Fracking: expert report underlines concerns

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood’s economy and energy committee, says today’s report by the Expert Panel on unconventional oil and gas underlines the serious concerns surrounding fracking and other forms of onshore drilling.

Scottish ministers are to set up a working Group to consider the findings of the report. These include:

– The impact of unconventional oil and gas resources in Scotland on the Scottish Government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases is not definitive.
– The high population density of those parts of Scotland most likely to host significant unconventional oil and gas resources would be a challenge for any form of re-industrialisation.

A huge swathe of Scotland, from Argyll to Aberdeenshire and from Ayrshire to East Lothian, has been earmarked as ripe for fracking by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“This report, coming on the day that the UK Government invites firms to apply for fracking licenses, underlines the absurdity of chasing after yet more sources of polluting fossil fuels. The experts warn that developing unconventional gas may increase the climate change emissions we need to cut, and that the chance of being able to use this resource to maintain electricity supplies is negligible.

“Communities across Scotland are rightly concerned at the hype surrounding shale, with thousands of people in the Falkirk and Stirling areas already voicing opposition to gas extraction proposals there. I would again urge Scottish ministers to ban any such developments and instead focus on Scotland’s undoubted potential for clean, renewable energy and the high quality employment already being created.”