Welcoming SNP plans to oppose UK plans to make fracking easier, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“The UK Government has ignored over 99% of responses to its consultation, and the objection of the Scottish Government, that the removal of people's rights to object to fracking underneath their homes is simply unacceptable.

“We welcome the SNP’s plans to oppose sections of the UK Infrastructure Bill which would give the fracking industry carte blanche to drill where-ever they like, and to leave toxic drilling and fracking chemicals behind. It will be very interesting to see how Labour and LibDem MPs vote on these issues.

“Cameron and Osborne's blinkered dash for gas risks putting the UK on course for climate catastrophe and endangers the health and wellbeing of communities across central and southern Scotland. We urge the Scottish Government to go further and use their existing powers to ban all forms of unconventional fossil fuel extraction in Scotland.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1 The SNP’s announcement came from Westminster Energy Spokesperson Mike Weir during a conference debate on the following motion:

Energy
Conference notes that:-
– Scotland has 25% of Europe’s tidal potential and 10% of its wave potential;
– 50% of the world’s experiments into renewable technologies happen here in Scotland partly due to the operations of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney;
– Scotland has an excellent and wholly achievable goal of producing the equivalent of 100% of her electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020, and by 2012 enough electricity was produced through clean means to power all the homes in Scotland;
– Scotland is leading the world in clean energy which will provide not only enough energy for all of Scotland’s needs but will provide a product that we can sell for generations;
– The harvesting of shale gas by hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) can potentially have extremely serious adverse environmental impact.

Conference therefore believes that Scotland should show caution in considering any proposals for farming shale gas by fracking in Scotland so that Scotland remains a country which is internationally renowned for clean, environmentally friendly energy generation.

GLASGOW SHETTLESTON CONSTITUENCY BRANCH

2. Over 17,000 emails have been sent to MSPs asking them to ask the Scottish Government to ban all forms of unconventional gas extraction in Scotland.

3. The UK Government's announcement on taking away the right to object to fracking is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-remove-barriers-to-onsh… analysis of consultation responses is at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/underground-drilling-access The Scottish Government's response to the announcement is at http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scottish-householders-rights-to-object-… Our comment on the Scottish Government's response to UK Government underground drilling access consultation http://foe-scotland.org.uk/node/1869