The party’s Environment spokesman, MSP Claudia Beamish is today due to resurrect her Bill in Holyrood to ban the hydraulic fracturing technique – known as ‘fracking – for Scottish onshore oil and gas exploration.
Beamish has made it clear that the urgent need to tackle climate change and say no to new fossil fuels is behind her proposal to legislate against fracking.
Labour won a non-binding vote on this issue when it was debated in Holyrood last year after the minority SNP government and MSPs abstained.
In January 2015, the SNP government imposed a ‘temporary’ moratorium on onshore oil and gas and has since conducted two independently-led scientific reviews of evidence, which showed that fracking could be safely carried out under the present and/or enhanced regulatory regime.
Last October, the Scottish Energy Minister held a third consultation inviting public responses on the scientific evidence – this is due to close at the end of this month.
To date, barely 1,000 responses to the public ‘consultation’ have been made, with anti-fracking supporters, such as Friends of the Earth, claiming that most of these are in favour of a permanent ban. Beamish – a list MSP for Southern Scoland – will now push ahead with a final proposal for her Private Member’s Bill in Holyrood.
False fracking claims by Friends of the Earth
The UK Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that the following false claims have been made by Friends of the Earth over onshore oil and gas exploration.
Four Falsehoods from Friends of the Earth
FALSE; The fluid used in fracking contains chemicals dangerous to human health, and that the fluid would, as a natural consequence of the act of fracking, contaminate the drinking water of nearby communities because it remained underground;
FALSE: The US fracking site [the FoE leaflet] referred to was responsible for the increase in asthma rates, and that the public would be at risk of equivalent increases in asthma rates by living or working near a fracking site in the UK;
FALSE: That there is an established risk of the chemicals concerned causing cancer and other conditions among the local population, when used in fracking in the UK, and that:
FALSE: Fracking will cause plummeting house prices.
Although Friends of the Earth agreed to withdraw all the claims and agreed that “it will not repeat the claims, or claims which have the same meaning, in future” – it is highly likely that these falsehoods have unavoidably contaminated the ‘public consultation’ by the Scot-Govt.