Fracking could be allowed under British homes without owners’ permission
Fracking will be allowed to take place under homes without the owners’ permission, under plans being considered by the Government.
Ministers have admitted that they are looking at overhauling trespass laws to make it easier for energy companies to explore for shale gas, amid concern that efforts could otherwise be stymied by lengthy and costly court proceedings.
The plans, expected to be published for consultation in coming months, are likely to be the most controversial yet in the Prime Minister’s attempts to encourage fracking.
Shale gas exploration typically involves drilling down vertically and out horizontally, often for more than a mile. Under current law, companies need permission from all the landowners beneath whose land they drill. Case law shows they would otherwise be committing trespass. If a landowner refused permission, the company would have to take them to court, which would decide whether to award drilling rights and how much compensation should be paid.
While compensation is likely to be a nominal amount – probably less than £100 – companies fear the court proceedings could be costly and drawn out by years of appeals, and have been lobbying for the law to be changed.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has now confirmed that it is reviewing whether the existing process is “fit for purpose”.
A Whitehall source said: “All options are on the table. It would be difficult to implement a regime that removed any kind of compensation. You could change the rules so you have a de facto right, but then you have to pay. The compensation could be less than £100.”
One option would be the introduction of a kind of compulsory purchase regime, similar to that used by companies needing to lay pipelines underground. Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals down a well at high pressure to fracture the rocks and extract gas trapped within them, and is fiercely opposed by environmental groups.
Greenpeace has sought to use the existing law to block fracking by encouraging thousands of landowners in shale-rich areas to declare that they do not give consent for drilling. Legal experts said landowners could attempt to take out injunctions, presenting a further barrier for companies.
If trespass law were changed, companies would still need to negotiate access rights for the surface drilling site as well as planning permission from the local council and other permissions from government and environmental regulators.
A spokesman for the DECC said: “Shale gas and oil operations that involve fracking in wells drilled over a mile down are highly unlikely to have any discernible impacts closer to the surface.
“Like any other industrial activity, oil and gas operations require access permission from landowners. But there is an existing legal route by which operators can apply for access where this can’t be negotiated. We’re currently considering whether this existing route is fit for purpose. Similar access issues apply to deep geothermal energy projects.”
Hard Leftist NYC Mayor Supports Moratorium on Fracking in NY – ‘Too Much Danger’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on the hydraulic fracturing debate in his state during a press conference Thursday in Washington, D.C.
“The one thing I’m firm about is I don’t see any place for fracking,” de Blasio told reporters at the U.S. Conference of Mayors when CNSNews.com asked what his policy would be “as far as developing oil, natural gas and other traditional energy sources in the state.”
“The science simply isn’t reliable enough; the technology isn’t reliable enough, and there’s too much danger to our water supply, to our environment in general,” de Blasio said.
“So, my view is there should be a moratorium on fracking in New York state until the day comes that we can actually prove it’s safe, and I don’t think that day is coming any time soon,” he said.
"Hydraulic fracturing is a well stimulation process used to maximize the extraction of underground resources; including oil, natural gas, geothermal energy, and even water," according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
"The oil and gas industry uses hydraulic fracturing to enhance subsurface fracture systems to allow oil or natural gas to move more freely from the rock pores to production wells that bring the oil or gas to the surface," the EPA noted.
In early 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat, effectively put a halt to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state until the practice was studied by the state’s environmental and health officials, according to the New York Post. The results of those studies have not been revealed, according to the Post, and the moratorium continues.
Reid Porter, spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and natural gas trade association, disagrees with de Blasio’s claim.
“Both government and private research, including Department of Interior’s own research finalized since the original May 2012 proposed rule for hydraulic fracturing on public lands, continues to show that there are no documented cases of hydraulic fracturing contaminating groundwater, from the Marcellus Shale to California,” Porter told CNSNews.com.
“Fortunately, U.S. advancements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have unlocked vast energy reserves here in the United States,” Porter said. “And those new supplies have significantly lowered the cost of keeping a majority of American homes and businesses warm.”
Porter said the technology is benefitting the New York City and can improve the state’s economy.
“New York City already benefits from hydraulic fracturing,” Porter said. “In New York City Mayor de Blasio has a program encouraging business and homeowners to convert to cleaner-burning natural gas and save as much as 50 percent in energy costs.
“The Upstate economy, three hours from NYC, is the lowest rated economy in the state and needs the economic growth that hydraulic fracturing will bring,” Porter said. “The unemployed New Yorkers who work with their hands, including farmers, landowners and manufacturers, see plenty of room for lifting the moratorium on safe, responsible natural gas development.”
It is immoral for Al Gore to organize "fertility management" for other nations
Eco-Fascists seem oblivious to historical parallels
Various influential and would-be influential people have gathered at the annual meeting in Davos. Folks like Al Gore and Bill Gates are among them. These two participated in the panel
Al Gore started to talk around 14:55 in the video and advocated "fertility management" in Africa, something that sounds scary. You could think that he has explicitly talked about forced sterilization but he actually hasn't – he has left the issue of the methods ambiguous. At any rate, it is very clear that he is obsessed with the idea of the reduction of the number of Africans and in this sense, he is no different than the German Nazis who wanted to gradually phase out Slavs on their stolen territories.
Al Gore may differ from Adolf Hitler in the extent but he doesn't differ qualitatively, in the principle. And both men were or are rooting for morally indefensible policies. In the Western, enlightened understanding of the world, it is up to every family to decide how many children it has – or to allow the kids to arrive as Nature or God wishes. Even in not-so-enlightened nations where the individual rights are not considered precious, it is up to the broader community – the nation itself – to decide whether and how the number of children is regulated.
China just began to dismantle its one-child policy.
It is impossible not to think that there's some racism and stunning hypocrisy if a jerk who has produced four children is "working" on the reduction of the number of newborn babies in a completely different nation.
And let me tell you something. Africa as a continent isn't and, in a foreseeable future, won't be overpopulated. There is one billion people (it should be still below 1.4 billion in 2025) living in Africa whose area is 30 million squared kilometers. So the average population density is the same 30+ people as you may find in the U.S. – which is "like" one-third of Africa, both when it comes to the population and the territory.
To compare, the population density is 130+ in Czechia, 490+ in the Netherlands, and 7,700+ people per square kilometer in Singapore. (Monaco with 18,000+ and Macau with 20,000+ are too small to be taken seriously but Singapore has over 5 million people.)
The continuing relative poverty of Africa isn't caused by overpopulation. It isn't caused by the continent's inability to provide the people with the resources. It is mostly due to the insufficient sophistication of their economies which is linked to poor education systems and perhaps their lower economic potential. But whatever the GDP or IQ or economic potential is, they are still people and should be sort of free.
Al Gore likes to liken climate skeptics to some unpopular groups – "homophobes", alcoholics, and others. His explanations for these analogies are extremely contrived; they really make no sense. He is just calling other people names. His problem is that his similarities to Adolf Hitler are not contrived at all because he is proposing some almost identical policies that as the Nazi leader did.
Ex-EPA Official Testifies of Agency Plan to 'Modify DNA of the Capitalist System'
Well, if anyone has beef with the new regulations coming out of the Environmental Protection Agency, this latest development won't give you peace of mind. A deposition released by the House Oversight Committee shows an ex-EPA official testifying under oath in December of last year that the agency intended to "modify the DNA of the capitalist system."
Now, it should be noted that the official is John Beale, who pled guilty last September to defrauding the government of nearly $900,000 in pay and bonuses. He also masqueraded as a CIA agent.
The part about changing the capitalistic dynamic in the U.S. is mentioned on page 19 of the deposition. Here, he describes a meeting on April 29, 2010 with then-assistant administrator Gina McCarthy of the Office of Air and Radiation - who now heads the EPA.
Beale recounted a discussion he had with McCarthy regarding a project:
"I'd been working in the environmental business for a long time, and although generally the western world has made good progress, and the United States has been particularly successful about improving the environment in terms of things like water quality and air quality, we're reaching the limits of traditional regulatory process to do that, largely because the fundamental dynamic of the capitalistic system is for businesses and individuals to try to externalize all costs. That's the way the system and individuals can maximize profits and minimize costs.
"In addition to that, pollution is being transported globally around the planet, and we're reaching the limits of what we can do technologically to protect our citizens without having more impact on other countries. In other words, we need to get reductions from some of these other countries. That's the type of project I wanted to work on. That's what we talked about."
When asked if he worked on the project, Beale said, "I certainly did."
When asked if "any work product ever get produced as a result of that work," Beale said:
"It depends on how one defines work project. There were several phases of this project as we had outlined it. There's an enormous body of literature on the subject. Sometimes, it's referred to [as] sustainability literature, sometimes it's referred to green economics. And so, phase 1 of the project was for me to become very familiar and transversant [sic] with that literature. Phase 2 would have been out and interviewing academic experts, business experts, people in other countries that are doing things. And, then, phase 3 would have been coming up with specific proposals that could be - could have been proposed either legislatively or things which could have been done administratively to kind of modify the DNA of the capitalist system, which is not new."
"It's happened tens of times through the history of the capitalist system being there. It's not a God-given system that was created once and never changes. It changes all the time," he said.
Now, that's quite a claim, sir.
A Very Cold Reality
By Alan Caruba
It’s not as if those in the Northeast have not experienced bone-chilling cold or that it is predicted to extend from the Midwest down into our southern States. There may possibly be a snow storm that will require the National Football League to reschedule the Sunday, February 2nd Superbowl at the MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Crews spent 18 hours working to remove the snow from last week’s storm.
A visit to IceAgeNow.info yielded headlines of news stories last week that included “Record Cold—Millions of Americans hit by Propane Shortage”, “Ice and Snow Closed Texas highways This Morning”, “Ice-cover Shuts Down Work on New Hudson River Bridge”, and so you understand this is a global phenomenon, “Kashmir—Heaviest January Snowfall in a Decade”, “Heavy Snowfall Sweeps Eastern Turkey”, “Romania—Heavy Snowfall and Blizzard”. And “Bangkok Suffers Coldest Night in Three Decades—Death Roll Mounts.”
Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo of WeatherBell Analytics and editor of http://www.icecap.us says that, as the President addresses the nation on Tuesday, every State will have freezing temperatures and parts or all of 27 States will be below zero.
All this is occurring as President Barack Obama is anticipated to talk about “climate change”, a warming Earth, during his Tuesday State of the Union speech. He will be speaking to the idiots who still think the Earth is warming because they are too stupid or lazy to ask why it is so cold.
Michael Bastasch, writing for The Daily Caller on Saturday, confirmed D’Aleo’s and other meteorologist’s forecasts. “The bitter cold that has hit the U.S. East Coast is expected throughout February, and on Jan 28—the day of the address—the Mid-Atlantic region is expected to be hit with freezing cold air that could drive temperatures below zero in big cities among the I-95 corridor.”
Washington, D.C. will be one of those cities, but as Bastasch reported, “Environmentalists and liberal groups are urging Obama to use the speech to reaffirm his commitment to fighting global warming. ‘President Obama should rank the battle against climate change as one of his top priorities in his State of the Union speech next week’, said Center for Clean Air Policy president Ned Heime.”
For environmentalists, it does not matter if the real climate is a deep cold. They committed to the lies about global warming in the late 1980s and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel and Climate Change (IPCC) has maintained the hoax ever since. Along the way we learned that the computer models on which it based its assertions and predictions were rigged and bogus, but that has not deterred the IPCC which is now referring to a “pause” in global warming. This is lying on a global scale.
It was the environmental group Greenpeace that put out a television advertisement featuring a Santa Claus telling children that he might have to call off Christmas because the North Pole was melting. How malicious can they get? When a group of global warming scientists and tourists took a ship to the Antarctic to measure the “melting” ice down there, the ship got caught in the ice which also resisted the efforts of two icebreaker ships to rescue them.
We are dealing with environmental groups, the IPCC and government leaders like Obama for whom the telling of huge and blatantly obvious lies about global warming is nothing compared to the billions generated by the hoax for the universities and scientists that line their pockets supporting it and industries that benefit by offering ways to capture carbon dioxide or conserve energy by first banning incandescent light bulbs.
The “pause” has lasted now for seventeen years and, as is the case with all climate on the Earth, the reason is the Sun.
A report published by CBN News noted that “The last time the sun was this quiet, North America and Europe suffered through a weather event from the 1600s to the 1800s known as ‘Little Ice Age’ when the Thames River in London regularly froze solid, and North America saw terrible winters. Crops failed and people starved.”
Jens Pedersen, a senior scientist at Denmark’s Technical University, said that climate scientists know the Earth stopped warming 15 years ago. But the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of which Pedersen is an expert reviewer, suppressed a recent report from its own scientists that the U.N.’s climate model has been proven wrong.
“Global warming is nowhere to be found,” said David Deming, a geophysicist at the University of Colorado, in a January 16 commentary in The Washington Times. “As frigid conditions settled over the nation, global-warming alarmists went into full denial mode”, adding that “weather extremes also seem to bring out the lunatic fringe” and that is why the public is being told that cold weather has been caused by global warming!
Whatever the President has to say about “climate change” should be taken as just one more example of five years of lies to advance policies that have nothing to do with the welfare of Americans needing jobs or the execrable Obamacare attack on the U.S. healthcare system.
The cold reality may well be a Superbowl played on another day and a President for whom the truth is incidental to his shredding of the U.S. Constitution, the increase in the nation’s ever-growing debt, a lagging economy, and his intention to by-pass Congress rather than working with it.
That kind of thing will put a chill up any American’s spine if you think about it.
Australian Federal government to seek independent review of the health impact of wind farms
The federal government will press ahead with "an independent program" to study the supposed impact on health of wind farms as it emerged a report on the issue has been handed to government but withheld from public release.
Activists, some linked to climate change sceptic groups, say people living near wind farms suffer sleep disturbance and other health effects from low-frequency noise and infrasound, with illnesses dubbed ''wind turbine syndrome'', ''vibro-acoustic disease'' and ''visceral vibratory vestibular disturbance''.
Various international and Australian studies have cast doubt on the sicknesses and the National Health and Medical Research Council began its review of evidence about the effects of wind farms for the government in September 2012. Its findings have been sent to the ministers of health, industry and environment and will be released publicly "in coming months", a council spokeswoman said
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this month that research should be refreshed "from time to time" to consider whether there were "new facts that impact on old judgments".
"It is some years since the NHMRC last looked at this issue. Why not do it again?" he said.
A spokesman for Mr Abbott declined to clarify whether the Prime Minister knew of the council's latest study when calling for the council to reopen the issue.
A "rapid review" of the evidence by the council in 2010 found "renewable energy generation is associated with few adverse health effects compared with the well-documented health burdens of polluting forms of electricity generation". About three-quarters of eastern Australia's power comes from coal.
Simon Chapman, a professor of public health at Sydney University, said Mr Abbott appeared to have been swayed by a tiny group of anti-windfarm campaigners, such as the Waubra Foundation, in calling for another study even before the survey of scientific literature is released.
"We all need to be concerned about whether he’s being influenced by little more than a cult,” Professor Chapman said, adding that research to date has failed to link wind farms under current noise guidelines with ill-health.
Sarah Laurie, chief executive of the Waubra Foundation, supports the extra study. “Research and data if done properly is what enables proper regulation,” Ms Laurie said.
The NHMRC study should not only look at noise impacts from wind farms but also similar effects from coal seam gas and open-cut coal mining operations, she added.
The wind industry is concerned the prospect of a new study is the latest sign governments are turning against renewable energy. Mr Abbott, other coalition figures and his senior business advisor Maurice Newman have lately blamed the Renewable Energy Target for pushing up power prices.
The goal, now set at generating 20 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, will be reviewed this year. Industry sources say the environment and industry ministries are resisting efforts to have the Productivity Commission - expected to take a hardline against the RET - conduct the review.
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