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« Walport on uncertainty | Main | Stern the crows, what a performance »

The green way

Just up the road from me, a company called Dart Energy is developing a site for extraction of coalbed methane, a process that involves horizontal drilling but no fracking. Nevertheless environmentalists, insistent on maintaining high death rates among the elderly, have mounted a vigorous campaign to prevent expansion of operations.

In recent weeks Dart's parent company has gone through a fundraising round, which involved trading in its shares being briefly suspended. Greens of course are trying to spin this as a sign that the company is in financial difficulties. Take these tweets from Richard Dixon of Friends of the Earth, a green NGO best known for its role in bringing about the "crime against humanity" of biofuels:

Troubled Dart Halts Trading 

look for £12m for gas drilling < Scotsman parrot story fed by company, Airth is their only hope and a faint one 

However, trading suspensions in these circumstances are actually encouraged by the Australian stock exchange as a means of ensuring that people operate on the basis of information that is as complete as possible. Moreover, according to Dart's website the company has, in addition to Airth, licences in the Solway Firth and East and West Fife. That's just in Scotland. South of the border it has even more licences.

Oh dear, environmentalists not telling the truth again. Who would have thunk it?

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Reader Comments (36)

What is a 'green'? The tabloid approach to framing the enemy!

Sep 4, 2013 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

I think it's generally the fact that the opposite of anything Enemies of Humanity says can be taken as the truth.

Sep 4, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Environmentalists not telling the truth. Impossible.

The Green Taliban have Gaia on their side so they cannot lie. "Saving the planet" is a noble cause on par with the Templars.

Sep 4, 2013 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

More likely that Mr Nixon is not very well read outside of English lit and really thinks the company is in trouble.

Sep 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarkJ

"What is a 'green'? The tabloid approach to framing the enemy!"

Green or greenhorn

An inexperienced or immature person, especially one who is easily deceived.

Read more:

Sep 4, 2013 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeofff

Phillip Bratby: Bashar Assad..speaks the truth

Sep 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Ecomentalist is by far the more appropriate term...

Sep 4, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJabba the Cat

How do you know when a "Green" activist is lying?
They open their mouths.

Sep 4, 2013 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

The road to hell is paved with (good) green intentions.

Sep 4, 2013 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Dad jokes from Don, keep it up!

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Doesn't the FSA take a dim view of putting it about that a company is in trouble? At the very least it is actionable.

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

Albert Einstein

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

You admit then, John, that "greens" are the enemy.
Of wealth.
Of development.
Of genuine environmentalism, as opposed to their nice warm cuddly version.
Of humanity in general since they are determined to have us back in their warm cuddly version of an era that never actually existed.
Of honest dealing as opposed to "do it our way or else. We know where you live."
Of honesty in general as opposed to "we are right so our behaviour is above criticism".

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

All companies big and small on the ASX issue halts for capital raisings.

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterredc

What do these people have against just being honest?

If they're against any exploration for and production of hydrocarbons, then just say so.

Don't give us all this guff about the company's finances.

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

As a followup today on the ASX there were 2 trading halts for a capital raising (ISK, TLG) and yesterday there were 3 (PDI, VIC, BRL).

Markets exist so companies can have access to capital and on the ASX it's normal practice to halt trading during the capital raising process.

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterredc

Check out his last paragraph.

This time you,re sending metal pipes deep underground to get the energy not human beings.
Energy transported by underground pipe lines no Trains Lorries and Canal Boats.

Saving Energy and Carbon as its already a Gas ,No breaking Coal down from a solid to a liquid to a Gas which is its required combustible State.

Whats ironic ,create an Economic Boom rejuvenate the old Mining Villages in Wales with new High Tech Industries.All founded on cheap Shale and Coal Bed Methane Localized Gas Turbine Generation in Wales.Back to the 18/19 Century Wales a new Tiger /Dragon Powehousel Industrial Economy.No wind Turbines to spoil the views for the Tourists.

Thats how to give the Welsh people some real independence from London and Brussels.

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Mike Jackson I haven't agreed or disagreed with anything, I just asked what a 'green' was?

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

More to the point. Wat does it matter if an energy company is in financial trouble. They wouldn't be the first and wouldn't be the last. That is why it is called "risk capital".

It is complete non-information from juvenile people that think it has any relevance.

So what if Dart Enegy are in financial difficulty and go into receivership. What do this middle class kiddies at FOTE think will happen to the licenses the company owns?? They will be sold on of course to another company.

Someone needs to ask the idiots "so what"? What do they think this means either way?

Sep 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Do you want a really good laugh though? The same Brian Dixon tweeted the followin yesterday:

#AirAlert - nitrogen #airpollution going high at Paisley Central Road - take another route

OMG, Nitrogen pollution in the air!!!!!

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

More to the point. Wat does it matter if an energy company is in financial trouble. They wouldn't be the first and wouldn't be the last. That is why it is called "risk capital".

If the company is raising capital and it is put about that it is in trouble, it can have problems obtaining the capital it needs to operate. So putting about false rumours such as that is a form of sabotage against the company that could have more serious consequences for it than sabotage of its physical assets.

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterBig Oil

The documentation on the halt/raising is here.

Looks like every other small company capital raising on the ASX. The 41 page presentation lays out their plans in the UK.

Would be nice to be so troubled that investors threw AU $20.7 million at me!

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterredc

By the way, when I was working at a rig in a field near Airth in 1993, I was told that there was CSG-extraction potential all the way along the Forth valley from Alloa to Burntisland .

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

It's near my old home too. I previously read the 99 initial council objections to Dart's plans. Few were related to the actual application; being mainly the standard green-hued objections to any change whatsoever. This is an area that used to be riddled with coal mines and foundries that were the backbone of the local economy. Despite the industrial decline there is still lots of coal under the Forth but there was no means of extracting coal gas economically until now. Prior to the climate change hysteria peak of 2005, this planning application would have been passed very quickly because the local councillors were pro-coal, pro-jobs then with very little green resolve whatsoever.

Some folk may believe that developing countries will not allow climate policy to derail growth but in the UK our supposed representatives find it far easier to fool themselves about supposed growth from renewables supplanting the real growth from fossil fuels. This then is a success of the "green" movement: Continued, forced economic stagnation in a recession! Take a bow all you stumpies.

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Great quotation, ssat (Sep 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM)! Certainly deserves repetition:

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
Albert Einstein

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

The greens behave like a mutaween. Their politics are similar.

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

Jamspid (Sep 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM):

Which is precisely the point I have been trying to make over quite a few posts by referring to mining as “manual fracking” (which, as an aside, I think is a stroke of genius; however, no-one else agrees. Could I be wrong?) – it is exactly the same process as hydraulic fracking, with few, if any, of the associated risks (cave-ins, “fire damp”, explosions, pneumoconiosis, spoil heaps, subsidence, sink-holes, etc.). With only the actual material sought (gas) being extracted, it has less of an impact on “Mother Earth” than the more popular system (“Yeah. Well. Mining creates jobs, dunnit?” Hence the violent demonstrations (by the same people as at Balcombe?) when pits are set to close. Oh, irony). That drilling also creates jobs is overlooked, as is the fact that it is by far the much safer of the two.

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

As Rhoda mentioned, in most countries it is against the law to sabotage a company by spreading lies about its financial viability. Here in Australia, an anti-coal campaigner who did that and caused the share price to drop in an attempt to stop a new mine has been charged and his trial is eagerly awaited by company shareholders. No doubt he'll run the "I was only trying to Save the Planet m'lud" defence. I hope he goes to jail.

I don't know the legal position in this case, because the slander was in a different country, but if Dart was hoping to source at least some money from UK investors or has any kind of listing on the UK Stock Exchange this idiot may well have broken the law.

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

From the micro to the macro. The post illustrates a small instance of the 'Malevolence of the Greens'. Ben Pile has a new and powerful post up which includes this more high-level overview:

350 want to use the names of prominent climate sceptics, rather than an list of names in alphabetical sequence, to refer to tropical storms and hurricanes.

But their petition suffers from the fact that, as pointed out by the IPCC SREX report last year, there is no anthropogenic signal in the frequency, intensity or longevity of these weather events, according to observations.

There is however, a much stronger association between incautious climate and energy policies and a deleterious effect on human welfare. Should we propose, then, that events of mass human suffering be attributed to prominent environmentalists, because their backwards, anti-human and anti-developmental ideology has created a huge cost?

How about the Ed Miliband 27,000 excess winter deaths of 2008-9?

How about the 2002 Greenpeace Southern Africa famine?

And how about the 10 million annual deaths that are first order-effects of poverty each year… Let us call name them in turn, the Oxfam Slaughter, The Sustainability Massacre, the UNFCCC Mass Killing, the Save the Children Butchering, and the Friends of the Earth Genocide… and so on.

Read it, as they say, all:

Hat-tip: Tom Nelson

Sep 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Radical Rodent: "Manual Fracking" is a brilliant metaphor and I have supported it in a strong argument I was having with a troll on Booker's last piece (I left a H/T for you there when I used the metaphor).

The anti-fracking troll wanted to end fracking, so I asked him if he agreed that manual fracking ought to be stopped as well (having already been through what it involves). His replay was that ALL forms of fracking should be banned - although he failed to see the difference in risk to life and limb in the one compared to the other.

I shall continue to use the 'Manual Fracking' concept.

Sep 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

At the time, I was given to understand that gas was escaping to the surface around places like Airth anyway. Hence the story about the picnickers who went to light a barbecue and the whole field burst into flame.

There were some ex-mining grim towns and villages in the area but they mostly welcomed our custom. And you gotta love a place named "Skinflats" . Nothing much else to love about it. I wonder if we'll hear the usual objections about flares etc given that Grangemouth already lights up the sky

Sep 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

The "manual fracking" idea has my support as well. It looked so obvious first time I saw it that I just took it as one more excellent turn of phrase to use in argument. We expect such original thinking here which is why I didn't see it as anything to remark on.

Partly OT - Just over the river in Midlothian plans for open-cast extraction have attracted the attention of - link here.
While I don't think open cast mining is ideal from the point of view of neighbourliness we are back to the old problem of only being able to extract coal from where it is. Do you want the stuff or don't you? The answer is that the greens don't want it and they don't want you to have it but standing up honestly and saying so would expose them for what they are, thereby adding gutlessness to their other virtues.

No, kellydown, you do not "gotta love a place named Skinflats"! The only place in Central Scotland that is worse is Breich which when I knew it (a decade or several ago now) consisted of a railway station, a crossroads, and a Co-op which was antediluvian even by the antediluvian standards of the Co-op at that time!
For my sins (I can't think of any other reason) I called there every two months for about four years and every time I was there it was raining. I took an Area Manager there once; he reckoned they'd misspelt the name.
(Any Scot will understand what he meant.)

Sep 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

RR: This was my post in the DT on Booker's article about the Greens being in Brussels and not Balcombe:

"I'm going to pinch a metaphor from a poster over at Bishop Hill's blog. (H/T radical rodent). He reminds us that as well as hydraulic fracturing having been in use for many, many years, its predecessor, Manual Fracturing, has been in use for 100s of years.

In fact, we have been recovering fossil fuel from depths very close to aquifers using this process for ages, often causing major earth slides and earthquakes. Why, even the huge amount of waste caused by Manual Fracking has been known to cause the deaths of more than 100 children in ONE episode alone! But Manual Fracking continues across the country and around the globe to this day and it has not been banned. In fact, when protestors tried to shut down the process in the '80s - it was not because they wanted it banned, they wanted more money to continue to do it! And the Government of the day insisted that they get on with it. Funny old world... "

Sep 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

Why, thank you, S-rocket, again (but be careful, we don’t want people to talk), and MJ. I was thinking of falling back on the Mann defence – “I am right and everyone else is wrong,” but now I don’t have to. It is not copyrighted or trademarked, so use away!

As for interesting names, I once saw Skinpit Lane, near Barnsley, so no known connection with those over the border.

With the greenies wanting to ban ALL forms of fracking, you have to ask just what sort of world they really want? As it obviously involves massive de-population of humans (and thus, many cows, horses, and fluffy little lambs – aaaahh! – as well as the destruction of many habitats by the numerous invasive species that humans are keeping in check, either by design or default), they should be asked to lead the way.

Sep 4, 2013 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

This is the Frack-Off position on Coal Bed Methane.

Frack Off

Culross in Fife makes coal mining since the 16th century part of its play to attract tourists, just next door the the Hillfoots.

Sep 4, 2013 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

"No, kellydown, you do not "gotta love a place named Skinflats"!"

I went to Slamannan once too. As "dreich" as your Breich. At first it seemed that every shop in town was boarded up. Then we realised some were actually open. What a depressing place. They were glad of our custom in Slamannan, Skinflats and Airth though. It would be a shame if drilling is blocked around there.

Sep 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

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