Garbage Watch

We keep hearing people in authority making statements about fracking which simply don’t match the generally accepted reality. Perpetuating or creating myths in an attempt to bolster support for fracking is at best disingenuous and we think you need to ask yourselves why these people are saying these things.

Fracking will lower energy bills

The DECC, The cross party Committee on Climate Change and several industry commentators and players have all agreed that shale gas extraction is highly unlikely to result in reductions to household or industrial energy bills. These guys apparently know different:

Chris Grayling, Conservative Justice MinisterA Conservative cabinet minister has claimed drilling for shale gas could make the "single biggest difference to the cost of living" for people in Britain.

Chris Grayling, the justice secretary, said he believes the controversial process known as fracking is the "solution" to the problem of high energy bills.
Speech at Conservative Party Conference2013 09 29
Boris Johnson, Conservative Mayor of LondonThe senior Tory said turning to a new generation of nuclear plants and fracking would cut energy bills and boost the economyThe Sun2013 09 15
Owen Paterson, Conservative Environment SecretaryOwen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has held out the prospect that a fracking boom in the UK would lower energy prices – just a day after leading climate change economist Lord Stern dismissed a similar claim by David Cameron as “baseless”.The Independent2013 09 04
Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife This (CBM) can help to reduce the cost of bills, like in the US.The Daily Record2013 09 03
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer & Conservative MP for TattonIf we turn our back as a country on sources of new energy, which countries like China and the United States are exploiting, then we are we are saying to British families: 'You pay energy bills that are higher than those paid by families elsewhere.' Speech at the Offshore Europe 2013 conference in Aberdeen 2013 09 03
Pritti Patel, Conservative MP for WithamIf Britain can achieve the same degree of success as the USA, domestic gas prices could also fall by as much as 60%, which could help keep household energy bills down.Conservative Home Blog2013 08 26
Lord Lawson, Conservative PeerAnd they are backed by well-funded Green pressure groups, such as Friends of the Earth, who are preparing unending legal challenges for anyone seeking to provide us with cheap energy from shale.
The Sun2013 07 09
Stuart Jackson MP, Conservative, PeterboroughBritain’s huge shale gas reserves are central to a new energy strategy that will boost growth, create new jobs and cut bills and carbon emissions.Peterborough Telegraph2013 07 05
Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSPShale gas has revolutionised energy markets in the US and has substantially reduced costs for both consumers and industry and I believe it has the potential to do the same for Scotland.The Courier2013 06 18
Staff ReporterShale gas has the potential to significantly cut the cost of gas to British homes and companies. Gas prices have halved in the United States since 2005, when shale gas production started there.
Liverpool Express2013 06 18
David Cameron, Conservative, Prime MinisterBut also there is an opportunity to get cheaper supplies of energy ...Blackpool Gazette2013 06 05
Francis Maude, Conservative MP for HorshamIt is a promising new potential energy resource which could reduce our reliance on imported gas and help lower household energy bills.West Sussex Gazette2013 06 02
Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover and DealOnshore gas exploration – known as fracking – offers the potential for that holy grail of lower bills. .... Let's make sure we have consumer justice and benefit our economy with lower bills for all.Dover Express2013 05 30
Christopher Pincher, Conservative MP for Tamworth...initial assessments suggest that production levels of 12bcf per year will start to have a positive impact on our domestic energy prices.Conservative Home Blog2013 05 29
Tony Attard, Chief executive of the Institute of Directors in the North WestTony Attard, chief executive of the Institute of Directors in the North West, said he believed the emergence of a new energy source would slash bills for homes and businesses.Lancashire Evening Post2013 05 20
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer & Conservative MP for Tatton (Reported)Many senior Tories, including Mr Osborne believe shale gas is an “exciting opportunity” and has the potential to bring down energy bills .Financial Tmes2013 04 28

Shale Gas Resources

The BGS released a report in July 2013 which suggested that there might be as much as 1,300 tcf of shale gas under the UK. The report is peppered with caveats about the lack of reliable base data and makes it extremely clear that drawing any conclusions as to reserve sizes would be highly premature. This has not stopped prominent politicians and the industry from publicly doing exactly that.

Lord Lawson, Conservative PeerAccording to the British Geological Survey, there is enough now known to lie under Lancashire and Yorkshire alone to satisfy all the UK’s needs at the present rate of consumption for between 50 and 100 years.The Sun2013 07 09
Francis Egan, CEO, CuadrillaThe BGS has confirmed that Lancashire is sitting on several hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gasRadio Lancashire2013 07 05

Fracking fluid does not contain any hazardous or toxic components

On 24th April 2013 the Advertising Standards authority criticised Cuadrilla’s claim that “Cuadrilla’s fracturing fluid does not contain hazardous or toxic components” stating that it breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation). This has not stopped high profile pro-fracking lobbyists from forgetting to mention the hazardous or toxic components when they try to persuade us what a good thing fracking will be for us all

Peter Lilley Conservative MP for Hitchin and HarpendenHydraulic fracturing, to give fracking its full name, simply involves pumping water under great pressure into shale beds several kilometres underground until tiny fissures open up, which are then kept open by grains of sand so that the gas can flow out.Daily Telegraph2013 04 29
Lord Browne - Coalition Government's Lead Non-Executive Director and Cuadrilla ChairmanFracking is a good thing to do. It can be done very safely and very cleanly. It's not new. ... It involves putting water and sand at high pressure into rocks and making holes in the rocks.The Andrew Marr Show2013 05 12
Christopher Pincher Conservative MP for TamworthLest anyone forget, the chemicals used in fracking do not make you glow in the dark. They are the sort of chemicals everyone has under their kitchen sink (and which they flush down the plug hole) every day.Conservative Home Blog2013 05 29
CuadrillaBefore hydraulic fracturing takes place, the EA must approve the proposed composition of Cuadrilla’s fracturing fluid, which along with fresh water and sand includes:

Polyacrylamide friction reducer
Hydrochloric acid
Sodium salt

None of Cuadrilla’s fracturing fluid contains hazardous or toxic components.
Cuadrilla Web Site2013 06 18

Please do let us know if you come across other examples which you think should be added here!