Nicola Sturgeon rules out fracking in Scotland



NICOLA Sturgeon has said there will be no fracking in Scotland, despite Liz Truss’s decision to end the ban in England. 

The Prime Minister confirmed on Thursday morning that the moratorium, imposed in 2019, would be lifted. 

She told that gas from onshore shale wells could be ready within six months. The decision will be controversial. Fracking was stopped in England in 2019 after concerns about earth tremors.

Ms Truss also promised the launch of a new oil and gas licensing round, which is expected to lead to more than 100 new licences for fossil fuel extraction from the North Sea.

And she said the government wanted to deliver up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity generation with nuclear by 2050.

Ms Truss told the House of Commons: “We will end the moratorium on extracting our huge reserves of shale – which could get gas flowing as soon as six months – where there is local support for it.”

In Scotland, there has been a de-facto ban on fracking since 2017, with councils told not to allow planning permission for any developments.

Asked about the change in policy south of the border during First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon said: “This is a devolved matter and our position is unchanged.

“We do not intend to grant licences for fracking.”

She quoted new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, who previously said “no amount of shale gas would be enough to lower the European price”.

Ms Sturgeon also said her position on developing new nuclear energy is “unchanged”.

She added: “We do not support new nuclear, certainly not with existing technology.

“The reality is Scotland has vast potential in renewables. Offshore and onshore wind can already be generated more cheaply that gas-fired power or nuclear power.

“That is where we need to focus our efforts and that is exactly what the Scottish Government is going to do.”

In the Commons, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer warned that fracking would not cut bills or strengthen energy security, but would “drive a coach and horses through our efforts to fight the looming climate crisis”.

Tom Crotty, INEOS Director, said fracking had helped protest the US against the energy crisis.

He added: “It can do the same here in the UK. We have promised to invest the first 6% of the value of the gas back into the local communities. It goes without saying that the Government would also have an increased tax take.”

“INEOS has proved it is committed to the Energy Transition through major investments in Hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Storage, however, we and the industry knows that gas is and must be part of that transition.

“The country needs gas for at least the next 30 years. It is patently obvious that we should be using our own gas instead of shipping it in from abroad.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s head of campaigns Mary Church said the change in fracking policy was a “disgrace”. 

She added: “Not only is the industry incredibly harmful in climate terms it also brings with it serious local health and environmental risks. 

“It’s laughable to suggest that fracked gas will deliver within six months. Communities have already successfully fought and stopped it in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland so wherever this dirty dangerous industry is proposed, it will be opposed once again.”





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