearful security guard called then called cops for this terrible environmental intrusion.
There followed spontaneous procession to nearby New Road, with thirty people in gas & animal masks, carrying the drill rig aloft, headed by a giant banner - 'Sussex is not for Shale'.
At their destination, organisers read out statement of support from local MP Caroline Lucas & continued to played loud noises whilst supporters drew fracks into the ground iwth giant chalks. For more details of actions around the country have a look here.
2.51pm Reports coming in of more than a thousand people on today's fracking demonstration in London!
2.43pm Big up to our uber-editor here at Frack Off for producing this funky short video of today's Get Fracktious event in London:
2.38pm Further to our previous point: the decision in the European parliament last week not to ban fracking was - contrary to reports - a great success for a movement that is only a year old. A stunning 262 MEPs voted to ban hydraulic fracturing, an amazing success considering no-one had heard of it a year ago.
2.31pm The media are busy telling the world that a resumption of UK fracking is imminent. Maybe true, maybe not - they've been saying the same thing since January. But whatever happens with Osborne's statement on Wednesday, fracking activists are to be congratulated: the process has been held up for 18 months , exploration costs been sent soaring, and the movement grows, as today's events show.
2.17pm Folks getting active in Brighton with Sussex Extreme Energy Resistance (see pic). Brighton and Hove Council recently took the step of declaring the city a 'Frack Free Zone', although drillers still have plans to frack in Sussex, including Celtique Energy in the South Downs National Park.
2.10pm Best foot-in-mouther to date, incidentally, goes to Eytan Uliel, executive at Dart Energy who have plans to drill 22 Coal Bed Methane wells in Scotland. In his verbose blog, Uliel revealed that the driller is also exploring next to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
2.08pm Another foot-in-mouth moment from Cuadrilla executive Francis Egan, talking about when fracking might be resumed: "You've got to go through the planning process, which involves environmental assessments and public consultations and then a decision by the council," Egan said.
Actually, Mr Egan, you've already gone through the planning process, as we know very well. Your public consultations are voluntary, environmental 'assessments' desultory, and any council decision is already part of the planning process. Oh, and your drillers aren't any good either, having cocked up 50% of the wells you've drilled so far.
1.58pm The Guardian is reporting on the days events here. Ominously, 'sources' expect Chancellor George Osborne to greenlight fracking this Wednesday. And that's exactly why everyone's out on the street today.
1.55pm Details of nationwide activities coming in thick and fast now. Check out our page here to see what's going on where.
1.44pm OccupyLSX are livestreaming the 'Get Fracktious' event and the building of a pipeline in Parliament Square. Nice! -In his book 'Vultures Picnic' journalist Greg Palast documents the $30 million bribe BP paid to the Azerbaijani president[/caption]
1.30pm It's just been pointed out to us that the fracking Czar Lord John Browne has written a book! Yes, this opus is titled 'Beyond Business' and presumably details provides a step by step guide on how to further your business interests... by joining the government. Gratifyingly it's available on Amazon for, er, 1p. More pertinently, journalist Greg Palast raises some interesting questions about Browne in his book, 'Vultures Picnic'. Like: how much cash was in the suitcase that Lady Thatcher carried to Azerbaijan for you, Mr Browne, to pay off the Azerbaijani president in return for drilling rights to the Caspian Sea? Recommended reading.
12.20am We've just spoken to Vanessa Vine, an excellent campaigner on fracking who - along with residents of Falkirk, Belfast, the Fylde, the Ribble Estuary and the Vale of Glamorgan - is off to give a letter to David Cameron at 2pm today. Sensibly the letter calls for a ban on shale gas and coal bed methane exploitation in the UK.
"We're feeling good and really enjoying the solidarity from around the country today. There've been loads of petitions, lots of press interest, and excitement on social media. I'm under no illusion that the government is going to do a U-turn on energy policy. But I hope we can get across from the regions that there is real resistance to this crazy gas rush"
11.58am The monstrosity below is one of fracker Browne's other investments: the Clipper South drill platform in the North Sea. The Clipper South is scheduled to begin offshore fracking sometime soon. Currently UK regulations are the same for both onshore and offshore drilling. So if onshore regulations are changed (thus taking into account community concerns), by implication so too should offshore. And that would imperil not only Cuadrilla, but Fairfield Energy, and numerous other Browne projects currently below the radar.[caption id="attachment_5309" align="alignnone" width="680"] The Clipper South platform is Lord Browne's first foray into offshore fracking[/caption]
11.26am If you've ever a moment to spare in London, feel free to drop in and see the UK's fracking Overlord: John Browne. He's based at his Private Equity firm, Riverstone (through which he owns Cuadrilla): 3 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3EP, P 44 (20) 3206 6300. It's just round the corner from Savile Row, which is always handy for those of a sartorial bent.
11.14am Looking forward to hearing from the many local groups taking action against fracking today!
11.00am So: Osborne want to create an Office for Shale Gas? Leaving aside the - obviously political - question as to wtf the chancellor is doing making decisions on energy, he might want to take a little peek at the following links, all of which spell one thing: 'no community consent':
- A Coal Bed Methane application in Somerset? 636 objections from locals (scroll down and look at em all).
- A similar application in Airth, Scotland? More than 400 objections from locals. See here and here.
- And the last planning application from Lord Browne's company Cuadrilla had at least 200 objections in Lancashire.
Are you listening, George?
10.22am More on Browne's cronies: - Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline is also - presto! - a non-executive at the Dept of Business, Innovation & Skills. And who hired him? Well, one Mr Lord John Browne. Lord Browne used to be a non-executive at GlaxoSmithKline; his job in the Cabinet Office is to recruit more non-executives like himself. Perhaps Browne could get another job: making revolving doors.
9.32am Lord Browne has hired nearly fifty of his cronies to government. As a so-called 'lead non-executive' Browne works in the Cabinet office and is in charge of getting his mates onto government boards. You can see a list of this sorry bunch here. Meanwhile, here's how fracker Browne works his influence:
9.06am Well now we know where we're taking our rig next. An Office for Shale Gas is to be created, according to The Independent. A one-stop shop for the likes of Lord Browne and his cronies to profit while they pollute our water.
8.54am 64% of the UK is for sale to the drillers, according to this Greenpeace report. That's why we're here at Lord Browne's house today - as Chairman of the UK's first fracker, Browne will make millions if we allow this to happen.
8.32am This morning brave activists from Frack Off (London) penetrated the heart of London's Chelsea. Awed by the opulent surrounds, they took with them an 20-foot drilling rig which they then erected outside the home of the Chairman of UK fracker Cuadrilla Resources, Lord John Browne.
Millionaire Browne - as well as his Cuadrilla position - also works in the heart of government. As part of the Tory's 'modernisation' drive, Browne responsibility is to hire businessmen to work alongside the likes of Chancellor George Osborne, DECC minster Ed Davey & the like.
And with a decision to resume the controversial technique of hydraulic fracking due any day, Browne stands to directly profit by the decision.
- Location: Locations all over the UK
At 8am this morning activists dressed in orange boiler suits and wearing gas masks erected a 20ft drilling rig outside the home of Lord Browne in protest at the peer’s involvement in UK unconventional gas development.
Browne, chairman of UK fracking company Cuadrilla Resources, is also a non-executive in the Cabinet Office.
Adella Mason, a campaigner with Frack Off London, the group responsible for the action, said, "As Chairman of Cuadrilla, Browne has a direct financial incentive to push fracking in the UK. He works in the Cabinet Office, the nerve centre of government decision making, from where he hires corporate cronies to influence policy."
Browne hired Baroness Hog to work alongside George Osborne on the Treasury board in 2011. Hogg is also a non-executive director at BG Group which has extensive fracking interests in the US and is increasingly focused on fracking in Europe.
Mason continued, "This corporate-state love-in is going to make a few people very very rich and leave the rest of us with thousands of fracking wells. The scale of development proposed is being completely ignored. Cuadrilla want to drill 800 wells in Lancashire alone. They are one company going after one type of gas. There are several companies going after several types of unconventional gas in the UK and all potentially on a similar scale to Cuadrilla. If this goes ahead, we will witness the total industrialisation of the British countryside and the destruction of the land and water on which we depend. We cannot allow this to happen."
Groups from Lancashire, Yorkshire, Somerset, South Wales and Sussex are also protesting against proposed fracking development today as part of a national day of action called by campaign group Frack Off.
The day of action coincides with the fracking-themed National Climate March in London. Delegates from regional campaign groups from Lancashire, Sussex, South Wales and Scotland will also be visiting Downing Street to deliver a petition to the prime minister calling for a halt to fracking.
- Location: Chelsea
The Frackers come to Bath – Frack Free Somerset solidarity action
Somerset is threatened by fracking. UK Methane has applied for planning permission for a Coal Bed Methane (CBM) test well in Keynsham near Bristol. If this is allowed to go ahead many more could follow. The company is boasting that may be able to drill 2000 wells in the county.
Frack Free Somerset (a coalition of concerned groups in Somerset who are taking action on hydraulic fracturing fracking and Coalbed Methane) have come to ‘Frack’ Bath on Saturday 1st December. Adorned with hi-vis, hardhats and fracking rigs their street theatre will be touring and fracking different spots around Bath. They will be joined by their own anti-fracking lobby that will reassure the Christmas shoppers that they aren’t actually under a ‘frack attack’ today but the real threat could be just around the corner….
- Location: Kingsmead Sqaure, Bath
Sussex Extreme Energy Resistance are one of the local campaigning organizations standing in solidarity with Frack-Off, The Campaign Against Climate Change and other groups up and down the country today by staging an awareness raising event in the centre of Brighton.
The campaigners have constructed their own “rig” in front of Brighton Unitarian Church and speaking to passers by about “fracking” and the movement opposing it. SEER are also holding a raffle to raise funds for their work and encourage anyone who might be interested in finding out more to pop along.
Anna Dart, one of the members of SEER said: “So far, 57,000 acres of Sussex have been declared as assets for shale gas exploration. Indeed, vast swathes of the UK have been sold off for Fracking and Coal Bed Methane mining. These are dangerous industries with dangerous environmental consequences; they are polluting the most precious resource we have, our water. You can’t drink money and we must learn that and move to protect this priceless resource before it’s to late. In Australia, whole communities with no history of activism have united to block access to their lands by gas companies. They are proving that concerted grassroots resistance works and will stop this”.
- Location: New Road, Brighton
On the Saturday midway through the Qatar Climate Talks demonstrators will be protesting against the exploitation of new forms of fossil fuel – instead of moving to renewables. In a short while they will erect a 7.2 metre high “fracking rig” outside parliament to protest against the expansion of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas into the UK and will build a 200 metre “oil pipeline” from the Canadian High Commission to the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square to protest against the Keystone XL pipeline being built to transport Canadian Tar Sands oil to the US.
Phil Thornhill from the Campaign against Climate Change said “Even as the signs from the natural world that climate change is spinning out of control reach a crescendo – with record-shattering loss of arctic ice, and extreme weather already destroying crops and pushing up global food prices – humanity is steaming ahead in entirely the wrong direction, exploiting not just more, but new types of fossil fuel. Extraction of the carbon-intensive tar sands in Canada will be speeded up by the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and if it is all used will mean, in NASA scientist James Hansen’s words, “game over” for the planet. Here in the UK the spluttering beginnings of a move towards renewable energy look to be extinguished by a new ‘Dash for Gas’*, in part inspired by the promise of cheap ‘home grown’ gas extracted via the risky and polluting method of ‘hydraulic fracturing’. We are serving notice that the climate movement will be standing shoulder to shoulder with local communities in taking the fight against ‘fracking’ all the way. It’s time to resist the madness of yet more fossil fuels and to ‘get fractious’ about the path towards global suicide that our and other governments are taking us down.”
*Note: The Committee for Climate Change, a body created by the Climate Act, recommends that in order to achieve our statutory targets (which research from eg the Tyndall Centre suggest are grossly inadequate in themselves) electricity supply is de-carbonised by 2030. Current plans to increase capacity from gas-fired power stations look incompatible with that.
- Location: Grovsner Square, London
Campaigners set out on an ‘extreme energy’ tour of Huddersfield.
Saturday 1st December will be the Global Day of Action on Climate Change. As governments meet in Doha, Qatar, for the latest round of UN climate talks, campaigners around the world will be demonstrating for a massive reduction in carbon emissions due to burning fossil fuels.
In Market Place, Huddersfield campaigners will be holding a ‘Clean Energy not Extreme Energy’ stall from 10am-12pm. They will be asking the public to sign postcards calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ and promoting Friends of the Earth’s ‘Clean British Energy campaign’.
Following the stall campaigners will complete an ‘extreme energy’ walking tour of Huddersfield from 12pm to 1pm. They will be visiting banks and shops owned by companies that are financing, or engaged in ‘fracking’ or the tar sands project in Canada. At each site, a ‘tour guide’ will explain the company’s involvement and a protest letter will be delivered to the manager.
Tar Sands and ‘fracking’ are known as unconventional fossil fuels or ‘extreme energy’. They both require very large amounts of energy and water to be extracted and are associated with high risks of pollution. Neither was considered economically viable until recent technological developments and rises in oil and gas prices made them more attractive.
‘Fracking’ involves the extraction of shale gas. Cuadrilla resources have been undertaking exploratory drilling in the Blackpool area.
Tim Padmore from Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change says, “Climate change means that it’s essential that we keep unconventional fossil fuels – like shale gas and tar sands – in the ground. Reports like Friends of the Earth’s ‘Clean British Energy’ report explain clearly how we can and must make massive steps forward by decarbonising electricity by 2030. In the days after the government’s failed Energy Bill, we want to remind the public that there is a climate crisis and there is a sustainable and viable alternative to conventional fossil fuels and extreme energy.”
- Location: Market Place, Huddersfield
ACTIVISTS DRILL FOR GAS AT SWANSEA CASTLE
Activists from Clean Energy Wales have erected a drilling rig at Swansea Castle. An area has been cordoned off to demonstrate the test drilling rig. Activists are seeking permission from passers by to continue exploration under the City.
Shortly before 11am, on Saturday December 1st, activists began erecting an artistic display of signs and diagrams to illustrate the reality of planned gas extraction in the area. A large 4-legged drilling rig was erected on the lawn in front of Swansea Castle, and the public polled on their wish to see further industrial activity in the bay.
Clean Energy Wales are a group of local people who are concerned that extreme energy extraction may come to Swansea.
Activist Ben Grigg said, “We are out today to demonstrate that methane and coal gas extraction may be coming to Swansea and to ask people if they give permission for these short-term, expensive and polluting technologies to go ahead.”
The group believe that Coal Gasification and Fracking of the deep coal seams and shale beds underneath Lougher Estuary, Mawr and Swansea Bay pose serious environmental risks and offer no long term benefits to the people of Swansea. They say that dwindling global energy supplies mean that energy companies are seeking ever more expensive energy supplies.
- Location: Swansea
Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) are taking action on Dec 1st. The Fylde is threatened with fracking to exploit shale gas. Cuadrilla Resources have a licence that covers a large part of Lancashire and are presently drilling at Anna's Road near Blackpool. Cuadrilla also have a site at Banks to the south of Preston which they are hoping to frack soon.
The plan was to meet at St Annes railway station at 12.00 pm and then walk/cycle (3 miles) to Anna’s Road with a model rig and any banners, plackards, etc. The group aimed reach Anna’s Road at about 1.30 in solidarity with the London marchers, who plan to build a “fracking rig” outside Parliament also at 1.30 pm. Obviously, not everyone will want to walk or cycle that far, so you can make your own way to Anna’s Road for 1.30 pm.
- Location: St Annes