Responding to the news that INEOS has launched a legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s decision to ban fracking, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“INEOS’s legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s ban on fracking reeks of desperation from an industry that is failing to get results anywhere in Scotland, the UK or elsewhere in Europe. Wherever fracking has been proposed it has been strongly opposed by local communities and subject to serious delays and mounting costs.

“We are confident that the process to ban fracking was robust and fair, and the courts will find against INEOS. A two year process looked at mountains of scientific evidence that spoke of the risks of the unconventional oil and gas industry to our environment, climate and people’s health.

“There is overwhelming support from communities on the frontline of this industry, people the length and breadth of Scotland, and almost all the parties at Holyrood for this ban. In challenging this ban INEOS are attempting to overturn a democratic process that engaged tens of thousands of people across the country and found that 99% were opposed to the dirty industry. Sadly, given the companies tactics south of the border it’s little surprise that INEOS are taking this course of action. INEOS are no doubt taking this challenge to keep alive their hope of ever making any money out of this toxic industry.”

1. Mary Church is available for broadcast interview.

2. INEOS and fellow fracking firm Reach launch legal challenge against Scottish Government ban on fracking https://www.ineos.com/businesses/ineos-shale/news/ineos-challenges-scottish-governments-ban/

3. The Scottish Government announced a ban on fracking on 3 October 2017 after a 33 month moratorium which included an extensive evidence gathering process and a public consultation to which 99% of the 60,000 respondents opposed fracking https://foe.scot/press-release/scottish-gov-bans-fracking/

4. The Scottish Parliament voted to support and strengthen the Scottish Government’s ban on 24 October 2017, with Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats voting with the Scottish Government https://foe.scot/press-release/scot-parl-fracking-ban/

5. Find out more about fracking and our 6 year campaign for a ban at https://foe.scot/campaign/fracking/

6. Short timeline of campaign
Spring 2011: Six years of campaigning kicks off as Dart Energy announce plans for biggest coalbed methane project in UK at Airth near Falkirk
April 2014: Public Inquiry held into Dart Energy’s plans for CBM at Airth
Summer 2014: UK Government announce plans to remove owners rights to say no to fracking under their homes and launch 14th onshore licensing round including 20,000 km2 in Scotland. Meanwhile the British Geological Survey publish shale gas resource estimates for Central Belt.
August 2014: Ineos announce move in shale gas exploration with purchase of 51% share in PEDL 133 in Falkirk
Autumn-Winter 2014: Growing anti-fracking movement organises huge demonstrations and street stalls engaging thousands of people across Scotland
January 2015: Scottish Government announce a moratorium on shale gas and coalbed methane
April 2016: Labour and Lib Dems joins Greens in calling for an outright ban on fracking, and the First Minister says she is ‘highly sceptical’ about fracking
November 2016: Claudia Beamish MSP launches her private member’s Bill to Ban Fracking
November 2016: Scottish Government publish research on health, climate, economics, transport, earthquakes and decommissioning
May 2017: Over 60,000 responses to Scottish Government consultation on fracking
Oct 2017: Scottish Government announce that they will ban fracking

7. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.