Blog Posts: Environment

February 5th, 2018

This Land is Our Land: The Fight to Stop Ineos from Fracking the UK

 The petrochemical giant that wants to frack to make plastic is meeting intense local opposition

by Andy Gheorghiu

The secretive chemical company Ineos has been leading the charge to bring the environmentally destructive method of drilling, known as fracking, to the United Kingdom (UK) and mainland Europe. The company’s goal is to produce cheap gas for its own plastics and petrochemical production. But the company is running into massive public opposition.

The first blow for Ineos came last year, when the Scottish Government voted for an indefinite moratorium on fracking – a proper, democratically supported move that has nonetheless prompted Ineos to launch a legal challenge against it.

Read the full article…

January 22nd, 2018

Ready, Steady, 2018: What Food & Water Europe Will Fight for in the Coming Year

By Frida Kieninger, David Sánchez and Andy Gheorghiu

In 2017 we worked hard to change things for the better – fighting for sustainable agriculture, public water, better trade agreements, and clean energy solutions. The past year was a tough one seeing U.S. President Trump’s destructive decisions on social, energy and environmental issues and another series of devastating disasters linked to climate change. Nevertheless, now more than ever we are motivated to make 2018 a successful year for our beautiful fragile planet. Can we count on you?

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January 16th, 2018

European Activists Invited to Talk About Opposition to Gas Infrastructure in the European Parliament

If you are around Brussels this month, you are more than welcome to participate in our event on 22 January, bringing the voices of anti-gas infrastructure activists to the European Parliament. The event will take place from 13:30-14:30 in room PHS 01C051.

Why is Gas on the EU-Parliament’s Agenda this Month?

On the following day, Tuesday 23 January, the European Commission will talk to Members of Parliament about a new priority list for gas and electricity projects. Food & Water Europe followed the establishment of this list carefully and heavily criticises it because:

  • It is too focused on fossil fuel (gas) infrastructure to the detriment of renewables.
  • Support for subsidizing gas projects is not in line with the goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • It is marked by conflicts of interest due to heavy industry involvement.
  • It incentivises the misuse of public money for unneeded fossil fuel projects will end up as stranded assets.

Read the full article…

January 2nd, 2018

Five Unneeded, Costly, Climate Killing Fossil Fuels Projects

A Journey to the EU ‘Priority Projects’

By Frida Kieninger

On November 24, the European Union Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete presented a list of priority gas infrastructure projects, known as the Projects of Common Interest (PCI). While he claimed proudly that this year’s list shows a shift away from gas, a simple question about the real number of gas projects on the list suggests that this is not true.

In fact, the EU-Commission tried to artificially decrease the number of fossil gas projects with a simple accounting trick, by clustering projects. When counting this year’s list in the same way as the last two PCI lists, it contains even more gas projects than ever before.

A total of over 90 gas infrastructure projects will be on the 2017 PCI list. All of them are costly, unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure, which will curb much-needed investments in clean energy and energy saving measures.

Read the full article…

December 18th, 2017

Meet the European Petrochemical Giant Trying to Profit from the Fracking of Pennsylvania

The Controversial Mariner East 2 Pipeline Would Carry Gas Liquids for Plastics Production Overseas

By Wenonah Hauter

It seems that every week brings more bad news about the construction of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline. While Pennsylvania communities, water protectors and landowners fight to stop the project, a larger question remains: What is this massive, dangerous pipeline actually for? The one word answer might surprise you: plastics.

The Mariner East 2 won’t carry “natural gas” for heating your house or operating a stove. It will transport highly volatile liquids that will mostly be shipped overseas to be turned into plastics by a giant chemical corporation with a terrible environmental record.

Ineos’s pro-fracking agenda has spawned a citizen movement in Europe, where residents are fighting to prevent the company’s plans to frack the United Kingdom.

In other words, Sunoco and its parent company Energy Transfer Partners are putting Pennsylvania communities at risk—from the immediate negative impacts of fracking in the western parts of the state, to the long-term risks to families living near the 350-mile pipeline—in order to supply a giant corporation making plastic pellets, many of which wind up littering shorelines across Europe.

My organization, Food & Water Watch, has been digging deep into Ineos, the massive chemical conglomerate profiting from the fracked gas liquids out of Pennsylvania. Ineos founder and chairman Jim Ratcliffe amassed his petrochemical empire in short order, thanks to risky bets and highly leveraged takeovers and acquisitions. The Mariner East 2 pipeline represents one more dangerous Ineos “innovation”—it delivers fracked hydrocarbons to the Marcus Hook facility near Philadelphia, where they are loaded onto the company’s “dragon ships” headed to facilities in Scotland and Norway.

Read the full article…

December 12th, 2017

Fighting Big Oil and Gas in Northern Germany

by Andy Gheorghiu and Frida Kieninger

Photo by: Christian Eckhardt

Natural gas plant near Großenkneten
Photo by: Christian Eckhardt

On 2 December, a number of German citizens’ initiatives[1] met with Food & Water Europe in Hamburg to discuss oil and gas exploration in the country and strategies for the coming year.

The main points discussed were planned exploration in a water protection area in Verden, Lower Saxony, an international project by Hansa Hydrocarbons to drill for gas in the North Sea (nearby the Wadden Sea), and the construction of a terminal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Brunsbüttel port.

New drilling in a water protection area?

Read the full article…

December 7th, 2017

Global Frackdown 2017: Letters from Mexico

Anti-fracking event VeracruzMexico has been identified as having significant shale oil and gas potential and the Mexican government appears keen to develop its shale resources.

Meanwhile, more and more Mexicans are becoming aware of the dangers of fracking and are mobilizing to oppose plans to sell off clean air and water as well as healthy communities to the incessant greed for profit of big oil and gas companies.

Read the full article…

November 28th, 2017

Ireland’s Clean Energy Revolution Won’t Be Helped by LNG Imports

By Andy Gheorghiu

PHOTO CC-BY-SA © PLINE / COMMONS.WIKIMEDIA.ORG

Ireland has been through quite some rough economic times in the aftermath of the financial crunch. But the Irish are natural born fighters and will never easily give in. They also have deep and strong bond to the lands and the waters that host and feed them.

No wonder that – despite the economic struggles they were facing and oil and gas industry promises of jobs and prosperity – the Irish didn’t buy in, but rather fought back.

Instead of believing the shale hype, Ireland opted for the only true path that is able to combine environmental protection, climate action and a boost for the econonmy: in the Summer of 2017, the Green Island banned fracking.

Previously, in January 2017, the Irish Dàil had voted in favour of divesting coal, oil and gas holdings from the €8 billion Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

But now, at the most decisive moment for Ireland’s transition into a post-fossil fuel future, an absurd debate about the realisation of two unneeded LNG import terminals at Shannon & Cork returns.

Read the full article…

October 20th, 2017

Globalfrackdown 2017 (And Beyond)

By Andy Gheorghiu

Since 2012, the Global Frackdown – an international day of action initiated by Food & Water Watch to ban fracking – has helped connect activists across the globe and demonstrated the growing power of the movement to stop fracking, gas infrastructure, sand mining and other related extraction methods. This movement is fueled by increasing scientific evidence of the impact of fracking on water, air, health, seismic stability, communities, and the climate on which we all depend.


This year groups from around the globe – moved by our joint spirit of “Not here or anywhere!” – rallied again in solidarity for a Global Frackdown.
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2nd Gas Conference – Global gas lock-in: Linking North-South Resistance

What happens if a bunch of activists working to halt gas infrastructure and raise awareness about the issues around gas meet in Brussels? A global network of “gastivists” is launched.

The first edition of the Brussels Gas Conference, co-organized by Food & Water Europe, was in September 2016. This year, we decided to repeat the successful conference at the end of September, this time focusing more on global supply chains of fossil gas.

Fighting the notion of gas as a bridge fuel – and fighting impacts of gas extractions

While most of the discussions around gas in Brussels concern its climate impact and security of supply as well as energy prices, the reality for people affected by gas extraction and gas infrastructure projects often looks different. In this year’s conference, representatives from EU-based organizations touched base with activists on the ground within and outside of Europe, broadening the joint narrative around gas. The Global North’s approach is to focus on the gas lobby‘s push to sell gas as green, clean and a necessary bridge-fuel supporting unreliable renewables – backed by hordes of lobbyists and huge payments for lobby material. On the other hand, participants from the Global South in particular made clear that in extracting countries, land grabbing, loss of livelihood, increase of socio-economic inequality, corruption and human rights abuse are the issues they highlight when talking about fossil gas.

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