The Scottish Government has announced its final policy position that it does not support onshore Unconventional Oil and Gas (UOG) extraction.
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald (SNP) has welcomed the news which will come as a relief to communities, individuals and business who have lived with the threat of UOG extraction, including ‘fracking’ on their doorsteps for some time.
The Scottish Government introduced a moratorium on UOG extraction in 2013, which has meant that UOG extraction has been unable to take place in Scotland. The latest development in Scottish Government policy means that new planning measures will ensure that no licenses can be granted for fracking or other methods of UOG extraction, and will form part of the next National Planning Framework (NPF). This means that, once the next NPF is agreed by Parliament, no government will be able to take forward a policy which supports UOG extraction in Scotland.
Mr MacDonald said: “This announcement further reinforces Scotland’s position that fracking, and other methods of unconventional oil and gas extraction, are not supported here.
“The process undertaken by the Scottish Government has been thorough, robust and extensive taking into consideration research and evidence in getting to the position we have today.
“Over the years, many of my constituents have expressed their concerns over these processes, and have called for the Scottish Government to take action on fracking, and ensure that they are protected from it.
“ I am sure that those people within the communities of my constituency will be pleased with this announcement and what it means going forward.
“I do hope, however, that following this announcement, there can be more support and collaboration in ensuring our industries can decarbonise and make plans to become more sustainable in their processes.
“Falkirk Council’s recent climate emergency declaration, and ambition to make Grangemouth the first carbon neutral town in the district is ambitious, but ultimately achievable if common ground can be found, and collaboration takes place to make it happen.
“I am, however, delighted with this announcement, and look forward to more work taking place to protect our environment, and ensure sustainability for the future.”