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    Friends Of Earth Scotland Calls for Complete Ban on Unconventional Gas

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    Unconventional gas and fracking are unlikely to produce much gas, will not be cheap and will come at a major cost to the environment and people's health, the director of a leading environmental campaigning organization Friends of the Earth Scotland explained.

    Nicola Sturgeon reacts as she is formally announced as the new Scottish National Party (SNP) leader at the party conference in Perth November 14, 2014
    © REUTERS / Cathal McNaughton
    MOSCOW, January 19 (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — A complete ban on fracking and other forms of unconventional gas is needed, the head of Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organization told Sputnik on Monday.

    "It is great news that people in Scotland will still have the right to object if fracking is proposed under their homes. But we want the Scottish Government to go even further and ban fracking and other forms of unconventional gas, so that no community has to worry about this dangerous industry coming to their area," Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland told Sputnik.

    Last week, the UK government excluded Scotland from the Infrastructure Bill which gives frackers the right to operate on land beneath private property without its owner's consent and overturned the right to settle the matter in court in the event of a disagreement.

    "Despite concerns about climate change emissions and health impacts, the UK Government has been trying hard to do everything it can to get the fracking industry going in the UK," Dixon said, adding however, that the industry is moving very slowly "with hardly any exploration planned in the coming year and widespread public protest in communities across the UK."

    In 2015, the United Kingdom has plans to drill only 11 new wells to explore shale gas and oil, falling short of the UK prime minister's promise to go "all out for shale".

    Moreover, the director of Friends of the Earth Scotland explained that unconventional gas and fracking were unlikely to produce much gas, would not be cheap and would come at a major cost to the environment and people's health.

    According to a senior energy campaigner with the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), it is still not clear whether shale oil and gas will have any considerable impact on energy security.

    "There are considerable uncertainties about the impacts of shale oil and gas, so it's too early to make confident predictions about the effects on broader issues such as energy security," Nick Clack told Sputnik.

    He added that there were no easy solutions to the energy mix in the United Kingdom. At the same time, Clack underlined the urgent need to move away from fossil fuels toward low carbon energy solutions.

    "We would like to see a more precautionary approach to fracking given the major uncertainties, and the potential cumulative impact on the natural environment, communities and climate change," Clack said.

    The Scottish government, the Scottish Labor Party and the Scottish Green Party had opposed the decision to exclude Scotland from the Infrastructure Bill. Last week, Scottish National Party energy spokesperson Mike Weir told Sputnik that the UK Labor Party should clarify its position on the issue of fracking, as the Conservative Party plans to allow shale gas companies to carry out fracking operations on land beneath private property.

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