A Warning for Scotland: Push Forward on Natural Gas

FractivistsK.J. Rodgers
Crownsville, Maryland  

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Scotland is in the middle of a fracking fight and it is eerily similar to what we’ve see in some parts of the US. A warning: now is the time to push forward.

A few months ago Daniel Mrakind wrote here about American Liquefied Natural Gas making its way to Scotland. Ineos, a large petrochemical company, brought the LNG into that country after Scottish lawmakers passed a non-binding ban on fracking last June, taking advantage of their reluctance to get with the program.

I do not pretend to understand the operations of Scottish Parliament or the machinations of its politics, but the end results are all too familiar with what we have been seeing in the US. In January 2015, the Scottish government announced a moratorium on unconventional oil and gas extraction, pending a full “public consultation” on the practices, whatever that meant.  Then, in June 2016, this turned into some sort of temporary ban as the Scottish Parliament voted 32 votes to 29 to make that move. This ban is non-binding as of now and the public consultation is still pending with a final vote at the end of this year.

Scotland Frackivists

The “public consultation” sounds wonderful, of course, with all the talk of transparency and accountability, but all too often the voice of reason is overshadowed by the shouting of the misinformed. The current status of the law is confusing, bordering on buffoonery, and trying to learn more about the current status of the ban, I came across an interesting article titled “Fracking in Scotland Could Make Workers Sick, Say Campaigners” and they do mean “campaigners,” which was an interesting choice of terms giving the ideologically politically nature of the debate.

The Ferret, the source of this article, refers to new “research” from a group of environmental activists called 38 Degrees, and claims fracking workers can be exposed to toxic chemicals. Without a source, it just throws benzene into the mix as a hot buzzword – and I’ll get to why shortly. The article then goes on to reference the infamous University of Missouri studies that have been debunked over and over, not to mention Gasland, as well as citing not only 38 Degrees but also Friends of the Earth as resources. It’s pure junk science journalism.

To top off the craziness, the next article in the Ferret boasts one  titled, “Don’t Do It, Scotland: Fracking Warnings from Pennsylvania.” The story comes from Mt. Pleasant Township in Southwestern Pennsylvania, where a young girl supposedly tested positive for benzene. She was, by their own admission still within the safe levels and, of course, there are any number of reasons for finding benzene, including smoking in a home. Mt. Pleasant is home to Jane Worthington and her daughter attended a Fort Cherry School District school. NaturalGasNow dug into that story and relayed the hidden facts here (among which were the fact benzene levels were lower than normal). It always circles back to the Heinz folks and like-minded fractivist funders, of course.

Scotland Fracking Warning

Screen Shot of the Scotland Warning

This ridiculous “warning from Pennsylvania” is nothing more than junk science, and larger-than-life threats, but guess who funded the Ferret’s story? The group 38 Degrees did so and they say that right in the text of the article as they reference the perceived dangers of fracking, from air pollution to water contamination. If this news site was trying to be credible at all, it would offer opposing views to the main text. A healthy debate would minimize the bias.

Scotland has every right to make the decisions they want, and I am quite sure we would be more than happy to continue shipping the LNG at premiums, but this isn’t about heeding a warning from Pennsylvania, this is an international campaign to scare common people into their submission.

The real article should be titled “Do it Scotland, Fracking Successes from Pennsylvania” and it should read like this: 30% CO2 reduction;   19% per-capita income increase; 6.7% reduced heating bill, average savings of $1,800, and on and on. The truth is that natural gas is supporting Pennsylvania with increased jobs, positive economic impacts and a dramatically improved environment as natural gas availability has lowered emissions at some power plants by literally 99%. Tell me that isn’t good news. The science is there for the Members of Parliament to make a decision – and for the people of Scotland, I hope they make the right one.

The post A Warning for Scotland: Push Forward on Natural Gas appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

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