A new coalition of Scottish community and environmental groups has urged the Scottish government to introduce a moratorium on fracking, in an editorial letter written to the Scottish Herald.
Led by Concerned Communities of Falkirk (CCoF) and Friends of the Earth Scotland, the coalition has argued that the threats from shale gas extraction are “impossible to regulate away” with a total ban the only viable option.
In addition, the letter, that also expressed concern at new coal-bed mining projects, was signed by the trade union Unison and two environmental health professors from the University of Sterling.
The letter says that not enough consideration has been given to the consequences of fracking and other alternative energy extraction programmes.
Many parts of Scotland have been approved for shale exploration and last week energy firm Cluff Natural Resources announced plans to build the UK’s first offshore coal gasification plant in Scotland.
Susan Hamilton of the Halt Unconventional Gas Extraction (HUGE) group, said, “this is now becoming a moral fight against the oil and gas companies and the UK Government.”
“I’ve seen growing, compelling, evidence from other countries of serious potential threats to health, water, land and air,” said Dr Carol Williams of CCoF.
Scott Donohoe, chairman of Unison’s health and safety committee in Scotland, said, “we need to proceed with great care on this due to problems in the US and elsewhere with the quality of the water.”
Andrew Austin, chief executive of IGas one of the energy firms exploring shale in the UK, said “a number of leading scientific and industry expert reports have all concluded that any potential risks associated with the extraction of natural gas from shale are low and can be managed in a properly regulated industry“.