These people are insane

At Preston New Road, planners’ only objection appeared to be that a handful of nearby properties would experience night-time noise levels from drilling of 12.5 decibels (dB) above normal background levels – despite being within the limit set by Government of 42dB, similar to the hum produced by a typical fridge.

So, how bad is that?

The closest that a wind turbine is typically placed to a home is 300 meters or more. At that distance, a turbine will have a sound pressure level of 43 decibels. To put that in context, the average air conditioner can reach 50 decibels of noise, and most refrigerators run at around 40 decibels.

Seriously, they’ve rejected fracking because it is quieter than a wind turbine?

18 thoughts on “These people are insane”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    No, they rejected fracking because they are NIMBY-ish Luddites who couldn’t find a more credible reason.

    They would have relied on their investigator stubbing her toe on the place that might become a drill site if they had to. But they didn’t.

  2. Tim,

    You can rage as much as you like about looming shortages and people will not believe you. Only when we have prolonged blackouts with electricity cuts and heating being turned off because of gas cuts will people, including the NIMBYs, come to their senses.

  3. You have to be living in some parallel universe to think that planners are NIMBY-ish. Residents may be but planners thirst for progress and planning guidelines from Whitehall.

  4. Quieter than a wind turbine… Try living between two farms, in the rural idyll: baying steers and bleating sheep, the tractors, quad bikes, packs of barking dogs – the shotguns (helicopters). But then compared to London it’s as silent as the grave.

  5. My understanding is it has yet to be rejected, but that the plannig officer has recommended rejection. Presuamably the company will be able to make the points to the council committee(?) that will take the final decision. Where, I suppose, final is subject to legal challenge…

  6. I suspect that its a local politics fudge. The local politicians don’t want to be the ones to give fracking the green light and get the opprobrium of the eco-loons heaped on them, so they’ve leaned on the planning officers to recommend refusal (which gets the Councillors off the hook for personal liability if they refused something the officers were recommending for approval), but the reason given is so flimsy that it will easily be overturned on appeal, and then all the locals can claim ‘It was the big bad Tories wot dunnit!’

  7. From memory, the loudest noise I heard at night growing up in farmland was the hum of a milking parlour refrigeration unit on a farm a mile or so away.

    But I doubt drilling would be that quiet, unless they are suspending normal operations at night. Most drill rigs make a bit of a racket, but what most people don’t realise is that the drilling rig is not permanent, just there for the week or two it takes to drill the well. Then all you’d hear is the production hum, which can be noisy but is fairly easy to eliminate almost completely.

  8. Well, to be fair, having slept next to a fridge recently (kitchen was being redone so all the white goods were in the bedroom), in the otherwise still of the night the sound from the compressor is pretty frackin’ annoying.

    I’m also reminded of some friends years ago in a small flat who insisted you had to go to the loo in the dark to avoid activating the fart fan. Sound levels are pretty relative.

  9. bloke (not) in spain

    @TimN
    Is there any reason they’d have to drill at night?
    Having used machinery in residential areas I’m pretty well aware of the restrictions on noise, noise levels & permitted hours.
    The sort of levels described are well within working day/weekday permitted for anywhere I’ve been.

  10. dearieme has it. The Labour government decided that middle-class public sector jobs should be advertised in The Guardian so as to subsidise their friends in the left-wing press so if you wanted to get a job or a promotion in local government you had to read the Guardian. Discrimination? What’s that?

  11. bloke (not) in spain

    Oh & the obvious question: Do they liquify at the well-head? If not, it’s hard to see how the pumps could make much more noise than a pool pump. Which are rarely sound insulated & ubiquitous. Even in the chilly UK.

  12. bloke (not) in spain

    @john77
    The Graun’s been the rag of choice for PS recruitment since forever. It’s not a Labour Government thing, although doubtlessly popular with the Labour supporting majority amongst PS management who’re placing/responding to recruitment ads.

  13. @ b(n) is
    The Times Educational Supplement used to carry all the university jobs. Local Governments used to advertise in their local newspapers and in libraries. I think that high-level jobs were advertised simultaneously in the Times, Telegraph and Guardian but New Labour switched to Guardian only

  14. Global warming and all its trappings is a cult, since when do cultists require rational explanations for their practices? I hardly think you’ve got a leg to stand on with this Tim, you’re just as much in thrall of this cult, you just choose unneeded economic measures to cleanse sin and make amends to Gaia. Same cult, different rituals.

  15. Is there any reason they’d have to drill at night?

    Yeah, you can’t stop drilling once you’ve started. You have to continue to pump “mud” (a mixture of water and chemicals) down the well at high pressure to prevent the hydrocarbons you’ve just drilled into from blowing out the hole; otherwise you need to plug the hole with concrete or put a cap on it (which is what they do when drilling is complete). So even though you can stop the bit turning (probably not a good idea either) you need to keep the mud pumps running.

  16. @ Mr Black
    Global warming is a *fact* not a cult. Belief in AGW may be a cult: that is different.
    Manmade global warming must exist since we have burned the equivalent of a *trillion* tons of coal in the last few decades. I postulate that solar cycles are far more important *but* we have no control over them, so if global warming will/could have disastrous impacts all we can do is minimise any man-made contribution.
    Tim wants to use a simple economic means to do so: why not? I wear a pullover or sweater and turn off the central heating (except when I put on a suit and commute into London) when my wife is out at work. NB I don’t believe in Gaia and I shall be dead by the time the cultists’ prophecies of doom come to pass

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