Nicola Sturgeon asked if she misled Scottish Parliament on fracking ‘ban’

Posted: May 9, 2018 by oldbrew in Accountability, fracking, government, Legal
Tags: ,

Our indecision is final?

When is a ban not a ban? The Telegraph quotes the SNP’s own website which currently states: “The Scottish Government has put in place a ban on fracking in Scotland – meaning fracking cannot and will not take place in Scotland.” Seems clear enough from the renewables-mad SNP – but read on…

The Scottish Government’s claim in court that it had not banned fracking has been described as ‘beyond humiliating’; as two petrochemical companies argued that ministers did establish an ‘unlawful’ ban, reports the Daily Telegraph.

A lawyer for Ineos, which runs the giant Grangemouth refinery complex, said that ministers had created a policy through public statements that would prevent a fracking industry from developing in Scotland.

Gerry Moynihan QC told the Court of Session, where two petrochemical firms are attempting to overturn the “ban”, that Paul Wheelhouse, the Energy Minister, used the phrase “effective ban” when he told MSPs in October that the government’s moratorium on the practice was being extended.

He added that a claim by the government’s QC on Wednesday that it was just stating its preferred position was wrong.

Urging Lord Pentland to rule in favour of his clients – the petrochemical companies Ineos and Reach CSG – Mr Moynihan argued that ministers had acted “unlawfully” by banning fracking under planning legislation.

Continued here.

  1. Bitter@twisted says:

    “Cautious, evidence based approach”
    We are lying through our teeth.

  2. Phoenix44 says:

    Got to love a group of politicians who whine for years about not getting their fair share of money from fossil fuels, then try to stop something that will create jobs, wealth and taxes directly in Scotland because it is a fossil fuel.

    If Scotland deserves more money from previous oil and gas extraction, then it owes more money for the damage Scotland has caused.

    Otherwise you would be trying to have your cake and eat it too, surely?

  3. oldbrew says:

    Why are they trying to strangle it in the planning consent system instead of in their own parliament? Looks like a blame avoidance trick.
    – – –
    Scottish Labour’s spokesperson, Claudia Beamish, said:

    “Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers told MSPs – and more importantly campaigners and communities – that Scottish towns and villages were no longer at risk from fracking and the environmental damage it can cause because they had banned it.

    “Now the government’s lawyer is saying the opposite, saying it is the language of a press release.

    “SNP ministers need to explain this fast. It isn’t sustainable for the SNP to be saying one thing on their leaflets, website and in press releases and something else entirely in a courtroom.”

  4. oldbrew says:

    Date: 11/05/18 The Daily Telegraph

    The petrochemical giant that runs Scotland’s biggest industrial complex has accused the Scottish Government of taking an “Alice in Wonderland” approach to fracking that is harming jobs and investment.

    Nicola Sturgeon and Paul Wheelhouse, her Energy Minister, last year described the decision to extend indefinitely a moratorium on the controversial practice as a “ban”.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Scotland – ‘A place where, as Mr Pickering succinctly put it, businesses have to go to court to determine if ministerial announcements can be taken at face value.’

    And then find out that they can’t be.

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