Scots ministers deliver “nail in the coffin” for fracking industry

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Long awaited fracking moratorium announced by Scottish Government 

28th January 2015 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

A planned moratorium on fracking by the Scottish Government is a “huge nail in the coffin” of energy companies undertaking the controversial gas extraction method, say environmental campaigners.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing laid out the Scottish Government’s latest policy on unconventional gas and fracking – announcing a moratorium on the industry in Scotland while a full health impact assessment and public consultation is carried out.

The news was welcomed by the country’s leading environmental organisations.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said it was a huge victory for the communities, individuals and groups who have been campaigning to stop “this dirty industry in Scotland.”

He added: “This moratorium is a very big nail in the coffin for the unconventional gas and fracking industry in Scotland. Any serious examination of the mounting evidence will inevitably lead to a ban. The Scottish Government has acted decisively today to protect communities across the country and the environment from this unnecessary industry.

This moratorium is a very big nail in the coffin for the unconventional gas and fracking industry in Scotland

"While we are calling for an outright ban, a halt on the industry while a full examination of health and environmental impacts is carried out is very welcome. Scotland joins France, Ireland, the Netherlands and New York State in a long list of countries and regions which have acted to stop the unconventional gas industry.

"We are convinced that a proper examination of the mounting evidence of health and environmental concerns must lead to a full ban.”

Ewing announced that a full health impact assessment, consultation with communities and further work to strengthen planning and environmental regulation would be carried out, and that a moratorium on the industry would be in place until completion.

He added that the Scottish Government would shortly provide further details of the timescales of this work.

It was also confirmed that it would be inappropriate to grant any planning permissions for unconventional gas while this work is being carried.

This means at least considerable delay if not the end of Dart Energy's plans for commercial coalbed methane at Airth, near Falkirk.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “There is over whelming public opinion in favour of cleaner forms of energy and a sufficient body of evidence why unconventional oil and gas are neither good for people or the planet.

"While this rightly puts a hold on fracking for now, we hope the final decision will be to rule it out completely.

"The climate science is clear, the vast majority of known fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground and not burned.

"Scotland should instead be playing to its natural advantages in clean, green renewable energy."

1st February 2015 by CLEAR Buckhaven

We assume this moratorium extends to the unconventional technology of Undergound Coal Gasification which is licensed in the Forth Estuary? We need clarification but, if so, it's a major if temporary relief to fears that onshore devastation would take place here in Levenmouth and the East Neuk