Environmentalists urge public to use their last chance to speak out in fracking consultation

Scottish consultation into unconventional gas extraction methods set to close on 31 May

ENVIRONMENTALISTS are urging people to use the last hours of the Scottish Government’s consultation into fracking to make their voices heard.

The consultation, which is expected to be in receipt of around 40,000 submissions objecting to the introduction of fracking, will close tomorrow

Around 30 local organisations and community groups in Scotland are also expected to have submitted critical consultation responses by the time of the closing of the consultation tomorrow.

The Scottish Government currently imposes a moratorium on fracking, which is a form of unconventional gas extraction, involving the hydraulic fracturing of rocks deep underground to release small amounts of natural gas. However, campaigners are calling on the public to demand an outright permanent ban, due to fears over the safety and environmental impact of fracking procedures.

Mary Church, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland (FOES) said: “Time is running out for people to respond to the consultation on fracking. We need to make sure that all our voices are heard to send a loud and clear message to the Scottish Government that we reject fracking in Scotland.

Take part - You can take part in the consultation through the official portal here

“Allowing fracking to go ahead would undermine our efforts to tackle climate change, as well as endangering workers and public health, and pose serious risks to the local environment.

“Communities and groups across Scotland have been working hard for months telling people about the fracking consultation and urging them to respond. There’s been a tremendous effort with streets stalls, film screenings, theatre pieces and public meetings to raise awareness and get the word out there.

“There has been a huge response to the consultation so far with tens of thousands taking action online or signing postcards urging the Government to ban fracking for good. We would strongly encourage everyone to take five minutes today and put in a response. There are plenty of places online to take action quickly or you can visit the Government website and write in your own words why you don’t want fracking to go ahead in Scotland.”

Fresh concerns were raised yesterday (29 May) over the impact of fracking on workers, as evidence from over 150 reports, drawn together by digital campaigning site by 38 degrees, was used to claim a link between fracking methods and conditions including leukaemia.

Read more – UK Gov under fire for sale of Scots Green investment bank to fracking investors

Fracking methods have been accused by critics of leading to environmental damage including pollution for toxins used in the fracking process and subsidence, earthquakes and other seismic activity.

In addition to the consultation responses around 20,000 people have already signed a petition calling on the Scottish Government to exchange its moratorium for an outright ban of fracking techniques in favour of expanding Scotland’s ongoing revolution in renewable green energy sources.

Picture courtesy of Ric Lander

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Comments

Mike Fenwick

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 16:11

A factor I have not seen mentioned, including I believe also omitted from the consultation itself - Fracking – the insurance implications, both as it applies to fracking companies and to households close to any potential fracking site

Fracking involves risks and financial protection and security against the risks that arise will in all probability involve insurance. The potential risks from fracking could be substantial, as evidenced by a relatively recent lawsuit in the US against BHP Billiton.

Indeed relatively recently, Ken Cronin, head of UK Onshore Oil and gas, the industry trade body, conceded that insurance was an “area of concern”.

Insurance as it applies to a fracking company can be complicated and can include “self insurance” and arrangements made through a captive insurer. How complicated the issue of insurance can be is best understood by reference to the Deepwater Horizon disaster involving BP – Link: https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/insurance/b/insurance-law-blog/...

Insurance as it relates to residents and/or property owners in an area where fracking is to be conducted may or may not be available, and proving a direct causal link between property or environmental damage and fracking may prove far from easy and will be expensive. This article provides background – Link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/householders-affected-by-...

Most commentary, and indeed, I believe, this consultation, seem to ignore the importance of insurance as it relates to the risks posed by fracking – where the sheer scale of the accrued liabilities and litigation costs related to an incident may eventually lead to the demise/bankruptcy of the fracking company concerned, and in doing so may engender and leave the financial and social costs to be borne by individuals, Local Authorities and Governments for which no provision may have been established.

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