SNP condemns UK plans to allow fracking drilling below people’s land


By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

The Scottish Government has condemned UK plans to allow fracking companies to drill below people’s land without their agreement.

Sinkholes have been appearing all over the World due to Fracking and there is no guarantee it wouldn’t happen in Scotland, this is the Sinkhole to anyone unsure 



A sinkhole which swallowed a car on a driveway in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire



The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it will press ahead with proposals to simplify underground access for oil and gas developers despite the objection of 99% of respondents to a consultation. The UK-wide plan would give companies the right to drill at depths of 300 metres or more under private land without negotiating a right of access. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said decisions on oil and gas drilling in Scotland should be made by the people who live there, and powers relating to the issue should be included in the current devolution process. Mr Ewing said: “UK Government proposals to remove the right of Scottish householders to object to drilling under their homes, without so much as debate in the Scottish Parliament, flies in the face of Scotland’s cautious, considered and evidence based approach on this issue. It is also fundamentally an issue affecting land ownership rights.

“Whatever your view on the issue of unconventional oil and gas – and it is clear that there are both opportunities and concerns – there is only one way that the people of Scotland can determine the approach in Scotland – including beneath their homes and land. “That is with the devolution of the necessary powers to Scotland and the current devolution process for the “extensive new powers” promised in the vow should include these powers. “Unconventional oil and gas developments should only ever happen under a robust regulatory regime, and the Scottish Government takes this issue particularly seriously.”  Hydraulic fracturing or fracking involves pumping water, chemicals and sand at high pressure underground to fracture shale rock and release the gas trapped in it. Wells can be drilled horizontally, leading to exploration under land around the site.


The DECC ran a consultation from May 23 to August 15 asking respondents whether the government should legislate for underground access to gas, oil and geothermal developers below 300 metres. Of the 40,647 people who responded, more than 99% opposed the idea. In their submissions opponents said there should be more focus on renewable energy sources and that “changing laws that protect people’s private property to aid the extraction of unconventional gas is wrong”. People who supported the plan said there was significant economic benefit in easing access for developers.

The Government response, published today, said: “We acknowledge the large number of responses against the proposal and the fact that the proposal has provided an opportunity for the public to voice their concerns and raise issues.

“However the role of the consultation was to seek arguments and evidence to consider in developing the proposed policy. Whilst a wide range of arguments were raised and points covered, we did not identify any issues that persuaded us to change the basic form of the proposals. “Having carefully considered the consultation responses, we believe that the proposed policy remains the right approach to underground access and that no issues have been identified that would mean that our overall policy approach is not the best available solution. “We will therefore put before Parliament primary legislation to implement the policy proposals set out in the consultation paper. Parliament’s scrutiny of the provisions will provide further opportunities for public engagement on the issues.”

The consultation stated that under the present system a single landowner had the power to significantly delay a development “even though the drilling and use of underground wells does not affect their enjoyment of their land”. “We intend to change this system by making it less burdensome for companies to gain underground access rights,” it said. Companies looking to develop shale gas and oil would still need to obtain all the necessary environmental and planning permissions but the proposed legislation would effectively remove the issue of trespass at depths of 300 metres or more. Under the proposals people living on the ground above a horizontal well extending more than 200 metres would receive a payment of #20,000.


Mary Church, head of campaigns at Friends Of The Earth Scotland, said: “It is absolutely outrageous that the UK Government has ignored over 99% of responses to this consultation, and the stated objection of the Scottish Government, that the removal of people’s rights to object to fracking underneath their homes is simply unacceptable. “This is literally legislating for the 1%. “(David) Cameron and (George) Osborne’s blinkered dash for gas risks putting the UK on course for climate catastrophe and endangers the health and wellbeing of communities across central and southern Scotland.”

Joan McAlpine: It’s time to take a close look at some of London’s lies over Scots oil wealth

Joan answers some hard hitting questions related to Scotland's oil

    • JOAN looks deeper in to the some Westminster’s claims regarding how Britain’s oil would be distributed if Scotland became an independent nation.

Does the oil belong to Scotland?

Yes. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) says oil revenue should go to the country in whose waters it was discovered. Professor Alex Kemp, of the University of Aberdeen, says 90 per cent of UK oil lies in Scottish waters but we need to be independent to get the revenue it generates.

Isn’t the oil running out?

No. UK Oil and Gas, who represent companies working in the industry, say there are 24 billion barrels left in the North Sea. That is why they are investing record amounts. Even the UK Government have conceded it could last another 50 years.

How much is it worth?

Around £1.5trillion. This could rise as world demand pushes up prices. The International Monetary Fund’s research team have predicted world prices could double by 2022.

Will we be too dependent on oil if we choose independence?

Even without oil, Scotland’s wealth is around the same as the rest of the UK, according to official figures. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s say, even without oil, Scotland would be one of the most successful economies in the developed world. But the oil is a huge bonus and gives an independent Scotland a great head start.

What does that mean for me and my family?

We can create an oil fund by saving some of the tax – Norway, a country the same size as Scotland, has accumulated an oil fund of £500billion to be used for pensions, healthcare and investment in the future. The UK has failed to set up a fund and squandered our oil wealth.

But the UK Government say the Scottish Government have exaggerated the value of oil

They would say that, wouldn’t they? The highly respected Investors Chronicle magazine said the UK Government are underplaying the value of the North Sea oil because of the forthcoming referendum on independence.

Who else backs the Scottish Government?

Professor Sir Donald MacKay, the world’s foremost expert on oil prices, says the UK government are wrong and the Scottish Government are right. He said: “There is no hole in the Scottish Government’s oil predictions but there is a mountain of black gold missing from the UK Government’s.” The economic think tank N-56 said the figure for future tax revenues was six times more than the UK government claimed.

Is more oil being discovered?

All the time. This month Xcite Energy announced a major new oil find east of Shetland. The Bentley field will produce 700 million barrels over 35 years. The Clair Ridge Project to the west of Shetland is expected to produce 640 million barrels in the future. BP’s publicity video says Clair will make an enormous contribution to the UK economy for many years to come.

Why don’t I know this?

Good question. David Cameron made a secret visit to Shetland to see this important field. But the visit was hushed up along with the latest results of test drilling, which are rumoured to reveal even more oil.

Why would they bury a good news story?

A certain independence vote on September 18. It has even been suggested that workers on the field stand down till after the referendum.

Surely the UK Government are not involved in a cover up?

They have form. When oil was found in the 1970s, a report for ministers by the senior civil servant Gavin McCrone predicted an independent Scotland would be richer than Switzerland. That was kept secret for 30 years.

So they lied to us?

Denis Healey, the former Labour chancellor in the 1970s, admitted the value of oil was played down by Labour and Conservative governments to stop the Scots supporting independence.

How much did these lies cost us?

Around £300billion of oil tax revenue has gone straight to the London Exchequer since oil was discovered. Scotland didn’t receive a penny.

Anything else I should know?

Significant oil finds were made in the Clyde in the 1970s but the industry was blocked by the UK Ministry of Defence because they didn’t want anything interfering with nuclear submarines. Michael Heseltine, defence secretary at the time, admitted it this week.

Last weekend the Scottish Government created a taskforce to examine the potential of oil in the west. A Yes vote will mean the Ministry of Defence will no longer be able to block these developments.

What will independence change?

All the tax money from oil will stay in Scotland and be used for the good of the people who live here.

Scottish Oil Will Run Out in an Independent country, It Will Run Out with Scotland In The Union!



The argument over Scottish oil, for me is pointless. I remember a few months back a friend said “I am voting no because the oil will run out” I replied “But the oil will run out anyway” And it will. All this debate about how many barrels of Oil there are is pointless, in a free Scotland or staying in the Union, the oil is what it is regardless

I don’t understand many arguments the No Campaign throw into the mix to confuse people. The debate over the £ is another one. Scotland have our share of UK Debt to re-pay in the event of a Yes vote (That looks more likely) and with no currency being allowed by Westminster we can’t pay back the debt. So it is stupid to say “Scotland won’t get the £” We must get the pound in order to pay back our share of historical debt
<p style=”text-align: center;”>So can we lay the currency debate and Oil debate to rest now?</p>




Fury as laughing Cameron brands Scots ‘stupid’

b3fb5dba480f2f44a2a0d374512a6ab3fbd89927_230x147_Q75David Cameron has provoked outrage after appearing to describe Scots as stupid during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. The PM was responding to a question from SNP MP Angus MacNeil who cited a recent poll showing 68 per cent of Scots were in favour of North Sea oil revenues coming under the control of Holyrood. Asked by Mr MacNeil for his views on the poll and whether he agreed, Mr Cameron responded by implying that the answer given by the respondents was stupid. To howls of laughter from Labour, Tory and Lib Dem politicians in the House Mr Cameron said: “If you ask a stupid question you get a stupid answer.”

An angry Mr MacNeil claimed that not since the days of Margaret Thatcher had a UK PM showed such disdain for Scots. The SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar said: “I was astonished that the Prime Minister laughed at the hopes and aspirations of seven out of ten Scots. “More revealing was that he was joined in this mockery of Scotland by many Labour as well as Tory MPs. It is small wonder that these parties are on a continuing downward spiral of Scotland for ignoring the will of the Scottish people. “Of course, the London-led party politicians are quite happy to pocket the money from Scotland’s oil. But whilst they ignore the will of the Scottish people their poll ratings reach new lows. “This cavalier conduct by the Tory/Lib Dem Treasury over increased taxation without consultation in the North Sea underlines that the oil and gas industry is too important to be left in the hands of the UK government. No wonder our opponents are on the run when they want Westminster to keep control of this important job creating industry.” The row comes on the day newly published documents reveal that past Labour and Tory government’s downplayed the benefits of North Sea oil in order to thwart the growing support for independence. The revelations are contained in documents published by leading oil economist Professor Alex Kemp, who has spent a decade trawling through government files for the project.