Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Get the frack out of here 2

Mandi Gandhi-Mandibles, a member of the Scottish Green party, received the following e-mail from Gavin Brown MSP in reply to an enquiry from her regarding fracking.  She made the enquiry on 5th October, and received four identical replies on 11th October.

Thank you for your recent email regarding fracking.
The Scottish Conservatives are dedicated to achieving a balanced energy mix
to meet the country’s needs and we believe unconventional gas extraction has a significant role to play in this. Whereas ten years ago the UK was a net exporter of gas, today it has to import 10 billion cubic metres per year. Our shale gas reserves could drive
down domestic and industrial gas prices and help the country to be less at the mercy of volatile foreign markets and often unstable foreign governments.
I note that the UK government’s recent consultation generated a substantial degree of opposition, but the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) public opinion tracker provides a more accurate gauge of views with only 24% fully opposing
fracking and half neither supporting nor opposing it as of August 2014.

The SNP Government’s recent criticism of Westminster’s approach to fracking
and their call for additional powers to Scotland is no more than political posturing. Planning is already under the Scottish Government’s control and so fracking can only go
ahead with their agreement. The licensing regime for unconventional gas extraction is, and will remain, rigorous requiring input from the DECC, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), planning authorities and in some instances the Coal Authority. I am aware of some local homeowners’ concerns about fracking under or near to their properties, in particular the proposed right to drill to depths of 300 metres under private land without negotiating a right of access has been contentious. However, gas, water and electricity companies already have similar rights and there is no evidence of any harm that would be caused by fracking if properly regulated.

Safety is a top priority for the Government and it is worth noting that the UK has over 50 years of experience in regulating the onshore oil and gas industry. This experience is critical in avoiding risks such as the contamination of water supplies.  Overall, I am confident that fracking will continue to be conducted safely, responsibly and with local interests in mind. I believe it will benefit the country in terms of energy security,  economic growth and jobs creation. 
Kind regards
GAVIN BROWN MSP

Evidently he hasn't read the reports by UKERC released yesterday, which stated that fracking will not make the UK self-sufficient in energy supplies, or indeed any less reliant on  'volatile foreign markets and often unstable foreign governments.'

Sorry Gavin, but the scales have fallen from the eyes of the Yes voters, and we know lying platitudes when we see them.  1/10, would not read again.

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