MPs in Westminster will vote on plans for the speedy transfer of fracking powers to the Scottish Government on Tuesday 13 January. An amendment lodged by Tom Greatrex MP to the UK Infrastructure Bill would see control over onshore oil and gas licensing devolved to the Scottish Government, as recommended by the Smith Commission.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“The Scottish Government already has powers at its disposal to block unconventional gas and fracking north of the border under planning and environmental laws. The transfer of onshore oil and gas licensing powers simply leave the SNP with absolutely no excuse not to act to stop this dangerous and unnecessary industry.

“While the Scottish Government has been cautious in its approach to unconventional gas, the goal posts have shifted in recent months with INEOS’s plans to frack large parts of the central belt, and Cluff’s ambition to set coal seams under the Forth alight. Minsters must act now to stop the unconventional gas industry before it becomes entrenched.

“Fracking has been a huge part of the post-Referendum debate in Scotland. In this critical pre-election period a switched-on Scottish electorate will be scrutinising the parties claims on this politically toxic issue.

“Climate science and justice means we simply can’t afford to waste any more time going after dirty new fossil fuels. To live up to our world leading Climate Act, the Scottish Government must leave unconventional gas in the ground and focus instead on making the most of our abundant renewables potential.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. Clause 3 ‘Shale gas extraction: devolution’ amends the Scotland Act 1998 to devolve onshore oil and gas licensing to Holyrood http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2014-2015/0124/amen…

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 74 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk