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Following an “overwhelming” public support for introducing a ban on the process, the Scottish government has permanently prohibited fracking. The ban came after a temporary halt that began in 2015 and a public consultation on the issue and its future in the country was carried out earlier this year.

The Scottish Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse told the members of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh that the temporary ban should be extended “indefinitely,” EcoWatch reports. “The Scottish government will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland,” he added.

Wheelhouse pointed out that fracking would undermine Scotland’s aim to cut its climate emissions and would cause unjustifiable environmental damage. The proposed ban will be put to the Scottish Parliament for a vote later in 2017.

The ban is expected to pass through the voting successfully by campaigners and the announcement was welcomed by environmental groups including WWF and Friends for the Earth Scotland.

The public consultation held on the issue found that around 99 percent of the 60,000 responses opposed fracking. That stunning majority was yet another reason for a permanent extension of the ban, which only adds to expert reports on the serious risks the process poses.

“The views expressed through our consultation demonstrated that communities across Scotland, particularly in densely populated areas where developments could potentially take place, are not convinced there is a strong national economic argument when balanced against the risk and disruption they anticipate in areas, such as transport, pollution, crucially, their health and wellbeing,” Wheelhouse said.

Fracking, or rather phrase hydraulic fracturing, is the process of drilling large amounts of water, sand, and chemicals into shale layers of the earth in order to force natural gas to surface. The “side effects” of the process include, among other things, water pollution, air pollution, earthquakes, and long-term health concerns for humans and animals.

Scotland’s ban is a great win for the environment – and we certainly hope this inspires similar action across the world.

Image source: jwigley/Pixabay

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