Sturgeon’s ducking and diving on shale puts Scotland’s economy at risk

29 Sep 2016

Nicola Sturgeon’s attempts to keep the issue of shale in the long grass risks thousands of jobs across the country, it has been warned.

In the week the first delivery of US shale arrived at Grangemouth to be refined, the First Minister was challenged today as to why the SNP still opposed its extraction.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said, with a moratorium on fracking having been in place for almost two years, it was time for a final decision on the matter.

Those on both sides of the fracking argument are not served by the uncertainty, she added at Holyrood today, and people and businesses wanted answers.

The SNP’s hypocrisy on shale was also highlighted at First Minister’s Questions, with the party happy to have it shipped in from America, but opposed to Scotland providing its own.

Ineos has estimated around 10,000 jobs have been secured at its Grangemouth site thanks to the arrival of shale to be refined.

Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government was taking a “precautionary” approach, even though a report on the issue which was due in the summer has still not been published.

In 2014, the Scottish Government’s own advisers ruled that shale extraction was safe, a conclusion the SNP has chosen to ignore.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“Nicola Sturgeon’s repeated ducking and diving on this matter is risking the thousands of jobs supported by shale in Scotland.

“It’s a blatant hypocrisy that, while ships arrive from across the Atlantic with shale for Grangemouth, the SNP is refusing to give an answer on gas extraction here.

“It serves no-one’s interests on either side of the debate to have a Scottish Government that stands by and watches, showing no leadership whatsoever.

“The moratorium has been in place for almost two years, and it’s now time for decisions to be made.”

In 2014, the Scottish Government’s own advisers told them fracking was safe:

A report was due by this summer from the Scottish Government, but still nothing has been published:

The first delivery of US shale arrived on Tuesday:

The Scottish Conservatives have long called for the SNP to explore the potential of fracking: