“Clear sign of desperation”: Green campaigner hits back at Ineos fracking “offensive”

Stuart Rodger

Director of green group hits back at Ineos Shale CEO

A LEADING green campaigner has said fresh attempts by petrochemicals giant Ineos to make the case for fracking are a “clear sign of desperation.”

Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, Dr Richard Dixon, said in a letter published in The Herald that “the company and its PR people have decided on a new approach which involves attacking us directly. The company’s previous attempts to convince local people were not a notable success with a series of difficult public meetings across the Central Belt in spring last year.”

The response by Dr Dixon came after CommonSpace published an opinion piece from Ineos’ CEO for Shale, Gary Haywood, in which he argued that Scottish green campaigners were guilty of a “fundamental misunderstanding”.

“Indigenous shale gas would reduce imports, which would reduce emissions.” Gary Haywood, Ineos Shale CEO

Dr Dixon added: “Its new offensive is a clear sign of desperation. Ineos knows that the Scottish Government’s forthcoming studies looking at health, climate change, earthquakes, house prices and traffic impacts are going to turn up the same kind of evidence that has led to fracking being banned in countries and regions across the world.”

In the opinion piece, Ineos CEO Gary Haywood said: “Indigenous shale gas would reduce imports, which would reduce emissions, and would provide the UK with a secure supply that is produced under the strict [health and safety] standards we employ in the UK, as well as providing jobs in the UK and taxation to the country.”

“It’s going to be a long fight.” DR Richard Dixon, Friends of the Eart Scotland director

Haywood added: “There is no credible scenario where gas does not provide a large part of our energy needs for decades to come. Eighty-four per cent of UK homes are heated by gas and it has the lowest greenhouse gas impact of any fossil fuel, and hence is the ideal bridging fuel.”

Dr Dixon claimed he remained optimistic that the Scottish Government would settle on a total ban on unconventional gas extraction when it makes its decision next Spring: 

“It’s going to be a long fight, with more tedious attacks from Ineos, but we are convinced the Scottish Government will eventually find in favour of communities and protecting the climate, and ban fracking for good,” he said.

Picture courtesy of: Flickr / Friends of the Earth Scotland

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