Breitling Energy, the US company behind an advertisement that was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has responded to the decision, claiming their open letter advert aimed only to provide balance to the fracking debate.
Earlier this week the company’s advert, which was placed in the Telegraph in February, was ruled to be misleading after a complaint to ASA was upheld. The advert claimed that shale gas estimates could be higher than previously thought and that fracking could cut energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
In response to the decision, Chris Faulkner, chairman and CEO of Breitling Energy, said, “My intention in placing my open letter as an advertisement was to provide my insight and knowledge about hydraulic fracking based on the not insignificant experience in the US, and relating this experience to the situation in the UK.
“I also wanted to bring some balance to the debate on hydraulic fracking in the UK, a debate which has been dominated for many months by the sometimes outrageous claims made by opponents of the fracking process, claims which have not been subjected to any scrutiny whatsoever.”
He added that ASA should keep in mind that there is little evidence about the impacts or benefits of fracking in the UK, and as a result should place “far more weight” on US sources.
Faulkner commented that in their case the ASA had acted as both judge and jury and appeared to have become “unqualified experts in fracking.”
In response, Tony Bosworth, an energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, told Blue & Green Tomorrow, “Chris Faulkner claims he wanted to provide balance to the fracking debate in the UK, but what we got was inaccurate, unsubstantiated claims.
“Of course we should learn from the experience of the US, but not just from Mr Faulkner’s ‘see no evil’ view of fracking – we should in fact consider recently confirmed cases of water contamination from oil and gas in the US, with 243 in Pennsylvania alone.”
Bosworth added, “Mr Faulkner and other supporters of fracking claim that their opponents peddle myth and misinformation, but the ASA’s verdict on Breitling and a previous decision against Cuadrilla for their ‘misleading adverting’ show that the industry should look in the mirror first before criticising others.”
Photo: Nicholas A. Tonelli via Flickr