South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the decision by the Scottish Government to extend “indefinitely” its moratorium on fracking- but believes the move doesn’t go far enough and should be backed up by a full legal ban.
The announcement of the extension of the moratorium was made today (3 October) in the Scottish Parliament by Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse following a recent public consultation where organisations including Dumfries and Galloway Council, Canonbie & District Residents Association and companies such as Cream O’Galloway all backed a ban on fracking.
Colin Smyth criticised Conservative MSPs for pushing for fracking to be allowed- while local Conservative MSPs pretend to communities such as Canonbie that they oppose fracking. Colin Smyth added, “The position of the Conservatives is utterly hypocritical. In Parliament they support and vote in favour of fracking but in communities such as Canonbie their local MSPs mislead the public by pretending to be against it. They are simply not being honest with local people and more importantly they are failing to represent their communities who clearly want a ban on fracking”.
Fellow South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour environment spokesperson Claudia Beamish currently has a proposal for a members bill in Parliament to legally ban fracking. Claudia said, “Labour has long argued that the climate change science is clear - we do not need another fossil fuel. Instead Scotland needs to develop forms of renewable energy with unionised and well paid jobs. This announcement is a result of Labour pressure and specifically my proposal to change the law to ban fracking in Scotland. But extending the moratorium indefinitely is not as strong as a full legal ban, and could be overturned at any point at the whim of a minister. These proposals don’t offer the same level of protection as my Bill. That’s why I want the SNP government to work with me to ensure a full legal ban.”