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« FOI: Coyne ridiculous | Main | New Era - Josh 360 »
Monday
Feb012016

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)

snip O/T

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Dork:

High prices were the consequence of OPEC being able to operate a successful price setting cartel, securing solidarity on the back of Arab-Israeli wars and the boycott office that operated out of Damascus. The cartel was only undermined by competition, particularly from the North Sea. Ironically, it was the Miners strike that really opened up the oil markets: for the duration, the UK was importing lots of heavy oil primarily from the Gulf to keep the oil fired power stations running full blast - but forcing North Sea producers to market their oil elsewhere. Once the strike was over, oil demand fell back, but North Sea production (and other new sources) continued to surge, taking markets from OPEC. It didn't take them too long to capitulate, since their ability to set prices was replaced by the Brent market, which soon came to price three quarters of the world's oil.

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

@ It doesn't add up: I seem to recall that North Sea Oil is too high a quality for general refinement into fuels & is sold elsewhere, not used in the UK.

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Oh dear, dear, dear. What a load of bollocks to get to the end of these comments. As usual, Dung, Mike J and one other are relevant. First the technology. Directional drilling has been around since Bechtel drove a pipeline under the Magdalena River in the early 70's. Fracking has no direct connection with that; just a combination of technologies. Next, all the political nonsense - safe or not, cheap or not blah, blah blah. The issue is simply that we have shale structures but can the gas got out of them economically and without causing swathes of (surface) environmental damage.. Simple.

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

Phil Clarke:

We've tried renewables: they don't work. They're expensive, produce hardly any energy, have a very short production life, are intermittent, and they provide no system inertia to the grid. On that basis, let's send them back for a tad more research.

If shale gas proves to be a failure (and we don't even know yet, despite all your pontificating), let's give that up as well Of course, in the case of shale gas exploration we won't be subsidising it, so if it doesn't pay, the frackers go away.

Just a pity the wind and solar spivs have no similar incentive..

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Dork:

North Sea oil forms the backbone of UK refiners' crude inputs and has done consistently since the end of the miners' strike. Small quantities from elsewhere are imported mainly for quality reasons such as the ability to make good bitumen.

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

GC

"fartilised by Grantham"

What a ghastly thought..!

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:57 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

snip O/T

Feb 1, 2016 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

snip O/T

Feb 1, 2016 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Capell 5:38 nicely put. We need to privatise Unreliables, and remove all subsidies. If private investors want to prove how renewable they are, the public should be allowed to choose for themselves.

There are bound to be some people stupid enough to pay twice the price with the guaranteed bonus of no reliability. Green Blob Lewnies will accept anything as proof.

Feb 1, 2016 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterglof charlie

Vernon E

And so where would you get accurate info to answer your question sir?

"The issue is simply that we have shale structures but can the gas got out of them economically and without causing swathes of (surface) environmental damage.. Simple."

Feb 1, 2016 at 6:24 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I find Peter Hitchens' description of Cameron as "Mr Slippery" seems to fit more and more.

I expect him next to be pictured next to an Airbus of some kind, waving a piece of paper and declaring "Reform in our time".

Feb 1, 2016 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Morph: re Mr Slippery: Quite right. The PR man in him is making a break for it, now that he has declared his end date. He's determined to follow Blair's 'Yellow-brick road' to riches. "O tempora o mores".
David Davis, you were sorely missed.

Feb 1, 2016 at 6:36 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Dork

Getting annoyed that Phill Clark is stealing your thunder

Feb 1, 2016 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Dung - you know the answer so don't pretend to be a dork. Drill, frack, test - at any price.

Feb 1, 2016 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

Production at any price
Ha ha ha.
You are a Maoist.

In favour of the Pig Iron economy.

Capitalists and Communists read from the same red book.

Feb 1, 2016 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

I've enjoyed the thread, thanks. My conclusion - I'm with Capell's comments at 5.38pm.

Feb 1, 2016 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

@Phil Clarke, Feb 1, 2016 at 4:20 PM

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.

All reports I have seen regarding NOX emissions carry the usual green words before figures: "could/may/believed to/contribute to" premature deaths...

We all die eventually, even if you live in a green bubble with no contaminants of any kind you will still grow old and die.

Do cars, lorries, buses, trains, planes, ships etc improve our lives more than the cost of any deaths they may cause? My view is yes they do and if I die one year sooner due to benefiting from and enjoying riding/driving/traveling in petrol/diesel vehicles I have no regrets. The benefits vastly out-weigh any negative life expectancy costs.

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'.

As has been repeatedly proved the fossil fuel industry does not receive tax subsidies, it is a green myth.

The $20Bn settlement is a business expense same as you would be compensated if a a Co-Op store employee spilled sunflower oil on your clothes. It is a cost incurred in the execution of the business.


@Morph, Feb 1, 2016 at 6:26 PM

I find Peter Hitchens' description of Cameron as "Mr Slippery" seems to fit more and more.

I expect him next to be pictured next to an Airbus of some kind, waving a piece of paper and declaring "Reform in our time".

Another important PH description is David Cameron aka Mr Slippery leads the Not The Conservative Party.

I really despair at the lack of conviction, backbone and most importantly putting the best interests of the UK economy as the first priority of today's politicians.

Feb 1, 2016 at 9:35 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Phil Clarke, undercover police running interference!!!! That's brilliant!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you so much. Could you please post the specific evidence so that I can then spread it as wide as my little cyber-arms reach? No "dark money" and such, I beg you, I have been laughed at enough.

Feb 1, 2016 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAila

Aila, the police, whilst performing their duties under the covers, should have controlled their emissions.

Meanwhile the Green Blob infiltrates into Government, emits what it likes, whilst trying to control everyone else's emissions. There are currently no legal sanctions to control Green Blob agitators or their noxious emissions.

Feb 1, 2016 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Aila,

My remark was tongue in cheek, but still ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Demonstration_Squad

Feb 1, 2016 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

As has been repeatedly proved the fossil fuel industry does not receive tax subsidies, it is a green myth.

The World Trade Organisation defines a subsidy as

 a transfer of funds or a potential transfer of funds from a government or public body through a grant, loan, equity infusion, or loan guarantee; a government fiscal incentive such as a tax credit; a government-provided good or service other than general infrastructure; or a government payment to a funding mechanism or private body to carry out one or more of the functions illustrated above.

Which capital flows amount to around $400 bn annually to fossil fuel operations.

http://shiftthesubsidies.org/

Feb 1, 2016 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Vernon E @5.31

Directional drilling has been around since at least 1963 when I laboured on a BP Eakring drilling operation tapping into a reservoir located under Gainsborough railway station from a field outside the town. I have an idea that the well might still be producing oil. There is a nodding donkey visible on Google maps in the approximate location of the 1963 drilling rig. This was a directional drilling operation but not a horizontal one.

Feb 1, 2016 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

6 Wildcat shale gas wells drilled in Poland from SE to NW in Poland then the operator pulled out. Why do you think that was?

Feb 1, 2016 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Hall

@Phil Clarke, Feb 1, 2016 at 10:12 PM

The World Trade Organisation defines a subsidy as

a transfer of funds or a potential transfer of funds from a government or public body through a grant, loan, equity infusion, or loan guarantee; a government fiscal incentive such as a tax credit; a government-provided good or service other than general infrastructure; or a government payment to a funding mechanism or private body to carry out one or more of the functions illustrated above.

Which capital flows amount to around $400 bn annually to fossil fuel operations.

http://shiftthesubsidies.org/

You can copy&paste, well done.

Now explain in your own words what government subsidies the fossil fuel industries receive.

Note tax deductible business costs is not a subsidy, corporation tax and self-employed tax is tax on profits after business costs.

Is tax deductible premises rent costs for a Medical Doctors' Practice a subsidy for the doctors?

Then explain in your own words how the government laws which mandate energy companies buy when available and pay for it even if not needed renewable energy at government decreed prices higher that free market prices is not a subsidy to renewable energy providers.

Feb 1, 2016 at 11:00 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Phil Clarke,

Yes, but the rate of subsidy on fossil fuels amounts (globally) to £2.50/MWh. In the UK, it would comprise the reduced VAT on electricity bills (also applicable to renewables.

The UK subsidy on offshore wind is £90/MWh.

Forgive me for not being too worried about a pittance of subsidy on fossil fuels, given all the good they provide to humanity.

Feb 1, 2016 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Thuggish some of them may be, but is it anti-democratic to protest against shale development? Where is the evidence that communities under threat of fracking want to be fracked? Would it be anti-democratic for a community to protest against a wind farm? Wouldn't you need a vote or something to decide things democratically?

Feb 1, 2016 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

In Phil Clarke's world a subsidy is when the government doesn't confiscate every penny you earn.

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/kelly-mcparland-notleys-royalty-u-turn-put-albertas-interests-ahead-of-populist-crusading-even-if-it-hurt

Feb 1, 2016 at 11:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

I cannot work out which is the most annoying, Phil C or Plastic Paddy.

Bish now they've started throwing their toys at each other, can't you just give them their own play-pen on the discussion page, and leave the rest of us in peace?

Feb 1, 2016 at 11:41 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

"Where is the evidence that communities under threat of fracking want to be fracked?"
Good question. Perhaps there's no evidence because no one has asked? Whereas, folk WERE asked if they wanted wind farms, but their opposition was discounted.

"Where is the evidence that communities under threat of fracking want to be fracked?"
Yet the bulk of protestors are non-locals...

Feb 1, 2016 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterClunking Fist

That's a let down, alright.

Feb 1, 2016 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAila

Clunking Fist; 11:45pm; too true, the majority of the wind and solar farms built in Powys and Shropshire in the last decade were opposed at a local level, but most refusals were overturned at a county/national level.

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:00 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

6 Wildcat shale gas wells drilled in Poland from SE to NW in Poland then the operator pulled out. Why do you think that was?

Between the big players; Germany, France, the EU commission and Gazprom - the Poles never had a chance and more especially because the then ruling party were EU patsies, namely the PO party or 'civic platform' aka the old Polish Communist party - and all as bent hairpins making good lapdogs for licking the boots of the Brussels mafia, ABSOLUTELY: shale gas was not on the political menu.

It may be a bit different now that, the PiS Law and Justice Party has come to power. Furthermore, the geology looks very promising - good for Poland and for shale gas exploitation, perhaps a few better placed exploratory drill sites may produce far more interesting results, it is to be hoped so. I like the Poles, good people, good workers, one of our few true European allies.

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Salopian

'Plastic Paddy' has simply been 'pass' for quite awhile.

PC, by being non 'pc' and by portraying an illogical view of the real world is close to gaining the same privileges as 'Plastic Paddy'.

Though sometimes when PC is 'pc' there is some interest, however in the main there are just too many floaters to risk the swim.

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:13 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Is Phil Clarke( the real one - if there is a real one) a spokesperson for FoE and or GP?

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpectator

Feb 1, 2016 at 11:41 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Phil the Pill vs The Dork of Cork? Where do I buy a ticket?

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

So that's settled then. It is not anti-democratic to protest against fracking and it is anti-democratic for ministers to "take planning decisions over shale gas developments out of the hands of councils". The exact reverse of what the Bishop tells you all and yet you can't work that out for yourselves.

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

"Clunking Fist; 11:45pm; too true, the majority of the wind and solar farms built in Powys and Shropshire in the last decade were opposed at a local level, but most refusals were overturned at a county/national level."

Views spoiled by birdmincer eye pollution.

Can there ever be a price or, a valuation placed on aesthetic worth and benefits of the natural beauty of the British landscapes and seascapes?

Yes true our landscape is industrially scarred from the time circa 2500 BC the evidence of Bronze age metal workers and excavations nearby to - Stonehenge. But the blasted and wanton vandalism of birdchoppers marching across the landmarks of England, Wales and Scotland are monumental examples - follies, idols marking mankind's perpetual idiocy, hell we are supposed to know better!
The ruination is a criminal enterprise, besmirching of beautiful panoramas by these awful and useless monsters, aye - blotting the nation's countryside. When I see what has been done to the seas around Kent and down along the south coast, to my beloved Lancashire and Yorkshire, the Lakes and Northumbria to Scotland - my heart weeps. I could live with Dungeness, Trawsfynydd, Seascale and Dounraey because they were necessary, contiguous and vital to our strategic and energy interests - heat of fission and power, a glorious combination........


but birdslicers and PV arrays - NEVER!

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

@Spectator;

How about some direct questions to Phil:

Phil Clarke: are you a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth and/or Greenpeace and/or their various subsidiaries?

Have you ever made comments on this site on behalf of Friends of the Earth and/or Greenpeace and/or their various subsidiaries?

Have you ever been employed and/or received payment from Friends of the Earth and/or Greenpeace and/or their various subsidiaries?

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:39 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Raff, it is very dodgy to try and subvert the democratic process. The Green Blob have demonstrated considerable expertise in this area. Rent-a-mob democracy requires someone to pay the bills. People who pay bills, have to earn money.

As the Green Blob are now being exposed as having wasted so much of other people's money, pushing pointless scams, the amount of other people's money they receive, is beginning to reduce.

Trying to annoy and scare the electorate into paying more money for unreliable power, was never a vote winner.

Peak Green Blob is now.

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:56 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Athelstan, 12:37am:

10/10, I live in a landscape where the remains of Neolithic, Bronze age, Iron age, Roman, Medieval and Victorian industrial archaeology exist in harmony. The only eyesores are the birdmashers and solar panels.

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:57 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Golf, "Raff, it is very dodgy to try and subvert the democratic process". Which democratic process are you referring to? Have the people in fracking areas been asked if they want to be fracked?

Salopian, no electricity pylons then, I suppose.

Feb 2, 2016 at 1:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff: Only the wooden ones - you know, the ones that are the same height as a telephone pole, but with three cables.

Feb 2, 2016 at 1:59 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Raff, locals have not been asked how often they want power cuts, and how much extra they will have to pay for having no power. The Green Blob have been warned that the public won't react nicely to being lied to, and they are now working it out for themselves. Your problem, you deal with it.

Feb 2, 2016 at 2:32 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf you seem to be implying that it is okay to "subvert the democratic process" by inflicting fracking on people who don't want it because of some other lack of democratic process. You'd be more credible if you saw both as wrong. As it is you just sound cranky.

Salopian, lucky you. Pylons are a horrible blot on the landscape.

Feb 2, 2016 at 2:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff: BTW, one of the last three power-cuts we have suffered recently was attributed to arson. The pole that was burnt down was close to an 'anti-fracking' protester camp.

Feb 2, 2016 at 2:58 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Apparently undercover police are being trained how to fend off the attentions of sexual predators ;)

Feb 2, 2016 at 4:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

Salopian,

I am not a member of, nor a spokesman for, nor paid by any political party or pressure group. I speak for myself only.

To be absolutely clear; I support the right to protest on any issue, provided it is legal and non-violent. I believe the prediction of violence in the head post smacks of alarmism and paranoia.

I oppose fracking mainly because developing that resource will make it even less likely we will hit our greenhouse emissions target.


Have a nice day.

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Raff,

Good point, there does seem to be a blatent double standard. According to the leak, reported in the Telegraph

Three Cabinet ministers put their names to the scheme which would see fracking wells classified as ‘nationally significant infrastructure’. If that was to happen, then councils would be stripped of the ability to block planning applications for fracking wells in local communities.
Instead unelected planning inspectors would be given the power to decide if shale gas drilling sites got the go-ahead, paving the way for a huge uptake in fracking.

Contrast with

No more on shore wind farm schemes will be given the go ahead unless they have the support of local people, the new Energy secretary has said. Amber Rudd, who was appointed last week in the post-election reshuffle, said the new powers would be in next week’s Queen’s Speech. Miss Rudd also disclosed that the new Conservative Government would try to speed up extraction of shale gas and loosen rules so it could be extracted from under national parks. […] Miss Rudd said: “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support.

Same paper. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/windpower/11611050/Amber-Rudd-No-more-windfarms-unless-local-people-say-yes.html

One of these moves is more democratic than the other.

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

We likely won't see much shale gas development while there is a gas glut so it may be a moot point. Cheap oil prices killed off the original shale oil industry in West Lothian after all. The two main benefits of UK shale gas were a measure of energy independence and a new taxation source for bankrupt Britain, both based on the now obsolete assumption that gas would be scarce and pricey.

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

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