Commenting on Ineos plans to compensate communities and landowners affected by fracking developments, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“This transparent attempt to bribe communities and homeowners to accept fracking in their backyards will be rejected by people who value their health, their community and their local environment. Fracking is a dangerous, dirty industry and all the money in the world can’t hide that.”

“Ineos’s offer relates to the production phase which is a good 10-15 years off, if indeed the industry ever gets that far. Even if climate, health and local environmental issues weren’t a factor, it’s far from certain whether there is an economically viable resource at all in Scotland. It is quite possible that communities across Scotland will see potentially hundreds of wells fracked in their back yards only for the industry to walk away without handing so much as a penny to the people who have lived with years of disruption. Once again, spin-masters INEOS appear to be trying to fuel the shale gas hype at minimal risk to themselves.”

“The highly speculative sums talked about by the industry hide the true cost of fracking to the climate, communities and the local environment. The UK Government’s reckless dash for yet more dirty fossil fuels is incompatible with our global commitments to avert catastrophic climate change. We urge the Scottish Government to use existing powers to prevent the advance of unconventional gas fracking in Scotland”

The announcement comes ahead of the closure of the 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round next month, in which vast swathes of central and southern Scotland are being offered to fracking companies. Ineos recently bought into Dart Energy’ Forth Valley license, PEDL 133, for an undisclosed sum.

The UK Government also announced last week that it would introduce legislation to remove people's rights to stop, or even be notified about, fracking underneath their homes despite 99% public opposition to the plans.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. British firm Ineos accused of ‘bribes and bulldozers’ approach to fracking http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/28/british-firm-ineos-ac…

2. In June the British Geological Survey published its findings on the shale gas and oil potential of Scotland's central belt. The resource is modest and there is significant uncertainty as to how much might be possible to extract, and whether it is economically viable to do so http://foe-scotland.org.uk/shale-gas-estimates-central-valley

3. Cuadrilla has indicated that it needs to frack 40 wells over 5 years to establish whether there is an economically viable shale gas resource in northern England. Should companies seek to explore for shale gas or oil in Scotland, communities here will face the same prospect of being fracked for years only for operators to confirm there is no economically viable resource. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/1061149…

4. 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, FoE’s reaction is here: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/offered-central-belt-fracking

5. UK Government ignores overwhelming public opposition to fracking law plans http://foe-scotland.org.uk/UK-government-ignores-public-opposition-fracking

6. FoES comment on INEOS purchase of Dart Energy's Forth Valley license http://foe-scotland.org.uk/ineos-purchase-forth-valley-shale-licence%20

7. 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, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.