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Fracking Gas

More than 20,000 square kilometres (7800 square miles), A quarter of Scotland, covering the entire central belt and a part of the southwest, have been earmarked by the UK Government for possible exploitation by controversial technologies such as fracking to extract gas from wells dug deep into the ground. Scotland is rich in coalbed methane gas because of its coal reserves. Plans are afoot to drill 22 wells to tap the methane gas in coal seams near Falkirk and Stirling. Some 16 exploratory wells have been dug.

One recent study published in an international scientific journal found that 632 chemicals were used to extract underground gas in the US. Of the 353 on which there was detailed information, more than three-quarters were potentially hazardous to health, with over one-third being gender-benders (chemicals that can disrupt sexuality) and one-quarter capable of causing cancer. "These results indicate many chemicals used during the fracturing and drilling stages may have long-…

Gas going up

British Gas owner Centrica warned a 15 per cent rise in the wholesale cost of gas could be passed on to consumers which could add £50 a year to average bills. If the 15 per cent increase is passed on to consumers, it could mean a £128 a year increase, taking average bills to £1,388.

 Audrey Gallacher, director of energy at Consumer Focus, said "... the perception is that suppliers are quick to pass on high price rises and slow to pass on small price cuts."

Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch.com, said: “This is deeply worrying as consumers are still struggling to come to terms with the £224 or 21 per cent increase in bills from the end of 2010 and only enjoyed a £41 or 3.2 per cent reduction at the beginning of this year. Any further increases will see even more people seriously struggling to afford their bills."
 http://www.scotsman.com/business/energy-and-utilities/gas-prices-to-rocket-by-15-millions-of-families-warned-1-2290123

who owns the North Pole - part 11

The Socialist Copurier has been following the scramble for the Arctic and its resources for a while now.
The lasted development has been the research by the US Geological Survey revealing that the Arctic is estimated to hold 90 billion barrels of untapped oil and has three times as much untapped natural gas as oil.
The figures from the USGS are said to be the first estimate of the energy available north of the Arctic circle. According to the survey, the Arctic holds about 13% of the world's undiscovered oil, 30% of the undiscovered natural gas, and 20% of the undiscovered natural gas liquids. Exploration companies believe the recent rapid ice melt in the Arctic may make it easier to get reserves out of the region.
Hence the importance placed on the competition for territorial rights and sovereignty in the Arctic region .

Poor Energy Bills

The big six energy companies are charging the poorest customers up to £330 a year more for gas and electricity, it emerged last night.

Tariffs for prepayment meters, used typically by pensioners and the less well-off, are up to 45 per cent higher than for internet customers. The industry watchdog branded the practice a £400 million rip-off. The gap between the tariffs has grown after a round of inflation-beating price rises across the sector . Figures compiled by Energy-watch, the watchdog, show that on average prepayment customers are charged £255 a year more than online customers for power, compared with £190 before Christmas. E.ON’s prepayment charge is an average of £1,097 – 45 per cent higher than its internet tariff of £769. British Gas charges its prepayment customers 30 per cent more.

Graham Kerr, of Energywatch, said:

“We have hard evidence of £400 million of excess profits being taken off the poorest members of society just at a time when fuel poverty is continuing to rise. Ins…