Labour Party launches Holyrood Bill to ban shale gas exploration in Scotland

Claudia Beamish, MSP
Claudia Beamish, MSP

The Labour Party in Scotland today announces it will introduce a back-bench MP’s Bill in Holyrood to ban fracking for shale gas in Scotland.

At presently, there is a ‘temporary’ moratorium on planning applications relating to exploration drilling for shale – introduced by the SNP Scot-Govt in January 2015 – but there is no actual prohibition on fracking per se.

A second independent scientific review into the public safety issues relating to onshore oil and gas exploration in Scotland has been set up by the Scot-Govt. The first one it commissioned concluded that fracking could be carried out safely.

Labour’s Bill will be steered through the Holyrood legislative process by Claudia Beamish, MSP, the party’s Scottish environment spokesman.

She is due to publish her full consultation document outside the Scottish Parliament today – the same day the Paris Climate Change Agreement is formally ratified.

The first Holyrood defeat suffered by the SNP government since the May election was on fracking, with the Scots parliament voting for Labour’s proposals for a ban as SNP MSPs abstained. 

Beamish said: “Labour will change the law to ban fracking in Scotland. We need to fulfil Scotland’s renewables potential and we can’t do that if we allow fracking in our communities. 

“Scotland relying on fracking for our energy needs will lock us into an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels long after our country needs to have moved to clean energy. 

“SNP ministers now face an urgent choice – they can work with Labour to ban fracking, or they can work with the Tories to allow drilling under family homes in parts of central Scotland.” 

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