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Energy giants lose fracking challenge

This news post is almost 6 years old

The Court of Session has rejected a claim led by Grangemouth bosses INEOS against anti-fracking policies

Energy giants have lost a legal challenge against an effective ban on fracking.

INEOS and Reach CSG appealed to the Court of Session based on their belief that the Scottish Government had acted illegally by announcing that unconventional gas extraction could not take place in Scotland.

However Lord Pentland found in favour of the government, who argued that no ban is yet in place with policymaking ongoing.

The decision has been welcomed by environmental campaigners, who have warned of devastating consequences if fracking is allowed to take place in Scotland.

Friends of the Earth Scotland head of campaigns Mary Church said: "INEOS should listen to the people and parliament of Scotland who have made it clear that there is no support for fracking, and give up on its plans to trash the central belt and the climate.

"Support for a ban on fracking from communities on the frontline of this industry, people the length and breadth of Scotland, and almost all the parties at Holyrood is overwhelming. There is little doubt that a strategic environmental assessment will support a ban on fracking given the mountains of evidence about the risks of the unconventional oil and gas industry to our environment, climate and people’s health.”

Church added that it is important that the government moves forward with its plans to legislate a formal ban.

Minister for business, energy and innovation Paul Wheelhouse said: “This decision vindicates the extensive process of research and consultation which the Scottish Government has undertaken since 2015.

“As I set out in October, our preferred position is not to support unconventional oil and gas extraction in Scotland, and that position remains unchanged.”

Wheelhouse said the current moratorium would remain in place while work continues on creating policy to finalise the government’s positon that no fracking can take place in Scotland at this time.