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Scotland announce fracking ban

Fracking

2:59pm 3rd October 2017
(Updated 4:57pm 3rd October 2017)

Scotland's Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse has today announced a ban on fracking in Scotland.

The Minister announced that the existing moratorium would be extended indefinitely using planning and environmental regulation powers to effectively ban the fracking industry.

Responding, Friends of the Earth campaigner, Rose Dickinson said:

"Today the Scottish Government have made the right decision for the climate, the environment, for people in Scotland and around the world.

"With all our nearest neighbours having banned or halted fracking, our Government is increasingly out on a limb in pursuing it in England.

"Will Secretary of State Greg Clark now listen to the overwhelming evidence of the risks and refuse the final consent for fracking in Lancashire and Ryedale?"

Following today's announcement that the Scottish Parliament will move to ban hydraulic fracking, Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said:

"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.

"Over the last 20 years, 30 wells have been drilled and produce gas within the Central Belt, without any impact to the natural environment or public health."

Adding:

"This is a poor decision, ignoring Scotland’s rich heritage and expertise in oil and gas.

"It is not based on the evidence from extensive independent research, which clearly states that with appropriate regulatory oversight and monitoring Scotland's regulatory framework is sufficiently robust to manage onshore exploration and production.

"Today in Scotland, there are nearly 2m homes and over 22,000 commercial businesses that are connected to gas.

"78% of domestic heating is provided by gas and 43% of all gas consumed is by industry. Currently over 50% of that gas is imported into the UK and set to rise significantly over the next few years.

"There is no viable or affordable alternative to Scottish natural gas from shale other than importing significant quantities of gas."

Finishing by saying:

"It is interesting that Paul Wheelhouse should mention the Committee on Climate Change, who have in fact stated that the Scottish Government's own target of having 80% of heating from low carbon sources by 2032 is 'very unlikely to be feasible', and that an onshore gas industry could fit well within Scotland's climate change targets if certain conditions were met, which the industry was committed to doing.

"The reality is that it’s better for the planet to be producing our gas here rather than shipping it in across oceans from elsewhere, especially when Scotland has a petrochemicals industry so reliant on natural gas.

"But after todays decision, the significant benefits from production will now be lost, and the opportunity to develop a robust future energy mix discarded.

"This is a decision that is based on dogma not evidence or geo-political reality."

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