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« FOI: Coyne ridiculous | Main | New Era - Josh 360 »

Cue violence

The Telegraph is reporting that the cabinet are going to take planning decisions over shale gas developments out of the hands of councils. If correct, it means that planning officers will now be left to their own devices.

I think this probably means that the greens will resort to violence of one kind or another. 

In some ways it could be David Cameron's miners strike moment: the time when he is handed the opportunity to face down an anti-democratic and thuggish minority. I'm not sure DC is any kind of an iron lady though. A jelly gentleman or something like that.

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Reader Comments (249)

Damon Vrabel breakdown of the current Atlantic political / economic / social system.

Feb 1, 2016 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

"No dictator in history has been able to stop the tides, wind or the sun ;-)" Phil Clarke

Or start them when they're not available.

Feb 1, 2016 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Even Cameron doesn't understand what fracking is! It's not a new technology at all as had been pointed out on this blog recently. We've been fracking in the UK for 50 years! It is "horizontal drilling" that is the "new" technology, & that is all!

Feb 1, 2016 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Nice comment Tiny :)

Feb 1, 2016 at 1:39 PM | Registered CommenterDung


oh puh-leeze ... what part of geology dependent and constipated bureaucracy don't you get? The anti frackers are being diluted with silly test boreholes across the UK. The idjits in FFS (Frack Free Somerset) were protesting about coal bed methane - when the local coal seams were historically the most methane free in the UK.

At least the Poles had a go - the UK otoh has near morbid constipation as a result of ill informed , toxic antics of venal political idjits and looney eco-zealots proclaiming quacky fantastical cures for climate hyperchondria.

Feb 1, 2016 at 1:43 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Feb 1, 2016 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

_Somebody_ has managed to stop the wind this many times since 2009


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Feb 1, 2016 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

Wrong thread


Feb 1, 2016 at 1:52 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Erm, I think people may have noticed that wind is intermittent. Swings and roundabouts

And, last time I checked, the tide still comes in and out, and pigs are still sh*tting.

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

You first need to define words such as austerity in your own mind.

My definition of austerity is rationing designed to transfer that surplus toward the war or consumer war economy.
This may be correct or not but at least from my perspective at least austerity did not begin in 2007.

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

The argument about the quality of the shale fields here is neither here nor there for the simple fact that we should allow private companies, using their own capital, to explore whether those fields are worth exploiting.

If they aren't then no dramas. If they are then awesome! We have a win-win situation where not one single penny of tax payers money is needed to extract shale gas. Unlike, say, windmills, mirrors and ground unicorn horn power generation who ONLY exist because of tens if not hundreds of billions of pounds of tax payers money being p1ssed in to the wind for absolutely no benefit for society what so ever!


Feb 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Lord Stern, Chris Smith? Those two well known internationally acknowledged climate scientivists!

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Anything that antagonises those sanctimonious eco-warrior t*****s is fine by me. To watch them foam and froth at the mouth with overflowing moral indignation will be a sight to behold. Arrests will be a bonus. Frack baby, frack.

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed


Section 5. There are, of course, many other reports saying much the same thing, even one from Bjorn Lomborg's initiative

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

They are indeed manipulated but some are in touch with a older England.

What's wrong with dancing around the May pole ?

We are living within a consumption and sociological crisis.
In particular the very nature of current consumption.
The middle class in particular struggle with this perspective.
They neither understand the system or grasp its scale.

It is not really a production crisis.
Therefore increased production will not solve the problems inherent in the system.

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Phil Clarke
I'm not sure what that link is supposed to prove, except that you have provided us with three pages of quotes from an assortment of other people just as blind or bigoted as Stern.
The whole basis of his calculations was either up in the air or off the wall. He pays no attention to even the UN's own estimates of the extent to which the world will be richer by the end of the century and demands that we impoverish ourselves in order that our considerably richer grandchildren and great grandchildren don't need to spend their money sorting out a probably non-existent problem in 60 years time.
No doubt his paymaster will be quite happy with that idea but I can't for the life of me see why the rest of us should be.

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:27 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Phil Clarke: During the 2008 election or when just elected, Obama said it was not possible for US to drill its way out of high oil prices. And yet, we did. We drilled so much the world price collapsed. So claims that UK can't affect their own gas prices by drilling are equally stupid when UK sits on huge amounts of coal and shale. People who are anti-prosperity should just go live in a cave.

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig Loehle

Again will you try to define prosperity ?

Is it the prosperity (and waste) of the typical 20th century middle class wage slave or is it the prosperity of peasant Merrie England (that period of time between King Johns usury turmoil and the rise of Tudor centralization )

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

The protests will fizzle out when the Guardian retreats which if my memory serves me correctly, they already have in at least one article.

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Craig, North Sea Oil did not materially affect retail prices, and so there is no reason to expect an impact from Shale. it is not me saying the effect on UK prices will be insignificant, it is the leading drilling company.

Oh, and nearly everybody else.

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Oh, and I am very much pro-prosperity.

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Cheerleaders for expansion will not deal with the waste.

In the 20th century this inflation (credit inflation) is achieved via consumer credit (started properly in 1919 via GM motor loans)
This has caused catastrophic inflation , a build out of capacity and burb life that typically leaves older business districts to wither on the vine .

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

When Obama referred to 'gas', surely he meant 'gasoline'?

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

snip O/T

Feb 1, 2016 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Phil, if it's uneconomic, you'll be right and the drillers will lose money. If you are less right, there will be some degree of benefit to the country. Presumably home-produced gas will replace imported gas. What are you worried about? You can just wait and see. If you are among those who don't want to find out what that benefit could be, then you are evidently anti-gas in any form. Then that is the argument you should be making, hopefully without the help of Stern.

Oh, CCS. Bury three tons of CO2 for every ton of fossil carbon burned. Don't risk some tree using sunbeams to split it back into carbon and oxygen the way nature intends.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

the anti frakking song

Monday it nearly gave me Cancer
Tuesday it didn't make me dough
On Wednesday I confess, I read it in the press
The retail price wont fall (cor blimey)
Friday he got me undercovers
Saturday he got me up the spout
On sunday after supper, I found he was a copper
But me gas is down to thirty bob a week (cor blimey)

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

@ Phil Clarke: Looks like yet another report that in the real world would be torn into A5 rectangles, collated, have a hole punched through one corner, fed with a short loop of string, then hung in the smallest room!

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Phil Clarke
And would you care to hazard a guess as to how much less prosperous the UK would have been without North Sea oil?
I repeat, retail prices are only one factor in national economic activity. The fact that you are not paying someone else for the product makes you wealthier and the possibility of exporting makes you wealthier still.
We're not exactly talking rocket science here.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:08 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson


A quid plus 'alf a knicker were a lot back then :)

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:20 PM | Registered CommenterDung

You are saying Kuwait is wealthy then. Gosh, I never spotted that. Did you not get the point about externalities? Of course North Sea Oil increased UK prosperity, and shale will/would likely do the same, but at an artificial rate because the market price does not factor in the environmental costs passed on to this and later generations.

Why do you think Exxon spent so much on climate change misinformation?

Not exactly rocket science.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

The capex costs for the American and Canadian tight oil experiment was extracted from the consumer .
The consumer is bankrupt as a result.
It was therefore production for the sake of production.

Much of the rise in US diesel consumption is a result of extraction and distribution of tight oil.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Of course North Sea Oil increased UK prosperity, and shale will/would likely do the same, but at an artificial rate because the market price does not factor in the environmental costs passed on to this and later generations.
Feb 1, 2016 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

An example of greens inventing their own economics when the standard model doesn't produce the results they want. Greenpeace have also been doing the same with science for decades. Like with all that alleged radioactivity hazard from the Brent Spar oil platform. Preposterous invention.

Why do you think Exxon spent so much on climate change misinformation?

Not exactly rocket science.

Sure. You've invented one fact, why not trot out another of the regularly re-invented facts. It's another excellent example of the conspiracy thinking among green anti-capitalists. Exxon don't need to invent anything, or even say anything about their products. They know you need it. You know you need it. That fact is your problem, not theirs.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

The problems inherent in the US economy is a result of wasteful non human consumption.
Again look back at GMs credit vehicle of 1919 which helped the 1920s boom to become a bust in the 30s

GM was very active in promoting the war and consumer war economy in Europe during the inter war period . (Opel)
After the war the plans matured into fruition .
Europe became "American" in its consumption patterns.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

And there is nothing particulary 'new model' about externalities, bog-standard economic theory.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

michael hart:

You are entirely wrong about the influence of the North Sea on petrol prices. It was precisely the burgeoning North Sea production that undercut OPEC and limited their sales severely (even causing blackouts in Saudi Arabia, because they lacked gas to fuel the power stations on low oil production) which led to the collapse in OPEC price hegemony in 1985/6, ushering in a sustained period of lower prices, with a brief interlude during the Kuwait invasion in 1990. Moreover, as North Sea oil backed out supplies from the Gulf, shipping costs were slashed, a saving that appeared at the pumps.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Phil Clarke, externalities that are to be passed on to future generations are figments of Green Blob imagination, grown and fartilised by Grantham, his ilk, and their professional collaborators.

Peak Oil hasn't occurred. Peak Big Green Blob cheque has. Big Green Blob don't want to publicise this, as they didn't budget for it, because it was never going to happen, because they believed their own propaganda. Doh!

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke

"the market price does not factor in the environmental costs passed on to this and later generations."

Environmental damage caused by taking a naturally occurring substance from the planet and returning it to it's orginal constituents?

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:49 PM | Registered CommenterDung

@It doesn't add up

The massive investment required for North Sea was pulled from someones present consumption. (Less pints in the Woolpack)
Without the inflation of consumer credit in the 60s and 70s it could never add up.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

"the market price does not factor in the environmental costs passed on to this and later generations."
Is there any evidence for that remarkable claim?

The market factors in regulatory costs and the shares move accordingly. Look at VW last year.
The market doesn't invest in Nuclear Power because the potential (although highly improbable) clean-up costs are huge.

The market does invest in fossil fuels. Why the difference?

Because the market does take into account externalities. And they aren't that expensive.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:56 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Speaking as a fictional spin doctor Thatcher spun Global Warming to defeat the miners and promote Nuclear power after Chernobyl

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMalcolm Tucker

I was watching East Midlands Today (BBC East Midlands Local News) last night. There was coverage of Anti-Fracking protests in Nottingham and Long Eaton. I was quite pleased that there seemed to be only handful of demonstrators in both locations, barely enough to be newsworthy, but being the BBC it got quite a lot of coverage and included interviews with some ill-informed protestors.

Feb 1, 2016 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Inside account of the real "Local Hero" events on the ground.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

The Dork of Cork

"or is it the prosperity of peasant Merrie England (that period of time between King Johns usury turmoil and the rise of Tudor centralization )"

Well I suppose the half that survived might have been better off, but there doesn't seem to be much record of it.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

Dork of Cork:

North Sea investment was funded mainly out of internal cashflows of the majors that were the consequences of high prices. In the process, it generated a lot of economic activity that put cash in people's pockets, building pipelines, oil platforms, drilling rigs, etc., and it soon generated a large social return via taxes on production (at least until prices collapsed, limiting the tax take).

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

M Courtney:

The market doesn't invest in nuclear because regulation makes it uncompetitive without a subsidy. See Hinkley Point. Now it is perhaps reasonable to ask whether Huhne really should have required it to be proof against ML 9 earthquakes.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Whoops! There go the goal posts again!
The minute you argue that wealth doesn't entirely depend on how much something costs at the point of sale, you can bet your life someone will pop up and start rabbiting on about "externalities".
Externalities are fine as long as you make sure you apply them across the board. Conveniently not mentioning them in relation to thinks you fancy (like windmills and solar power) is .... how shall I put this, dishonest.
On a par with the claim that taxing power supplies at 5% is a "subsidy" when it applies to gas and coal but not when it applies to wind and solar.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:17 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

M Courtney Huh?

The VW emissions test-defeating scam enabled the company to introduce an externality (it did not have to pay either the cost of ensuring its vehicles were compliant, nor for the negative consequences, likely hundreds of deaths). Removing that externality, and the subsequent compensation will surely cost it dear.

Perhaps the market appreciates the $400 bn in subsidies the fossil fuel industry enjoys, for example BP were able to claim most of the $20bn settlement levied after Deepwater Horizon, as a 'legitimate business expense'.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Pÿory are DECC's go-to consultants when they want a conclusion wrapped up in a consultant's report. That's how they managed to pretend that there was only a narrow possibility for future gas prices - ever upward - in things like the report on the economics of the Swansea tidal project. Now so spectacularly proven wrong, of course.

Incidentally, if you to see what sort of impact producing our own gas has on prices, you have only to look at the earlier portion of the history (scroll down to see the chart). Because gas is very expensive to transport, cost is much higher when you import it over long distances as LNG. When we produce our own gas there is no high priced import supporting prices - and if we produce an export surplus, price parity is with the export market less transport costs - i.e. lower.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

@It does not add up.

I do not agree that you need pointless race track econmics to put cash into people's pockets.

@ Graeme
Sure, you has a wider breakdown of the medieval feudal structure in Europe.
This was perhaps the deeper cause of the black death as Venice( the London of the time) and the Florentian supercompanies ( the multinationals) played their not so little games.

The pressure to separate from control most probably was the driving force behind English and French nation state creation.
Later again subsumed within the wider system of money control.

Also things were not pretty in Ireland with English and Norman war lord efforts to periodically drain Ireland of silver.

But ask a Irishmen about the Tudor conquest and he has images of great fascist armies pillaging the land in the name of Mammon.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

I wonder, which is better for our society, undercover police in anarchist groups, or greenpeace/FoE activists installed as SPaDs etc in government depts?

And for those who feel they have the ability to predict anything at all about oil/gas prices, I say: Did you, in all honesty (OK - that's a bit of stretch for PC) think, twelve months ago, that the price of fuel would be below £ONE a litre?

To pinch a phrase: if the gas is there, it will come. And the market will determine the outcome.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Re: Phil Clarke

> According to a report from energy consultants Poyry,

According to Poyry's website:

Pöyry has proven experience that comes from hands-on involvement in more than 200 power projects that deal with bioenergy - biomass, biofuels and biogas - along with waste-to-energy, wind power, solar power and geothermal energy.

Our key expertise is in the development of efficient renewable energy solutions, always with a lifecycle understanding. Within Pöyry, networks enable us to make the most effective use of our collective experience and know-how.

No conflict of interest there then.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

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