Tomorrow's fracking announcement - what to watch out for



As part of its preparations for a new round of shale gas licenses,
DECC will tomorrow publish a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for
Further Onshore Oil & Gas Licencing. It has been produced by Engineering firm AMEC.

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

THE SHEER
SCALE OF THE PROPOSALS:
The Department’s most recent map of the 14th
Onshore Licencing Round covers over two
–thirds of England.

JOBS
FIGURES
: In a pre- briefing on the SEA in September, and as reported
in the Financial Times,
AMEC said it only expected between 15,900 and 24,300
direct and indirect jobs to be created
during peak shale gas production. This figure is just a third of the 74,000 figure
previously
quoted by David Cameron
. There is some talk of the jobs figures now having
been revised upwards. It will be interesting to see tomorrow if this is the
case, and on what basis.

In the pre-briefing, AMEC also referred to the potential for
leakage of employment opportunities, giving the example of Cuadrilla’s Preese
Hall site in Lancashire where only “17% of total jobs were within the local
area and more than a third were overseas”.

TRUCKS:  AMEC revealed in September that there would be
up to 48 truck movements per site, per day over a 46-117 week period. They said
that the "scale of movement may have an adverse impact on traffic,
congestion, noise and air quality".

EMISSIONS: AMEC said
that there will be "significant negative effects on greenhouse gas for
unconventional oil and gas" and concurred
with DECC’s chief scientist
that the overall effect could be to increase
global fossil fuel reserves rather than displace them. 

WATER: AMEC described
water usage as significant and raised uncertainties about how it will be treated
– “it's a lot of water that will require management".

COMMUNITY
BENEFITS
: previously described as “crumbs
off the table
” by a group of MPs with constituencies impacted by current
fracking proposals. The Environmental Assessment will look at how much money
could go to communities in total and who it will be paid to.

Greenpeace
Energy Campaigner Anna Jones said
:  “The Government is proposing to open two
thirds of England up to fracking, including small rural villages, areas of
outstanding natural beauty, national parks and protected wildlife areas.   As AMEC’s assessment will show, the local
environmental impacts are likely to be considerable.

“With even the fracking companies admitting UK shale won’t bring
down bills, and the Government’s community sweeteners being described as
“crumbs off the table” you can understand the growing opposition across the
country.

There is no public mandate for this industrialisation of the English
countryside and for digging up new forms of fossil fuels. The
Government has a fight on its hands.”

ENDS. For
more information contact Kathy Cumming in the Greenpeace press office on
07801212959
 


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