Europe opens doors to dangerous fracking

Europe opens doors to dangerous fracking

Січ 23, 2014

Europe is opening its doors to dirty and dangerous unconventional fossil fuels, Friends of the Earth Europe and Food & Water Europe said today. The warning comes as the European Commission publishes a framework to guide member states on how to regulate shale gas which fails to provide mandatory protection for Europe’s citizens against the environmental and health risks of fracking. Despite the best efforts of some decision-makers, attempts to regulate the fracking industry have been undermined by heavy corporate lobbying and pressure from certain member states intent on fracking their lands. The proposal is now weak and will not stop the environment and communities being harmed, contradicting previous recommendations and studies made by the European Parliament and the European Commission [1]. Antoine Simon, shale gas campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “Shale gas regulations have been fracked to pieces by corporations and fossil fuel-fixated governments. Insufficient and non-binding recommendations and monitoring mean fracking will go ahead improperly regulated and local communities will be the ones who suffer. Europe is putting the fox in charge of the hen house.” Europe can expect to see a surge in local resistance, like that witnessed in the UK, Romania and Poland: more than 370 grassroots organisations from all around Europe published last week a letter expressing strong concern about the promises not kept by the EU institutions to put in place a regulatory framework that would guarantee a so-called safe and sustainable development of this industry in Europe. Geert de Cock, policy officer for Food & Water Europe said: “The Commission proposals on unconventional fossil fuels fail to deliver the robust rules that the Commission’s own impact assessment, the Parliament, opinion polls and the International Energy Agency have called for. The lack of courage by EU leaders to stand up to industry pressure will galvanize our campaign for a complete ban on fracking.” With the heavy support from José Manuel Barroso, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Romania have all played a leading role in undermining shale gas legislation, with allies Hungary, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to a letter written by the UK Permanent Representation and obtained by Friends of the Earth. Antoine Simon continued: “Past experience, every poll, study and...

Shell: Global Mega-Frackers

Shell: Global Mega-Frackers

Чер 25, 2013

This briefing compiles numerous examples of Shell fracking around the world, but does not claim to be an exhaustive list. By timing the release with Yoko Ono’s involvement in the Meltdown Festival at the Shell-sponsored Southbank Centre, we hope to: Increase awareness of the enormous role that Shell is playing in expanding fracking operations all over the world. Create political space amidst the cultural showcase of the Meltdown Festival to understand the role that sponsorship plays in creating social legitimacy and cover for Shell’s dangerous operations. Promote the creative, community resistance to fracking that is taking place all over the world, which is especially instructive in the context of the industry being poised to start fracking in numerous sites across the UK. Download the briefing here. ********* The era of relatively ‘easy to reach’ oil is over. All fossil fuel extraction involves drilling and localised pollution, so none of it was ever ‘easy’ to reach. But global extraction levels for the oil that is comparatively straight forward to pump out of seems to have peaked. Instead, the fossil fuel industry is increasingly focusing on harder to extract resources. Enter ‘unconventionals’ – dirtier fossil fuels which are more complicated to extract and refine, like tar sands, oil shale and shale gas, or those that are located in hazardous and challenging regions like the Arctic, or deepwater drilling. It is not surprising then, that an established oil and gas major like Shell is investing  heavily in global fracking and other unconventionals.  Shell is actively fracking or preparing to frack in every continent in the world, with CEO  appearing on TV programmes to argue “why fracking is environmentally sound,” and accusing Europe of being “too emotional” on the issue. Shell don’t only rely on their CEO in their PR efforts. It is also engaged in a multi-pronged sponsorship programme designed to help bolster its ‘social licence to operate’ –  the company’s ability to keep drilling despite causing numerous environmental and human rights abuses. The construction of this ‘social licence to operate’ in effect provides cover for the company’s dirty and dangerous activities. This briefing is also timed to coincide with the international Meltdown Festival taking place in June 2013...