22/05/2013 Newsnight Scotland


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television! Tonight on Newsnight Scotland, it


has changed the face of the American energy market and seen prices


plummet. It is fracking and today the government here was told to get


on with it. We hear from an expert who says do not do it. Also, we have


merged the police and fire service so is it time to look at the number


of health boards and local councils and think of merging them as well?


Fracking, simply put it is a technique to recover gas and oil


from shale rock and it is being recovered in such quantities in some


parts of the world that it has boosted worldwide gas supplies and


in America dramatically cut costs to industry and households. It is also


provided the Americans with security of supply for decades at least. But


it is controversial. She did have a future here?


Today, the Scottish government to their major step forward in its


drive to make the country a renewable energy leader. At an


industry event in Aberdeen, Fergus Ewing announced the approval of


plans for the world's largest commercial wave farm. We have


tremendous potential in Scotland and we have moved beyond the thinking


stage. We have devices which are grid connected and are starting to


demonstrate the capacity to generate electricity. We are on the verge of


making great progress on both wave and tidal power and we want to


stroll -- shows strong leadership. The 40 megawatts development of the


north-west coast of Lewis could power nearly 30,000 homes. Could


there be another more controversial form of revolutionary energy


production on the UK Horizon? Hydraulic fracturing, known as


fracking, is a technique to recover gas and oil from shale rock. The


process involves drilling down before a high-pressure water mixture


is directed at the Rock to release the gas inside. Its use in the US


has seen the massed -- domestic gas prices cut in half and could offer


energy security to North America for the next 100 years. The Institute of


Directors says the UK government which has approved fracking should


get on with its own revolution. " out today, the Institute of


Directors says shale gas has the potential to meet a third of the UK


gas demand. It could attract investment of up to �3.7 billion


supporting 74,000 jobs. The report says the need to import gas from


other countries could be reduced. It also says shale gas food generate


significant tax revenues. -- shale gas could generate. This


unique landscape is home to several rare species of plants and animals.


It also serves as a remnant of a once proud industry that years ago


was the envy of the world. These giant man-made formations are a


by-product of a pioneering process developed in the mid-1800s to


extract oil from shale. It resulted in Scotland becoming one of the


world's biggest oil producing nations. So what is the potential of


Scotland to be at the forefront of this new generation of shale energy


technology? Companies are keen to do it because they can make a lot of


money from it. The communities where they are proposing that are up in


arms. There has been 1500 objections in Falkirk for objections there.


They have an uphill struggle. I do not honestly think that the Scottish


government is very keen. It has cooled its enthusiasm towards the


technology and it is highly polluting in terms of the climate.


If you want to damage the climate, you fracking for gas. I thought we


were meant to be protecting the climate. He says questions also have


to be asked about the Institute of Directors report. You must look at


who funded this report. It was quadruple who wanted to frag in


England. -- it was Cuadrilla Resources. What caused the crack?It


was the earthquake. There are still concerns about fracking which was


temporarily halted in the UK when it was blamed for earthquakes in


Lancashire. There are concerns that gas can find its way into drinking


water. A government report has concluded that fracking is safe if


monitored. Right now the Scottish government looks focused on


renewable energy. It announced that Scotland will be the first part of


the UK to have a dedicated fund for the wave energy sector. When it


comes to fracking, ministers say they recognise the need for a


diverse energy mix, but they point that there is no plan in place shale


gas operations in Scotland. I am joined by Corin Taylor who


ruled the Institute of rectors report which was published to date


and from Edinburgh by Doctor Dr Mariann Lloyd Smith who is senior


adviser to the Australian National Toxics Network and has served on the


UN Expert Group on Climate Change and Chemicals tale -- clamour change


and chemicals. Explain your position. It is shale gas which


primarily we would need fracturing to get out. That has been produced


at commercial rates - cobalt gas - but the bigger point is a threefold


benefit - jobs, tax revenues and reducing imports. It is not about


replacing renewables. It is about reducing the imported energy that we


need. You would except that the cobalt methane extraction, from


pollution point of view, as risky if not more risky than fracking?


that, a company would need to get permission from four different


government agencies - the Health and Safety Executive, the Scottish


environmental protection agency, the Department of energy and a and the


local mineral planning authority. you think the problems we have seen


in the Blackpool area and more so in the United States are because this


technology is not implemented properly or do you think it is


inherently wrong to use it at all? It is an inherently dangerous


technology and it is not just us saying that. It is the United


Nations environment programme who led last year put out a global alert


about the technology and they said People are talking about a long-


term productivity increase. It will not not happen. We need to look at


the long-term cost. If we looked at the short-term problems of air


pollution, water contamination, human health impact, which we are


seeing in Australia, and also the long-term liability of the wells


that will leak in the future, any cost-benefit would say, the


analysis, that this is not the industry we want. People I have


spoken to him in UK, it is not the industry they want. Corin Taylor,


there are projects in Scotland, exploratory drilling. They have


been complaints about leaks from that. I have been told by the


Environment Protection Agency that they found there were no methane


leaks. Why are you keen on this, the Institute of directors'? The if


you look at the development of the North Sea, that generated more than


enough oil to meet needs for 25 years. Gas needs for 30 years.


is the potential? The figures you produced, it looked like five years,


because the extraction rate is so low, five years you could get from


the estimates of what is in the UK. If you look at the numbers are


estimated by different companies and to apply a low recovery factor


of around 10%, we would have enough gas to meet one third of needs for


some years. We suggest that shale gas at peak production could meet


one third of gas needs. If you are so keen on this, why did you not


just produce the report, why did you accept sponsorship from a


company that is the main company that was involved in what happened


in England and has his reputation from that? The report and its


conclusions are ours alone. We make recommendations to overcome


barriers to shale gas production. We do not let the industry off the


hook. We make recommendations. We make clear that the industry must


be 100% transparent in terms of chemicals, on water use. Dr Mariann


Lloyd Smith, the United Nations committee might be against this,


but not many national governments. The French said they were not keen.


Is there any other government that said they will not have it? I think


governments are tempted by the dollars and the promise of jobs,


which do not really materialise. The reality in my country, they are


beginning to understand the problem. You say jobs will not materialise.


I do not think anyone could you give the effect on the US energy


market and say that they have not received a boost from shale gas.


They are considering turning Ports on the East Coast built to import


it, to export it. It is not a good argument to say it does not have a


beneficial economic effect. I am not saying that. I am saying it


does not benefit local communities. Most workers are technical


expertise from outside. And if you talk to consumers in America, it


has not benefited them. It is not cheaper to heat your house with gas


in America than it was five years ago. If somebody is getting benefit,


it is not the average person. Who is getting the benefit, who is


paying the cost? We will have to leave it there.


Police Scotland was brought into being last month as a result of a


merger of eight authorities. The efficiencies of scale and reducing


duplication was cited as reasons. Now the President of Association of


Scottish Police Superintendents says the same reasoning should be


applied to other services, such as the NHS and local authorities. He


said the police service could not bear the brunt of these costs alone.


We supported the reform of the police forces. Part of the debate


is we recall some time ago, eight police forces, we accepted they


were too many. Perhaps we have to look at other public sector


organisations, local authorities, the health boards, and others.


joined by Pat Watters, who was the President of Convention of Scottish


Local Authorities, and is now the chairman of the Scottish Fire and


Rescue Service, formed as a result as -- of a merger. What do you make


of the suggestion that you should merge local-authority is and health


boards? It is presumptuous to be saying six weeks into the operation


that we are an example of how you should change all of the public


sector. It is too early to make an evaluation. Especially at that Rank,


chief superintendent, I do not see the evidence. Leave aside merging,


this issue has been talked about for years. For example, local


authorities. Why have different education departments, even if you


kept the political separation, you could merge them and create


efficiency. It does not seem to happen. You are wrong in the sense


that there has been recognition for some time and that is why we spend


time on Community Planning. There is a recognition that it cannot be


one part of the public sector. Community Planning bring services


in an area together to look at how they deliver better for communities.


We talk about two different things, Community Planning might be great


for the idea that is always talked about, for example when there is a


tragic case of a child dying. It is talked about the agency is working


better together. But for saving money, surely it is basic things,


if the local authorities and health was got together, they could do a


joint contract with a company such as Ford for trucks and save


millions of pounds. It does not happen. That is not the case. There


is a buying consortium within the health board and local government.


We can work better together, but that is what Community Planning is


doing. We can improve outcomes for local communities. We do not need


an expensive reconstruction. The last time we did local government,


400 million, the estimated cost. It cost 900 million. If you what to do


it today, it would cost billions at a time when resources are stretched.


I do not think people would welcome spending that money. Are you saying


there is no benefit to what happened to the fire service?


of course there is a benefit. There is a difference between what is


proposed by Association of Scottish Police Superintendents and what


happened with the fire service. can look at the front pages. They


have the horrific picture on the front page. The soldier had to


front page. The soldier had to front page. The soldier had to


death. That is all we have time for. Across England and Wales, starting


the day dry. Cloudy conditions in the north. Even if you leave the


house, with sunshine ahead, it will not stay that way. The showers in


the afternoon will not be as heavy as they have been in the morning.


With winds touching gale-force in the east, and strong and gusty


winds in the North of England making it cold. This is where heavy


showers and thunder and hail mixed in. Temperatures dropping in those


heavy showers. In those showers, they could be snow mixed in on the


tops of the hills. Particularly in Snowdonia where they could be a


covering of snow at the end of the day. On Friday, cold. Some parts


favoured for something brighter and breezy later in the day. In the


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