GOVERNMENT-commissioned research on fracking has been delayed until after the SNP conference, angering critics in the party who want to debate the controversial issue. Ministers said last year that six expert reports on the safety and science of the gas extraction technology would be published by “summer 2016”. The First Minister said last month they were due out “over the next few weeks”, followed by a public consultation on fracking, which involves pumping pressurised water and chemicals into shale beds to release gas, something critics say risks pollution and worsens climate change. Now government sources have told the Herald the reports are not scheduled to appear this week or over the two-week Holyrood recess that runs until October 23. That puts their publication beyond the SNP annual conference in mid-October, where there will be a debate on energy, as well as scope for topical resolutions.
Herald 5th Oct 2016 read more »