The Scottish Government is expected to announce an outright ban on fracking later this week according to Rob Edwards at Herald Scotland:
“Ministers are putting the finishing touches to a permanent ban, replacing the moratorium they started in January 2015. This will spell the end of plans by the energy industry to frack for shale gas under swathes of central Scotland.”
The Scottish National Party manifesto for last year’s election included a commitment not to allow fracking; and last June the Scottish Parliament voted for an outright ban. Only the Scottish Tories are in favour of fracking.
The shift in favour of a complete ban will have also been strengthened by recent data on renewable electricity generation, which shows Scotland leading the UK in developing these emerging technologies. In addition, two recent papers (here and here) from Scottish geologists demonstrate that profitable shale gas recovery in Scotland is highly unlikely.
An outright fracking ban in Scotland will add pressure to the UK’s other devolved administrations – which also currently have a moratorium on fracking – to adopt a complete ban. If they do, then the England’s faltering Tory government will be the only UK administration to embrace fracking – and even this might prove short-lived, as the opposition Labour Party is now committed to a ban on fracking.