INEOS welcomes ASA ruling on misleading fracking claims

INEOS, which is importing shale gas from the USA, is currently progressing with surveys to evaluate the geology and gas potential of its sites across England. It is also planning the next stages of its extensive community consultation programme
Last week INEOS welcomed the decision of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that claims made by the Friends of the Earth (FOE) misled the public. The ruling comes after an exhaustive 14-month investigation found that FOE could not substantiate a number of scare stories.
“The false claims have formed the heart of the FOE’s wrongheaded opposition to fracking and we’re pleased to see the record corrected,” said Tom Pickering, INEOS shale operations director.
“INEOS is always happy to debate on the facts and answer any questions and concerns that members of the public or groups may have. However, as this ruling has made clear Friends of the Earth have been spreading false information and misleading the public about this important issue.
The ASA found that Friends of the Earth was unable to support claims that chemicals used in fracking were dangerous to humans and that a US fracking site caused an increase in asthma and that the public in Britain would be a similar risk if they lived near to a fracking site. FOE adverts that also claimed falling house prices and risks of cancer were as a result of fracking would also not be allowed to be run again.
“We have previously offered to meet with Friends of the Earth, and also Friends of the Earth Scotland, to have a grown-up science based discussion of the issues around shale gas extraction but unsurprisingly neither organisation wishes to engage with us,” added Tom.
“We will continue, however, to try to make this meeting happen as our energy and manufacturing sectors are too important to allow fake facts to influence the debate. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with all parties based on the true realities of shale gas.”
 Also commenting on the ASA’s findings, Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG, said:
“This is an important ruling by the authority, which consulted with numerous independent scientific, health and regulatory experts before concluding that the anti-fracking myths perpetrated by Friends of the Earth were fundamentally false.
“The opponents of onshore oil and gas development must withdraw their scaremongering rhetoric and argue on the basis of the facts, which quite clearly show that the risks associated with fracking can be mitigated by the strong regulation and world renowned best practice that we benefit from in the UK.”