MEDIA RELEASE: UK fracking study fails the planet

“Climate Justice Taranaki welcomes any scientific report into the controversial fracking technique but Britain’s Royal Society study falls short of a thorough scientific study. Their report states the environmental risk of fracking can be managed effectively by implementing ‘operational best practices’ and strict regulation but the report fails to acknowledge several areas of major concern.”

“The Royal Society study failed to look at fracking waste disposal (known here as landfarming) where toxic frack sludge is spread onto pastoral lands. It failed to look at the risks posed by earthquakes to well integrity or even the longterm integrity of pipe casings given industry figures suggest 50% of well casings fail after 20 years. Stunningly it failed to even look at the impacts of fossil fuel extraction on the climate of the planet [1]”

“The study looked at seismicity induced by fracking, but not at the effects of naturally occurring earthquakes on the integrity of the wells. Even with a small 2.3 earthquake induced by fracking at a Cuadrilla drilling site in  Lancashire ‘the extent of the wellcasing deformation was greater than 0.5 inches’.” [2]

“If a scientific report into the environmental effects of extracting fossil fuels fails to acknowledge the impacts of climate change on humanity and the planet, one has to seriously question the validity of such studies. Rather than coming up with more dangerous ways of extracting dirty fossil fuels for a dead-end economy, we need to urgently transition to a clean, sustainable economy.”

“Taranaki Regional Council Director of Environment Quality Gary Bedford’s assertion that fracking in Taranaki is ‘doubly safe’ is ludicrous given the decades council failed to even require resource consents and monitoring for fracking, and their continued failure to adequately test frack operations, allowing monitoring reports full of holes.”

NOTES
[1] The report states: “Climate risks have not been analysed.” Page 8 of the report
[2] Page 45 of the report

The report can be read here: http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/projects/shale-gas/2012-06-28-Shale-gas.pdf

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