Reacting to news in Cluff Natural Resources interim statement that Cluff has put off indefinitely its plans for Scotland’s first Underground Coal Gasification project, Ms Flick Monk, Unconventional Gas Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland said:

“Cluff’s change of mind is testament to the huge level of organised opposition to unconventional gas within the local communities around the Firth of Forth. This is great news for all those who have campaigned against this crazy scheme to burn coal seams under the Forth.

“Cluff is clearly running scared at the strength of feeling within both the community and the SNP grassroots membership, who have put out a powerful call to get Underground Coal Gasification included in the current moratorium on unconventional gas. Cluff has now revised its plans twice regarding the Kincardine UCG project, clearly because it is aware of how unwanted the development is by communities living around the Forth.

“Underground Coal Gasification is a highly risky technology that has caused widespread environmental damage in test projects around the world. The SNP conference is clearly heading for a very lively debate.

“Scotland’s ambitious plans for a safe energy future can not include coal and should instead focus on maximising our natural advantages in renewables. Climate science tells us that globally we must leave 80% of fossil fuels in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic temperature rises of over 2C.

“With the threat of an imminent planning application in the Forth now lifted, it is certainly time for the Scottish Government to put a moratorium on this experimental technology so that the full health and environmental impacts can be assessed. Communities around the Solway Firth are also facing the possibility of Underground Coal Gasification from the company Five Quarter. They should be given the same safeguards as communities facing coal-bed methane extraction and fracking have been with the moratorium.“

ENDS

Notes to Editors

 

Cluff Natural Resources Interim Results statement Tuesday 25th August http://www.cluffnaturalresources.com/documents/Interims25.08.15.pdf “While we continue to work with regulators and Halliburton on the technical aspects of the demonstrator project there are a number of external factors, including the on-going commission recently set up by the Scottish Government to review Scotland’s energy needs which is due to report in September 2015, a motion at the SNP Party Conference calling for the inclusion of UCG in its moratorium on onshore oil and gas and the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in May 2016, which have the ability to impact the development of the Kincardine Project. Accordingly we have deemed it prudent to await clarity on these matters before committing fully to, in particular, the expense of an Environmental Impact Study. As a result, work on a planning application will likely be postponed until after such time as the political situation is more certain. Preparatory work including site selection studies, modelling and design work are however well underway.”

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

In February 2015, Cluff Resources entered into a memorandum of understanding with controversial US company Halliburton. Halliburton reached a $1.1 billion settlement with over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/02/halliburton-11bn-sett…

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 Briefing on UCG http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/ucg-briefing

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