Scottish government backs fracking ban

Image copyright Getty Pictures
Image caption The decision has drawn praise through environmental groups but criticism through industry

The Scottish government offers announced an “effective ban” upon fracking.

Energy Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) Paul Wheelhouse told MSPs how the practice “cannot and will not take put in place Scotland”.

He stated an existing moratorium on the technique, that can be in place since 2015, would keep on “indefinitely” after a consultation showed “overwhelming” opposition.

The government will certainly seek Holyrood’s endorsement for the prohibit in a vote following the October break.

But with only the Very conservative now opposed to a ban, the election is likely to be a formality.

The move was welcome by environmental groups but continues to be slammed by Ineos, operators from the huge Grangemouth petrochemical plant, which usually holds fracking exploration licences throughout 700 square miles of the nation.

The particular Scottish government has previously enforced a similar block on underground fossil fuel gasification (UCG) : a separate technique used to extract gasoline from coal seams deep subterranean – on environmental grounds.

It followed the creation of a moratorium on both fracking plus UCG in 2015, which noticed a number of expert reports released on the potential health, environmental plus economic impact of the controversial methods, as well as a public consultation being carried out .

Mr Wheelhouse said the consultation came back along with “overwhelming” opposition to fracking, along with 99% of the 60, 000 participants supporting a ban. He said this particular showed that “there is no interpersonal licence for unconventional oil and gas that must be taken forward at this time”.

Image caption Paul Wheelhouse said there was overpowering public opposition to fracking

The shift comes almost exactly a year upon from the UK government giving the go-ahead to horizontal hydraulic fracing in Lancashire.

Shale gas is currently processed in Scotland at a site in Grangemouth, previously being delivered in from abroad , yet cannot be extracted from beneath Scottish soil under the current moratorium, that is enforced through planning regulations.

Mr Wheelhouse said private sector organisations would be instructed to continue this aufschub “indefinitely” – calling this “action sufficient to effectively ban the introduction of unconventional oil and gas extraction in Scotland”.

He said: “The decision I am announcing today implies that fracking cannot and will not take put in place Scotland. ”

Mr Wheelhouse’s statement was welcomed by environmental organizations, with Friends of the Earth Scotland and WWF Scotland both hailing a victory for campaigners.

WWF Scotland official Mike Gardner said it was “excellent news”, saying “the climate science will be clear” that fossil fuels should be “left in the ground”.

Jane Church from Friends of the Planet Scotland said it was a “huge win for the anti-fracking movement” which may be “warmly welcomed across the country and round the world”.

‘Poor decision’

However Ineos said the move could discover “large numbers of Scottish workers making the country to find work”.

Tom Pickering, operations director associated with Ineos Shale, said: “It is really a sad day for those of us who else believe in evidence-led decision making. The Scottish government has turned its back again on a potential manufacturing and job opportunities renaissance and lessened Scottish academia’s place in the world by ignoring the findings. ”

Tobey maguire Cronin of UK Onshore Gas and oil also said it was a “poor decision”, which ignored “extensive 3rd party research” and was “based upon dogma not evidence or geopolitical reality”.

And the GMB Scotland trade union said the particular move was “mired in dishonesty” and “an abandonment of the nationwide interest”, saying Scotland would certainly be dependent on gas shipped in through “the likes of Qatar plus Russia”.

Image copyright laws BBC Sport
Picture caption The first shipment associated with shale gas from the US reached Grangemouth in September 2016

The Scottish Conservatives also said Scotland would certainly miss out on a “much needed financial boost” and high-skilled jobs due to the decision.

Tory MSP Dean Lockhart said ministers acquired ignored scientific and economic proof to take a “short-sighted and financially damaging decision which is nothing more than an attempt to appease the green components of the pro-independence movement”.

However Labour MSP Claudia Beamish said the move did not move far enough, arguing that ministers were merely extending the existing aufschub which “could be overturned at any time at the whim of a minister”.

‘Legally shaky’

Ms Beamish has a member’s expenses tabled at Holyrood calling for a “full legal ban”, but Mr Wheelhouse said this could not be needed until his plans.

The Scottish Produce said the announcement was “a step in the right direction”. However , in addition they wanted a more permanent ban, along with MSP Mark Ruskell saying the particular moratorium was “legally shaky” plus open to challenge.

It was also echoed by Friends from the Earth Scotland, with Ms Chapel saying ministers should “go beyond relying on planning powers” and “instead commit to passing a law in order to ban the fracking industry designed for good”.

Scottish Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur made welcome the decision, saying that ministers had used the “scenic route” but acquired ultimately decided “effectively to prohibit fracking”.

MSPs possess formerly voted to support a ban on fracking, but SNP associates abstained from that vote.

What exactly is fracking and why is it questionable?

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Hydraulic fracing is the process of drilling down into the planet earth before a high-pressure water mix is directed at the rock to produce the gas inside.
  • The intensive use of fracking in the US, where it offers revolutionised the energy industry, has motivated environmental concerns.
  • The first is that hydraulic fracing uses huge amounts of water that needs to be transported to the fracking site, on significant environmental cost.
  • The second is the particular worry that potentially carcinogenic chemical substances used may escape and ruin groundwater around the fracking site.
  • However the industry suggests fracking of shale gas could contribute significantly towards the UK’s future energy needs

Find out more….