Campaigners give cautious welcome to moratorium

Campaigners have welcomed an announcement from the Scottish Government that all fracking plans will be blocked until research is carried out.

The news of the temporary moratorium on applications comes after months of campaigning by groups across the country, worried about the possible implications of the gas /oil extraction method .

More than 300 people attended a recent anti-fracking meeting in Bishopbriggs.

Donald Macdonald, from Don’t Frack the Briggs, an offshoot of Bishopbriggs Community Council, told the Herald: ‘‘I think everyone was genuinely delighted with this news, but cautious as it is only a moratorium, not an outright ban.

‘‘People are saying there has maybe been a battle won, but there is still a war to be fought, and they won’t be putting down their placards.’’

Although many local groups object to fracking, some people think it would boost Scotland’s economy.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Scottish Government has taken a cautious, considered and evidence-based approach to unconventional oil and gas and fracking.

“We recognise that local communities are likely to bear the brunt of any unconventional oil and gas developments, particularly in terms of increased traffic and related emissions and noise impacts. These are issues that must be researched further.

“We have listened to legitimate concerns about potential negative impacts. “However, we must also acknowledge that some take a different view and see opportunities in unconventional oil and gas extraction.

“We should never close our minds to the potential opportunities of new technologies – but we must also ensure that community, environmental and health concerns are never simply brushed aside.”