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« Quote of the day, hypocritical lowlife edition | Main | The energy case for Brexit »
Friday
Feb262016

High tide for the shale gas scare?

The Herald (£) is reporting that the Scottish LibDems have seen the writing on the wall and are about to reverse their policy on shale gas developments.

The party today reversed its policy on the issue, having voted in 2013 to back a temporary fracking ban. The decision was taken in light of a 2014 report on the topic, commissioned by the Scottish Government, which concluded that fracking could be carried out safely if robust regulation is in place.

You wonder what they have been thinking about for the last two years.

Given just how wedded the LibDems have been to the green yoke, this looks like a pretty significant development to me. It may have come too late for the guys at Dart, whose jobs were sacrificed to electoral expediency. It's probably also too late too allow Scotland to become the UK centre for shale gas expertise - it looks as though that will be in England. But the tide may be turning.

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Reader Comments (32)

If the Scottish parliament is bound by the Climate Change Act "it wont make any difference" ^.^

Feb 26, 2016 at 2:10 PM | Registered CommenterDung

At least they had the courage to do it before the election. I hope this marks a return to old Liberal party values - led by evidence & common sense rather than blind dogma.

Feb 26, 2016 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

RE "too late too allow Scotland to become the UK centre for shale gas expertise" ... for sure. But why is it that this sort of objective drives so much the thinking.

The country wanted to "lead the world" in de-carbonisation, "lead the world" in carbon capture, "lead the world" in this and that.

Bogus objectives.

Feb 26, 2016 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterrms

Scotland is best placed within the EU to make fracking work for the population of Scotland, and lead the rest of the UK out of the forthcoming dark ages. I wish Scotland well, and find it amusing that the Lib Dems have spotted a brighter future with shale gas.

Feb 26, 2016 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"the Scottish LibDems have seen the writing on the wall and are about to reverse their policy on shale gas developments."

Alternatively, they may have seen the inflamed red weals on their asses where the electorate gave them a fearful spanking.

Feb 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

JamesG

At least they had the courage to do it before the election. I hope this marks a return to old Liberal party values - led by evidence & common sense rather than blind dogma.

I hope so too. I've argued for many years, now, that the Lib Dems' century-old focus on humanitarianism had been usurped by the Green agenda in recent decades. If a readjustment is happening, just maybe I'll pay my dues and even volunteer again. Well, I won't rule it out anyway.

Feb 26, 2016 at 5:44 PM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

'Given just how wedded the LibDems have been to the green yoke'

Shouldn't that 'y' be a 'j'?

Feb 26, 2016 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldbrew

The Scottish Lib Dems are in a fix with the rise of the Scots Nats. They occupy a similar area of the political spectrum, and the Nationalists have taken over the "green" stance that was previously the preserve of many of the Lib Dems. So how to differentiate according to Liberal Party principles? That is to take the middle way on energy policy. Promote moderate environmentalism that will also produce lower cost energy supplies without the high emissions of coal. In so doing they will promote jobs, help the poorer sections of society, and make the main opponents look extreme. It will also be a way to have a dig at the Scots Nats in promoting energy independence rather than be reliant on selling overpriced renewables to the English.

Feb 26, 2016 at 9:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

"this looks like a pretty significant development to me"

How can anything the Scottish LibDems say or do be "significant"?

Feb 26, 2016 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

@rms, Feb 26, 2016 at 2:35 PM

RE "too late too allow Scotland to become the UK centre for shale gas expertise" ... for sure. But why is it that this sort of objective drives so much the thinking.

The country wanted to "lead the world" in de-carbonisation, "lead the world" in carbon capture, "lead the world" in this and that.

Bogus objectives.

Always seems strange to me that UK Gov't, whether Con or Lab, proclaim their support for business sector yet pursue a command economy strategy - albeit with an exception in the 1980s. Will they ever learn a command economy does not work?

To name a few, UK is Global leader in: Financial Services, Advertising, Motor Sport engineering, Ejector seats, non x86 CPU & SOC design, Monarchs and their family. All* due to history, expertise, innovation and taking risks by the private sector often in the face of opposition from Gov's preferred projects/industries.

To add a Brexit link, none of these are because we are in EU, most are despite being in EU. UK until early 2000s was Global leader in fine art auctions, EU changed the rules despite being told the trade would move to USA, Hong Kong and Switzerland which EU deemed scaremongering. What happened? London auction houses moved their auctions to USA, Hong Kong and Switzerland costing UK GBP Billions in lost tax, visitors etc.

*Monarchs and their family are private sector, they gave the Crown Estates income to UK Gov't in exchange for an annual payment many times less.

Feb 26, 2016 at 10:06 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Evidently there is a shady connection between Scottish LibDems and BigBanana involving billions of dark money.

Trust me, I read Skeptical Science, RealClimate, and other credible blogs.

You are welcome.

Feb 27, 2016 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Ayla/Aila, your confused identity has re-emerged following unmerging.

BigBanana is all in favour, provided Yellow Not Green bananas, are stuffed with Mars bars, battered with Irn Bru, and deep fried in lard. Shale-gas fired burners will be required in the absence of reliable electricity, to get the lard at the right temperature to guarantee arterial clogginess.

The CO2 added to the Irn Bru, puffs the batter, adding insulation, preventing too much heat transferring through the banana causing melt down in the Mars Bar. This is the type of technical innovation missed by CO2 phobics in cultural backwaters like Reality Climate and SkippItAllScience.

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo couldn't give a Flying 4X, for Mann's Hookey Nose Pick, but does shed the occasional tear for the serially abused Lonesome Pine.

Proper Primate Science shows that real monkeys fed with bananas, do better climate forecasts anyway, averaging 50% accuracy with random guesses

Feb 27, 2016 at 1:15 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

OMG

Feb 27, 2016 at 2:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Ayla, yes, it is that serious. OMG Levels are rising so fast that banana bearing palm trees on desert islands will never be seen again. Children buying Bananas in Tescos won't appreciate the ancient craft of building whole boats out of unripe green bananas, before sailing them from the Pacific, around Cape Horn and up the Atlantic to the UK, where upon they would have become yellow and edible. Luxury cruises on these banana boats were all the rage in the 1950s, but 0.001 degree of warming in the Atlantic caused the ripening too fast.

That's climate science for you, in a banana-nut shell.

Feb 27, 2016 at 3:27 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

We'll have to agree to disagree.

Feb 27, 2016 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Dalton minimums have that effect of the brain.

Feb 27, 2016 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

gc, perhaps they ended up in the Buckfast Triangle.

Feb 27, 2016 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Having 'reversed its policy' on the matter - doesn't that imply that the Party couldn't have thought about it too deeply in the first place..?

Feb 27, 2016 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Feb 26, 2016 at 10:06 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Leading the world:
Don't forget Reaction Engines who have developed (in a barn) and built the first engine that can power a craft to 5000 mph and then power the craft to space and into orbit. One engine that behaves as a normally aspired* jet engine and then outside the atmosphere, as a RAMJET.

*aspirated

Feb 27, 2016 at 2:39 PM | Registered CommenterDung

michael hart, I think they have combined Buckfast Tonic, with BuckminsterFullerene, to produce self destructive raging climate scientists, so slippery that anything they say, can't possibly stand up straight in court.

Feb 27, 2016 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What would the Scottish tourist industry rather have a few dozen three foot high gas pipe sticking out the ground or a few hundred three hundred foot high Windmills sticking out the sea.

Trump declared the Iraq Invasion a mistake.One less reason for Alex Salmon to call Trump a right wing nut job.
The Donald might get his Windmill Less Golf Course afterall

Feb 27, 2016 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Jamspid, with his bouffant style, Trump has an aversion to wind.

Feb 27, 2016 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Doh!

Feb 27, 2016 at 2:39 PM | Registered CommenterDung
aspired = aspirated

Feb 27, 2016 at 8:49 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Jamspid

Like the rest of us I do not think the Scottish tourist industry gets a vote, Trump deserves a medal; he has developed a kind of instant super glue which can be removed quite easily when not required.

Feb 27, 2016 at 8:59 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Your trumpeting of Trump remains a mystery, Jamspid.

Feb 27, 2016 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

"You wonder what they have been thinking about for the last two years"

The answer is in the article itself: "fracking could be carried out safely... if robust regulation is in place". They had to build the proper bureaucracy around the business, in order to get their own profit from it.

Feb 27, 2016 at 10:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterPP

Oh dear, Phil C will not be pleased.

Phil, put down the vegan champagne and tell us how this news makes you feel.
You were really pleased when those 13 people managed to get themselves criminal records for breaking into an international airport, but this news about fracking must have really put a dampener on things in your house.

Feb 27, 2016 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Smith

More Climate Change bingo
Want a good reason to be a denier number 5

If they can lie to us about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq why should we trust them about the weather.

More Donald Trump bingo reason number 8

What does Seven billion fucking dollors in the bank buy you.
Well you can run for President of the United a State and say
Saddam Hussian didn't knock down the twin towers and was actually killing Terrorists
And that invading Iraq was a mistake costing billions of dollors
Cost thousands of innocent lives causing untold carnage
Made the world a more dangerous place
And empowered Iran over America,s natural alley Israel

You can say all that ,go up a few percentage points in the polls and still not get called a lefty pinko traitor.

Feb 28, 2016 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Nothing you say makes sense, Jamspid. It's inspiring.

Feb 28, 2016 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Seriously though ^.^

Fracking in Scotland would simply intensify the problems ahead for good old UK. I have not looked at any shale deposits in Scotland but the size of the UK reserves is going to be embarrassing without adding more. Without LNG export terminals and/or without the ability to use gas before renewables for power generation we will literally be stuffed.

Feb 29, 2016 at 9:01 AM | Registered CommenterDung

the size of the UK reserves is going to be embarrassing without adding more

Most countries would wish for such "problems".

Mar 1, 2016 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Feb 27, 2016 at 3:27 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie
.
Like "Slippin" Jimmy said: "Yeah, if I would make this up"....

Mar 1, 2016 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoi Polloi

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