RISE - Scotland's Left Alliance condemns the announcement that the Scottish Government has decided to allow INEOS to begin test drilling for unconventional dirty fuels in Scotland.

A RISE spokesperson said: 

"Allowing any steps towards fracking in Scotland is both unscientific and deeply irresponsible. Announcing an extension of the fracking moratorium amidst a media fanfare one day then nodding through test drilling - by INEOS of all people - the next, can only further raise suspicions that Energy Secretary Fergus Ewing is intent on paving the way for this dangerous technology which hazards both people and planet.”

“Allowing INEOS, the largest privately owned company in the UK and notorious union busters to begin test drilling risks making a mockery of this whole moratorium. For the moratorium to have any serious credibility this drilling must stop immediately.”

“Jim Ratcliffe's dirty fuel outfit has a history of holding communities to ransom, and makes no secret of their intention to use their billions to influence the political process. Earlier this year they talked of flouting the fracking moratorium to begin test drilling, but in the end this has not been necessary for them, as they have been allowed in by the Scottish Government. They will no doubt see this as an open door, and will push ever further with their disastrous plans for Scotland's environment."

"The government's planned research into the risks of fracking can save much time and money by simply examining the evidence from around the world. Anyone who does so would conclude that these tests are unnecessary and dangerous.''

"As it stands, voters will not know the results of these enquiries until after the next Scottish elections, leaving INEOS plenty of time to do more behind the scenes lobbying. We call on all parties to state clearly, before the election, where they stand on this defining issue for Scotland's, and the world's, future."

"There is no need for this deadly technology to be tested in Scotland, as fracking has already been allowed extensively in the US and elsewhere, and the consequences are there for everyone to see. Nothing good can ever come from violently pumping toxic chemicals into the Earth."

"We see from around the world that this in turn causes radioactive and poisonous materials from below the ground contaminate air and water supplies. This is causing a cascade of serious health issues for people unlucky enough to live near fracking sites, including respiratory problems, cancers, birth defects and being plagued with dizziness and seizures. It recently emerged that even without fracking 3500 people a year are killed in Scotland by air pollution."

"RISE supports all of those campaigners who have fought tirelesly to oppose and ban unconventional gas exploitation. It is paramount that these efforts continue, as it is clear that corporate might will only be defeated by a public mobilisation over the issue.''