The Scot-Govt is this week due to ‘announce a permanent ban’ on exploring for onshore oil and gas, according to a Green MSP – despite two independent scientific reports concluding that shale gas drilling can be carried out safely within the current regulations.
In January 2015, the Scot-Govt imposed a ‘temporary’ moratorium on the industry by requiring all planning authorities to reject any such development applications.
This was – and will be – an entirely political response by the minority SNP-led Scot-Govt which is under pressure from a lobby group within its own ranks.
Mark Ruskell, MSP (Mid Scotland and Fife), the environment spokesman for the Scottish Green Party, told the Sunday Herald; “All roads now lead to a ban <on fracking> and I expect a ministerial statement to <the Scottish> parliament this week.
“The current moratorium is on shaky legal ground and any permanent ban has to be watertight to withstand sustained attacks from the fracking industry.”
A spokesman for INEOS, the petro-chemicals and North Sea oil giant which holds exploration licences for onshore oil and gas drilling around its Grangemouth plant from the Brit-Gov, said:
“The expert reports have made clear that the moratorium can be lifted immediately and we await the (Scot) Govt’s decision in due course.”
Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of the UK Onshore Oil and Gas Association (UKOOG), commented: “The industry believes the science is clear and regulation competent to deal with the safe roll-out of the shale industry in Scotland.
“At present there is no viable or affordable alternative to Scottish natural gas from shale other than importing vast quantities.
“Thirty well have been drilled in the past 20 years and gas has been produced in the Central Belt. This has happened without incident to the environment or to public health.”
When he released the results of the second independent scientific review last year into onshore oil and gas exploration, the Scottish Energy Minister said any final decision on shale gas exploration would be subject to a vote in parliament.
See also: –
Fibbing by Friends of Earth with false fracking claims will make Scot-Govt’s final public consultation on shale gas worthless
2 Oct 2017