A senior lawyer involved in the Ineos legal action against the Scottish Government’s ban on fracking has urged the sitting judge to throw the case out.
Advocate James Mure QC told judge Lord Pentland today that he should dismiss the case brought to Edinburgh’s Court of Session by Ineos and Reach CSG.
Inoes believe the Scottish Government have acted unlawfully in relation to their policy on fracking, a form of energy generation.
Both Ineos and Reach CSG believe the government has converted a moratorium on the gas extraction limited into an unlimited ban.
The court heard today that Ineos believes a statement made to the Scottish Parliament in October last year was a statement that the government’s policy had changed.
Ineos, which runs the Grangemouth refinery, near Falkirk, is seeking a judicial review of the government’s actions.
The review states that ministers at Holyrood have made “very serious” errors in their decision making process.
Yesterday, an Ineos spokesman said: “Ineos Shale is asking the Scottish Court to decide whether the fracking ban is lawful. We believe the Scottish Government exceeded its powers and lacked competence to impose a ban.”
But on Tuesday, Mr Mure, who is acting for the government, argued that the action should be dismissed.
Mr Mure said the companies were mistaken to think that a ban was in place and that ministers were still considering whether fracking should be stopped.
He added: “The concept of an effective ban is a gloss. It is the language of a press statement. What they have done is to announce a preferred position on the issue. They have not yet adopted a position. Any position which the government will take has to undergo an environmental and strategic assessment.
“The court should therefore allow the policy making process to go to finalisation which is expected in October this year. The court should refuse the petitioner’s position.”