On 31 January, Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, announced the launch of the public consultation on unconventional oil and gas in Scotland. The consultation explores the evidence on the potential impacts of shale oil and gas, and coal bed methane, and the technologies involved in extraction, including hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”.
The Scottish Government has sought to present impartial, independent information on unconventional oil and gas in order to encourage informed dialogue and debate. This consultation does not set out or advocate a preferred Scottish Government position or policy. Instead, it’s intended to create space for dialogue and allow different perspectives to come forward.
As most of Scotland’s unconventional oil and gas deposits occur in and around former coalfields and oil shale fields in Scotland’s Central Belt, which contains some of the most densely populated areas of the country, as well as in the area around Canonbie, Dumfriesshire, it is vitally important that communities, businesses and interest groups from across Scotland have an opportunity to put their views across.
The consultation is open to all and all interested parties are encouraged to take part in the consultation via the Scottish Government’s consultation platform, Citizen Space, at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/fracking-unconventional-oil-and-gas/. Consultation responses are invited by 31 May.
There are a number of ways for you and your communities to learn more about the consultation. In addition to publishing this consultation document, there is a temporary unconventional oil and gas website, which you can access here: www.talkingfracking.scot. The site has been designed to provide a user-friendly route to accessing all the materials and evidence that support this consultation.
Further information, including frequently asked questions and group discussion packs, can be found at www.talkingfracking.scot.
The consultation document can be accessed at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/fracking-unconventional-oil-and-gas/.