Fracking has been banned across the UK with immediate effect!

The one active site here was closed in the summer due to the earthquakes it was causing, but other sites were being explored.

This is a victory for protestors!

#fracking #protest #oil #uk

@puffinus_puffinus And a victory for Russian gas exporters, unfortunately. Without fracking we will continue to be dependent on them. But that is the trade-off the protesters have made - it won't really affect the amount of gas burned, only the source of that gas.

@rochelimit @puffinus_puffinus worth it. Fracking destroys the land to a much greater extent than regular oil mining.


@zardoz @puffinus_puffinus Hi. The UK isn't as unregulated as the US, so I'm unaware of what sort of damage you're thinking of. What are you referring to?

@rochelimit @puffinus_puffinus the basic idea of fracking is to pump solvents into shale, which inherently destabilizes it. Also you can't do it anywhere near a well, because it will drift through the ground and poison the well.

I also do not have *any* faith in any government body to properly enforce regulations when the government is run by and for the rich.

@zardoz @puffinus_puffinus Conventional oil wells use solvents too. I thought that the problems with wells has been methane and arsenic, not part of the injected material? The methane could be a natural contaminant (any research contrary?) and the arsenic may be from rust in poorly maintained private wells. I'm really not in favour of fossil fuels, but I do see an advantage to domestic over foreign supplies.

@rochelimit @zardoz @puffinus_puffinus the bit with the high correlation of earthquakes to start with. @vfrmedia linked an article in the replies.
There was a documentary I can’t remember the name of (gas land??) that went into more depth. It was US but a lot of the problems were with fracking, not fracking regulations

@becky @zardoz @puffinus_puffinus @vfrmedia I'm not convinced that the earthquakes are a real issue in the UK which has a very low tolerance level, such that most are unnoticeable and a few might be felt by a few and indistinguishable from the millions that happen every year. The other issues are more serious, but that was the point of the now banned trial extractions, to put numbers to the more qualitative fears.

@becky @zardoz @puffinus_puffinus @vfrmedia Just looked at the Guardian story you referred to, and it seems that the terrifying tremor was a one second event with motion only a third of that allowed for construction projects. Most likely, the ban is to do more with a general election where the current governing party is unpopular in the fracking area.

@rochelimit @becky @zardoz @puffinus_puffinus

Doubtless the election is a factor, but I started learning Dutch about 11 years ago (so was reading the local news sites and although Groningen has always been an area for gas/oil extraction for decades, I only started reading about earthquakes in fairly recent years (since around 2012), a few years after the fracking started...

@vfrmedia @becky @zardoz @puffinus_puffinus Fair enough - little quakes scare people. But having the country tied to buying gas from a country that has a history of turning off the taps for political reasons scares me more. Roll on the day when we are fossil fuel free.

@rochelimit @vfrmedia @zardoz @puffinus_puffinus i don’t think there’s been much research on it yet, but it seems to me that a continuous cycle of fracking -> destabilising the ground -> causing small earthquakes -> further destabilisation, more fracking, etc is only gonna increase the size of these earthquakes over time. I’d have to see what the data on that is though

@becky @rochelimit @zardoz @puffinus_puffinus

the worst part of it is the Netherlands is still equally dependent on imports of Russian (and other countries) gas/fossil fuels as we are and I doubt the geology is very much different between our countries - after all we are just neighbours, separated by the North Sea

@becky @vfrmedia @zardoz @puffinus_puffinus The small quakes are releases of stress, so unless there's another process increasing it again, I don't see them being stronger over time. Fractured rock can't sustain the stress needed to generate another tremor, although it can displace the stress to nearby areas. That increases the chance of a one-off tremor there, but then the stress is released.

@rochelimit @becky @vfrmedia @puffinus_puffinus this is how normal earthquakes work, but these aren't normal earthquakes. Fracking-caused earthquakes are a lot more like sinkholes.

@zardoz @becky @vfrmedia @puffinus_puffinus Sinkholes? No voids are produced by fracking (the shale stays where it was), so could you explain what you mean, please?

@rochelimit @becky @vfrmedia @puffinus_puffinus sure.

They are similar to sinkholes in that seismic activity caused by fracking is not a result of tectonic plates moving, and it is (usually) more surface-level. Fracking inherently makes the ground less stable by fracturing it(hence the name). To get seismic activity, the shale must necessarily be going from an unstable state to a more stable state. Fracking the ground more will destabilize the ground more, thus making the seismic activity stronger.

@rochelimit @becky @vfrmedia @puffinus_puffinus I have no doubt that the long-term effects of fracking are mostly either covered up by oil companies and the government, or unknown. The people who run oil companies get to make their own rules. No government is free from corruption.

If you want to stop being dependent on foreign oil, stop being dependent on oil.

@zardoz @becky @vfrmedia @puffinus_puffinus Yes, we should stop using gas as soon as possible. But if we do that right now how will the 21 million homes that depend on gas for heating and cooking manage? The change will take time and political will, so while thst is happening why not switch to less politically risky sources for the gas? I don't like the country being obligated to Russia of all places.

@rochelimit @becky @vfrmedia @puffinus_puffinus britain barely uses more gas than it produces already. You can get by using 12% less gas.

@zardoz British Gas says that 56% of our natural gas comes from abroad, with 36% of that coming from Russia. Are you thinking of oil?

@rochelimit I was, I'm uswdto "gas" meaning petrol because American.

Still. Reducing gas usage is definitely a possibility. It's not "either tracking or Russia", that is a false dichotomy.

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