Business owners and residents will have heard that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued a draft ruling against an anti-fracking leaflet produced by Friends of the Earth, saying its claims were “unsubstantiated.”
Friends of the Earth and campaigners opposed to fracking have been making these claims about water pollution and adverse health effects for years.
I heard them myself in June last year at County Hall when I appeared before the development control committee to speak up in favour of Cuadrilla’s shale gas exploration plans, and I recall how the council’s planning officer said that a sizeable number of the written objections it received were based on template letters provided by Friends of the Earth.
To think that our local elected representatives may have been swayed to vote against fracking on the grounds of unsubstantiated claims is very concerning, as is the likelihood that many local residents will have been frightened by them unnecessarily.
The potential impacts have all been studied by experts such as the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive to name a few, all of which conclude the risks are low and capable of being properly managed.
I was always minded to believe these experts, and would suggest that others do likewise in light of this ASA draft ruling.