The SNP has been accused of ignoring Scotland’s “rich heritage and expertise” in oil and gas by backing a ban on fracking.
And the North Sea’s longest serving oilman has said that if the political party was in power during the 1960s then there would be “no oil and gas industry” today.
Onshore fracking involves injecting liquid into the ground at high pressure in order to extract deposits of oil and gas.
The method is seen as controversial due to suspected public health concerns and the much debated impact on the environment.
Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse put forward the “preferred position” of the government to outlaw the process at Holyrood yesterday afternoon.
The decision to support a ban means that Scotland will lose out on more than 3,000 jobs, a £6.5billion economic windfall and more than £4billion in tax receipts, according to the UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) trade body.
Foreign markets like the United States have seen a boom in oil and gas exports due to the low costs associated with turning shale extraction “on and off” according to the oil price.
The recovery of onshore unconventional oil and gas has been subject to a moratorium in Scotland since January 2015 as a public consultation into the controversial method was carried out.
Mr Wheelhouse said that of the 60,535 responses the “overwhelming majority opposed”.
He revealed that 99% of respondents were against the method.
However, campaign groups, including the activist network Avaaz, urged respondents to “flood” the Scottish Government with responses to the consultation.
Of the total responses 86% were campaign responses or petitions.
Mr Wheelhouse told Holyrood: “The decision I making today means that fracking cannot and will not take place in Scotland.”
The energy minister cited the “moral responsibility” to tackle climate change and particular concerns over a lack of hard evidence on health effects.
He added that the government had “not taken the process or decision lightly” but added that it was in the “best interest of the people in this country as a whole”.
The Scottish Government has now written to local authorities across Scotland to make clear that the directions that gave effect to the moratorium will remain in place.
A parliamentary vote will take place in the near future followed by a Strategic Environmental Assessment.
The chief executive of UKOOG Ken Cronin last night said the Scottish Government was “ignoring” the advice of its own independent experts.
And he warned that banning shale extraction would lead to an increased reliance on gas imports to heat the two million homes in Scotland which rely on it for heating.
He said the SNP decision was based on “dogma not geo-political reality”.
Mr Cronin said: “This is a poor decision, ignoring Scotland’s rich heritage and expertise in oil and gas.
“It is not based on the evidence from extensive independent research, which clearly states that with appropriate regulatory oversight and monitoring Scotland’s regulatory framework is sufficiently robust to manage onshore exploration and production.”
Entrepreneur Algy Cluff, who was involved in the discovery of the Buchan field 40 years ago, and runs UK independent Cluff Natural Resources, said he felt “seriously misled” over actions of the Scottish Government and the consultation process.
He referenced a similar experience with the government’s blocking of similar process to fracking last October.
Mr Cluff said: “We received encouragement from the Scottish and Alex Salmond in terms of underground coal gasification and as a consequence no longer have any aspirations in Scotland.
“Cluff Natural Resources has no interest in doing business with Scotland.”
Directly referencing the fracking ban, he added: “It suggests to me that if we’d have the Scottish Government in the 1960s and 70s we wouldn’t have had any oil and gas industry at all.”
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