A green campaign group made a series of misleading claims about the health and environmental impacts of fracking, according to a damning draft ruling by the advertising watchdog. Friends of the Earth (FoE) failed to substantiate claims that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase asthma rates and send house prices plummeting, the Advertising Standards Authority says. Scientists accused the group of scaremongering after it made the claims in thousands of copies of a leaflet asking for donations to help stop fracking. Cuadrilla, which wants to frack in Lancashire, and the Reverend Michael Roberts, a retired vicar, complained to the ASA about the leaflet last year. The ASA produced its draft ruling in July but has been forced to delay sending it to its council for approval because FoE has r epeatedly requested more time to challenge its findings. The draft upholds the complaints against FoE on all four grounds, finding in each case that the group had breached the ASA’s code by making misleading statements that it had failed to substantiate. The draft rejects FoE’s attempt to use evidence from the US to justify its claims about the threat to health and water supplies. It notes that there are differences between the way fracking is regulated in the US and UK, with the Environment Agency imposing strict controls here on chemicals used and the protection of water supplies. On the claims about asthma, the advertising authority found that FoE had based them on a report from the US that had not found a causal relationship between the disease and fracking. On house prices, the draft criticises FoE for using an “anecdotal quote” from a newspaper article to help justify its claim that prices would plummet. The draft concludes: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Friends of the Earth Trust Ltd not to make claims about the likely effects of fracking on the health of local populations, drinking water, or property prices in the absence of adequate evidence.”
Times 26th Sept 2016 read more »
No shale gas wells will be drilled in Britain this year, the industry has confirmed, as a key fracking decision nears. Within the next fortnight, the government will decide whether to accept shale company Cuadrilla’s appeal against Lancashire county council’s decision last year to turn down its application for two fracking sites. But even if communities secretary Sajid Javid green lights the fracking, as expected, Cuadrilla said that construction it needs to undertake at the two sites on the Fylde means the earliest drilling could start would be April next year. The industry trade body told the Guardian that no wells had been drilled into shale in 2016, and it knew of none planned before 2017.
Guardian 26th Sept 2016 read more »
ONE of the US fracking companies contracted to deliver gas to Scotland has been fined for contaminating the environment, prompting renewed calls for Scotland to ban the industry. Range Resources, headquartered in Texas, has a 15-year deal with the petrochemical giant, INEOS, to supply ethane to Grangemouth. The gas is extracted from US shale by fracturing underground rock. The long-awaited first boatload of gas from the US fracking industry is expected to arrive at Grangemouth this week. It is due to be celebrated by INEOS – and scorned by protestors.
Sunday Herald 25th Sept 2016 read more »