The people’s case against fracking

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The Broad Alliance of communities against unconventional oil and gas extraction (UGOE) launched the Community Case Against Unconventional Gas today.

It brings together submissions by the Broad Alliance to the Scottish Government’s ongoing evidence gathering as it considers whether to ban or permit fracking and other kinds of UGOE.

Broad Alliance chairman Donald Campbell praised the community activists who worked so hard to write these responses.

He said: “With no money for paid researchers and painfully tight deadlines, ordinary citizens came together to show that, if the precautionary principle is followed, there is no place in Scotland for this dirty industry.

“Their passion and determination means almost as much as the work they’ve done. They have made a powerful case which deserves consideration by decision-makers and civil society.”

The Broad Alliance is one of the stakeholders in the Scottish review of evidence which will inform the decision about whether to let UGOE go ahead or not.

Studies are being carried out looking at climate change, economic and transport implications, as well as seismic issues.

The Broad Alliance has responded to all of these but made no proposals to a consultation on decommissioning, given their outright opposition to the industry even starting.

However, it pointed out the history of fossil fuel extraction in Scotland, where it has always been communities who have suffered the legacy and continue to do so, even today.

Public Health Scotland is looking at the impacts on public health and, while no submission was invited on this, the Broad Alliance has nevertheless urged Public Health Scotland to consider the growing number of studies from the United States showing that, whatever the industry claims, UGOE is bad for your health.

A separate study is looking at underground coal gasification. This was proposed by Cluff Industries for coal seams under the Firth of Forth.

Cluff has now withdrawn the proposal but it is crucial the Scottish Government makes clear it will not agree any future proposals.

The community groups that make up the Broad Alliance will be contacting their MSPs, MPs, councillors and community councils urging them to read the submissions to help them reach a decision.

They particularly call on community safety minister Paul Wheelhouse to give special attention to the community case.

Visit www.broad-alliance.org to view full submissions.