Yesterday’s vote by the Scottish Parliament in favour of a ban on fracking has been welcomed by environmental campaigners but dismissed as making little difference by industry.
The motion, approved by Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPs, is not binding on the Scottish Government. SNP members abstained and Conservatives voted against. There is currently a moratorium on shale gas, coal bed methane and underground coal gasification. DrillOrDrop updates from the debate and the decision.
The vote was welcomed by Friends of the Earth, while INEOS Upstream said it made little difference.
Friends of the Earth Scotland
“It’s great that the Scottish Parliament has voted to ban fracking and sent this clear message to the Government to get on and do it. It is also clear from today’s vote that there is a growing consensus that stopping climate change means we have to say no to new fossil fuels like fracked gas.
“The many SNP MSPs who stood on an anti-fracking platform in the Holyrood election are clearly feeling the pressure on this important issue.
“We look forward to greater urgency from the Scottish Government in ending the uncertainty for communities faced with unconventional fossil fuel extraction across Scotland.” Mary Church, Head of Campaigns
“The vote this evening changes very little. A process remains in place in Scotland to further assess scientific, evidence based research before a decision is taken on fracking.
“This has important implications for the people of Scotland and its economy and should not be prejudged before it has reached its conclusion. INEOS has been clear that it believes shale gas can be extracted safely and that Scotland is losing out as the centre of excellence moves south.
“We are focused on England where we believe that shale can provide much needed jobs, investment and energy security.”
UK Oil and Gas
“The Scottish Government announced a process in January 2015 which included a research phase and then a public consultation phase. This is not due to finish until the summer of 2017. UKOOG and its members have been participating in this process from the beginning and will continue to do so.
“The process is meant to present the facts to the Scottish people and so we are disappointed today to see that some within the Scottish parliament are trying to derail it.
“We are confident as an industry based on over 50 years of experience both onshore and offshore that hydraulic fracturing can be done safely and environmentally sensitively within the regulatory environment in Scotland.
“We have had a well regulated industry in Scotland for many decades. We have drilled over 30 wells in the last 20 years. One of the first hydraulic fractures in the UK took place in Airdrie nearly 50 years ago and fracking also took place inside the Glasgow city boundary in 1989 at Easterhouse.
“The Oil and Gas Industry has made a huge contribution to the economy of Scotland. Onshore gas and oil will benefit the Scottish economy, not only directly, with jobs created through oil and gas extraction, but also indirectly, as oil and gas is a critical raw material for the chemicals industry at facilities such as Grangemouth.
“The onshore oil and gas industry has also committed to a multimillion pound programme of benefits for local communities and stakeholders as well as boosting contributions to local councils.” Ken Cronin, Chief Executive
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