Ideology, Legislation

“Dear Aunty, is it fair for green NGOs to influence a Strategic Environmental Assessment?”

Well, that’s a very good question dears, and the answer depends on just how that might take place.

You see, pumpkins, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) must receive input from statutory consultees – but green NGOs like Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund are not such bodies.

They shouldn’t really be able to influence the scope or content of an SEA, but can comment on it after it is produced just like every body else.

So I was quite interested today to learn that these very groups appear to have done just that – they lobbied the British Government in order to be able to influence the work of AMEC as it looked to compile an SEA ahead of the 14th Licensing Round expected next year that it is believed will see significant interest from exploration and production companies wishing to join the search for shale gas.

You can read a damning report about this here in the Telegraph.

Now, dears, I’m not going to get into a ‘he said, she said’ argument about the changes to estimates of water use and fracking flowback waste that AMEC made in response to pressure from green NGOs – save to say that Cuadrilla have suggested that it is unlikely they’ll use more than 10,000 m3 of fracturing fluid per well and, given that they and only they know the finer details of their plans right now, I would be tempted to think they know best (AMEC didn’t consult them though).

What I, and I’m sure many others will find distasteful poppets, is the way in which FOE, Greenpeace and WWF have been able to influence the AMEC SEA to create an impression of greater risk and surface impact because it suits their narrative.

You can picture the headlines for yourselves, sweeties, if it was discovered that operators had had a hand in influencing the scope and outcome of the SEA to show a much lower level of risk, can’t you? In fact, you needn’t imagine it – you can see here exactly how ‘industry lobbying’ is presented: Greenpeace on Lord Browne

Why then should green NGOs be able to behave in this underhand manner whilst attempting to paint themselves as being whiter than white?

I’m afraid this episode leaves their credibility in shreds, my little flowerpots. It is distinctly hypocritical.

Until next time xxx

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