Cuadrilla reports Friends of the Earth over fracking leaflet

FoECuadrillaCuadrilla Resources has confirmed it has reported a fracking leaflet produced by Friends of the Earth to the Advertising Standards Authority, saying it was misleading and scaremongering. The company says it has also reported FoE to the Charity Commission.

Friends of the Earth said the health and environmental impacts of fracking was well-documented and the public were right to be concerned about it.

The leaflet aimed to raise money to campaign against fracking. It said: “Help protect your community from:

  • Chemicals that could cause cancer
  • Air pollution and higher asthma risk
  • Water contamination
  • Plummeting house prices and bigger insurance bills

Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive, Francis Egan, said in a statement:

“It is irresponsible and shameful that a charity such as Friends of the Earth should use misleading and scaremongering statements to encourage members to part with their hard earned money.

“Friends of the Earth must know perfectly well that the UK Environment Agency would never permit the use of a ‘toxic cocktail of chemicals’ in UK fracking fluid and Cuadrilla has no intention of doing so.”

“Furthermore there is no credible scientific evidence that the non-hazardous chemicals proposed for use in Cuadrilla’s UK fracking fluid having caused cancer or any other human disease.”

Michael Roberts and Ken Wilkinson, two supporters of fracking, have also complained about the leaflet to the ASA (reproduced here). They said:

  • The use of the words “dangerous” and “threatened” in relation to fracking were inaccurate
  • It was incorrect to say fracking used “a toxic cocktail of chemicals”
  • The statement that fracking fluid could end up in drinking was unproven
  • It was incorrect to say the planning decision in Lancashire had been concluded
  • Experiences in the US should not be extrapolated to the UK

Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said: “There is a growing body of evidence to suggest negative health and environmental impacts from fracking.

“It has already been banned in New York State because of a two-year long study that found ‘significant health risks’.

“We are helping people in the UK to resist fracking being pushed in their area by companies like Cuadrilla, who have the backing of David Cameron and George Osborne.

“The public are right to be concerned about fracking because it is a controversial and risky technique that produces more dirty fossil fuels that cause climate change and could threaten our water.

“To avoid dangerous climate change, more than 80% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. So, setting up a whole new fossil fuel industry in the form of fracking will only add to the stockpile of fossil fuels that we can’t burn.”

16 replies »

  1. All claims of fracking industry is hazardous or non hazardous is a waste of time. Of course it is as all energy form or industry or daily activities carry some inherent risk factors. It is a question of whether those risks can be mitigated to an acceptable level of safety for the public.

  2. ”The use of the words “dangerous” and “threatened” in relation to fracking were inaccurate”…too right this should have said litigation rolling out across the US proves this activity is heinously polluting and life threatening, shame on you FOE

    ”It was incorrect to say fracking used “a toxic cocktail of chemicals”—again this might be true, a report to the Senate spoke of a whole cocktail of highly dangerous chemicals found in frack fluid, however, more relevant is the fact that disturbing protective layers of rock face, housing extremely dangerous pollutants, which are then released into the environment due to fracking, then running all the way to the bank leaving land coping with upward seepage of dangerous pollutants is something we should all be more concerned with…

    ”The statement that fracking fluid could end up in drinking was unproven, ” (err was this in the US by any chance see comment to your last statement) yes but only because the Halliburton loophole means that no proper testing was done before or during fracking ensuring that no evidence was collected. No evidence found , does not mean evidence does not exist, in this instance it means it was deliberately thwarted from being found.

    ” It was incorrect to say the planning decision in Lancashire had been concluded,” really? Cuadrilla is teaching us how to judge our own local council proceedings now?

    ” Experiences in the US should not be extrapolated to the UK….” why not? A bit too revealing of how dangerous it is eh? Love reading the endless lawsuits rolling out over there this past five years by the way, ……say so much more than gov spin and frack lies.

    So are you saying that because no damage to water supplies have been evidenced in the US we……errrr I thought you said we shouldn’t extrapolate US experiences to the UK….careful you’re hoisting yourselves by your own petard here….or self fracking ….

    I think FOE delivered a very kind and considerate leaflet, when it could have said oh so much more about frackers.

  3. One other fracking conundrum that puzzles is this: if fracking is so safe why oh why do these companies make their few employees sign gagging orders before giving them a contract? The reply isn’t because trade secrets have to be preserved….try pulling the other leg.

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