Reacting to news that energy company Cluff Natural Resources has dismissed community fears as ‘unfounded’ and ‘irrelevant’ towards experimental technology Underground Coal Gasification being developed around the Forth, Ms Flick Monk, Unconventional Gas Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland said:

“Cluff shows no regard for the communities living and working around the Firth of Forth who oppose Underground Coal Gasification. People living around the Central belt are fed up with industries having so little regard for their local environment or local democracy. Communities are not simply obstacles to be overcome, but should be fully engaged in decisions that will shape their local area.

“Cluff has previously attempted to wheedle its way around planning law, attempting to ensure its proposals are not included in the moratorium on unconventional gas. Scotland should have nothing to do with companies that think they can ride rough-shod over local people, pollute the local environment and walk away if anything goes wrong.

“Underground Coal Gasification has a terrible track-record around the world. Recent cases of widespread contamination of water and air in Australia show just how experimental and risky it can be. Communities facing Underground Coal Gasification in their areas should be afforded the same rights as those threatened with fracking and coal-bed methane with the full environmental, health and climate change impacts assessed. It is time for the Scottish Government to place a moratorium on Underground Coal Gasification which is so widely opposed across Scotland.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

 

Oil tycoon Algy Cluff claimed that fears of local people living in areas threatened with Underground Coal Gasification are ‘irrelevant’ and ‘unfounded’ in an opinion piece in today’s Sun: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/6655344/Dont-choke…

Cluff Natural Resources have plans to set fire to coal seams under the Firth of Forth and capture the gas produced http://www.cluffnaturalresources.com/projects.aspx

An Underground Coal Gasification plant in Australia is facing prosecution for allegedly contaminating over 300 square kilometres of farmland. The Ferret, 24 August 2015 https://theferret.scot/coal-gas-contamination-sparks-fears-disaster/

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:

* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups. www.foe-scotland.org.uk