'No support' for fracking is Scottish Government final policy decision, Wheelhouse says

The Scottish Government announced today that fracking has “no support” in Scotland, adding that it does “not intend to issue and further licences”.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Energy Minister, addressing ministers at Holyrood, described the process of fracking as “incompatible” with the country’s net zero ambitions.

The minster said this was the Scottish Government its “final policy decision” on fracking.

He said the government had “undertaken one of the most wide-reaching studies in to oil and gas anywhere in the world” and concluded that fracking was “not of a significant benefit to Scotland”.

Mr Wheelhouse added that the practice has “no social licence” and the “potential for significant negative effects”.

He said the Scottish Government did “not support the fracturing of unconventional oil and gas, otherwise known as fracking”, adding “we have not taken this decision lightly.”

Last year, petrochemical giant Ineos has accused the Scottish Government of taking an “Alice-in-Wonderland” approach to fracking at the conclusion of a legal challenge at Scotland’s highest civil court.

Mr Wheelhouse: “After a comprehensive evidence-gathering exercise, we have concluded that the development of onshore unconventional oil and gas is incompatible with our policies on climate change, energy transition and the decarbonisation of our economy.”

Ineos and Aberdeen firm ReachCSG took Scottish ministers to court over their decision to convert a moratorium on the controversial gas extraction technique into an effective ban.

The Scottish Green’s Mark Ruskell hailed it a victory, following his party’s seven year campaign against the practice.

The Scotish Greens led the first parliamentary debate on the topic in 2012, and have been at the forefront of opposition to this dangerous practice ever since.
Mr Ruskell MSP said: “We’ve pushed the Scottish Government all the way on this issue, ever since we led the first debate on the subject in 2012, and have worked with communities across the country to highlight the major public health and environmental concerns that fracking presented.

“The final nail in the coffin for fracking in Scotland would be a speedy rejection of this development bringing years of uncertainty to an end.”

More to follow…

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