Prohibition of hydraulic fracturing in Scotland might not be policy, after all.
“The concept of an effective ban is a gloss,” government attorney James Mure said during the first day of judicial review, according to The Scotsman. “It is the language of a press statement.”
In October, Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse told the Scottish Parliament hydraulic fracturing “cannot and will not take place in Scotland (OGJ Online, Oct. 3, 2017).”
He was announcing a decision to extend indefinitely a moratorium in place since 2015.
Parliament endorsed the decision in a 91-28 vote later that month.
Tom Pickering, Ineos Shale operations director, said Mure’s statement in court represented “a staggering U-turn on the policy direction” announced last October.
He said it casts “further uncertainty and ambiguity across the policy framework for onshore unconventional oil and gas development in Scotland.”