Scottish government's ban on fracking could cost jobs, says Ineos

 
Alys Key
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Construction Begins At Lancashire Fracking Site
Environmental campaigners praised the decision (Source: Getty)

Fracking has effectively been banned in Scotland, after the Scottish government revealed its support for a ban.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse told MSPs that a public consultation had found widespread opposition to the practice in Scotland, and that the government had a "moral responsibility" to protect the environment.

He concluded that fracking "cannot and will not take place in Scotland.

Following the recommendation, the Scottish parliament will be able to vote on the proposed ban after the October recess. But opposition to the government position is likely to be slim, with just the Conservatives against the move.

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said the news was "brilliant" and called on the UK government to do the same.

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But energy giant Ineos said Scotland would miss out on investment and jobs due to the decision.

The company said the SNP had “turned its back on a potential manufacturing and jobs renaissance”, and predicted that England would benefit from the shift in operations and jobs creation to south of Hadrian's Wall.

It estimated that around 3,100 jobs could now be given to workers in England instead.

Environmental campaigners greeted the ban and accused the British government of ignoring the public's wishes with regards to England and Wales.

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Elisabeth Whitebread, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “The Scottish Government ban on fracking is a huge win for thousands of people who have campaigned against fracking for six years. Unlike Westminster, Holyrood is listening to public opinion. We already have more gas than we can afford to burn, and as well as damaging the climate, fracking will cause local noise, air and light pollution."

Friends of the Earth campaigner, Rose Dickinson said: “Today the Scottish Government have made the right decision for the climate, the environment, for people in Scotland and around the world. With all our nearest neighbours having banned or halted fracking, our Government is increasingly out on a limb in pursuing it in England. Will Secretary of State Greg Clark now listen to the overwhelming evidence of the risks and refuse the final consent for fracking in Lancashire and Ryedale?”

Read more: What the frack? Geology professor says UK shale gas deposits were hyped up

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