Industry reacts to Scotland’s fracking ban

The Scottish Government’s decision to ban fracking is a “blow” to the country. That’s the view of petrochemicals giant INEOS, which believes Scotland will miss out on economic and employment […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The Scottish Government’s decision to ban fracking is a “blow” to the country.

That’s the view of petrochemicals giant INEOS, which believes Scotland will miss out on economic and employment benefits “that will be enjoyed by the rest of the UK”, including an estimated 3,100 Scottish jobs.

Tom Pickering, Operations Director at INEOS Shale said: “it is a sad day for those of us who believe in evidence-led decision making. The Scottish Government has turned its back on a potential manufacturing and jobs renaissance and lessened Scottish academia’s place in the world by ignoring its findings.”

The Scottish Government’s decision follows an extensive research and public consultation process, which attracted more than 60,000 responses.

UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) added it is a “poor decision, ignoring Scotland’s rich heritage and expertise in oil and gas”.

Chief Executive Ken Cronin 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… 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.

“This is a decision that is based on dogma, not evidence or geopolitical reality.”

However green groups have welcomed the move.

Elisabeth Whitebread, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK said: “Unlike Westminster, Holyrood is listening to public opinion. By announcing an outright ban on this new fossil fuel industry in Scotland and using a fair process to reach their decision, the SNP Government is leading the way towards the clean energy system that people want.”

Mary Church, Head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, added: “This is a victory for the environment and for local communities fighting fracking.

“This is a huge win for the anti-fracking movement, particularly for those on the frontline of this dirty industry here in Scotland, who have been working for a ban these last six years.”