Scotland extends moratorium on fracking

  • 04/10/2017
A fracking drill at sunset.
A fracking drill at sunset. Photo credit: Getty

The Scottish government will not support the development of fracking after a public consultation found overwhelming opposition to the practice, the energy minister says.

Scotland imposed a moratorium on fracking, the process of fracturing underground shale rock to release gas and oil, in 2015 and that will now remain for the foreseeable future.

"The decision taken today means fracking can not and will not take place in Scotland," Paul Wheelhouse told the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

"Taking account of available evidence and the strength of public opinion, my judgement is that Scotland should say 'no' to fracking."

Fracking has run into stiff opposition in many countries from environmentalists who say it causes problems including pollution of the water table, and from residents of areas where fracking is being considered.

Environmental groups Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth both welcomed the news from Edinburgh and said the executive there, run by the Scottish National Party (SNP), was leading the way towards clean energy.

Britain's central government, led by Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, supports fracking. The opposition Labour Party has said it would ban the technique if elected.


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