The director of a Scottish green group said yesterday that discussing fracking with chemicals giant Ineos would be “a huge waste of time”.
Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland, said attempting to persuade Ineos to abandon fracking would be “as pointless as trying to convince Nigel Farage to change his mind about Brexit”.
Mr Dixon was responding to Ineos’s shale operations director, Tom Pickering, who said the company had offered to meet FoE and FoE Scotland “to have a grown-up science based discussion” about fracking.
But Mr Pickering said “neither organisation wishes to engage with us”.
Ineos, led by billionaire industrialist Jim Ratcliffe, has been building a North Sea gas portfolio and has aspirations to introduce fracking in Scotland.
The firm delivered its first US shale shipment to its refinery in Grangemouth last year.
Mr Dixon said a meeting would be pointless as each side already knew where the other stood.
He said: “We have debated Ineos at community meetings, read their glossy materials, seen their newspaper advertorials, fought their predecessor at a public inquiry and spoken to them informally at events. Meeting them and their spin doctors directly would be a huge waste of time.”
Mr Dixon also accused Ineos of attacking FoE yesterday in a press release.
Ineos said the UK’s advertising watchdog ruled that FoE had “misled the public” in a leaflet about shale gas.
But Mr Dixon said the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had dropped the case without making a ruling.
He said: “Despite Ineos’s continuing efforts to attack us, we’re convinced the imminent public consultation will return an overwhelming no to fracking from the people of Scotland.
“In their defamatory press release, Ineos accuse us of wilfully misleading the public on fracking but they present no evidence to back this up.”
The ASA said it “informally resolved” the case after FoE agreed not to repeat the claims without supporting evidence.