Beamish: Fracking Licences Must Not Be Renewed

Claudia Beamish has demanded that the Scottish Government not renew the four existing fracking licences in Scotland, as cracks begin to appear in the fracking ‘ban.’

These licences allow companies to pursue drilling, though only with planning permission and consent, something that has been withheld. But as oil and petrochemical giant Ineos challenges the Scottish Government’s fracking ban in court, the rules against fracking appear less watertight than they first seemed. The defence for the Scottish Government James Mure QC stated last thursday that the ban was “a gloss. It is the language of a press statement. What they have done is to announce a preferred position on the issue.”

“They have not yet adopted a position. Any position which the government will take has to undergo an environmental and strategic assessment.

“The court should therefore allow the policy-making process to go to finalisation which is expected in October this year.”

But several licences are due to run out before October - including one of the two held by INEOS. The company acquired an 80% stake in PEDL 2 in Midland Valley in 2014 - but the license is due to run out 30th June this year.

Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Climate Change, Claudia Beamish, said:

“People in Scotland need a clear, and simple commitment from the Scottish Government on “onshore” fracking.

“Existing licences that were granted before these powers were devolved to Holyrood must not be renewed.

“The Scottish Government should now use the powers at its disposal, in accordance with the will of the Scottish Parliament on this issue.

“One licence covers 400 km2 of the Scottish central belt. It should not be extended when it expires on 30 June, in the interests of our communities and our climate and future jobs in the renewables sector – and the same should be the case with all future licences.”

The image for this article was taken by Battenbrook in Germany.

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