David Smythe

Fracking Definition Based on “Little Rational or Scientific Basis”, Scientists Warn

UK Fracking defintion

Two British scientists have warned that the UK Government’s definition of fracking could risk environmental harm.

In a letter published in Nature on 23 August Stuart Haszeldine of the University of Edinburgh and geophysics expert David Smythe write that the government’s legal definition of hydraulic fracturing has “little rational or scientific basis”.

As DeSmog UK first revealed in 2015, under the UK Infrastructure Act fracking is defined based on the volume of fluid used during oil and gas extraction: 10,000 cubic metres or more per well. This is much higher than the threshold for “high-volume hydraulic fracturing” in the US (between 2,000 and 2,500 cubic metres per well). The definition originates from a report conducted on behalf of the European Commission.

Exclusive: Emails Reveal University of Glasgow's Attempt to ‘Silence’ Emeritus Prof Smythe Over His Views on Fracking

University of Glasgow

Bosses at the University of Glasgow were motivated to remove the email account and online privileges of emeritus professor of geophysics David Smythe because of his anti-fracking views, DeSmog UK can reveal.

Internal emails dating back to July 2014, obtained by Smythe through a Subject Access Request filing and seen by DeSmog UK, confirm his online privileges were revoked following a long-running dispute between the university and Smythe concerning his use of the university name when discussing the impacts of shale gas extraction.

The emails appear to contradict the university’s previous claims that the change in Smythe’s online privileges, removed in February this year, had been the result of a “routine review of email accounts in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences.”

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