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Fracking Media Silence

Professor John Robertson who accused the BBC of pro-No bias in its coverage of the referendum campaign has turned his attention to an apparent media silence on the subject of fracking in Scotland. In a survey of a recent 30-day period of news coverage of fracking he concluded that the Scottish national press and broadcasters have hardly covered the question at all, at a time when it is attracting headlines in the UK press and also in the frack-friendly US.
During the period. The Scotsman, Daily Record and Daily Express carried one story each, while the Daily Mail had seven, most of them critical of anti-fracking opposition and especially the decision of the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to ban the industry in his state due to health and environmental concerns. The Herald news headlines and BBC’s Reporting Scotland made no mention of fracking, while STV’s Scotland Today reported fracking once.
“Scotland’s mainstream media, including of course our ‘Public Service Provider’ BBC Sc…

Into the unknown

How to overcome local objections to the risk of unhealthy pollution? Promise to make them millionaires and that is exactly what tax-evading, union-busting INEOS has done.
Ineos has never drilled wells before, but believes it can be successful because it has hired three experienced executives from the US shale boom. Ineos said wells had successfully been bored next to schools, churches and even close to the centre of large cities such as Fort Worth, Texas. “It is possible to drill wells in densely populated areas, but we don’t think that is necessary,” said Gary Haywood, the chief executive of Ineos UK.
Scientists from the UK Energy Research Centre told the BBC that promises of lower prices and greater energy security from UK shale gas were lacking in evidence. “It is very frustrating to keep hearing that shale gas is going to solve our energy problems – there’s no evidence for that whatsoever, it’s hype,” said Prof Jim Watson, UKERC research director.
Simon Clydesdale, energy campai…

Fracking Scotland

“The IPCC [UN climate science panel] is quite clear about the need to leave the vast majority of already proven reserves in the ground, if we are to meet the 2C goal. The fact that despite this science, governments are spending billions of tax dollars each year to find more fossil fuels that we cannot ever afford to burn, reveals the extent of climate denial still ongoing within the G20,” said Oil Change International director Steve Kretzman.

The most detailed breakdown yet of global fossil fuel subsidies has found that the US government provided companies with $5.2bn for fossil fuel exploration in 2013, Australia spent $3.5bn, Russia $2.4bn and the UK $1.2bn. The government money went to major multinationals as well as smaller ones who specialise in exploratory work, according to British thinktank the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Washington-based analysts Oil Change International. The report found that  four times as much money was spent on fossil fuel exploration as on …

Fracking Gas

More than 20,000 square kilometres (7800 square miles), A quarter of Scotland, covering the entire central belt and a part of the southwest, have been earmarked by the UK Government for possible exploitation by controversial technologies such as fracking to extract gas from wells dug deep into the ground. Scotland is rich in coalbed methane gas because of its coal reserves. Plans are afoot to drill 22 wells to tap the methane gas in coal seams near Falkirk and Stirling. Some 16 exploratory wells have been dug.

One recent study published in an international scientific journal found that 632 chemicals were used to extract underground gas in the US. Of the 353 on which there was detailed information, more than three-quarters were potentially hazardous to health, with over one-third being gender-benders (chemicals that can disrupt sexuality) and one-quarter capable of causing cancer. "These results indicate many chemicals used during the fracturing and drilling stages may have long-…