Fracking arguments aired at meeting

Douglas Bain, UK country manager for Dart Energy, left, explains the fracking process to John Cossham, Les Briddon and Helen Whitehead from Frack-Free York

Douglas Bain, UK country manager for Dart Energy, left, explains the fracking process to John Cossham, Les Briddon and Helen Whitehead from Frack-Free York

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York Press: Photograph of the Author by

SCORES of people attended a meeting to find out more about the controversial fracking process, and what it could mean for York.

The meeting, held at the Priory Street Centre last night, was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future, and visitors were shown a film explaining the fracking process – which drills for shale gas – and heard presentations from Dart Energy, Friends of the Earth and Frack-Free York.

More than 100 residents and green campaigners were present at the meeting, which also included a Q&A session with the speakers.

The film – The Truth About The Dash For Gas – focused on fracking stories from the USA and Australia, and gas and chemical problems which campaigners claim were caused by fracking.

Tony Bosworth, from Friends of the Earth, said that David Cameron "has become a cheerleader" for the process, despite ministers, including Energy Secretary Ed Davy claiming there was no reason to suspect it would lower household energy bills.

He said: "Gas won't be magically cheaper. If companies can get more by selling it abroad, they will."

Douglas Bain, UK general manager for Dart Energy, told the audience the priority was to extract the resources carefully and safely, and work with the community to maintain transparency and understanding.

He said: “It’s not my job to persuade you whether what we are doing is right, but to give you information for you to make your own mind up.

“The bottom line is despite anything you hear here tonight we need gas for at least the next 20 years, for your homes, for business, and for power generation, so the question for me is do we need gas from here, or buy it from overseas? If we can get it out of the ground carefully, safely and locally, than that’s what I would do.”

The meeting was originally intended to coincide with the last day of a month-long petition by Frack-Free York to City of York Council, requesting the authority oppose any extraction of fossil fuels from the area and prioritise clean renewable energy. The petition will now be presented to the council in April.

As reported in The Press yesterday, the Minerals and Waste section of the Local Plan has been put to public consultation for the second time by the council, with North Yorkshire County Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority to help outline sites for quarrying, mineral and gas extraction and waste disposal until 2030.

For more information on the mineral and waste consultation, go to northyorks.gov.uk/mwconsult

For more information from Frack Free email frackfreeyorkshire@hotmail.co.uk

• On Friday, a similar meeting will be held by Frack Free North Yorkshire at the Friends Meeting House, Greengate, Malton, from 6.30pm.

Comments (22)

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12:01pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Thecynic says...

If it is not going to be any cheaper for UK households than imported gas? Then surely the wise thing to do would be to sit on it a while longer, keep importing gas for our usage, then as foreign resources of gas dwindle and become more expensive, the UK can start extracting and make a killing on the International markets by selling it at a higher price.
With the 'Extra' money then generated, householders bills could be subsidised in this Country! Which would make a real difference to our own bills.

That seems to make more sense than extracting it now, and selling it on the commodities market at prices which will not be of any benefit to the householders of the UK.
If it is not going to be any cheaper for UK households than imported gas? Then surely the wise thing to do would be to sit on it a while longer, keep importing gas for our usage, then as foreign resources of gas dwindle and become more expensive, the UK can start extracting and make a killing on the International markets by selling it at a higher price. With the 'Extra' money then generated, householders bills could be subsidised in this Country! Which would make a real difference to our own bills. That seems to make more sense than extracting it now, and selling it on the commodities market at prices which will not be of any benefit to the householders of the UK. Thecynic
  • Score: 4

12:18pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Priapus says...

I'm not a huge fan of fracking but the 'antis' will have to do better than economically illiterate statements like "Gas won't be magically cheaper. If companies can get more by selling it abroad, they will." By that reasoning there’d be not a drop of French wine to be found in France etc.
I'm not a huge fan of fracking but the 'antis' will have to do better than economically illiterate statements like "Gas won't be magically cheaper. If companies can get more by selling it abroad, they will." By that reasoning there’d be not a drop of French wine to be found in France etc. Priapus
  • Score: 14

12:19pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Bo Jolly says...

Thecynic wrote:
If it is not going to be any cheaper for UK households than imported gas? Then surely the wise thing to do would be to sit on it a while longer, keep importing gas for our usage, then as foreign resources of gas dwindle and become more expensive, the UK can start extracting and make a killing on the International markets by selling it at a higher price.
With the 'Extra' money then generated, householders bills could be subsidised in this Country! Which would make a real difference to our own bills.

That seems to make more sense than extracting it now, and selling it on the commodities market at prices which will not be of any benefit to the householders of the UK.
Yes, but it was *Friends of the Earth* asserting that fracking won't result in cheaper gas. I don't know the truth for the UK (it certainly resulted in cheaper gas in the USA) but they are just saying what suits their wider agenda of blanket opposition to fossil fuels; they are not really concerned about whether fracking results in cheaper bills for consumers, future energy security, or reduced carbon emissions compared with coal or imported gas.
[quote][p][bold]Thecynic[/bold] wrote: If it is not going to be any cheaper for UK households than imported gas? Then surely the wise thing to do would be to sit on it a while longer, keep importing gas for our usage, then as foreign resources of gas dwindle and become more expensive, the UK can start extracting and make a killing on the International markets by selling it at a higher price. With the 'Extra' money then generated, householders bills could be subsidised in this Country! Which would make a real difference to our own bills. That seems to make more sense than extracting it now, and selling it on the commodities market at prices which will not be of any benefit to the householders of the UK.[/p][/quote]Yes, but it was *Friends of the Earth* asserting that fracking won't result in cheaper gas. I don't know the truth for the UK (it certainly resulted in cheaper gas in the USA) but they are just saying what suits their wider agenda of blanket opposition to fossil fuels; they are not really concerned about whether fracking results in cheaper bills for consumers, future energy security, or reduced carbon emissions compared with coal or imported gas. Bo Jolly
  • Score: 13

12:19pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Tom6187 says...

It's banned in France and Germany, yet we are allowing a French firm to drill on our soil. Say what you want about the French and Germans but they're certainly not daft.
It's banned in France and Germany, yet we are allowing a French firm to drill on our soil. Say what you want about the French and Germans but they're certainly not daft. Tom6187
  • Score: 7

12:27pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Lunatic says...

Fracking will be disastrous for the water table and the environment.
Fracking will be disastrous for the water table and the environment. Lunatic
  • Score: 1

12:40pm Tue 18 Feb 14

John Cossham says...

This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.
This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake. John Cossham
  • Score: -6

12:47pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Archiebold the 1st says...

shock horror think i mentioned this last week when everyone slated me for wind farms.... change of view anyone?

As for needing gas... no you don’t you make all new builds electric and replace systems with electric like all other countries...
shock horror think i mentioned this last week when everyone slated me for wind farms.... change of view anyone? As for needing gas... no you don’t you make all new builds electric and replace systems with electric like all other countries... Archiebold the 1st
  • Score: 6

1:26pm Tue 18 Feb 14

John Cossham says...

John Cossham wrote:
This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.
Thank you The Press for correcting this. If you've printed the mistake in your paper version, you will need to print a correction/apology. Frack-Free York went to extraordinary lengths to get Dart to come to this meeting.
[quote][p][bold]John Cossham[/bold] wrote: This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.[/p][/quote]Thank you The Press for correcting this. If you've printed the mistake in your paper version, you will need to print a correction/apology. Frack-Free York went to extraordinary lengths to get Dart to come to this meeting. John Cossham
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Tue 18 Feb 14

piemagico says...

John Cossham wrote:
John Cossham wrote:
This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.
Thank you The Press for correcting this. If you've printed the mistake in your paper version, you will need to print a correction/apology. Frack-Free York went to extraordinary lengths to get Dart to come to this meeting.
Libel it ain't!!
[quote][p][bold]John Cossham[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Cossham[/bold] wrote: This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.[/p][/quote]Thank you The Press for correcting this. If you've printed the mistake in your paper version, you will need to print a correction/apology. Frack-Free York went to extraordinary lengths to get Dart to come to this meeting.[/p][/quote]Libel it ain't!! piemagico
  • Score: -4

1:34pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Bo Jolly says...

John Cossham wrote:
John Cossham wrote:
This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.
Thank you The Press for correcting this. If you've printed the mistake in your paper version, you will need to print a correction/apology. Frack-Free York went to extraordinary lengths to get Dart to come to this meeting.
What's going on John? You haven't compared yourself to Gandhi, Martin Luther King or any other world figure today!

Amusingly, at the time of writing the online version states that the meeting was organised by "Fack-Free York" (sic). Presumably a reference to not giving a 'fack' about anything other than blanket opposition to fossil fuels.
[quote][p][bold]John Cossham[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Cossham[/bold] wrote: This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.[/p][/quote]Thank you The Press for correcting this. If you've printed the mistake in your paper version, you will need to print a correction/apology. Frack-Free York went to extraordinary lengths to get Dart to come to this meeting.[/p][/quote]What's going on John? You haven't compared yourself to Gandhi, Martin Luther King or any other world figure today! Amusingly, at the time of writing the online version states that the meeting was organised by "Fack-Free York" (sic). Presumably a reference to not giving a 'fack' about anything other than blanket opposition to fossil fuels. Bo Jolly
  • Score: 8

1:34pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Overproof says...

Local Authorities are due to get a percentage of the profits, which means that either council tax bills can come down, or services can go up.
So there is a financial benefit to the local area.
Local Authorities are due to get a percentage of the profits, which means that either council tax bills can come down, or services can go up. So there is a financial benefit to the local area. Overproof
  • Score: 5

2:26pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Platform9 says...

John Cossham wrote:
This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.
Careful you down spill your seaweed & lentil soup with your foot stamping!
[quote][p][bold]John Cossham[/bold] wrote: This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.[/p][/quote]Careful you down spill your seaweed & lentil soup with your foot stamping! Platform9
  • Score: 4

2:56pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Semprini says...

Priapus wrote:
I'm not a huge fan of fracking but the 'antis' will have to do better than economically illiterate statements like "Gas won't be magically cheaper. If companies can get more by selling it abroad, they will." By that reasoning there’d be not a drop of French wine to be found in France etc.
OK, how about these for starters:

http://www.scientifi
camerican.com/articl
e/are-fracking-waste
water-wells-poisonin
g-ground-beneath-our
-feeth/

https://www.commondr
eams.org/newswire/20
13/08/13-2
[quote][p][bold]Priapus[/bold] wrote: I'm not a huge fan of fracking but the 'antis' will have to do better than economically illiterate statements like "Gas won't be magically cheaper. If companies can get more by selling it abroad, they will." By that reasoning there’d be not a drop of French wine to be found in France etc.[/p][/quote]OK, how about these for starters: http://www.scientifi camerican.com/articl e/are-fracking-waste water-wells-poisonin g-ground-beneath-our -feeth/ https://www.commondr eams.org/newswire/20 13/08/13-2 Semprini
  • Score: -4

2:58pm Tue 18 Feb 14

John Cossham says...

Bo Jolly wrote:
John Cossham wrote:
John Cossham wrote:
This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.
Thank you The Press for correcting this. If you've printed the mistake in your paper version, you will need to print a correction/apology. Frack-Free York went to extraordinary lengths to get Dart to come to this meeting.
What's going on John? You haven't compared yourself to Gandhi, Martin Luther King or any other world figure today!

Amusingly, at the time of writing the online version states that the meeting was organised by "Fack-Free York" (sic). Presumably a reference to not giving a 'fack' about anything other than blanket opposition to fossil fuels.
I've never compared myself to anyone. I'm unique.

And re newspaper mistakes, that's their fault, they *were* sent a Press Release with the correct information on.
[quote][p][bold]Bo Jolly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Cossham[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Cossham[/bold] wrote: This meeting was *NOT* organised by the Extreme Energy Action Network. It was organised by Frack-Free York, Our Clean Energy Future. I've asked The Press to correct this ASAP. I'm very angry about their mistake.[/p][/quote]Thank you The Press for correcting this. If you've printed the mistake in your paper version, you will need to print a correction/apology. Frack-Free York went to extraordinary lengths to get Dart to come to this meeting.[/p][/quote]What's going on John? You haven't compared yourself to Gandhi, Martin Luther King or any other world figure today! Amusingly, at the time of writing the online version states that the meeting was organised by "Fack-Free York" (sic). Presumably a reference to not giving a 'fack' about anything other than blanket opposition to fossil fuels.[/p][/quote]I've never compared myself to anyone. I'm unique. And re newspaper mistakes, that's their fault, they *were* sent a Press Release with the correct information on. John Cossham
  • Score: -1

3:31pm Tue 18 Feb 14

welf_man says...

I live in an area that has been identified for possible fracking exploration - so far out in the sticks we don't have mains gas!

How exactly is this going to reduce my energy bills?
I live in an area that has been identified for possible fracking exploration - so far out in the sticks we don't have mains gas! How exactly is this going to reduce my energy bills? welf_man
  • Score: 11

4:15pm Tue 18 Feb 14

piemagico says...

welf_man wrote:
I live in an area that has been identified for possible fracking exploration - so far out in the sticks we don't have mains gas!

How exactly is this going to reduce my energy bills?
welf_man I'm not sure that every article you read has necessarily been written for you on a bespoke basis.
[quote][p][bold]welf_man[/bold] wrote: I live in an area that has been identified for possible fracking exploration - so far out in the sticks we don't have mains gas! How exactly is this going to reduce my energy bills?[/p][/quote]welf_man I'm not sure that every article you read has necessarily been written for you on a bespoke basis. piemagico
  • Score: 2

5:10pm Tue 18 Feb 14

MarkyMarkMark says...

Would everyone be quite so keen to get involved and report on this if "fracking" didn't sound quite so rude? I suspect it makes much better sounding headlines, and therefore gets more visibility.

Compare this with the numbers of people who feel that they have an opinion on wind farms, nuclear power, or even wave power. It's either because people are basically selfish and the other energy sources don't immediately affect so many people (as having drilling under your homes), of they just enjoy using the word "frack".

Let's be real here. surely no-one really expects it to reduce their energy prices any more (anyone else remember the lies we were told around nuclear power providing virtually unlimited/virtually free electricity, and that North Sea Gas would provide lower gas costs?).

It's all about profit for the energy companies, and happily but incidentally providing energy for the wasteful society we live in. Government/Parliamen
t could insist that either is reduced/managed properly, but that'd require real political will and a concern for the society we're bequeathing this to. Neither really exist.
Would everyone be quite so keen to get involved and report on this if "fracking" didn't sound quite so rude? I suspect it makes much better sounding headlines, and therefore gets more visibility. Compare this with the numbers of people who feel that they have an opinion on wind farms, nuclear power, or even wave power. It's either because people are basically selfish and the other energy sources don't immediately affect so many people (as having drilling under your homes), of they just enjoy using the word "frack". Let's be real here. surely no-one really expects it to reduce their energy prices any more (anyone else remember the lies we were told around nuclear power providing virtually unlimited/virtually free electricity, and that North Sea Gas would provide lower gas costs?). It's all about profit for the energy companies, and happily but incidentally providing energy for the wasteful society we live in. Government/Parliamen t could insist that either is reduced/managed properly, but that'd require real political will and a concern for the society we're bequeathing this to. Neither really exist. MarkyMarkMark
  • Score: 5

6:25pm Tue 18 Feb 14

tricky1992000 says...

If you think gas is going to get cheaper by fracking, then may i interest you in buying some shares in the worlds richest Brass mine.
If you think gas is going to get cheaper by fracking, then may i interest you in buying some shares in the worlds richest Brass mine. tricky1992000
  • Score: 8

8:48pm Tue 18 Feb 14

RoseD says...

Overproof wrote:
Local Authorities are due to get a percentage of the profits, which means that either council tax bills can come down, or services can go up.
So there is a financial benefit to the local area.
Ohhhhhh yeh, cos everytime this Council gets its hands on cash, it's equitably spread around.

Wakey, wakey.
[quote][p][bold]Overproof[/bold] wrote: Local Authorities are due to get a percentage of the profits, which means that either council tax bills can come down, or services can go up. So there is a financial benefit to the local area.[/p][/quote]Ohhhhhh yeh, cos everytime this Council gets its hands on cash, it's equitably spread around. Wakey, wakey. RoseD
  • Score: -1

8:56pm Tue 18 Feb 14

RoseD says...

Frackin' idiots. Make electric cars cheap enough for people who are not the 2% to afford them. And leave the water table alone!! You want future floods to fill our houses with sewage AND with poisonous fracking waste water?

Earthquakes. Blighted countryside. SUBSIDENCE (See: Ripon houses vanish into sink hole). Poisoned water. Increased cancer rates. Omfg.

I *need* a vehicle (and a bridge but that's another horror) but the car doesn't have to run on Fossil Fuel. Anyway, it takes 50 million years to make gas, it is a Fossil and a dead end. Wind, solar (see: US sun farm largest in world), wave. Not fossils.
Frackin' idiots. Make electric cars cheap enough for people who are not the 2% to afford them. And leave the water table alone!! You want future floods to fill our houses with sewage AND with poisonous fracking waste water? Earthquakes. Blighted countryside. SUBSIDENCE (See: Ripon houses vanish into sink hole). Poisoned water. Increased cancer rates. Omfg. I *need* a vehicle (and a bridge but that's another horror) but the car doesn't have to run on Fossil Fuel. Anyway, it takes 50 million years to make gas, it is a Fossil and a dead end. Wind, solar (see: US sun farm largest in world), wave. Not fossils. RoseD
  • Score: -3

9:18pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Brighouse Lad says...

I don't work in the fracking industry, I took the time to read up about fracking as I was fed up of hearing only the environmentalists side of the debate. There's some interesting material out there to read.

Problem is that fracking has got a bad press in the USA. In the USA the industry isn't regulated well, there's no base line data available which means no testing of ground water, polutions, cancer rates etc were tested before fracking started so no one can really say if it is causing these issues in the USA.
The UK government has stated that only 4 chemicals can be used in the fracking solution, these 4 chemicals are all used in the food industry and are safe to use. Yes there will be earth tremors, but most will not be felt coal mining causes tremors and when we had a coal industry no one complained..
There might be some pollution from fracking but it can be dealt with at the sites. All the fracking horror stories are coming from the unregulated American sites.
Fracking might not reduced gas bills but it can help secure the UK's gas supplies, most come from Russia and Norway.
Providing fracking can be carried out safely it could be very good for the UK. Renewables have a place in the UK but when the sun doesn't shine or when the wind doesn't blow we still need fossil fuels to provide the baseload energy for our needs.
I don't work in the fracking industry, I took the time to read up about fracking as I was fed up of hearing only the environmentalists side of the debate. There's some interesting material out there to read. Problem is that fracking has got a bad press in the USA. In the USA the industry isn't regulated well, there's no base line data available which means no testing of ground water, polutions, cancer rates etc were tested before fracking started so no one can really say if it is causing these issues in the USA. The UK government has stated that only 4 chemicals can be used in the fracking solution, these 4 chemicals are all used in the food industry and are safe to use. Yes there will be earth tremors, but most will not be felt coal mining causes tremors and when we had a coal industry no one complained.. There might be some pollution from fracking but it can be dealt with at the sites. All the fracking horror stories are coming from the unregulated American sites. Fracking might not reduced gas bills but it can help secure the UK's gas supplies, most come from Russia and Norway. Providing fracking can be carried out safely it could be very good for the UK. Renewables have a place in the UK but when the sun doesn't shine or when the wind doesn't blow we still need fossil fuels to provide the baseload energy for our needs. Brighouse Lad
  • Score: 6

11:02pm Wed 19 Feb 14

gwen4me says...

Well said Brighouse lad. Gas from rock fracture sources should be witheld from those areas that refuse to have drilling.
Well said Brighouse lad. Gas from rock fracture sources should be witheld from those areas that refuse to have drilling. gwen4me
  • Score: -1

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