Onshore energy sector in last-ditch fracking plea to MSPs

Ken Cronin: warning to MSPs. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Ken Cronin: warning to MSPs. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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The onshore energy sector has made a last ditch plea to MSPs urging them to reject the fracking ban warning it will damage Scotland’s reputation for scientific innovation and cost 3,000 potential jobs.

UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) has written to all 129 MSPs ahead of this week’s Holyrood vote which will secure majority support for the ban.

The SNP administration has announced its opposition to the controversial gas extraction technique. Its stance is also supported by the Greens and Labour – ensuring parliamentary backing for a ban is a formality.

Nevertheless Ken Cronin, UKOOG chief executive, warned that a ban will ignore the evidence on the need for gas in Scotland’s energy mix. His letter said the Scottish Government was turning its back on 3,000 potential jobs plus £6.5 billion of economic benefit. He added that the ban would “weaken Scotland’s reputation for leading the world in scientific understanding”.

A government spokeswoman said it had conducted a “far-reaching” investigation into fracking, which showed it would make reaching greenhouse gas emissions targets more difficult in return for a “modest employment impact”.