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Fracking ban continues in Scotland, confirms minister

Michael Matheson reiterated the Scottish Government’s opposition to granting fracking licences.

Fracking site
Fracking site

The Scottish Government’s policy on fracking is not changing despite the ban being lifted south of the border, a minister has said.

Scottish Energy Secretary Michael Matheson reiterated his Government’s opposition to new fracking licences.

It came after UK Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said the existing pause on fracking is being lifted in England to examine new potential sources of gas.

Liz Truss’s Government has vowed to explore all avenues to improve energy security in response to the war in Ukraine.

Mr Matheson tweeted shortly after the announcement on Thursday morning.

Michael Matheson
Scottish Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said his Government’s position on fracking is unchanged (PA)

He said: “To be clear – this policy change does not apply in Scotland.

“Fracking can only happen here if licences are issued by the Scottish Government and we do not intend to issue any licences.”

A spokesman for the First Minister later said there is no review point for the Scottish Government’s position on fracking.

The granting of licences for fracking are a devolved matter, meaning the policy will not impact Scotland unless Scottish ministers agree to it.

The Scottish Government has repeatedly adopted a policy position of no support for fracking, following a moratorium on the issue.

Earlier in September, Nicola Sturgeon was asked to clarify her Government’s position on fracking during First Minister’s Questions.

She said: “This is a devolved matter and our position is unchanged.

“We do not intend to grant licences for fracking.”

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