A Trans Atlantic Perspective in Support of UK Fracking

Against fracking 01

Against fracking 01 (Photo credit: Bosc d’Anjou)

Further to my reblogging of the article entitled “Fracking ‘biggest threat to countryside after housing’, says ex-minister, published in the Telegraph, I received two very thoughtful responses in support of fracking.

The first response was from Pit, a German expat living in Southern Texas who has a fracking site adjacement to his house.

The second response is from John Gelmini.

I am publishing both responses below although for me the UK Government still needs to answer many important questions on fracking.

Pit – A German Exapat Living in Texas – opposite a facking site  

From what I see around here in the middle of the Eagle Ford Shale in southern Texas, fracking certainly does ruin the countryside. In that regard Cuadrilla’s boss, Francis Egan, is definitely not telling the truth. At several times in the last two years I’ve been able to see 7 to 8 drilling-rigs just from the front porch of our house, with one directly across the highway from our place. And whereas those rigs are gone after a few weeks, the pads, sometimes with tanks, sometimes with pipelines and machinery, sometimes with pumping-jacks, remain, and they are a blot on the landscape. Bearing in mind that those pads of necessity are close to each other [horizontally the drilling can reach for 5,000 ft at most], that means a lot of blotches in the end. I readily admit that drilling and fracking have become safer over the years, but still – as with any other technology – Murphy’s law applies and what can go wrong will go wrong sooner or later.

All that notwithstanding, I know that – may it be now or may it be later – getting oil and gas by fracking will just be a necessity, and therefore I personally am not opposed to that technology. We simply need it.

As to the protesters: I’d really like to know if they ever think of where the energy they use comes from.

Best regards from southern Texas,

John Gelmini

This is more grandstanding from a man who has resigned from his post and is attempting to curry favour with “Middle England” by piggybacking on the anti-fracking demonstrations in Balcombe, West Sussex.

Nick Herbert knows full well that with 4% extra capacity in the Grid, just one hard winter will be enough to create blackouts, an inability to refuel vehicles and economic chaos.

We had harsh winters with Arctic conditions in 1981, 1992, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The same happened in 2012 and this year, when the snow did not clear until May.This prompted the Met Office to have an extraordinary general meeting in Exeter and cite a repetition of a weather cycle from a long time ago as the cause.After the meeting the press cited Climate Change as the cause.

Conservation, Green Energy, OSPREY, Wave technology and hot rocks will not be enough, nor will extending the lives of existing power stations earmarked for closure.

Nuclear power can close the gap but not until 15 years from now, which leaves fracking as the way forward.

Unrepresentative Protesters and Nimbies on the March
An examination of the Wikipedia entry for Balcombe village shows that the total population is 1,765 people yet even the most optimistic and generous estimates show that the number of protesters ,photographed and appearing in newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph,the Guardian and the Daily Express was less than 300 with a maximum of up to 50 protesters blocking the the route to the Caudrilla site.
By my arithmetic this means that 16% of the population protested whilst the vast majority of 84% did not protest but either stayed at home or went about their day to day business.

A look at the dress and backgrounds of these people almost suggests that Johnnie Boden the trendy clothing designer kitted them all out ready for the sort of summer festival David Cameron attends at Cornbury.

These are people with money, time on their hands and little to do other than waste police time.

In short, a vociferous minority of people no more representative of their village than the fictional detective Chief Inspector Barnaby of Corston CID was representative of Midsummer, the fictional English village populated only by English people.

Explaining the Energy Situation We Face
The Government has been derelict in its duty to make the case for fracking and to explain just how perilous our energy supply is.

It has failed to explain the risks of not acting,it has failed to plan for the future and because of what it has said in the past about global warming it is finding it difficult to be credible about what measures to take over harsh winters.

It must do so now.

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In Defence of UK Fracking – John Gelmini

Balcombe Viaduct

Balcombe Viaduct (Photo credit: Simply Jan)

Passions are supposedly running high in Middle England but an examination of the Balcombe protesters is in order.

Most of them were comfortably off middle class, Guardianistas, including ageing rock stars, horse breeders, dog breeders, a former page 3 girl and assorted NIMBIES who do not need to work.

The views of ordinary people who need work,who are on zero hours contracts and who are in 50% of cases unable without extreme difficulty to meet their bills have not been sought whether by the BBC or anyone else.
The reality is that we have a 4% margin of generating capacity which a hard winter or an act of weather warfare by a foreign power would eliminate.

We would then have blackouts, layoffs, permanent economic damage and a worse balance of trade situation as lorries carrying exports would not be able to refuel with diesel as pumps are electrically powered.

Our population is increasing and ageing.

Older power stations are being decommissioned faster than new generating capacity is being brought on stream so we are in a state of fast-moving crisis already.

Professor James Lovelock ,the father of GAIIA theory has upset his pagan,Mother Earth Goddess supporters and people like Caroline Lucas of the Green Party by stating that the only way to stop blackouts from happening is to build more nuclear power stations.

Since these take 15 to 20 years to build we need to plug the gap now.

Conservation, hot rocks, wind turbines, OSPREY tidal power generators,microgeneration and more efficient boilers can help but are insufficient in themselves to plug the shortfall fast enough.

Fracking, albeit with safeguards, is the only thing capable of dealing with the immediate problem and we lack the luxury, thanks to Government ineptitude over decades, of time and lots of other alternatives to consider.

Fracking would weaken the power of the OPEC nations and Russia to bully us over energy supplies and could help to create much needed jobs.

We should not let anyone, armed or otherwise impede progress or prevent the country from becoming prosperous.

The Druids, NIMBIES, leafgazers, nihilists, gnostics, environmentalists who would have us running around in smocks, returning to feudalism and lighting our homes with candles need to be put back in their boxes along with the protesters at Balcombe who are a vociferous minority who speak only for themselves.

John Gelmini

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