Today the government is accepting applications for licenses to explore potential fracking sites. The contracts that will be eventually signed will not contain clauses to clean up contaminated water supplies or clauses insisting upon insurance to be taken out to pay in the event of a natural disaster.
Instead, here is what the government says to fracking companies “when things go wrong”:-
“How operators manage incidents if something goes wrong:-
Operators must prepare a safety document with an assessment of risks and a plan for responding to incidents and emergencies on site.
- If the following happens, it must be reported to the HSE(see below):
- a blowout (an uncontrolled flow of well fluids)the unplanned use of blowout prevention equipment
- the unexpected detection of hydrogen sulphide
- failure to maintain minimum separation distance between wells
- mechanical failure of any safety critical element of a well
- After an incident, the HSE will ensure appropriate investigations are made into the well safety and stability, and that well integrity is restored as necessary.
- Operators may then be required to make improvements to their operations.”
The Health & Safety Executive is a not even a part of the government, it is a toothless, powerless quango set up to avoid ministerial responsibility. Well that’s alright then …Un-fracking-believable!
History repeats itself. Strangely though, our politicians cannot see this simple truth and cannot learn from it because it is not in their interests. The history is this – private companies will hardly ever ever pay if they cause pollution or natural disasters. They will either simply go bust and let “we the people” pay or ensure that the contracts they sign with the government do not contain any annoying clauses that may cost them money.
Since the late 1970’s government ministers, of both main parties, have been creating QUasi Non Governmental Organisations to avoid the responsibility which is rightly theirs to bear. Quangos are given the responsibilities which should be shouldered by ministers, because they are not accountable to the people. Ministers can then blame them when things go wrong. Simple eh?
Remember British Nuclear Fuels, our wonderful British nuclear industry “the energy of the future”? If you are under 40 you probably don’t know the sad tale that means that the tax payer is coughing up £’billions into the unforeseeable future to to deal with spent fuel rods from the 1960’s 1970’s 1980’s 1990s 2000s2010s and so on.
The simple, sickening truth is that if the companies who hope to make a profit from fracking were forced to deal with these costs they wouldn’t frack. The real business costs and risks are just too high as we learn from our privatisation history. Well OK, we don’t. Has the government learned anything from the past?
No, since we the people will be paying they are happy to proceed.
It won’t affect the government ministers pensions, the incompetent criminals who let it all happen, because we will be paying those too. Those who keep making these colossal, criminal errors are never held to account!
Here are links to the who is paying for clean-up in the UK and the USA, read and be warned:-
What should we be doing?
- How about funding research & development in our best Universities (the ones not running media studies courses 😉 ) on how best to keep the lights on over the next 100 years?
- How about ensuring, now, that any new build house is 80% heat efficient?
- How about ensuring that new housing estates (say 20 houses or more) have to use centralised ground and air source heat pumps
- How about using new carbon capture technology in our coal mines?
- How about using the heat in the rivers?
- How about researching geo-thermal energy?
They won’t do any of those because there is no quick party political payback – 3 years payback is the most they can wait for.
No! I’m fracking fuming!!