CIRCA Lead Frack Off Scotland Resistance

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At 8.30am yesterday morning, anti-fracking activists gathered for a clowning action at the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Affairs (DPEA) in Falkirk. Dressed in colourful clown costumes a group of 17 activists mocked the dangers of fracking with ridiculous play. Clowns burst in to the car park with music, banners and a fracking tower as bemused workers looked on. Games continued to the to town centre to raise awareness among the public.

A spokesperson for the actions said “we are here today to highlight the absurdity of going down yet another route of non-renewable energy that is a short term and dangerous solution to a long term energy/carbon problem with it’s own set of potentially devastating environmental consequences.”

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Despite mounting evidence of the dangers of fracking contaminating local water supplies releasing high carbon methane gas and risk of catastrophic explosions, the government is committed to giving fracking multi-nationals the green light, placing profit over local opposition and the potential for environmental destruction.

“We are here to show those making the decision about DART Energy’s application to frack in the Falkirk and other areas, that opposition to these irresponsible operations is mounting. We are here in support of local opposition to the plans and ongoing international opposition to fracking elsewhere.” (1)

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The DPEA was targeted as clown investigations uncovered evidence that the decision on what happens next with the fracking plans in Scotland’s central belt will be taken there by government civil servants(2). This follows DART Energy’s appeal to the Scottish Government when Falkirk and Stirling councils failed to make the decision due to resistance from local communities, and a lack of credible information on health and environmental concerns(3).

The action happened amid growing concerns over both the Westminster and Holyrood governments’ current favouring of short sighted, lucrative non-renewable energy plans, despite their alleged commitments to cutting carbon and pursuing renewable energy resources.

Last week George Osbourne announced tax breaks for fracking firms operating within the UK (of 50% more than other energy companies(4). This break was championed by Lynton Crosby, the Conservative Party Chief Strategist and the man responsible for promoting shale gas fracking in Australia. Crosby’s PR firm “Crosby Textor” also represents the Australian Petroleum Exploration Association, of which DART is a subsidiary.

This action was organised by Reclaim the Fields and continuity factions of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army. Anti-frackilicious!

Following publication of this article, members of the local community raised concerns about the limits of the term “fracking” in relation to DART’s current planning applications.

Using the term “fracking” can be problematic as it only refers to a part of the process of gas extraction that is not always necessary. Dart have avoided using the term fracking in their planning application, denying they need to frack while extracting coal bed methane at Airth (although they may frack at some point in the future, as gas production drops).

Objections to the planning application at DPEA are careful to use the terms “unconventional gas” or simply ” coal bed methane” extraction. Dart have, in the past, dismissed objections using the term fracking and have tried to make objectors seem uninformed or scaremongering.

In this article the term “fracking” is referring to all unconventional gas or coal-bed methane extraction.

For more info on the processes see: http://frack-off.org.uk/coal-bed-methane-the-evil-twin-of-shxle-gas/

NOTES

1.  http://frack-off.org.uk/

2.  http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/cgc/pnas2011.pdf

3.  http://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/CaseDetails.aspx?id=qA355856

4.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/19/david-cameron-fracking-lynton-crosby

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  1. alison doyle says:

    Our local residents group CCoF (Concerned Communities of Falkirk), formed in direct response to the Application by Dart Energy for Planning Permission to erect 14 well pads (22 wells) and associated Water Treatment Plant, Piping etc, have developed a Community Mandate and a Community Charter. These were developed and created by local residents who strongly oppose the Application and have fought against it since September last year. Anyone can sign our Mandate and if you are local to the Falkirk Council area then you can also sign our Charter. View and sign both at http://www.faug.org.uk

    Please support us by signing if you can. Visit our website for more information. Thank you.

  2. This Frackoff url is more specifically pertinent to Falkirk
    http://frack-off.org.uk/frack-attack-application-for-britains-first-unconventional-gas-development/

    Note the original claim DART allegedly made was that the whole project would only burn off a fraction of a kilogram of methane a day but recently an alleged figure of 5000 kilograms per day has come to light. i.e. about 7 million litres of methane per day, to put that in context.

  3. chicmac says:

    More specifically relevant to Falkirk.

    http://frack-off.org.uk/frack-attack-application-for-britains-first-unconventional-gas-development/

    And effectively,~IMO, without an MP to protect the electorate there until 2015.

  4. txsharon says:

    Solidarity!!! We are watching you from Texas Gasland

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Thanks – keep in touch!

  5. James Coleman says:

    According to many insiders in the industry and on Wall Street, Fracking is a con in the same mould as Enron and the dot com boom. Also, Natural Gas is not what the companies are really after. The real target is oil and they re burning off most of the NG that comes to the surface. See,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/us/27gasside.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1& and
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/us/26gas.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&sq=marcellus&st=cse&scp=12

    And the fracking lobby’s claim that it will lead to long term reductions in Natural Gas Prices is part of the con. NG Prices have been lowered over the past few years NOT because of Fracking but simply because the World has been in recession since 2008. It is a fact that Fracking needs MUCH higher NG Prices before it would become an economical and profitable operation. Most companies in USA/Canada are not profitable and many are only making small amounts of money solely because of the tax breaks and subsidies being given to the companies by national and local governments.

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