SNP face fracking ban calls

Fracking

Demonstrators have said ministers must replace the existing moratorium with an outright ban in order to put communities at ease 

29th April 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Protestors have called for fracking to be banned in Scotland.

Anti-fracking groups, community councillors and concerned citizens held a demonstration outside the SNP conference in Edinburgh on Saturday (27 April) to demand the Scottish Government bans fracking in Scotland once and for all.

The protest comes after ministers announced additional consultation and further delay in making a final decision on fracking. It also follows the publication of a legal opinion from one of Scotland top lawyers, confirming Holyrood has the powers to ban fracking in law, and that doing so would be less likely to result in successful legal challenges from companies with an interest in the industry, than the present policy approach.

Donald Campbell, chair of the Broad Alliance Against Unconventional Gas said: "We are here to ask SNP members to support us by raising our concerns at the conference that the present approach to stopping fracking is vulnerable to being overturned by a future government with the stroke of a pen."

Mary Church, of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Communities on the frontline of this dirty industry have been waiting for over four years for the Scottish Government to bring its long drawn out process on unconventional oil and gas to an end.

“It is high time for ministers to live up to their rhetoric and ban fracking for good. We have a clear legal opinion confirming it is both possible and more watertight to legislate to prohibit fracking, and Holyrood has a clear mandate from the people of Scotland to do so. If the present Scottish Government cares an ounce about its legacy, we urge it to work together with anti-fracking parties to pass a law banning fracking and finally put this issue to bed once and for all.”

And the SNP has also faced calls from within to ban fracking. Iain Black, of SNP Members Against Unconventional Gas (SMAUG) said: "We warmly welcome the fact the Scottish Government has stopped fracking in Scotland for over four years, and understand it’s not something the SNP wants to happen now, or ever. However, given recent developments including the legal opinion, we think the current approach is not strong enough, and want the government to explore using new licensing powers to pass a robust legal ban."