Commenting on the revelation that Dart Energy has told the Australian Stock Exchange that they plan to use the controversial fracking techniquue while telling communities and planning officials in Scotland that they have no plans to exploit shale gas, Friends of the Earth Scotland Campaigns Co-ordinator Mary Church said:

“Dart Energy needs to be straight with the public and its shareholders about its plans to frack for shale gas in the central belt. What they are saying to the local community and what their company reports say to shareholders doesn’t add up. 

“It looks as though Dart are being extremely economical with the truth in an effort to get the Airth coalbed methane project past the local community and planners. Dart must be more upfront about the companies plans to exploit shale gas in the area so that communities and local authorities can make properly informed decisions.” 

Friends of the Earth Scotland is calling for a ban on all unconventional gas extraction including fracking. 

Church added: 

“Unconventional gas extraction is increasingly linked to serious local environmental and health problems in countries such as Australia and the USA where the industry is more developed.

“Scotland has plentiful renewable resources, the last thing we need is to go after yet more climate-busting fossil fuels.”

The Government in New South Wales, Australia, has recently introduced a ban on all coalbed methane activity within 2km of residential areas. If a similar ban were in place in Scotland Dart’s development at Airth could not go ahead.   

ENDS 

 

Notes to Editors

 

1. Dart Energy’s coalbed methane project at Airth is the most advanced venture in its portfolio, and the most advanced unconventional gas development in Scotland. In September 2012 Dart submitted planning applications to Falkirk and Stirling Councils for 22 new wells at 14 sites, a waste water treatment facility and a network of pipelines to take the development to its commercial production phase. This phase of the project will only access 10 – 20% of the resource in the license area which Dart plan to exploit in coming years, meaning that the area could see many more wells in the coming years if Dart’s plans go ahead.  Falkirk and Stirling Council have asked Dart for an extension to decide this application, and a decision is not expected until May.  

 

2. The industry in Australia estimates that up to 40% of coalbed methane wells will eventually be fracked. See Australian National Greenhouse Accounts, Coal Seam Gas Estimation and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas

Emissions 2012, http://www.climatechange.gov.au/climate-change/emissions/~/media/climate…

emissions/factsheets/NGA-FactSheet-7-CoalSeamGas-20120430-PDF.pdf

 

3. The New South Wales Government recently introduced a ban on all unconventional gas activity ? not just hydraulic fracturing ? within 2km of residential areas. See http://www.resources.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/458018/TOUGH… A conservative estimate suggests at least 2,000 homes within 2km of Dart Energy?s Airth development 

 

4. A number of countries and states already have moratoriums or bans in place including:  

France: First country to ban March 2011 

Denmark: Moratorium at least until the end of 2013. 

Germany: Moratorium in Northrhine-Westphalia 

Bulgaria: Ban since January 2012 

Romania: Moratorium announced May 2012 

Czech Republic: Moratorium in May 2012 considering outright ban Spain: La Rioja region is currently considering implementing a ban on fracking 

Quebec: Moratorium pending environmental review 

Vermot: Banned in May 2012 

New South Wales: Ban on any coal seam gas activity within 2km of residential areas, Feb 2013. 

Ireland:  2-year moratorium in March 2013

 

5. 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 – covering every continent. www.foe-scotland.org.uk

* 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 – covering every continent. www.foe-scotland.org.uk