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Golden Rule Anti Nuclear Peace Boat Sailing to Cuba

Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition - Sat, 12/31/2022 - 06:12

The Golden Rule will be in NY at some point.

                                   PLEASE SHARE WIDELY!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           Contact: Gerry Condon, 206-499-1220

December 30, 2022                                         gerrycondon@veteransforpeace.org

                                                                                        Helen Jaccard, 206-992-6364

                                                                                vfpgoldenruleproject@gmail.com

Historic Golden Rule Peace Boat On Its Way to Cuba

      Veterans For Peace Calls for an End to US Blockade

The historic Golden Rule anti-nuclear sailboat is on its way to Cuba.The storied wooden boat, which was sailed toward the Marshall Islands in 1958 to interfere with US nuclear testing, set sail from Key West, Florida on Friday morning, and will arrive at the Hemingway Marina in Havana on Saturday morning, New Years Eve day. The 34-foot ketch belongs to Veterans For Peace, and implements its mission “to end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons.”

The five crew members will be joined by Veterans For Peace members who are flying to Havana to participate in an educational Arts & Culture program coordinated by the Proximity Cuba tour agency. The veterans will also be visiting communities that suffered great damage from the recent Hurricane Ian, which destroyed thousands of homes in Pinar del Rio province in western Cuba. They are carrying humanitarian aid for people who lost their homes.

We are on an educational and humanitarian mission,” says Golden Rule Project Manager Helen Jaccard. “We are three-and-a-half months into a 15-month, 11,000 mile voyage around the ‘Great Loop’ of the midwestern, southern, and northeastern United States. When we saw we would be in Key West, Florida at the end of December, we said, ‘Look, Cuba is only 90 miles away! And the world almost had a nuclear war over Cuba.’”

60 years ago, in October 1962, the world came perilously close to a civilization-ending nuclear war during a superpower showdown between the US and the Soviet Union, which had placed nuclear missiles near each others borders, in Turkey and Cuba, respectively. The CIA had also organized an armed invasion of Cuba in a disastrous attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.

Sixty years later, the US still maintains a brutal economic blockade of Cuba, strangling Cuba’s economic development and causing suffering for Cuban families,” said Gerry Condon, former president of Veterans For Peace, and part of the crew that is sailing to Cuba. “The whole world opposes the US blockade of Cuba and it is time for it to end.” This year only the US and Israel voted No on a UN resolution calling on the US government to end its blockade of Cuba.

Now the US/Russia standoff over Ukraine has once again raised the specter of nuclear war,” said Gerry Condon. “It was urgent diplomacy between US President John Kennedy and Russian leader Nikita Khruschev that resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis and spared the world a nuclear war,” continued Condon. “That is the kind of diplomacy that we need today.”

Veterans For Peace is calling for an end to the US blockade of Cuba, for a Ceasefire and Negotiations to End the War in Ukraine, and for the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

For more information about the Golden Rule anti-nuclear sailboat, go to www.vfpgoldenrule.org.

For interviews, call or text Gerry Condon at 206-499-1220, or Helen Jaccard at 206-992-6364.

                                                                               – 30 –

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The post Golden Rule Anti Nuclear Peace Boat Sailing to Cuba appeared first on Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Golden Rule Anti Nuclear Peace Boat Sailing to Cuba

INDIAN POINT SAFE ENERGY COALITION (IPSEC) - Sat, 12/31/2022 - 06:12

The Golden Rule will be in NY at some point.

                                   PLEASE SHARE WIDELY!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           Contact: Gerry Condon, 206-499-1220

December 30, 2022                                         gerrycondon@veteransforpeace.org

                                                                                        Helen Jaccard, 206-992-6364

                                                                                vfpgoldenruleproject@gmail.com

Historic Golden Rule Peace Boat On Its Way to Cuba

      Veterans For Peace Calls for an End to US Blockade

The historic Golden Rule anti-nuclear sailboat is on its way to Cuba.The storied wooden boat, which was sailed toward the Marshall Islands in 1958 to interfere with US nuclear testing, set sail from Key West, Florida on Friday morning, and will arrive at the Hemingway Marina in Havana on Saturday morning, New Years Eve day. The 34-foot ketch belongs to Veterans For Peace, and implements its mission “to end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons.”

The five crew members will be joined by Veterans For Peace members who are flying to Havana to participate in an educational Arts & Culture program coordinated by the Proximity Cuba tour agency. The veterans will also be visiting communities that suffered great damage from the recent Hurricane Ian, which destroyed thousands of homes in Pinar del Rio province in western Cuba. They are carrying humanitarian aid for people who lost their homes.

We are on an educational and humanitarian mission,” says Golden Rule Project Manager Helen Jaccard. “We are three-and-a-half months into a 15-month, 11,000 mile voyage around the ‘Great Loop’ of the midwestern, southern, and northeastern United States. When we saw we would be in Key West, Florida at the end of December, we said, ‘Look, Cuba is only 90 miles away! And the world almost had a nuclear war over Cuba.’”

60 years ago, in October 1962, the world came perilously close to a civilization-ending nuclear war during a superpower showdown between the US and the Soviet Union, which had placed nuclear missiles near each others borders, in Turkey and Cuba, respectively. The CIA had also organized an armed invasion of Cuba in a disastrous attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.

Sixty years later, the US still maintains a brutal economic blockade of Cuba, strangling Cuba’s economic development and causing suffering for Cuban families,” said Gerry Condon, former president of Veterans For Peace, and part of the crew that is sailing to Cuba. “The whole world opposes the US blockade of Cuba and it is time for it to end.” This year only the US and Israel voted No on a UN resolution calling on the US government to end its blockade of Cuba.

Now the US/Russia standoff over Ukraine has once again raised the specter of nuclear war,” said Gerry Condon. “It was urgent diplomacy between US President John Kennedy and Russian leader Nikita Khruschev that resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis and spared the world a nuclear war,” continued Condon. “That is the kind of diplomacy that we need today.”

Veterans For Peace is calling for an end to the US blockade of Cuba, for a Ceasefire and Negotiations to End the War in Ukraine, and for the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

For more information about the Golden Rule anti-nuclear sailboat, go to www.vfpgoldenrule.org.

For interviews, call or text Gerry Condon at 206-499-1220, or Helen Jaccard at 206-992-6364.

                                                                               – 30 –

____________________________________________________________
You received this message as a subscriber on the list:
 disarm.wilpf@groups.electricembers.net
To be removed from the list, send any message to:
 disarm.wilpf-unsubscribe@groups.electricembers.net

For all list information and functions, see:
 http://groups.electricembers.net/lists/info/disarm.wilpf
Visit our website: sdipn.net
Contact Us:
Email: sdipn.ny@gmail.com
Phone: 347-940-3660
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sdipn
Follow us on Twitter: @sdipn

The post Golden Rule Anti Nuclear Peace Boat Sailing to Cuba appeared first on Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

NC Utilities Commission Buys Duke Energy Fiction that New Fossil Fuels Can Decarbonize State’s Electricity — NC WARN News Release

NC WARN - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 17:42

Regulators defy 45 scientists and solid wall of opposition by approving Duke plan to keep building fracked gas-burning power plants while limiting solar additions indefinitely

Tragically, the NC Utilities Commission went along with Duke Energy’s massive, climate-wrecking fracked gas expansion.  The commission also seemed to go along with Duke’s request to greatly limit new solar projects indefinitely pending billions in new – and likely controversial – transmission projects.

Sadly, the NCUC joins Duke Energy in being horribly out of step with climate science.  NC WARN and allies now redouble our call for Gov. Roy Cooper to finally get aligned with the science and stop Duke Energy’s reckless corporate behavior.

In the NC Carbon Plan released very late today, the NCUC approved a continuation of Duke Energy’s years-long, massive expansion of new natural gas-fired power generation.

As 45 scientists recently stated in an appeal to NC Governor Roy Cooper, methane (natural gas) is a key driver of the climate crisis and curbing its emissions is crucial for humanity to have “a fighting chance” to prevent irreversible climate chaos. They pressed Cooper and Duke CEO Lynn Good to stop expanding the use of natural gas.

Instead of joining Attorney General Josh Stein and numerous environmental, social justice and business organizations – who argue that new gas is neither needed nor a valid way to decarbonize, the NCUC consented to Duke’s climate-wrecking demands.

Duke Energy’s draft plan (p. 86, Table E-84) called for nearly doubling its already huge gas-burning capacity by 2050 by asking the NCUC to approve up to 11,700 MW more gas. That’s over twice as much as any US utility plans to build.  Duke claims those plants might be converted to burning hydrogen by the 2040s, while admitting the technology is questionable.

Other parties offered alternatives to Duke’s plan that accomplished the decarbonization goals with no new gas and with more solar, wind, energy storage, and efficiency programs – including more solar-plus-storage close to where power is used.  Those plans create many more jobs, rate protections and relief to the communities being hammered by climate crises and by Duke Energy’s fossil fuel pollution.

Duke Energy is required to obtain permits from the NCUC before it actually builds any more gas-fired power plants.  NC WARN and others have vowed to vigorously oppose those applications.

The post NC Utilities Commission Buys Duke Energy Fiction that New Fossil Fuels Can Decarbonize State’s Electricity — NC WARN News Release appeared first on NC WARN.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Episode for December 30, 2022

Allegheny Front - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 14:37

This week, we're looking back to some of the environmental issues we covered in 2022, like hydrogen. It's been seen as the clean fuel of the future for decades. Now the Biden administration is putting money into it. So, is it finally hydrogen’s time? We also hear about towns in Pennsylvania trying to get ahead of climate change, extreme weather and flooding. Plus, the author of a new bird guide for enthusiasts and beginners alike.

The post Episode for December 30, 2022 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

In Pa., climate change can increase flooding risk. This community is seeking solutions

Allegheny Front - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 13:12

In Middletown, Pa., flooding is happening where it never happened before. Now, it's looking for answers. One solution could be in Iowa.

The post In Pa., climate change can increase flooding risk. This community is seeking solutions appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

The race is on (again) to build out a low-carbon hydrogen economy

Allegheny Front - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 08:57

Companies in Appalachia are hoping federal funds will help develop 'blue' hydrogen power made from natural gas. But will it reduce carbon emissions enough?

The post The race is on (again) to build out a low-carbon hydrogen economy appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Anti-fracking tributes to Dame Vivienne Westwood 1941-2022

DRILL OR DROP? - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 07:55

The anti-fracking movement has paid tributes to the fashion designer and campaigner, Dame Vivienne Westwood, who died yesterday, aged 81.

Vivienne Westwood campaigning at Balcombe in West Sussex in 2013. Photo: Lee Butler

Dame Vivienne famously drove an armoured vehicle to the Oxfordshire home of the then prime minister, David Cameron, in protest at his support for fracking.

She visited anti-fracking protests and protection camps across the country, including Balcombe in West Sussex, Upton near Chester, Preston New Road in Lancashire and Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.

In 2014, she supported a nationwide series of debates, organised by Talk Fracking, and warned David Cameron in a Christmas message: “Don’t let fracking be the next asbestos”.

During the 2015 election campaign, she was photographed cradling a bloodstained doll with a missing hand in a protest against fracking. She said:

 “I’m trying to get across to people, the danger we’re in. We have to stop the destruction.”

Later that year, she joined rallies in London against the Infrastructure Bill, which sought to allow companies to drill and frack under private land.

Dame Vivienne also played a high-profile role against protest injunctions taken out by shale gas companies, particularly Cuadrilla and Ineos.

She modelled clothes with anti-fracking slogans outside Ineos Upstream headquarters in Knightsbridge.

She also threatened to break the injunction outside Preston New Road.

In 2018, she delivered to Downing Street her representation of Armageddon, which she called Planet Ineos, caused by plastic pollution and climate change.

Also that year, she supported a successful legal challenge against the government’s pro-fracking changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.

In 2020, she was among campaigners, scientists and celebrities who urged the government to replace the moratorium with a permanent ban on fracking. She said:

“If we’re serious about saving the planet from Climate devastation, then Fracking – or any other form of extreme energy extraction under a different name – like acidisation – must be totally outlawed”.

Dame Vivienne had this advice for campaigners:

“Be reasonable: demand the impossible. If in doubt, dress up!”

  • Dame Vivienne Westwood and son Joe Corre outside Downing Street during a protest against Ineos on 5 June 2018. Photo: Talk Fracking
  • Dame Vivienne Westwood with her son, Joe Corre, at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, 16 October 2018. Photo: Anne Thoday
  • Vivienne Westwood and son, Joe Corre, with anti-fracking protesters outside, Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site on 16 October 2018. Photo: Ki Price/Getty Images
  • Nativity-style protest by Dame Vivienne Westwood and son Joe Corre outside the Royal Courts of Justice, 18 December 2018. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent
“Doughty campaigner” and “true radical”

Tony Bosworth, climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, described her as a “doughty campaigner against fracking”. He said:

“Her role in supporting and invigorating the movement in the UK was absolutely invaluable.”

Greenpeace UK described her as a “true radical”.

William McCallum, the organisation’s co-executive director, said:

“She saw the urgency of the climate crisis with clarity and demand action with passion. If we could all live this idea the world would be a better place. Our thoughts go out to Vivienne’s family and friends.”

Claire Stephenson, of Frack Free Lancashire, said:

“Vivienne was a unique force and voice in the world, in the most authentic way.

“She was a powerful advocate for the environment and was vehemently against fracking. The movement will be forever grateful for her and her son, Joe’s involvement and support. From driving a tank to former Prime Minister David Cameron’s constituency home, to walking a pop-up catwalk outside fracking-for-plastics company, INEOS’s London HQ, to mocking former Prime Minister Theresa May’s robotic dancing by being a Dancing Queen outside of Cuadrilla’s fracking site gates in Lancashire…Vivienne continually used her public platform for activism and advocacy, drawing global attention to crucial environmental issues and social causes.

“Frack Free Lancashire’s love and thoughts are with Vivienne’s family at this sad time.”

Frack Free Glossop, in Derbyshire, said today:

“For most people she will be remembered as a pioneering fashion designer who was present at the birth of punk. To us though she is Glossopdale’s most famous daughter, and a powerful advocate for many good causes, who joined us for the fight against fracking. She will be missed. Rest in peace.”

Nanas Against Fracking wrote:

“She visited many anti-fracking camps and brought the media attention we needed. Her knowledge was legendary.

“She has been a powerhouse, inspiration and fellow Nana and we will mourn the loss of her.”

No fracking in East Kent said:

“A truly unique person who combined so many interests and fought against fracking here in the UK with her son Joe Corre.

Steve Mason, of Frack Free United, said:

“We would still be facing up to fracking in our communities without Vivienne and Joe’s contribution, support and influence.

“Her contribution to society has been far reaching. Vivienne shaped the mindset of so many people across the decades. Her legacy will live through us all.

“I raise a glass to the queen of punk. Rest in peace Vivienne, and thank you.”

Individual campaigners also paid personal tributes on social media.

Jamie Kelsey Fry tweeted:

“I spent two years working with #VivienneWestwood and her son Jo on an anti fracking project. We travelled the U.K. on a double decker tour bus hosting talks on fracking. She would emerge from her little cabin looking bloody amazing every morning and went 100mph all day.

“She was dedicated to working on the climate crisis, hated the power of corporations and their influence over Whitehall, was kindly and interested towards everyone we met and was genuinely down to earth. Firmly, proudly anti authoritarian to the end. Rest in power.”

Jacqui Stainburn wrote:

“Very sad to hear about Vivienne Westwood.  She was a great support in our anti fracking campaign and visited our protest camp in Upton three times.”

Anti-fracking campaigner Helen Chuntso said:

“I will always remember what good work you did for the anti fracking community.”

Climate campaigner Hannah Martin tweeted:

“She was a true punk and also an avid campaigner against fracking and in the fight against climate change way before most celebrities and influencers got on board.”

Please contact DrillOrDrop if you would like to add a comment to this article.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

A wildlife biologist’s new birding guide brings everyone into the flock

Allegheny Front - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 05:18

A co-organizer of Black Birders Week has written a new guide for people who love birds, and those who don’t know it yet.

The post A wildlife biologist’s new birding guide brings everyone into the flock appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Review of 2022: the year fracking was off, on, then off again

DRILL OR DROP? - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:41

Fracking in England in 2022 was tied to the fate of the three prime ministers who held office during the year.

The moratorium, introduced in 2019 by Boris Johnson, suddenly looked shaky when he resigned in the summer. His replacement, Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister, Liz Truss lifted the moratorium on her third day in office. 49 days later, it was reinstated by her successor, Rishi Sunak.

Entrance gate to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, 1 November 2022. Photo: Karen Norcross Fracking back on the agenda

After more than a year largely out of the headlines, the debate about onshore fracking in the UK surged back with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

In the following weeks, the industry, supported by some right-wing politicians, media and thinktanks, stepped up lobbying for the lifting of the moratorium in England.

Cuadrilla’s owner revealed it spent more than $1m, partly on strategies to allow fracking to go ahead.

Shale gas supporters claimed the process could deliver long-term benefits for Britain, including help with the cost-of-living crisis. Opponents challenged the claims and the Johnson government stood firm on the moratorium. But there were signs of conflicting messages from government.

Conflicting messages

In February, Cuadrilla was ordered by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) to plug its fracked wells at Preston New Road in Lancashire. The news was opposed by the industry and welcomed by residents and campaigners.

A crane arrived in early March to begin work, to the fury of some pro-shale gas commentators. By the end of the month, the NSTA withdrew the order. Cuadrilla now has until June 2023 to come up with alternative uses for the Preston New Road wells.

Crane at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, 7 March 2022. Photo: Chris Holliday.

The government’s long-awaited energy security strategy, published in April, had just two references to onshore shale gas. One stressed the need to meet “rigorous safety and environmental protection both above ground and sub-surface”.

Ministers refused planning permission for Ineos shale gas exploration plans for Woodsetts in South Yorkshire and IGas testing proposals for Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, of Ineos, was said to be “apoplectically cross” about the decision but neither Ineos nor IGas appealed against the decision.

Also in the spring, the then business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, commissioned a review of fracking science from the British Geological Survey (BGS). This was seen by some as a sign that the moratorium could be lifted.

Spotlight on fracking in leadership contest Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss in the Sun/TalkTV debate, 26 July 2022. Photo: Sun/TalkTV

Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister and Conservative leader on 7 July 2022.

By the end of the month, the list of candidates to replace him had been reduced to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, both of whom supported fracking with local consent.

There were suggestions that fracking companies could poll residents, bypassing local councils. People could be offered money to have a shale gas site in their neighbourhood. Profits from shale gas could be paid into a sovereign wealth fund.

In August, the Daily Mail reported that households could get a 25% discount on their energy bills if they backed local fracking plans. The Telegraph reported that the Treasury would tell the new prime minister that fracking should be given the green light immediately to ease bills in the winter.

Campaign organisations, religious leaders, Labour and Lib Dem politicians, landowners and Conservative environment groups argued that lifting the moratorium would not help consumer prices.

The leadership election result, announced on 5 September, gave Liz Truss, a former management accountant for Shell, 81,326 votes, 47% of eligible Conservative members. Her rival, Rishi Sunak, got 60,399 votes.

On 7 September, the prime minister’s spokesperson told journalists the Conservative manifesto, including the moratorium on fracking, “still stands in full”.

U-turn 1: Lifting the moratorium Liz Truss announcing the lifting of the 2019 moratorium on fracking, 8 September 2022.
Photo: from Parliament Live TV

On 8 September, Liz Truss opened a parliamentary debate on energy and told MPs:

“This is the moment to be bold”.

She said:

“We will end the moratorium on extracting our huge reserves of shale, which could get gas flowing as soon as six months from now where there is local support for it.”

During the debate, the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, quoted comments previously made by Ms Truss’s new chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, that it would take “up to a decade to extract sufficient volumes” of a shale gas and at “high cost for communities and our precious countryside”.

Opponents complained about “a shocking lack of detail” in the announcement. The government was accused of delivering a “massive kick in the teeth for the vast majority of communities who don’t want fracking”. The industry described the move as “an entirely sensible decision”.

Within hours of the news, the death was announced of Queen Elizabeth II. The formal announcement on the moratorium was delayed for another fortnight.

Warnings and written ministerial statement Protest at Misson in Nottinghamshire, 20 September 2022. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Despite the period of mourning, the debate about fracking continued.

IGas said it could drill 80 wells by September 2023 with “the right government support”. Initial production could supply three million homes, it said. The industry called for earthquake limits to be relaxed and for decision-making to bypass local councils.

Heads of the Climate Change Committee and National Infrastructure Committee had previously warned Liz Truss:

“our gas reserves – offshore or from shale – are too small to impact meaningfully the prices faced by UK consumers.”

The government’s ex chief scientific advisor, Sir David King, said the government had, in effect, abandoned net zero targets. Campaign groups warned of a “huge backlash” if the government agreed to industry demands to make shale gas production quicker and easier. CarbonBrief explained why fracking was not the answer to the UK energy crisis. Councils passed resolutions against fracking.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, then business secretary, announcing the formal lifting of the fracking moratorium, 22 September 2022. Photo: Parliament Live TV

The formal lifting of the moratorium came on 22 September, when the then business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, told parliament that people living or working near fracking sites should “tolerate a higher degree of risk and disturbance” in the national interest.

He accused fracking opponents of “hysteria” and “sheer Ludditery”. He made the unsubstantiated and frequently challenged claim that opposition to fracking had been funded by Russia.

He also said regulators of the fracking system should be “proactive in extending existing consents and permissions where practicable, to support the development of energy resources in the National interest”.

The government published the BGS review, which concluded there were “significant knowledge gaps” that made forecasting earthquakes caused by fracking a “scientific challenge”.

Frack Free Lancashire described fracking as a “failed technology that should be confined to the past”.  Friends of the Earth said the government was planning to “throw communities under the bus”.

Mark Menzies, Conservative MP for Fylde. Photo: Parliament Live TV

Mark Menzies, the Conservative MP for the area around Cuadrilla’s shale gas site, said:

“There is nothing Luddite about the people of Lancashire”.

Even Cuadrilla’s founder and former lobbyist had said fracking in the UK would be impossible at any meaningful scale.

The shale gas industry welcomed the confirmation. IGas said its shale gas assets had the potential to “provide secure and affordable energy for the UK in the near term”. Cuadrilla said the decision would “help the shale industry unlock UK onshore natural gas in quantities sufficient to meet the UK’s needs for decades to come”.

Within days, Cuadrilla’s owner, the Australian mining group, AJ Lucas, raised about £11.7m in a share placing to fund UK operations.

In an interview with BBC local radio in Lancashire, Liz Truss referred 10 times to the need for local consent for fracking operations. She also admitted she had not been to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, where fracking-induced earthquakes led to the moratorium in 2019.

Ms Truss announced a consultation on gauging fracking consent. Friends of the Earth, Talk Fracking and Preston New Road Action Group began the first stage of legal action against the business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg. He said he would welcome fracking in his back garden and suggested that fracking companies should canvas door-to-door for community support.

Chaotic debate and government collapse Ruth Edwards MP as it was announced that the fracking vote was not a vote of confidence in the government,
19 October 2022. Photo: Parliament Live T V

On 19 October, Labour proposed a parliamentary motion calling for a future debate on banning fracking.

Conservative were initially ordered to vote against the motion or risk expulsion from the party. The government won the vote by 230 to 326.

But there was anger at the government’s tactics and the last-minute climb-down that the division was no longer regarded a vote of confidence.

There were also reports of Conservatives being manhandled into the No lobby – though some denied this happened.

The chief whip, Wendy Morton, said it was “one of those nights that I will probably never forget”.

Liz Truss resigned less than 24 hours after the vote.

New PM and U-turn 2

Rishi Sunak was selected as the new Conservative leader on 24 October.

The next day, in Downing Street, he told journalists that the party’s manifesto, which included the fracking moratorium, was the Conservative mandate.

At his first prime minister’s questions, on 26 October, he said the moratorium would be reinstated. The decision was confirmed two days later.

The fracking industry warned that the decision would come at “great economic, environmental and geopolitical cost”. IGas hinted at legal action against the government. Cuadrilla said the decision “beggars belief”.

Campaigners welcomed the second U-turn. Frack Free Lancashire said: “Fracking is not socially, politically, environmentally and economically viable”. Preston New Road Action Group called for a complete ban and urged Cuadrilla to restore its shale gas site. Friends of the Earth described the decision as “a fantastic victory”.

DrillOrDrop’s review of a decade of fracking and a timeline of moratoriums.

Other oil and gas plans

East Yorkshire: In March, East Yorkshire council backed plans for expansion and long-term production at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A site in Holderness. A local councillor asked the levelling up secretary to review the decision. In December, the planning permission was upheld. Reports suggested that the first of eight horizontal wells could be drilled in January-June 2023. In September, a plan commissioned by Rathlin Energy revealed that 15 wells could be drilled at West Newton in a decade, costing about £260m. The target for the site switched in September from oil back to gas. Rathlin was also granted a three-year extension of planning permission for its other East Yorkshire site, West Newton-B.

Lincolnshire: Councillors unanimously refused the third bid by Egdon Resources for more time at the undeveloped North Kelsey oil site, near Market Rasen (March 2022). Opponents had accused the company of “planning by stealth”. Egdon has lodged an appeal. The company also appealed against refusal of oil production at Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire Wolds. At a one-day hearing in October, the company was challenged over changes to the Biscathorpe plans. The ruling is expected in early 2023.

Also in Lincolnshire, IGas has submitted plans for a new oil site at Glentworth and battery storage at Welton. Britnrg applied for a new sidetrack production well at Whisby.

Lancashire: Cuadrilla confirmed in December it would be applying to extend the life of its Preston New Road shale gas site for another two years. The current planning permission expires in April 2023. Lancashire County Council previously said any application would not need a detailed environmental statement.

Isle of Wight: In March, UK Oil & Gas plc announced it would not appeal against a refusal of planning permission for oil exploration near the village of Arreton. In June, the company gave up its exploration licence covering the island.

Dorset:In March, South Western Energy withdrew an application for oil production at Puddletown, first submitted in 2019. It promised a new scheme, which would include higher oil output. So far, this has not been published. Also in Dorset, UKOG announced gas storage plans at Portland.

Surrey: Gas exploration plans by UKOG at Dunsfold were approved by ministers in June after an appeal, despite concerns about the impact on local landscapes and business. The local MP, Jeremy Hunt, said the scheme would cause “enormous environmental damage and disruption”. UKOG said this was “wholly false and untrue. Protect Dunsfold, backed by the Good Law Project, and Waverley Borough Council have sought to challenge the decision at the High Court.

Also in Surrey, councillors unanimously refused permission for IGas plans to use methane from its Bletchingley site to produce hydrogen without carbon capture and storage. UKOG plans to change the operation and layout of its site at Horse Hill would need an environmental impact assessment, the county council ruled in July. No application has yet been submitted. The council did approve plans to store more than 100 tonnes of crude oil at the Horse Hill site.

West Sussex: Angus Energy’s appeal got underway against the unanimous refusal of planning permission for well testing at Balcombe in West Sussex (Feb 2022). At the time of writing, the result had still not been published. In May, UKOG was granted another two years of planning permission at the Broadford Bridge oil site. This was the fourth time extension at the site.

Operations

UK onshore oil production in February was the lowest since 2011. In June, it was still at historically low levels. At its highest, onshore oil extraction in 2022 was 2.3% of total UK oil production.

Wressle: The Egdon Resources’ oil site in North Lincolnshire got formal approval to go into production in May. The first official figures were reported in December, at more than 700 barrels of oil per day.

Brockham: Oil production resumed in May at Brockham in Surrey after a gap of more than three years. The most recent data shows the site was producing 13 barrels a day. The operator, Angus Energy, was allowed in 2022 to reinject produced or formation water at the site.

Kimmeridge: For most of the year, Perenco’s oil site in Dorset continued to vent legally hundreds of tonnes of methane. In September, it installed a flare to burn waste gas, three years after it was ordered to use the gas to generate electricity.

Horse Hill: In May, two regulators gave permission for Horse Hill in Surrey to reinject waste water. The site was also allowed an extra year, until 30 September 2023, to drill a second well into the Kimmeridge formation. In March, the operator u-turned on how it would handle waste gas at its Horse Hill site. It sought changes to its environmental permit to burn up to 10 tonnes a day. In 2019, the company had promised to install four generators to turn the gas into electricity.

Misson: In November, council officials in Nottinghamshire issued enforcement notices against IGas and the owner of its Misson shale gas site for failing to carry out restoration work.

Protest

A scaled-back version of the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill received royal assent in April. Thousands of people had taken part in nationwide protests against it. Key anti-protest measures were defeated in the House of Lords. But the final legislation still included powers to allow police to clamp down on noisy protests in England and Wales.

In May, the government announced it was reviving some of the defeated powers in a new public order bill. If approved, the legislation would criminalise locking-on, going equipped to lock-on and obstruction of major transport works. It also extended stop and search powers for police and introduced serious disruption prevention orders to allow police to ban people from attending protests.

Fossil fuel campaigners carried out protests across the country, including the Conservative Party conference, major routes through central London, oil terminals, oil company headquarters, the Treasury, Lloyds of London, the National Gallery, the site of a new aviation pipeline, motorways, Schlumberger research centre in Cambridge and Aberdeen Harbour

Several oil and gas companies secured court injunctions to prevent protest at terminals in England. Essex Police said the protests were creating an “unacceptable” risk of harm. In May, campaigners disrupted the Shell and UKOG AGMs.

Tributes were paid following the death of Keith Taylor, the former Green Party MEP, a leading opponent of the onshore industry and a supporter of non-violent protest.

Court challenges Sarah Finch, Horse Hill oil site. Photo: Helena Smith

The UK’s highest court is to rule next year on the climate impact of onshore oil production. Campaigner, Sarah Finch, won the right to take her legal challenge over oil extraction at Horse Hill to the Supreme Court. Her case failed at the appeal court but the judges were divided by two to one. The case will focus on whether Surrey County Council should have taken account of the carbon emissions from using oil extracted at Horse Hill. DrillOrDrop interview with Sarah Finch

The government accepted that its net zero strategy was unlawful, following a successful challenge by Friends of the Earth, Client Earth and the Good Law Project. The organisations argued that the strategy did not comply with the 2008 Climate Change Act because the government had not quantified how the policies would be achieved and by when. The government has until March 2023 to revise the strategy and show how legally-binding climate targets will be met.

A legal challenge to $1.15bn UK government funding of an LNG (liquified natural gas) project in Mozambique went to the High Court in March. The ruling was split. One judge supported the claim by Friends of the Earth that the funding was unlawful. The other supported the decision to fund the scheme by UK Export Finance. In December, the case was heard at the court of appeal. A ruling from that hearing is expected in early 2023.

Three campaigners lost their legal challenge to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the regulator, then the OGA, over the UK oil and gas strategy.

Ineos was criticised in March by the High Court for “improper conduct” and “inexcusable delay” over its injunction against anti-fracking protests. The company was ordered to pay more than £37,000 in costs and its bid to stay the claim (halt legal proceedings) was refused.

Company news

Losses widened at Ineos Upstream, which declared a loss of £3.679m in 2021, up more than 60% on the loss in 2020.

Reabold Resources, a partner in the West Newton sites in East Yorkshire, successfully fought off a bid by a group of investors to replace the directors.

Angus Energy put itself up for sale in January and had six expressions of interest but in April, the company ended the sale process. The company carried out several share placings to raise money: £1.4m in February, £675,000 in April, £2m in July, and £7.1m in December. The company acquired 100% of the Saltfleetby gas project for £14m. It connected Saltfleetby to the national grid and began drilling a sidetrack at the site.

Warwick Energy Exploration Limited, which won three shale gas licences in the 14th onshore licensing round went out of business (January 2022). Hutton Energy was dissolved in February 2022.

Demolition of plant at Third Energy’s Knapton Generating Station in North Yorkshire, 19 July 2021.
Photo: Third Energy

Renewables company Wolfland Group took over the would-be fracking firm Third Energy to rescue stranded assets. The new owners and managers talked to DrillOrDrop in an extended interview. In February, the company was awarded £50,250 government funding for a feasibility study on using old gas wells for geothermal heat. A consultation found that people were strongly in favour.

IGas interim non-executive chairman, Cuth McDowell, retired from the company’s board (January 2022) and the chief executive, Stephen Bowler, left in September after seven years.

A tax credit pushed Cuadrilla into profit, despite being “largely non-operational”, the company’s annual accounts reported.

Cuadrilla’s partner in Lancashire, Spirit Energy, changed its mind about withdrawing from onshore shale gas exploration. The company, a subsidiary of Centrica, said in July 2020 it would exit the Bowland licences. It now has the option to leave before the end of June 2023.  

Egdon Resources announced a 500% increase in oil and gas revenues in interim accounts published in April. The rise, ascribed to increased prices and production from the Wressle site, gave the company a £1.2m profit for the six months to the end of January 2022, compared with a similar loss for the same period a year before.

Wressle oil production also contributed to the strongest interim financial performance for seven years by Europa Oil & Gas and a 1000% increase in revenues for Union Jack.

Major oil companies also announced big increases in profits: BP doubled profits to $6.2bn; Shell announced a record profit of $9.5bn for the second quarter of the year, a record. Profits in Centrica increased five-fold for the first half of 2022 to £1.3bn.

UKOG share placings raised £1.25m in July and another £3m in September to fund work in Turkey.

Climate change

The COP27 climate talks in Egypt produced a landmark agreement to compensate poorer countries that are the victims of climate change. But there was little progress in tackling emissions from burning fossil fuels, a root cause of global warming.

Throughout the year, there were warnings about the need for stronger measures.

Alok Sharma, chairman of COP26, said promises made at the 2021 Glasgow climate talks would be “just words on a page” without action.

The sixth assessment of climate change impacts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was described as an “atlas of human suffering”.

The UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) backed limits on UK oil and gas production and a presumption against future exploration. In May, it warned about the risks of investing in fracking in the UK. Medical leaders also urged the UK government to end new oil and gas exploration.

The UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said new fossil fuel investment was “moral and economic madness”. He said emissions must peak in three years to keep global temperature rise to below 1.5C.

In September the NSTA said UK oil and gas production was set to miss its emissions target in 2030.

Research

Support for fracking in the UK increased compared with 2021, driven mainly by older people, according to the annual UK government public attitudes survey. Opposition fell but still exceeded support.

Research by Exeter University found that most people living near two proposed shale gas sites distrusted information from fracking companies.

As in previous years, much of the health research on fracking was carried out in the US.

In April, the Compendium of scientific, medical and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking and associated gas and oil infrastructure concluded that fracking was an environmental injustice where impacts are not felt equally. A study by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health found that elderly people living near fracking sites had a  greater risk of premature death. Research in Pennsylvania found that children born near fracking wells were three times more likely to develop leukaemia.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Legendary California Fishery and Water Quality Activist Bill Jennings Dies at Age 79

Restore The San Francisco Bay Area Delta - Wed, 12/28/2022 - 17:32


“We are deeply saddened to share that California Sportfishing Protection Alliance has released a statement that activist and legendary water leader Bill Jennings, died on December 27, 2022. Bill was a co-founder of Restore the Delta, Board Member Emeritus of our organization, mentor and friend. Bill will be deeply missed.”
– Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director, Restore the Delta


Read the announcement and story of this amazing life, from The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.

Contributions in Bill’s memory can be made to the Stockton-based organization he directed, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, whose mailing address is P.O. Box 1061, Groveland, CA 95321. Donations can also be made on the CSPA website (https://calsport.org/news/).

Categories: G2. Local Greens

We need your support to move Ontario forwards to a green & prosperous future

Ontario Clean Air Alliance - Tue, 12/27/2022 - 08:56

As the days march toward the end of another year, we all find ourselves looking ahead and looking back. Looking ahead, a sense of uncertainty looms large again this year.  Looking behind, we see the ragged end of another tumultuous year that we have all struggled through. But in a surprising number of ways, the

The post We need your support to move Ontario forwards to a green & prosperous future appeared first on Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Happy Christmas 2022 from DrillOrDrop.com

DRILL OR DROP? - Sat, 12/24/2022 - 00:23

The DrillOrDrop team wishes all our readers a very happy Christmas.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to our independent journalism in the past 12 months.

2022 has been a tumultuous and challenging year for many people. Despite this, our readers continued to donate to DrillOrDrop.com and send articles, comments and ideas for research.

We are very grateful for all your support. Without it, much of our work this year would not have been possible.

Between Christmas and New Year, we will publish a review of the important news from the past 12 months. We’ll also look ahead to key events expected in 2023.

Next year, DrillOrDrop will continue to report independently on the UK onshore oil and gas industry and campaign activity.

Please keep in touch and let us know about news and events that you think we should be covering.

We always enjoy hearing when you like what we do. But we also want to know when you think we get things wrong. You can always comment on DrillOrDrop posts or contact us directly.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Episode for December 23, 2022

Allegheny Front - Fri, 12/23/2022 - 11:45

We revisit some of our favorite stories about nature, food and environmental champions. 2022 was the 60th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," a book that questioned the indiscriminate use of synthetic chemicals and became an instant classic. We talk with a poet whose new collection explores the damage people have done to each other and nature. Plus, we look at life along the Delaware River with an angler witnessing a changing landscape.

The post Episode for December 23, 2022 appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

How the Upper Delaware River unites many into one community

Allegheny Front - Fri, 12/23/2022 - 11:09

"The trout we have here are beautiful as a way to get us to help protect their environment, their habitat. We want to make sure that this place stays like it is forever."

The post How the Upper Delaware River unites many into one community appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

A nature poet grapples with life at the edge of the climate crisis 

Allegheny Front - Fri, 12/23/2022 - 10:33

Penn State professor Todd Davis has a new book of poetry that explores the damage that people have done to each other and nature.

The post A nature poet grapples with life at the edge of the climate crisis  appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

‘Rust Belt Vegan Kitchen’ offers new take on Midwest comfort food

Allegheny Front - Fri, 12/23/2022 - 10:21

Cookbook author looks to chefs in Pittsburgh, Chicago and her native Cleveland to veganize the region’s favorite dishes.

The post ‘Rust Belt Vegan Kitchen’ offers new take on Midwest comfort food appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Federal spending bill includes long-term cleanup of streams polluted by abandoned mines

Allegheny Front - Fri, 12/23/2022 - 09:35

The bill addresses an issue with last year's infrastructure law which limited how states spend the $11.3 billion for mine cleanups.

The post Federal spending bill includes long-term cleanup of streams polluted by abandoned mines appeared first on The Allegheny Front.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Take Action to Shape the Future of the Concord Reuse Project

Greenbelt Alliance - Thu, 12/22/2022 - 14:34

On Saturday, January 7, 2023, there will be a special City Council meeting in Concord to review the term sheet for the development of what was formerly known as the Concord Naval Weapons Station. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to advocate for climate-smart housing for one of the largest planned developments in recent East Bay history, determining the pattern of growth of the region for years to come.

Join the meeting for an opportunity to comment and let them know you want a climate-friendly development in Concord (more information here). You can also send an email to councilmembers with the talking points we put together. Click here to learn more.

Why This Is Important?

The master developer, Concord First Partners, just released an important document called the term sheet, the next step in the planning for the development of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station and known as the Concord Reuse Project. This document establishes the development guidelines and community benefits to be included in the future Specific Plan and studied in the Environmental Impact Report.

Since the Concord Naval Weapons Station closed in 2005, Greenbelt Alliance has worked to protect those 2,200 acres—an area double the size of Golden Gate Park— from sprawl while encouraging climate-smart housing development and preservation of open space. We, along with several partners, including East Bay Housing Organizations, the Central Labor Council of Contra Costa CountySave Mount Diablo, and Monument Impact, make up the Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord and are committed to the best possible outcome for this site.

This is a crucial project to help alleviate the crippling housing crisis in the Bay Area. The Concord Reuse Project is slated to deliver over 12,000 homes, including 25% affordable, which is significant when considering that the latest RHNA allocations mandate that Concord plan to accommodate over 2,000 units of low and very low-income housing. It will also boost the region’s overall climate resilience by adopting strategies to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. It is located right next to the North Concord BART station and offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to locate thousands of new homes in a climate-resilient, transit-oriented location.  

Concord First Partners was first selected in August 2021 and advocates and community members have been eagerly awaiting this term sheet for the past year and a half. Now is your moment. Attend the meeting on January 7, 2023, and send an email to the City Council.

The post Take Action to Shape the Future of the Concord Reuse Project appeared first on Greenbelt Alliance.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Bankrupt company abandons 100 leaking Utah wells for taxpayers to clean up

Western Priorities - Thu, 12/22/2022 - 07:05

Texas-based Weststar Exploration Co. has declared bankruptcy and abandoned 100 wells on federal and state land in northeastern Utah’s Uinta Basin, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Weststar failed to plug the wells and reclaim the land, and the wells are now leaking methane and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Reclamation bonds posted by Weststar are a mere fraction of the cost to plug and reclaim the wells, and it will likely become the responsibility of taxpayers to pay to clean up the mess Weststar is leaving behind.

This situation shows why bonding reform is neededWhile the Inflation Reduction Act passed earlier this year included many significant reforms to the Interior Department’s oil and gas leasing program, bonding reform was left out at the last minute. Congress could pass a standalone bonding reform bill, but appears unlikely to do so in the remaining days of the lame duck session. The Bureau of Land Management could also implement bonding reform administratively through a rulemaking process. In the meantime, the costs to taxpayers—and the impacts to the environment and wildlife—will only continue to grow.

New podcast: The past year in public lands

On this episode of The Landscape, Center for Western Priorities Executive Director Jennifer Rokala and CWP Director of Campaigns and Special Projects Lauren Bogard join Aaron and Kate to go over the past year in public lands. From the passage of the largest climate bill in U.S. history (which includes major oil and gas leasing reforms) to a new national monument to the launch of a new conservation funding program, 2022 was a big year for public lands. The CWP team talks about what all of these developments mean and how they will continue playing out in 2023.

Quick hits The past year in public lands

The Landscape

BLM to renew grazing in sensitive Arizona site

E&E News

Ducey to remove some shipping containers from border

KPNX

Arizona restricts farming to protect groundwater supply

Associated Press

Why saving Mojave desert tortoises from extinction is so hard

Los Angeles Times

Study shows threats of prolonged drought on Western forests

E&E News

U.S. Forest Service initiative encourages people to cut their own Christmas trees to improve forest health

The Guardian

Yo-Yo Ma is finding his way back to nature through music

New York Times

Quote of the day

The Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals is the linchpin for offshore wind auctions, onshore solar permitting, and much more. Leaving the position vacant for half of President Biden’s first term while a nominee awaits Senate action verges on political malpractice.”

—Jennifer Rokala, Executive Director, Center for Western Priorities Picture this @usinterior

A diamond in the rough… er, lake! Cracks and frozen landscapes bring beauty to the winter season at @RockyNPS.

Across the country, America’s public lands and waters are being transformed into winter wonderlands. We hope you find time to explore!

Photo by Carl Finocchiaro

#FirstDayofWinter #WinterWonderland

(featured image: Oil and gas infrastructure on public lands, BLM Utah)

The post Bankrupt company abandons 100 leaking Utah wells for taxpayers to clean up appeared first on Center for Western Priorities.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Delaware River Frack Ban Coalition Pledges Resolve to Protect the Watershed Groups Deeply Disturbed by DRBC Failure to Enact Full Frack Ban

Catskill Mountain Keeper - Thu, 12/22/2022 - 07:04

Delaware River Watershed - Delaware River Frack Ban Coalition organizations  denounced the Delaware River Basin Commission’s (DRBC) adoption of amendments  to its regulations on December 7, 2022 that will allow the importation into the Watershed  of wastewater produced by fracking and will allow the export of water from the Delaware  River Watershed to support fracking operations elsewhere. 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

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