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Fracking Free Ireland did visit the launch of the Fracopoly book in Enniskillen. It was nice to meet (again) campaigners from Food and Water Europe and got updated about the campaign in the US. (Love Leitrim and FFAN (Fermanagh fracking awareness network did give an overview of the campaign) Continue reading

Frackopoly Tour: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Ireland

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Frackopoly Tour: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Ireland

May 17th, 2017

Frackopoly Tour: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Ireland

By Andy Gheorghiu

In many ways, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) looms as the environmental issue of our time. It touches every aspect of our lives—the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the health of our communities—as it ominously threatens our global climate. It pits the largest corporate giants—international energy and financial corporations—against people and the environment in a long-term struggle for survival.

Fracking has, through the construction of a network of thousands of wells, a significant impact on communities and culturally or environmentally sensitive zones in England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales, among other areas in Europe. Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland have already recognized the need to act against this corporate assault and have prepared the first steps towards fracking bans. Sadly, up until now, the UK government has done little to confront the devastating environmental and public health impacts of fracking.

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Ireland Passes Fracking Ban – but will import fracked gas from the US

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Trump About to Withdraw from Paris Agreement While Ireland Passes Fracking Ban

It is a historic day on which one nation passes a ban on onshore fracking, while another nation intends to walk away from the Paris climate agreement.

Paris agreement withdrawal makes U.S. a rogue nation

In her statement, Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe, roundly condemns Trumps withdrawal from the global climate agreement:

The Paris accord falls far short of the bold, decisive action needed to avert the most serious impacts of impending climate chaos – but it is certainly better than nothing. By choosing to walk away from the table, the United States effectively becomes a rogue nation when it comes to matters of climate change, human rights and global leadership in general. Mr. Trump’s foolish, belligerent decision to abdicate responsibility at the federal level now makes real action on climate at the state and local levels even more critical. For the sake of our planet and future generations, it is imperative that elected leaders at every rung of government – from the smallest town halls to the halls of Congress – do everything in their power to resist fossil fuels and help enable a clean energy revolution.” Continue reading

For First Time, A Majority of MEPs Vote for An Immediate Moratorium On Fracking, But Final Version of ‘Energy Security Strategy’ Report Ultimately Rejected

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Moratorium vote EU – update + Press release

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Hi there,

Just wanted to share a bit more news about the results of last week’s vote on a fracking moratorium in the Parliament’s Industry Committee. Please read my blog for more details:
30 votes in favour means that at least the social-democrat group S&D, the Greens, the left-wing GUE and the Italian 5-star MEPs voted in favour of the fracking moratorium amendment. I am particularly pleased that (most of) the S&D MEPs seem to be turning against fracking. Maybe the liberal ALDE group also supported the amendment … I am still trying to find out.
As for the individual votes of MEPs, there was no roll-call. So, there is no way of knowing who voted in favour or against. Which is really too bad … will try to make sure that this will happen next time for sure. I am told that it is rather unusual to have roll-call votes at the level of the EP committees.
We were also ‘lucky’ in the sense that all 3 UK MEPs (Labour, UKIP and Conservative) were not present to vote, as they would have all voted against the amendment.
Nevertheless, none of the dozen amendments, introduced by right-wing MEPs, got a majority … which really shows that the Parliament is not buying the idea that ‘indigenous energy sources’ like shale gas can help the EU to achieve better ‘energy security’.

I am also happy that more than 700 people used our online action on this vote … I am sure that this caught the attention of some MEPs at least. See the thank you message below that was sent to our online supporters.
One last thing: our press release , which Geraldine already circulated.

Fracking and Earth quakes: listing the facts

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 Fracking and Earth quakes: listing the facts

Reporter: Geert deCock – Food and Water EUROPE

My colleagues in the US listed some helpful facts about fracking, shale gas and induced seismicity

There is now a lot of talk about this, as scientists now linked fracking waste water injection to a surge of quite big earth quakes in Oklahoma. See this Reuters article.


The industry and its affiliates would like to dismiss the fact that many new earthquakes sweeping across the nation are fracking-related.
Hydraulic fracturing itself can cause earthquakes, they just tend to be smaller and less frequently felt than earthquakes produced from underground injection control wells

I n 2011, fracking was associated with a 3.8 magnitude earthquake in British Columbia, Canada

In 2011, in Blackpool, England, two earthquakes were directly linked hydraulic fracturing

Fracking has also been linked to a “felt” earthquake in Garvin County, Oklahoma in 2011.

An Ohio-based study that came out in 2015 pinpointed fracking as the cause of a 3.0 magnitude earthquake near the Poland Township

In late 2014 a Seismological Research Letters study found that fracking is the likely culprit for hundreds of small tremors in Ohio

The public generally uses the term fracking to refer to the entire process, including drilling, blasting apart the rock formations, dealing with the wastewater and more. You cannot frack a well and not have wastewater flow back.

Underground injection control wells are a common method of disposal for fracking waste

In the eastern and central United States, earthquake activity has increased about fivefold, from an annual average of 21 earthquakes above a 3.0 magnitude between 1967 and 2000, to more than 300 earthquakes above a 3.0 magnitude over three years from 2010 to 2012

According to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), this increased seismic activity is associated with wastewater disposal wells in states such as Oklahoma, Colorado, Arkansas, Ohio and Texas

The threat of increased earthquake activity is of concern for the seismically active state of California, where the Monterey Shale overlaps the San Andreas Fault

Induced Seismicity  

Induced seismicity occurs when human activity triggers a dormant fault by adding or reducing stress and/or increasing pore pressure

Pore fluids are fluids that inhabit the pore space in a rock.
Fluid pumped underground can cause pressure in a rock’s pores or fissures; this pressure is known as fluid pressure or pore pressure.
Fluid can play a major role in controlling stress that is being applied to a fault; changes in pore pressure – such as an increase in fluids – can cause changes in the forces (tectonic forces, for example) holding a rock together.

This can cause an earthquake.

When fluid is injected underground — as is done to fracture shale rock and for the disposal of fracking wastewater — it can lubricate fault zones. As fluid moves into a fault zone, pore pressure increases, which can cause the fault to slip and result in an earthquake

Fluid pressure from high-rate disposal wells can migrate, so even if an injection well is not very close to a fault line or to one that is susceptible to earthquakes, the fluid pressure can migrate long distances to reach a fault that is more susceptible

Induced seismic events may not always strike soon after the injection activity begins. It may take a long time for an earthquake to trigger, and sometimes not until after the injection activity has ended

Geert Decock
Food and water Europe


Food and Water Watch – 2 huge stories on fracking

Share Button Huge Stories on Fracking You Probably Missed This Week

Wenonah_Hauter_BlogThumbIt seems that the fracking industry’s biggest concern is keeping their operations secret. Whether they’re talking about the chemicals in their frac fluid, how they pay (or don’t pay) royalties to landowners, or even whether doctors can tell their patients what they’re treating, industry representatives have pushed to keep their secrets. The industry has been pretty good at keeping people in the dark.

But two recent disclosures have shed some light on how the industry manages to obscure the details of its operations. On Tuesday, Mike Soraghan at EnergyWire broke the news that scientists in Oklahoma knew five years ago that the state’s recent unprecedented swarms of earthquakes were probably due to oil and gas operations. (We confirmed with Mike that he had uncovered these emails after pursuing an Open Records Act request in Oklahoma. Previously, he had analyzed federal earthquake data to break the news that Oklahoma had more earthquakes than California in 2014.)

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For Europe, a Game of Fracking RISK?

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For Europe, a Game of Fracking RISK? Geert Decock

Join the Global Frackdown

Fracking is full of risks; It threatens water, air, the climate, public health, livelihoods and more.

That much we know.

But what if fracking were RISK? As in RISK, the board game, where the goal is to occupy as many territories as possible (keep in mind that the oil and gas industry’s goal is to frack as many territories as possible). The metaphor is not as farfetched as you may think.

This past Tuesday, ahead of the Global Frackdown, Food & Water Watch’s international day of action to ban fracking, we gathered outside the European Parliament in Brussels to play our own version of RISK — “Fracking RISK” — to bring lawmakers and community members up to speed on the many dangers of fracking.
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