British Geological Survey report

Tom Greatrex, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister and MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, commenting on the British Geological Survey’s report on the Carboniferous Shale of the Midland Valley of Scotland, said:

“Shale gas extraction should only happen in a context of robust regulation, comprehensive monitoring and local consent. In March 2012, I set out Labour’s six regulatory conditions that would need to be met before shale extraction can be permitted in line with a commitment to decarbonise our electricity supply by 2030.

“Today’s announcement is about the amount of resource – but as the British Geological Survey rightly emphasises, what is actually extractable cannot be estimated without a detailed understanding of flow rates. Shale should not be presented as a silver bullet – rather a potential contributor to where we source the gas 8 in 10 of us use for heating.

“There are many concerns that the Scottish environmental regulator, SEPA, has neither the capacity nor the expertise to monitor any future shale extraction effectively. SNP Ministers need to ensure they are able to do so to ensure public confidence in the monitoring of regulatory activity.”

30 June 2014