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Court decides there is no fracking ban in Scotland

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World Pipelines,

The Court of Session in Edinburgh has today published the judgement in the case of INEOS Shale’s Judicial Review of the Scottish Government’s ban on fracking. The court has concluded that there is in fact no ban on fracking in Scotland.

Tom Pickering, Operations Director INEOS Shale, said: “We welcome the decision announced by Lord Pentland today. We are in the extraordinary position where a senior judge has effectively concluded that the Scottish Government did not know what it was doing. He has ruled that there is no fracking ban in Scotland. We are sure that this will be a surprise to all those who heard the First Minister and others repeatedly tell Holyrood the exact opposite. It is for MSPs to decide whether Parliament was misled deliberately or simply through incompetence.”

With an environmental assessment and business and regulatory assessments still to be carried out, there may never be a fracking ban in Scotland. INEOS calls on the Scottish Government to honour the commitments it made in court that it will now undertake a proper consideration of all the issues surrounding shale. In the meantime, it is expected that all planning applications will be considered on their own merits.

Tom Pickering said, “The Scottish Government caved in to demands from ill-informed environmental activists. It ignored the evidence presented by its own scientific experts. Today’s judgement makes it clear the SNP Government will now have to make decisions based on facts and science rather than prejudice and political expediency.”

INEOS is grateful to the Court of Session for clarifying the confusion arising out of Government announcements. The Government could have avoided wasting the Court’s time, and have saved significant amounts of public funds, had it simply come clean before the court case.

Tom Pickering said, “It is astonishing how the government could have got this so wrong.” He continued, “If Scotland wants to be considered as a serious place to do business then it is imperative that Government ministers can be taken at their word. We cannot have a situation where we need to go to court to find out what government policy is. Business needs a transparent environment that will encourage investment in Scotland for the long-term.”

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