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Fracking moratorium is declared

Words: Roger Milne

Energy minister Fergus Ewing has announced a moratorium on granting consents for unconventional oil and gas developments in Scotland - a move that includes fracking – while further research and public consultation is carried out.

Ewing told the Scottish Parliament that a mass consultation exercise will be undertaken to gauge public opinion on fracking.

Environmental regulations and planning guidance will also be tightened up, and a full public health assessment is to be carried out to address safety amid concerns that the process can cause earthquakes and contaminate groundwater supplies.

“Given the importance of this work, it would be inappropriate to allow any planning consents in the meantime,” Ewing said.

“I am therefore announcing a moratorium on the granting of planning consents for all unconventional oil and gas developments, including fracking”.