L’Écosse ferme le clapet d’INEOS

En déboutant le 21 juin dernier, le géant de la pétrochimie suisse INEOS de sa requête contre la soit disant réglementation de la fracturation hydrochimique, la contrée du chardon se rapproche du club des pays européens ayant légiféré contre cette technique de récupération avancée des hydrocarbures particulièrement délétère.

La société suisse INEOS qui avait annoncé en novembre 2014 vouloir investir près d’un milliard d’USD dans le « gaz de schiste » américain et réceptionne depuis 2016 des livraisons de condensats (principalement d’éthylène) pour ses usines  norvégiennes et écossaises, vient de perdre devant la Cour d’Écosse une procédure tentant à annuler ce qu’elle présentait comme une législation restreignant sa liberté d’entreprendre.

Les ONG Friends of the earth (FOE) et Food and water watch (FWW) parties à l’instance se réjouissent que l’Honorable Juge Pentland ait fait droit à leurs arguments.

Le spécialiste mondial de la chimie des hydrocarbures perd ainsi une bataille mais demeure agressif en Angleterre où le Gouvernement May déroule le tapis rouge à ses projets de fracturation.

Voir les réactions, en anglais, des ONG, via les listes internationales « gaz de schiste » ci-dessous, merci à Isabelle, une des passerelles ;

Publié par desmog.co.uk

Thursday 21 June 2018

… The petro-chemical giant INEOS lost the ruling when Lord Pentland found in favour of the arguments put forward by the Scottish Government today and said that its “preferred policy position” will stand on fracking for shale in Scotland.

The ‘effective ban’ on fracking announced by Scottish ministers last year does not amount to a legally enforceable prohibition, therefore Ineos’s case is “unfounded”, said Lord Pentland.

Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “I welcome the Court of Session’s ruling on this important issue, which has been a cause of acute concern in communities across Scotland.

“This decision  vindicates the extensive process of research and consultation which the Scottish Government has undertaken since 2015. »

Mary Church, Friends of the Earth Scotland head of campaigns, said: “We are delighted that Ineos has lost its challenge against the Scottish Government’s ‘effective ban’ on fracking. Today’s ruling will come as a huge relief to the thousands of people who have fought to stop fracking in Scotland, particularly those faced with the prospect of living near this dirty, damaging industry.

“Ineos should listen to the people and parliament of Scotland who have made it clear that there is no support for fracking, and give up on its plans to trash the central belt and the climate.”…


Publié par foe.scot

Fracking: When is a Ban a Ban?

Not yet is the short answer, in Scotland at any rate.

The ruling from the Court of Session on Tuesday that saw INEOS lose its judicial review is not only a welcome defeat for the wannabe-frackers, but has also piled the pressure on the Scottish Government act swiftly and legislate to ban fracking.

INEOS’s judicial review was heard over 3 days in May, and Lord Pentland issued his opinion on 19 June, agreeing with the Scottish Government’s argument that as there was no legally enforceable ban in place, there was no case to answer, therefore INEOS’s petition was thrown out. The outcome is good news: INEOS was asking the judge to quash the moratorium that had been in place since 2015 and was extended indefinitely in 2017. This would have opened the door to fracking. The judge refused to do so. He also found that even if a decision to ban fracking had been made, INEOS would be unlikely to be successful in any claim for compensation.

But where does this leave the Scottish Government’s so-called ‘effective ban’?

When Ministers made their announcement on fracking in October last year, it was rightly celebrated as a huge win by activists across the country, after 6 years of powerful grassroots action put the issue to the top of the political agenda.

However, what was clear at the time to those following the issue closely, and is even clearer following Lord Pentland’s ruling, is that the actions of Ministers in October 2017 did not amount to a legally enforceable ban. All Ministers did was continue to use policy levers that had been in place since the 2015 moratorium to ensure that any applications for fracking would be directed to them. Assurances were made to the effect that decisions to determine fracking applications would be made in line with the Scottish Government’s policy of ‘no support’ for fracking – hence an ‘effective ban’.

We highlighted the risks of this approach, as did Labour and Green MSPs in Parliament, pointing out that the so-called ban depended on an anti-fracking party being in power. A future, pro-fracking Government could overturn it with the stroke of a pen, and critically, no recourse to Parliament. Measures to strengthen the position by putting the ‘ban’ into the National Planning Framework (NPF) were supported by a majority of MSPs, including the SNP, but even this would only mean Parliament was alerted to a potential change in policy – as things stand, the NPF does not require Holyrood’s support. A legislative approach on the other hand, would require the scrutiny and approval of Parliament both to pass now, and to undo at some point in the future, should a future Government dare to try.

So what happens now? The Scottish Government is undertaking a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of their policy not to support fracking, something that was mentioned in October, but got somewhat lost in the noise. This process is underway and a consultation is expected imminently. Its unthinkable that an SEA could result in anything other than support for a ban on fracking, given the numerous environmental and health harms the industry brings with it.

Then the Government must come to a final decision on the question of fracking – its hardly likely that they will back away from a position of no support – and find a means to implement it. Legislation is undoubtedly the strongest way to do that. Its what numerous countries, states and regions have done around the world, including France, Ireland, Victoria and Maryland. Legislation that has never been successfully challenged by the industry, including when it involved revoking existing licenses, as it must in Scotland. With over 60,000 people voicing support for a ban, and with onshore oil and gas licensing now devolved to Holyrood, Ministers have both the power and the mandate to do so: they must use it to draw a line under the issue for good.







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