Why is it that Scotlands flagship news program completely missed the story? If you compare the content and tone of the 12 minute BBC piece with one and half minutes from 7 News in Australia the differences are stark.
The real story in Scotland:
- An Australian company called Dart Energy want to extract methane from coal seams in Scotland.
- To fulfill their promises to shareholders they need to drill hundreds of gas wells in the Central Belt of Scotland.
- Dart are already dumping millions of liters of Benzene laden water into the Firth of Forth.
- Their own figures show that Benzene levels in the effluent are 12 times UK drinking water standards.
- SEPA have allow Dart to self regulate and have issued a permit to dump the water with minimal testing.
- In August 2012 Dart submitted the UK’s first unconventional gas production application, 22 new wells, 14 new sites and 20km of pipeline.
- Over 2,500 local people have submitted planning objections and Falkirk and Stirling councils have returned a non-determination on the application after months of delays.
- In August last year their drill site at Fullerton Cove was blockaded by local people for 9 days.
- Dart Energy have suspended their activity in New South Wales due to massive public opposition and stricter regulation (including 2km exclusion zones).
- In Australia the Condamine River is bubbling with methane gas released by reckless drilling.
- Dart share price has crashed and they have shed staff downsizing by 70%.
The confused Newsnight coverage:
- Coverage of an energy industry event.
- Rhetoric about Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing.
- A controversial report written by some people in London paid for by the fracking industry.
- A reporter on a slag heap talking about the past.
- Finally some facts and background from Rob Edwards (Sunday Herald).
- Back to Fracking in Lancashire and America.
- The conference again.
- Then finally Ministers say “no plans for Shale Gas operations in Scotland“!!!
and the studio section:
- Shale Gas rhetoric based on out of date information from America and a controversial, industry sponsored report.
- A clear statement from Mariann that the technology causes environmental damage.
- Some information about the location of sites and a statement from SEPA that there are no leaks yet.
- Shale Gas rhetoric based on out of date information from America.
- A clear statement from Mariann that the costs outweigh any gains and that local people do not want the development.
- An irrelevant and misleading comparison to north sea oil and gas and a fudged figure of “a third of our needs for quite a few years”.
- A defense of the report but not the industry and their dismal track record in the US and Australia.
- A clear statement from Mariann that once Governments start to understand the problems…
- interrupted by more Shale Gas rhetoric.
- A clear statement from Marianne that there is little of no benefit to local communities and a question “Who’s getting the benefit, who’s paying the cost?”.