Ineos plan another glitzy media event today (10/7/15) for their new storage tank, which will hold fracking gas imported from the USA. In response Friends of the Earth are highlighting polluted communities in the US and the danger of blighted communities in Scotland.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director, Dr Richard Dixon, said:

“This storage tank will be taking gas from fracking in the US for the next 15 years. We strongly suspect Ineos’ plans for fracking in Scotland would result in blighted communities, with planning permissions sitting unused for years. The last thing anyone wants is to have a site next to their home where fracking may happen at some unspecified time in the future. Communities could have to wait until nearly 2030 to find out if they are going to be fracked or not. This threat of blight is another good reason for the Scottish Government to decide that fracking has no place in Scotland.”

Last week the UK Government were forced to admit that fracking would have a significant impact on house prices and insurance costs for nearby homes [1].

“We oppose fracking here in Scotland and wherever else it is proposed. The US experience shows the enormous damage to local environments and to public health that is part and parcel of this industry. Ineos’ US partner Range Resources has a shocking record of pollution and cover-up, and we send our sympathies to anyone who has to live near their operations.

“Fracking is a dirty, dangerous industry which is unwelcome in Scotland or anywhere. Ineos’ PR machine is cranking up a gear as more and more people become concerned about this industry. The refusal of Lancashire County Council to permit fracking last month shows that people power can beat the frackers.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs released a report last week admitting that fracking could hurt house prices, and pose risks to health and the environment: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/01/fracking-could-hurt-h…

2. Fracking applications were rejected in Lancashire last month. http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/lancashire-no-fracking

3. Ineos have signed a 15 year deal with Range Resources to supply fracked shale gas. http://www.ineos.com/news/shared-news/ineos-europe-ag-announces-a-new-ag…

4. Range Resources have been accused of causing a number of environmental incidents, see a long list [http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/tag/range-resources/]

They have had to pay nearly $15m in pollution fines in the last two years:
June 2015: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced a record $8.9 million fine against Range Resources, which the agency says has failed to fix a gas well that polluted groundwater and a stream in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. The civil penalty is the biggest ever assessed for a shale gas drilling-related environmental violation in Pennsylvania. http://powersource.post-gazette.com/powersource/policy-powersource/2015/…

September 2014: Range Resources paid a $4.15 million fine for violations at six wastewater impoundments in Washington County, Pennsylvania. This was previously the highest fracking penalty in the state. http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2014/09/18/range-resources-to-pa…

Aug 2013: Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with Range Resources. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/05/children-ban-talking-…

5. Range Resources have also donated heavily to political campaigns in Pennsylvania.
The natural gas industry spent $3.5million lobbying in 2010, with Range Resources alone donating $392,000. http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/natural-gas-industry-spent-3-5m-on-lobb…
Between 2011-2014 Range Resources spent $3.8 million on lobbying candidates and elected officials http://marcellusmoney.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Marcellus-Money-Fin…

6. 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