While the Scottish Government’s moratorium on fracking is a welcome step, it falls short of the outright ban that most people want. Following the Smith Commission licensing powers are coming to Scotland and I agree with the Scottish Government, the Greens, and others that it’s therefore inappropriate for the UK Government to do anything to impose their desire to move to unconventional gas extraction.
The Minister’s statement announces “a full public health impact assessment”, however, I am firmly of the view that a sufficiency of evidence already exist to impose a ban now. INEOS and its “economic importance” and “We should never close our mind to the potential of new technologies” were phrases perhaps more aligned to the Minister’s personal outlook and failed utterly to reassure those of us of a different outlook.
Finally, some words on the Labour Party’s position: ‘confused’ – like the SNP they voted against a moratorium in an earlier vote; ‘subject to change’ – from last Sunday’s total opposition to Monday’s ‘no-show’ for the Westminster Infrastructure debate.
I will continue to campaign for an outright ban. No fracking!