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MPs may make the law - but that does not make them above the law. Photo: UK Parliament via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking: MPs and Lords have derelicted their legal duties - now they must pay the price!

Jojo Mehta

26th February 2015

The rushed passage of the Infrastructure Bill with all its pro-fracking provisions and toothless 'safeguards' is an abuse of democracy. And as it's manifestly against the national and public interest, it's also in breach of both MPs' and Lords' legally binding Codes of Conduct. Now Jojo Mehta intends to hold them to account - in Court. more...
An oil rig in the Irish Sea, two hours from Liverpool. Photo: *Psycho Delia* via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Fracking, the oil price crash, and the 'greenest government ever'

Simon Bullock & Tony Bosworth / FoE

2nd February 2015

Faced with climate change, economic doldrums and collapsing oil prices, the government has the perfect opportunity to put Britain on the right track, write Simon Bullock & Tony Bosworth - reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and invest in renewables and efficiency. So what's it actually doing? The exact opposite. more...
'Free Cascadia' banner. Photo: ario_ via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Design by Joe Martin.

Fighting the 'Big Club': blockades, strikes, and the fossil fuel blowback

Alexander Reid Ross

2nd February 2015

North America's environment campaigners face a fearsome enemy in the 'Big Club', writes Alexander Reid Ross - the nexus of fossil fuel and infrastructure corporations, government, militarized police, private security contractors, PR agencies, astroturf NGOs and quasi-judicial bodies. But the activists are winning key victories in their battle to halt the industrialization of Cascadia. more...
Undergound coal gasification explained. Image: Bretwood Higman, GroundTruthTrekking.org (CC BY-NC 3.0).

The EAC's plan for a 'fracking moratorium' in Britain doesn't go far enough

Paul Mobbs

26th January 2015

The Environmental Audit Committee today calls for shale fracking in the UK to be 'put on hold', writes Paul Mobbs. But the EAC is missing an even more dangerous technology that the Infrastructure Bill would support - underground coal gasification. more...
Ribble Estuary against Fracking demo, August 2014. Photo: Victoria Buchan-Dyer via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Fracking policy and the pollution of British democracy

Paul Mobbs

20th January 2015

UK politicians and officials are studiously ignoring the growing evidence that fracking is an economic and environmental disaster, writes Paul Mobbs. As the circle of 'acceptable' view spins ever smaller, industry PR is dominating a phoney debate that's increasingly remote from reality, public opinion and core democratic principles. more...
The Force is with us! Giant carbon bubbles were chased through the streets of London during the People's Climate March in September. Photo: 350.org.

2015 - the fossil fuel endgame begins

Melanie Mattauch

12th January 2015

With 80% of the world's fossil fuel reserves 'unburnable' if the world is to meet its climate targets, writes Melanie Mattauch, the divestment movement is moving from strength to strength. As investor confidence in fossil energy ebbs away, 2015 is where the endgame for a dying industry begins. more...
Russian underground coal mining by SUEK - financed by the British taxpayer. Photo: SUEK via Greenpeace.

UK's soaraway financial support to foreign fossil fuels

Christine Ottery / Greenpeace Energydesk

9th January 2015

The UK's financing of fossil fuels abroad increased tenfold in two years to exceed £1 billion in 2013 / 2014, writes Christine Ottery. Incredibly, the fossil fuel funding increase came after a government promise to use the money to support 'innovative and green technologies'. more...
There is now no atmospheric space for any new 'extreme energy' to be developed. The Deepwater Horizon Fire, 21st April 2010. Photo: EPI2oh via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.

Leave most fossil fuels in the ground, or fry

Alex Kirby

8th January 2015

For the world to meet its climate goals, a third of the world's oil, half its gas and 80% of its coal must stay underground, writes Alex Kirby. And it's not us saying it - but scientists writing in the journal Nature. more...
Burning money? North Dakota flaring of gas out of the Bakken Formation. Photo: Joshua Doubek via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Fracking's future is in doubt as oil price plummets, bonds crash

Kieran Cooke

7th January 2015

Increased production from US fracking operations is a major reason for the drop in oil prices, writes Kieran Cooke. But there are warnings that the industry now faces an existential crisis from which it may never recover, as the financial sector faces the prospect of worthless shares and $100s of billions of defaulted debt. more...
Anti-fracking protest at Balcombe, Sussex. Photo: Robin Webster via geograph.org.uk, CC-BY-SA-2.0.

Fracking in the UK: what to expect in 2015

Richard Heasman / DeSmogUK

2nd January 2015

The government appears as determined as ever to push ahead with fracking as a central plank of its energy policy, writes Richard Heasman - ignoring growing evidence of health and environmental harm. But with the economics of fracking undermined by heavy energy price falls, the UK industry may never get off the ground. more...
Fracking is burning more than just our health. Our money's going up in flames too - and that's putting the whole financial system at risk. Photo: Bill Baker via Flickr.

With sub-$60 oil, fracking and tar sands losses threaten the whole financial system

Paul Mobbs

17th December 2014

A new financial crisis is threatening to dwarf the 'subprime' mortgage debacle, writes Paul Mobbs. Cheap money from central banks has fuelled some $1.3 trillion of risky investments in high-cost 'unconventional' oil and gas. Now, with oil sinking below $60, all that paper is turning to junk - and that's putting the entire economic system at risk. more...
The Drake Oil Well, PA, the first ever drilled in the US, in 1859, could still be producing emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane. Photo: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr CC-BY.

Disused oil and gas wells wells a major source of methane

Richard Heasman & Oliver Tickell

28th December 2014

Long-disused oil and gas wells in the US have been found to be a 'significant' source of the super greenhouse gas methane, writes Richard Heasman. The climate impact of oil and gas is underestimated, as this long term impact is not included in existing calculations. more...

gas: 1/25 of 112
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If you want one of these, best put a good distance between you and the nearest fracking well. Photo: Adriano Aurelio Araujo via Flickr.

Miscarriage and stillbirth linked to fracking chemical exposure

Tamsin Paternoster

15th December 2014

Fracking for oil and gas uses a wide range of chemicals that disrupt reproductive function in both sexes, writes Tamsin Paternoster. Now an academic study has found a powerful correlation between stillbirth, miscarriage, low sperm count, and exposure to fracking chemicals. more...
A typical riverside indigenous village in the Peruvian Amazon near Loreto. Photo: Thomas Stromberg via Flickr.

COP20 host Peru claims forest 'leadership' - while attacking forest protectors

AIDESEP / Forest Peoples Programme

8th December 2014

Peru's government is actively undermining indigenous peoples' efforts to protect their forests - by refusing to title 20 million hectares of their lands and turning a blind eye to illegal logging. At the same time it's handing out vast concessions for oil, gas, mining and timber exploitation, expanding palm oil production and planning 50 major forest-flooding dams. more...
Never mind the drinking water aquifers and the national park - the South Downs is one of England's most cherished landscapes that could be opened up for fracking. Photo: Jaydee! via Flickr.

Fracking is safe. Radiation is harmless. And pigs have wings

Dr David Lowry

21st November 2014

Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos, Environment Secretary Liz Truss, the Environment Agency and its ex-boss Lord Smith all suffer from a blind spot, writes David Lowry - the dangers of fracking, its radioactive emissions and the toxic chemicals that threaten to pollute our aquifers. As for official advice that 'regulation needs to be strongly and robustly applied' - pass the Tippex! more...
Who has the longest nose of them all? Pinocchio from Tony Wolf Pinocchio and other tales 1990. Photo: janwillemsen via Flickr.

Long noses: Shell, GDF Suez, Samsung sweep Pinocchio Awards

Oliver Tickell

19th November 2014

Who has the longest nose of them all? Worthy winners of France's fiercely contested 'Prix Pinocchio' 2014 were selected last night, recognising corporate greed, hypocrisy and malfeasance, based on a record vote since the awards began. more...
Photo: Frack Free Denton.

Denton, Texas hit with lawsuits after landslide fracking victory

Julie Dermansky

11th November 2014

Denton's 59-41 vote to ban fracking has got right up the nose of the state's fossil fuel elite, writes Julie Dermansky. The Texas city has already been hit with two lawsuits - but it's going to fight them all the way, with a $4 million legal fund ready and waiting. more...
Texaco's signature, written in oil, at Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Latin American progressives and environmental duplicity

Daniel Macmillen

26th October 2014

Left wing governments across the Americas are faced with a dilemma, writes Daniel Macmillen - high social spending programs financed by income from destructive mining and hydrocarbon extraction - or a slower but sustainable development path that puts ecology, equity and justice first. Their answer - a constant pushing back of the resource frontier. more...
Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

NASA confirms US's 2,500-square-mile methane cloud

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

18th October 2014

Floating over the US Southwest is a cloud of methane the size of Delaware, writes Mike G - reflecting the release of almost 600,000 tonnes of the powerful greenhouse gas every year. Its origins? Coalbed gas production, fracking and horizontal drilling. more...
Infrastructure for shale gas in Scio, Ohio, Photo: Bilfinger SE via Flickr.

Global fracking boom could mean 12% higher emissions

Erik Bichard

17th October 2014

A full-scale rush for shale gas would increase emissions, writes Erik Bichard, giving the lie to politicians' claims that fracking is 'climate friendly'. A new study in Nature shows that abundant shale gas would cause CO2 emissions to rise by a median 4.5%. When 'fugitive' methane is included the figure rises to 9.5%. more...
Marcellus Shale rig and gas well operation on Ridge Road in Jackson Township, Butler County, PA operated by Rex Energy. Photo: WCN 24/7 via Flickr.

Skin, respiratory symptoms increase near gas wells

The Ecologist

25th September 2014

A health study in Pennsylvania, USA, shows that people living near fracking and other natural gas wells are more likely to suffer from skin conditions and upper respiratory symptoms. It calls for further study of the associations, including the role of specific air and water exposures. more...
Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

US shale oil drillers flaring and venting billions of dollars in natural gas

Sharon Kelly / DesmogBlog

20th September 2014

Gas flaring of natural at shale oil wells is carried out on such a scale in North Dakota and Texas that 'phantom cities' show up at night in satellite photos, writes Sharon Kelly. Billions of dollars worth of gas are going up in smoke, adding to CO2 emissions - but far worse for the climate is when the gas is 'vented'. Regulators are doing too little, too late. more...
Could his loss be Israel's gain? A destroyed house in Gaza and its distraught owner, 22nd July 2014. Photo: Mohammed Al Baba / Oxfam International via Flickr.

Gaza - is annexation Israel's 'permanent solution'?

Oliver Tickell

31st July 2014

As Israel pursues its war on Gaza with ever-increasing ferocity, and with 25% of Gaza's people forced from their homes, what's the final objective? It's unthinkable that Israel's aim is to 'cleanse' the territory of its people, seize its vast gas reserves, and annex some of the Med's hottest real estate. Isn't it? more...
Under the new guidance, even Stonehenge could by destroyed by fracking if it would 'achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss.'

Fracking go-ahead on UK's National Parks, World Heritage Sites, nature reserves

Oliver Tickell

28th July 2014

The UK has just opened a bidding round for fracking licences. But the rules contain only weak protections against fracking in National Parks and AONBs - and none at all for even the most important wildlife sites and drinking water aquifers. more...
Homeless in Gaza after Operation Cast Lead, 2009. Photo: Physicians for Human Rights via Flickr.

Gaza should be the Kuwait of the Levant - but its gas brings only war and poverty

Tascha Shahriari-Parsa

19th July 2014

Operation Protective Edge is the war of a colonial state dedicated to expanding its theft of Palestine's natural resources, writes Tascha Shahriari-Parsa - incarcerating and bombing its people in the world's biggest open air prison, while growing rich at their expense. more...

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