A poll by the Scottish Greens about a controversial proposal to burn gas out of coal seams in West Fife using Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) has shown widespread concern about the technology, with a majority against and fewer than one in ten supporting it.
The survey was conducted on behalf of Dunfermline by-election Scottish Green Party candidate Zara Kitson who is urging the Scottish Government to ban the family of 'extreme energy' techniques which includes UCG and fracking.
In Australia, the US and India it is reported that UCG test wells were abandoned after groundwater contamination.
A doorstep survey of residents in Kincardine and Culross showed that only 8 per cent backed plans by Cluff Natural Resources to carry out UCG in the Forth between Kincardine and Crombie Point, while 51 per cent objected and 41 per cent are currently undecided. Only a third of those surveyed were initially aware of the proposal.
Zara Kitson said:
"So many residents told us they had seen coverage of fracking protests down South but were completely unaware of an equally controversial proposal here in West Fife. In many ways the UCG process is riskier than fracking and yet neither the Scottish Government nor the Scottish Environment Protection Agency seem to have anything to say about it.
"Some residents we spoke to live close to old coal mine workings and were concerned about potential destabilisation. Cluff Natural Resources may have failed to warn local residents about their plans, but ultimately the responsibility lies with the SNP Government to put a ban on all these extreme energy developments, at least until the safety and environmental issues have been conclusively addressed."