IF – as is virtually certain – the SNP win the Scottish general election and form the next Government – one of the most high profile political casualties will be Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Energy Minister, according to senior government and industry sources. This is because of shale energy. Whilst Ewing has been fastidious in sitting on the fence to ensure Ministerial neutrality during the (still) ongoing evidential-consultation in the pros and cons of fracking, a small – but highly significant – gap has opened up between him and Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister. The present Scot-Govt imposed a moratorium on any planning applications related to shale gas in January last year and subsequently called for an evidence-based inquiry based on probative scientific grounds. But in the last debate on shale gas in Holyrood, Sturgeon admitted that she was ‘frankly sceptical’ about fracking. It is this gap – between Sturgeon’s ‘scepticism’ and Ewing’s ‘neutrality’ that senior civil servants at St. Andrew’s House say will lead to the political downfall of Fergus Ewing as Scottish Energy Minister next month. This information is corroborated by anti-wind farm campaigners who also believe Ewing will be re-shuffled after the Holyrood election because he is not nearly ‘as sceptical’ as Sturgeon is about fracking.
Scottish Energy News 10th April 2016 read more »