For immediate release
Brussels – Today, Food & Water Europe launched a new website, NGSFacts.com, to challenge the fossil fuel industry’s spin on NGSFacts.org that shale gas can be safely extracted. NGSFacts.com will redirect visitors to the Food & Water Europe website to offer a fact-based assessment of the environmental and health impacts of large-scale hydraulic fracturing. Food & Water Europe takes issue with industry’s denial of strong links between shale gas extraction and water contamination in the United States. In addition, self-regulation and voluntary disclosure mechanisms for chemicals used in fracking fluids are insufficient to monitor a high-risk activity such as hydraulic fracturing in a densely populated continent like Europe. Food & Water Europe works in Brussels on a campaign to ban fracking.
“The oil and gas industry has no credibility to dismiss the negative impacts of shale gas given its poor record on environmental issues and transparency,” said Food & Water Europe policy officer Geert De Cock. “This is why we decided to launch NGSFacts.com. It is our role as NGOs to offer unbiased information to European citizens about the negative implications of large-scale shale gas extraction”.
Peer-reviewed scientific evidence, industry publications and hundreds of cases all point to the same conclusions: The oil and gas industry continues to struggle with securing the integrity of its wells. As a result of poor cementing practices and casing failures, toxic fracking fluids and methane have migrated to nearby aquifers and will continue to do so.
With regard to the chemicals used in fracking, shale gas operators launched FrackFocus, a voluntary chemicals disclosure registry, in response to public concerns in the United States. However, FrackFocus continues to allow trade-secret exemptions to conceal the exact composition of the chemical mixtures used and impedes easy analysis of the information provided (e.g. bulk download of data is not possible).
“Europeans need a better understanding of the risks involved in hydraulic fracturing and public authorities have a key role to play in guaranteeing high environmental and public health standards,” said De Cock. “Voluntary measures such as NGSFacts.org and self-regulation will not be sufficient for monitoring the beginning of this high risk industrial activity in Europe.”
Statement by Food and Water Europe at Roundtable on Shale Gas (PDF).
Food & Water Europe web page on fracking: http://www.foodandwatereurope.org/europe/fracking/
Contact: Geert De Cock tel. +32 (0)2 893 10 45, mobile +32 (0)484 629.491, gdecock(at)fweurope.org