Petrochemical firm Ineos has lost its legal challenge against the Scottish government’s “effective ban” on fracking. The firm claimed that ministers had acted illegally in announcing the block in October 2017. But the government argued that there is no ban in place as the policymaking process is still ongoing. Lord Pentland agreed that the challenge was “unfounded” because “there is no prohibition against fracking in force”. And he agreed with Scottish government lawyers that statements from ministers referring to an “effective ban” were “mistaken and did not accurately reflect the legal position”. Ineos, which owns the Grangemouth refinery, and fellow petrochemical firm Reach launched a legal challenge seeking a judicial review after Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse announced what he described as an “effective ban” in October 2017.
BBC 19th June 2018 read more »
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Leader: The first minister needs to ban double-speak and mean what she says. When is a ban not a ban? When it is defined by the first minister, obviously. Last autumn Nicola Sturgeon could not have been clearer. “Fracking will be banned in Scotland, end of story,” she said. Except, it seems, that was not quite what she meant. In a Court of Session case brought by Ineos, which wants to frack, counsel for the SNP government told a judge that there was no such ban. For students of Orwellian double-speak, the statement of James Mure, QC, is a joy. “The concept of an effective ban is a gloss,” he said. “It is the language of a press statement. What they [the government] have done is to announce a preferred position. They have not yet adopted a position . . .” Come again? Does he really mean that Ms Sturgeon, when announcing her fracking ban, was merely glossing over the truth? That nothing she says should be treated with any more respect than a media release from a dodgy source? Yesterday, Lord Pentland agreed that Ineos’s challenge was unfounded because “there is no prohibition against fracking in force”. In other words, no legal ban. In an age when it is becoming ever harder to distinguish between truth and fake news, it is surely incumbent on our leader to say what she means and mean what she says. Ms Sturgeon recently condemned on Twitter a newspaper story suggesting that there was an SNP ban on union flags being flown on royal celebration days. Yet the number of occasions on which a union flag will be hoisted on public buildings has been reduced from 15 to one, although apparently it was Alex Salmond, not she, who decreed it. It is, perhaps, time that the first minister spent less time on histrionics and a little more studying her thesaurus. Or else she will fall foul of George Orwell’s pronouncement that “political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and . . . give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”.
Times 20th June 2018 read more »
CAMPAIGNERS reacted with “delight” yesterday after petrochemical giant Ineos’s legal challenge to the Scottish Government’s “effective ban” on fracking was thrown out by a judge. Friends of the Earth Scotland head of campaigns Mary Church said of yesterday’s Court of Session ruling: “This ruling will come as a huge relief to the thousands of people who have fought to stop fracking in Scotland, particularly those faced with the prospect of living near this dirty, damaging industry. “We are delighted Ineos has lost its challenge to the Scottish Government’s ‘effective ban’ on fracking. It should listen to the people and Parliament of Scotland, who have made it clear there is no support for fracking, and give up on its plans to trash the central belt and the climate.”
The National 20th June 2018 read more »