The Scottish government confirmed a ban on fracking yesterday. The move followed a consultation, which revealed overwhelming public opposition along with limited economic benefits to the industry for Scotland.
The public consultation attracted more than 65,000 responses, with 99% of replies originating from areas targeted by the fracking industry opposed to it. Industry executives have insisted that fracking can be carried out safely and without damage to health or the environment. But Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland's Energy Minister, said that whilst the industry would operate to the tightest safety standards, the overwhelming public opposition meant that there was no 'social licence' for fracking.
Fracking bans now exist in both Wales and Scotland, meaning that England is now the only part of Great Britain to support fracking.
Fracking is the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into rock strata buried deep underground, forcing open existing voids in the rock to enable the extraction of pockets of oil or gas. Find out more about fracking here.
Photo of a shale gas fracking rig in Scott Township, Lawrence County, PA, USA courtesy of WCN 24/7