Coal bed methane has already been in operation in Scotland for several years (I wasn't aware of this, and am indebted to Frack-Off for pointing this out).
So, how has CBM extraction affected Falkirk? Has it become an environmental wasteland? Here's the local MP (Eric Joyce) on the issue, writing in the Guardian:
My constituency of Falkirk is home to one of the UK's most advanced coalbed methane extraction projects. As Lord Browne says, the extraction of coalbed methane is a low carbon bridge to future technologies, is unobtrusive and is environmentally safe. I have received a handful of local objections to the project, all from the same campaign group and all reminiscent of the disastrous anti-science, anti-GM lobby of a decade ago. On the other hand, I have received many messages of support from constituents who accept the potentially valuable contribution unconventional gas extraction has to make to the UK's energy mix.It surprises me how much these onshore unconventional gas developments seem to have slipped under that radar, on both sides of the argument. Councillors and locals with worries about CBM developments in Somerset should be making a bee-line to find out more about how it has impacted Falkirk? Surely that might help improve the quality of the debate somewhat.
As an aside, it is interesting that Eric Joyce draws parallels with the anti-scientific approach of those who oppose unconventional gas with those who opposed GM food a decade ago. He's not the first to make this comparison (nor the second)...