UPDATE: This. And please read all the way to the bottom, including the comments.
Controversial fossil fuel company iGas, currently packing up its exploratory well at Barton Moss, has been given the go-ahead to look for shale gas in the heart of Manchester City Centre, it can be revealed.
A secret agreement, signed by Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Kate Chappell, Executive Member for the Environment, has been seen by MCFly. Following a meeting at an undisclosed location (1), the new agreement allows iGas to do everything it likes, up to and including pumping whatever chemicals it thinks it needs to in order to bring low-carbon shale gas up from deep below the city streets.
Speaking exclusively to MCFly, Kate Chappell said “We see this merely an extension of the Council’s existing work on geo-thermal energy in Ardwick. You drill a hole, you get energy, same difference. And before you go on about it, yes, we did pass a motion in July 2012 saying “we wouldn’t give any planning permissions for either exploratory sites or fracking sites until it was clear there are no scientific doubts regarding the process. ” Well, after looking at the projected state of our finances after the next £200m in spending cuts, (2) we decided that the thorough and independent study conducted by iGas‘s in-house technicians was good enough for us. Even if it was written on the back of a fag packet.”
Contacted by phone, Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre, mild critic of shale gas exploration, declined to give a comment, but could be heard sobbing and – in keeping with the previous ten or so years of his life – banging his head against a wall.
Protectors at Barton Moss reacted with extreme ambivalence. One, speaking anonymously, told MCFly “Well, on the one hand we’re opposed to all fracking anywhere. On the other, any new protest camp will be a lot closer to regular supplies of hot water for brews, and the occasional cheeky kebab. And it’s like that Abba song goes “we win if we lose” – a bunch of good-for-nothing politicians get their water supply contaminated. Bring it on!”
Drilling is due to start precisely a year from today, on 1st April 2015.
1. Conflicting reports give it either as the City Arms or a hollowed-out Pacific volcano.
2. For climate action, Manchester needs more ‘tories. It really does.