“Victory for democracy” – English campaigners welcome Scottish fracking decision

170907 Pease Pottage UKOG Rig Frack Free Sussex 3

Photo: Frack Free Sussex

Anti-fracking campaigners in England have been responding this afternoon to the announcement that the Scottish Government is extending indefinitely the moratorium on unconventional oil and gas. We’ll update this post as more comment comes in.

Steve Mason, Ryedale resident and founder member of Frack Free United

“England and the Tory government are becoming increasing isolated in their support for the hydraulic fracturing industry. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and numerous European nations have listened to the experts warning of the dangers of fracking and the voices of the many thousands of people who do not want to see this industry take hold.”

Frack Free South Yorkshire

“The people of Scotland have spoken and Scottish Parliament has listened. A victory for democracy. I guess there must be something wrong with fracking!

“Opposition to fracking is equally intense in England, as evidenced by UK government’s quarterly Wave Tracker survey on energy. The sensible course of action now is for UK government to put a hold on all exploration and appraisal shale gas wells – and, therefore, unnecessary seismic surveying.”

Di Keal, member of Ryeale District Council and Frack Free United

“It is becoming clear that to stop this hugely damaging industry in its tracks we have to change the minds of those in power – which is what Frack Free United is all about. More and more people are waking up to the health risks of the fracking process and the potential damage to our economy it will bring.

“In rural North Yorkshire, currently at the forefront of the campaign against fracking,  our agricultural and tourism industries face devastation if this industry takes hold and the countryside is littered with drilling rigs.

“The Tory government really needs to listen to public opposition to this industry, realise that communities are rallying against them and saying loud and clear that it is just unacceptable to frack our countryside.”

“It is time Theresa May also started to listen – the Tories are now the only political party who support fracking. 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.”

Rose Dickinson, campaigner, Friends of the Earth

“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?”

Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrats Energy and Climate Spokesperson

“This is a welcome move from the Scottish government. Fracking is economically questionable, deeply unpopular in local communities up and down the country, not to mention a disaster for our environment.

“Yet again, Theresa May is finding herself on the wrong side of the argument. Fracking is simply a fig leaf for her government’s failures on decarbonising heating.

“May should follow the Scottish government’s lead and bring a ban on fracking below the border into effect immediately.”

Frack Free Lancashire

“We’re delighted that the long-awaited news following the Scottish consultation on fracking is leaning towards a full ban on this unnecessary and unwanted industry.

“The UK government faces yet another country recognising the inherently risky business of fracking and taking steps to protect their people. We hope that the UK government now performs a volte-face on their energy policy, instead of their current regressive view on fossil fuels.”


“We are pleased to see the Scottish Government respecting the precautionary principle, which means that threats to health or the environment are taken into account, even in the absence of full scientific certainty. It is a vital part of our armoury in the fight to protect nature, and crucial that it remains at the centre of environmental decision making. The precautionary principle is one of the key foundations of environmental law and is embedded in EU treaties and the UN Rio Declaration. The RSPB is very concerned however that, at present, this fundamental principle is not “carried over” into domestic law by the Withdrawal Bill, which needs to be urgently addressed.

“With moratoriums in place in Wales and Northern Ireland, England is the only UK country where this industry can now progress. The RSPB in England is continuing to call for regulations to be improved to safeguard both wildlife and the climate. Nonetheless, wells are already being drilled under an insufficient regulatory regime. As an energy strategy, there are much cleaner, renewable energy alternatives to fracking that can deliver meaningful emissions cuts, and we know from our ‘RSPB’s 2050 Energy Vision’ that through careful spatial planning a high renewable energy future can be achieved at low risk to wildlife.

“We hope the UK government will take note of this decision by the Scottish Government, and reassess its strategy to move towards a low carbon future, in harmony with nature.”



Scottish Parliament reaction

Reaction from industry

Reaction from campaign groups

Reaction from English campaigners



10 replies »

  1. All things have their time, the fossil fuel industry was a result of the Industrial Revolution and has remained primarily because there were few other workable available sources of energy, but we did what civilisations always do, we assumed it would continue on that way forever, and we ignored the consequences of putting all our energy requirement eggs in one ohandgee basket.

    Times change however, fossil fuels are not over yet, but their times are passing and now that fossil fuel window is rapidly closing and change is accelerating, if we don’t change now, we may not have another opportunity to do so whilst it is still relatively painless. It may still be difficult, but change is never easy, whole species have become extinct because they could not change fast enough when the old certainties evaporated and they could not, or would not adapt to new opportunities. that is evolution, evolve or die.

    We have other priorities now, not the least being this planets rapidly changing climate, the rate of change of which is far greater than in previous ages.

    The cause of that accelerated rate of change is still hotly debated, anthropogenic or some long term natural solar cycle? Again its the rate of change that is worrying, even past cycles have not matched this recent trend. We cannot ignore the anthropogenic effect, we are destroying the planets heat and carbon sinks at an alarming rate, and those in the past were the absorption “sinks” of the worst effects of rapid climate change. The trend might still be mainly solar, but we are destroying the natural slow down heat and carbon sink effects that the planet had built up after all these millions of years, that is clearly insane and for that reason alone i oppose further fossil fuel extraction, or at least keep it to a minimum and rapidly investigate and implement renewable alternatives until we can change from one to the other.

    I would prefer to concentrate on renewable’s, because without those, fossil fuels are all ready becoming too expensive to extract, both in ecological and monetary and social terms, look at these pages for the division it causes, we cant afford such divisions, it is far too late to be anything other than in agreement on the way to the future, and that, like it or not, is renewable energy, there really is no viable alternative.

    No one can ignore the millions spent on onshore ohandgee extraction and exploration sites without the slightest result other than to plunge us further into social and economic and political unrest.

    The word is untenable, unless of course there is another agenda in operation.

    We should be working together to solve the problems of the future, not trying to preserve the past comfort blankets of fossil fuels just because we cant think outside the box.

    Renewables will have their time, just as everything does, and, like it or not, that time is now.

    • I must comment that Drill or Drop hardly appears to be ‘independent’, since it gives most of its space to anti fracking views. Yet, from the comments column one can clearly see that many readers are in favour of fracking. Now we have a banner headline ‘victory for democracy’. How was that judged, did the people of Scotland vote on the subject of fracking, or is democracy the anti fracking protestors ? Why, also, is England isolated as it goes ahead with fracking ? There are lots of countries geering up to pursue fracking.I hardly think that minuscule Scotland can in anyway isolate England. Indeed if we are talking about near neighbours, then it is Scotland which appears to be isolated within the UK. And why all here say about fracking being dangerous and a threat to health. As I have said before on here 2,000,000 wells have been fracked world wide, 800,000 of those in America and fracking has been going on for a number of years now. To date, baring industrial accidents, nobody has died from fracking, nobody has been poisoned. So the anti fracking fraternity are pushing out lies based upon lies and then elaborated. Of course there may be accidents with fracking, there are accidents with cars and lorries and aeroplanes. After 15 years, or so of intensive fracking in America, it has more, or less, been proven that it is a remarkable safe industry and they can justifiably be proud of their safety record

  2. “The people of Scotland have spoken and Scottish Parliament has listened. A victory for democracy.” (and Wales and Ireland)
    I can only assume there’s a problem with democracy – or listening – in England.

  3. As for Rose Dickinson’s comments, it merely illustrates what I have said. Just as stream of allegations with no . Overwhelming risks ?
    Where are these risks ? America seems to be very healthy despite 800,000 fracked wells over there . If you are going to make a statement you must back it with fact . For example, since Shale gas will become the fuel of power stations, it is less pollutant than oil, a step in right direction, must be your view ! Climate change, I am afraid that the jury is out on that. We are in the warming up phase after the last ice age, just 11,000 years ago. In the past 750,000 years this area of the globe has experienced 4 major ice ages, some lasting more than 100,000 years. In between these events, large areas of the world became swamped as the ice shelves melted. It has happened before many times and it will happen again and again and again in the future history of the world. Current theory is that it is the Sun caused the problem by waxing and waning. I am sorry to deflate the anti-frack adherents but they are not God and the world will continue until the sun runs out of fuel and then be gobbled up in the fireball which seems to accompany the death of all stars. And in the 5,000,000 years, or so, before that happens the world will continue as it always has( ice age/global warming/ice age/global warming. ice age/global warming) But, lastly as far the UK is concerned tectonics is forcing the UK and Scandinavia to push North East towards the artic, where for a few million years it will be a frozen wasteland.

    There is no such thing as a solid state for the climate, there is no optimum climate. I imagine that countries of the world who are used to their weather, as it is, how would you get their agreement. Africans may find snow interesting, to start with. Eskimos may have to give up their life style, so each nation has its own ideas as to what is a nice climate and it is often rooted in when we/they were young. Thus, if were at all possible to control the climate everybody has a different idea as to what that should be and the tropical beaches of the Baltic will take some getting used to. So tell me what is the optimum climate ?

    But, ponder this as the earth is in its current warming up phase, huge areas of tundra and Greenland, Northern Russia and Canada and the ant artic will become productive of plant life. Plants, of course, take in CO2 to make sugars from. They will start to extract CO2 from the atmosphere, and there you have it, possibly that is the reason why the world cycles from hot to cold .

  4. Hello Paul My understanding is to put a comment in inverted commas changes it to a quotation and a fact . “Victory for democracy” it has not been subject to voting on by the majority. Indeed, the majority were not even consulted . “A victory for democracy”, said Joe Blogs leaves it a quotation of what Joe Bloggs said and what he may be called upon to defend. but a headline ‘Victory for democracy’ implies it was a democratic process which decided the outcome……, and that is a lie !

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