Mr Frackhead goes to Holyrood

Photos available: http://foes.do/frackheadpics

A 10ft pro-fracking puppet monster, Mr Frackhead, visited Holyrood today (8/10/2014), on his tour of the UK looking for places to frack for shale gas . [1] Mr Frackhead stopped for photos at the Scottish Parliament, Arthurs Seat and Holyrood Palace, where ‘the Queen’ tried to stop him from fracking under her Palace.

Holyrood is amongst many sites of significance across central and southern Scotland that fall within areas on offer in the 14th round of onshore oil and gas licensing [2]. Under UK Government plans, the Queen, or any other house owner, would not be able to stop fracking underneath their homes [3].

Mary Church, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “Unconventional gas is unsafe, unnecessary and unwanted. Evidence from the USA and Australia where fracking has been going on for some years links very serious public health impact to the industry. Going after a new source of fossil fuel in the context of the latest climate science is simply irresponsible and unnecessary in a country blessed with abundant renewable energy resources.”

“Communities across Scotland are already fighting unconventional gas developments, but this latest round of licensing puts even more homes in the firing line. The UK Government is ignoring massive public opposition in its reckless dash for gas while the industry resorts to bribes in an effort to foist fracking on communities. [4]
We urge MSPs and the Scottish Government to listen to concerns of the Scottish people and to use their existing powers to prevent the advance of unconventional gas fracking in Scotland.”

Thousands of people in Scotland are currently opposing plans for coalbed methane extraction in their communities, an industry that has very similar impacts to shale gas fracking, and can often involve the use of fracking. [5]

Maria Montinaro, of Concerned Communities of Falkirk commented “We live on a densely populated island and the Central Belt of Scotland, right where the industry wants to extract gas, is home to millions of people. Concerned Communities of Falkirk are calling for the Scottish Government to undertake a full Public Health Impact Assessment of the industry to prove to communities it is safe before any further operations take place here.”

Bill Frew, Chairman of Canonbie Residents Association said “We are facing a real threat to our community from this industry where planning permissions at 19 sites were approved without any meaningful consultation with residents. A survey undertaken by Canonbie Residents Against Coal Development, involving more than 360 local people, shows that more than 90% of them reject these proposals. “

Mr Frackhead is touring the UK ahead of arriving at Downing Street on Global Frackdown Day on Saturday October 11. [6]



Notes to Editors

1. Mr Frackhead will be at the Scottish Parliament from 11am scoping out the area for future fracking work. Mr Frackhead will be confronted by protesters, including ‘The Queen’ who will try to stop him from fracking under her Palace. He will pose for photographers and then take part in a short performance with The Queen.

2. DECC launched the 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round on 28th July 2014 in which 20,000 square km in Scotland are offered to tender for shale gas fracking and other hydrocarbon exploitation, FoES reaction: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/offered-central-belt-fracking

3 The UK Government intends to proceed with plans to remove peoples’ rights to object to, or even be notified about, fracking underneath their homes, despite the stated objection of the Scottish Government and over 99% of respondents to its consultation. FoES reaction: http://foe-scotland.org.uk/UK-government-ignores-public-opposition-fracking

4. FoES reaction to Ineos offer to compensate communities affected by fracking:

5. Dart Energy’s proposal for commercial coalbed methane extraction at Airth remains the most advanced onshore unconventional gas project in the UK. Over 2,500 individual objections were lodged, with 9 community councils representing over 70,000 people and 2 local authorities calling on the Scottish Government to refuse the application. The soonest the Department for Planning and Environmental Appeals is expected to make a decision is October.

Coalbed methane activity at Dart Energy’s site at Canonbie appears to be on hold pending the outcome of the Airth decision. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman is currently investigating a complaint about the way the 19 planning permissions were dealt with.

6. Saturday 11th October is Global Frackdown Day: http://www.globalfrackdown.org/events-2014/

Photos from previous Mr Frackhead visits are available at: https://www.facebook.com/MrFrackhead and https://twitter.com/MrFrackhead