Could Drilling Moratorium be 'Nail in Coffin' for Fracking in Scotland?

Citing public health and safety concerns, the Scottish government on Wednesday announced a ban against fracking until "the voices of the communities likely to be most affected are heard."

Introduced by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, the new policy places an open-ended moratorium on granting permits for unconventional gas drilling in the country.

"Fergus Ewing’s announcement today is huge victory for the communities, individuals and groups who have been campaigning to stop this dirty industry in Scotland," said Dr. Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland. "This moratorium is a very big nail in the coffin for the unconventional gas and fracking industry in Scotland."

Speaking before the Members of Scottish Parliament, or MSPs, at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Ewing said: "I want to ensure that the voices of the communities likely to be most affected are heard, and are heard in a more formal and structured way."

"I am therefore announcing today that in addition to the technical work I've referred to on planning, environmental regulation and upon assessing the impact on public health, Scottish ministers will also launch a full public consultation on unconventional oil and gas extraction."

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