GRANGEMOUTH petrochemical giant Ineos is facing a legal challenge to its bid to sue the Scottish Government for multi-million pound damages for banning fracking. An environmental group has won an unprecedented right to intervene in a court case, due to begin this week, in support of the government ban. The Court of Session in Edinburgh has given Friends of the Earth Scotland permission to make a formal submission in the “public interest”. The group will be arguing that the fracking ban is lawful, and essential if Scotland is to meet its legally-binding targets to cut climate pollution. Ineos will maintain that the ban is a “misuse of ministerial power” and that it is due substantial compensation from taxpayers. Lawyers say this is the first time that the Court of Session has permitted a public interest intervention on environmental grounds. An initial procedural hearing is scheduled on May 1, with the substantive case due to start on May 8. Ineos has licences from the UK Government to frack for underground shale gas across large parts of the central belt around Grangemouth, but its plans were stymied in October 2017 when the Scottish Government converted its 32-month moratorium on fracking into an indefinite ban.
Herald 29th April 2018 read more »
AN INQUIRY has begun into the future of the oil and gas industry in Scotland. The Scottish Affairs Committee will look at challenges facing the sector and how they can be tackled, and ways to secure the future of oil and gas in Scotland as reserves decline. It will also examine how effective the UK Government has been in supporting the long-term future of the industry and how to maximise the economic return. The committee said Scotland’s oil and gas is central the UK economy, contributing approximately £17 billion to the balance of trade and supporting more than 300,000 jobs.
Herald 26th April 2018 read more »