Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur has today criticised the decision by the Scottish Government to extend Ineos’s fracking license for a further 12 months, and warned that ministerial foot dragging is holding the country back from an all-out assault on emissions.
In a letter to Mr McArthur and campaigners, energy minister Paul Wheelhouse confirmed that: “Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) 162, held by INEOS Upstream Limited and Reach Coal Seam Gas Limited, was due to expire on 30 June 2019. However, following consideration of a request submitted by the licensees, I have decided, for the second year, to extend the initial term of the licence for a further 12 months.
Commenting on the letter, Mr McArthur said:
“This is not reassuring news for those whose property sits on or near sites potentially earmarked for fracking, or indeed anyone who cares about protecting our beautiful natural environment.
“Nicola Sturgeon stood up in Parliament and declared that fracking was banned, then her government’s lawyers stood up in the Court of Session and argued that it wasn’t. Now her minister has confirmed that Ineos’s license to frack has been extended once again.
“Ministers are dragging their feet on a real legislative ban and it is sending completely the wrong message when we should be committing to an all-out assault on Scotland’s emissions.
"Liberal Democrats are clear that embarking on a whole new front of carbon-based fuels and energy production would do nothing to help meet our climate commitments."