Fracking has been banned in Scotland after 99% oppose it

Lester Mason
October 3, 2017

Scotland will block fracking indefinitely after a public consultation found overwhelming opposition to the practice, the British region's energy minister said on Tuesday in a victory for environmentalists.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the decision came after extensive consultation with groups and figures across Scotland in which 99% of respondents held a negative view of fracking due to environmental and health concerns.

"Having taken account of the interests of the environment, our economy, public health and the overwhelming majority of public opinion, the decision I am announcing today means fracking can not and will not take place in Scotland".

He said ministers had a duty to act in the "best interests of the country as a whole".

He added: "I can confirm that the decision of the Scottish Government is that we will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland".

"Natural gas will be needed by Scotland for the foreseeable future and production from the North Sea continues to decline", Pickering said.

'The Scottish Government's decision today to ban fracking will be warmly welcomed across the country and around the world.

Speaking to journalists shortly before the announcement at the Conservative party conference, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the ban would be the wrong step to take and that allowing fracking to happen would help those who have lost their jobs in the oil industry. "The Scottish Government has turned its back on a potential manufacturing and jobs renaissance".

"The Scottish Government ignores the advice of its own independent experts and prefers a future where gas will have to be imported with the damage that will do to the economy and the environment". "It turns its back on job creation, skills development, an increase in tax receipts and investment in communities".

The effective ban is backed by four of the five parties that make up the Scottish parliament, meaning that when the issue is voted on in the parliament before the end of the year, it will be a formality.

"With communities across Scotland we have been fighting the fracking industry for 6 years, particularly on the frontline of the industry in the central belt". But she accepted that might have to wait until after onshore oil and gas licensing power had been transferred to Holyrood from Westminster. "We already have more gas than we can afford to burn, and as well as damaging the climate, fracking will cause local noise, air and light pollution".

Head of campaigns Mary Church said: "Given the strength of feeling against fracking in the country, and the First Minister's well documented scepticism about the industry it's hard to see how the Scottish Government could do anything other than announce an outright ban".

"The climate science is clear". The vast majority of fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground. "If they are truly a party for all - as they keep telling us they are - they need to halt this misguided dash for gas and invest in growing the renewables industry".

"The announcement of a ban today is a massive slap in the face to Scottish academia, engineers, geologists, industry experts and many more highly skillled individuals who have been dealt a heavy blow here today". Claudia Beamish, a Labour MSP, meanwhile published a draft member's bill calling for a statutory ban late past year. According to Wheelhouse, 99 per cent were opposed to fracking, with about two-thirds from the affected areas.

Wheelhouse said that the current moratorium, which has been in place since January 2015, will be extended indefinitely. Both Scottish Labour and the Greens criticised the ban for not going far enough. They do not offer the protection of my Bill.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article