Tag Archives: scottish liberal democrat spring c

Scotland’s choices on fracking

Last week Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference debated lifting the moratorium on planning and licensing for unconventional oil and gas extraction.

It was an erudite debate, and I think that it is fair to summarise the argument in favour of lifting the moratorium as follows:

Liberals believe in evidence-based policy making and the scientific method.
The moratorium was put in place to allow an independent expert scientific panel to examine how unconventional oil and gas extraction could work in Scotland.
Just such a panel published a report in July 2014.
The experts say “The technology exists to allow the safe extraction of such reserves, subject to robust regulation being in place” and “There could be minimal impact from unconventional hydrocarbons if they are used as a petrochemical feedstock.”
Therefore the moratorium has served its purpose and should now be lifted. To maintain it, in the face of scientific evidence, would be a cynical politically-motivated move.

However, it is worth remembering that the 2014 Independent Report was a large document and the two sentences quoted do not cover its complete findings. In fact the quote “There could be minimal impact from unconventional hydrocarbons if they are used as a petrochemical feedstock” is immediately preceded by “The impact of unconventional oil and gas resources in Scotland on the Scottish Government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases is not definitive,” and immediately followed by “…but lifecycle analysis of an unconventional hydrocarbon industry is required to inform the debate, and provide a clearer view on the impact of their development.”

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 25 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarsuzanne fletcher 14th Jul - 1:26pm
    not very good that the one re free school meals was embargoed till 10 pm the night before ( no idea why) and next morning...
  • User Avatarn hunter 14th Jul - 1:09pm
    2nd best pandemic prepared country in 2019. So what did happen from Jan 2019 to Jan 2020 beside Johnson's sad win at the polls (we...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 14th Jul - 12:36pm
    The author makes a valid point about the plight of pensioners who retired overseas. Back in the 1970s there were many fewer such pensioners and...
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 14th Jul - 12:13pm
    Clearly the 18% rise cant be allowed to happen, there has to be a temporary fix. The Triple Lock has a limited shelf-life in any...
  • User AvatarBarry Lofty 14th Jul - 12:12pm
    Innocent Bystander: you can make any comparisons you like, judge how many older people would die anyway, compare UK infection figures with other countries but...
  • User AvatarTom Harney 14th Jul - 12:02pm
    My thanks for the links for the links. I remember the days when we got a picture every day at the Downing Street party political...