DEVOLVE FRACKING POWERS SAYS GREEN POLL
Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood's economy and energy committee, is welcoming the results of a poll showing most Scots want powers over fracking to be transferred from Westminster to Scotland.
A vast swathe of Scotland, from Ayrshire to East Lothian, has been earmarked as ripe for the controversial gas drilling technique, with the UK Government offering tax incentives to developers.
The Survation poll of 1,000 Scots for the Scottish Green MSPs asked whether fracking licenses should be decided by UK or Scottish authorities.
66.1 per cent said control should be devolved to Scotland; 18.2 per cent said control should remain at UK level; 15.7 per cent said they didn't know.
The poll also asked about the UK Government's plan to remove property owners' right to object to pipelines. 66.6 per cent said the final say should be devolved to Scotland; 19.7 per cent said control should remain at UK level; 13.7 per cent said they didn't know.
It comes as Scottish Green activists launch an anti-fracking campaign in communities across Scotland.
The party's submission to the Smith Commission said that devolution of energy policy including powers over unconventional gas would allow for the more rapid advance toward renewable energy targets, climate change targets, and community control of local economic decisions.
Alison Johnstone MSP, who earlier this year led a Holyrood debate on the issue, said:
"From coal gasification under the Firth of Forth to coalbed methane in Airth and Canonbie, there are communities around Scotland already battling dangerous developments. Our poll shows Scottish Greens are in tune with local communities who want decisions taken closer to home and it sets a clear challenge to the other parties at Holyrood who have failed to support a moratorium.
"Continuing to dig up and burn fossil fuels is simply reckless, both from a local point of view and in terms of climate change emissions. If Scotland were to gain responsibility for licensing and pipeline permissions I'd hope Holyrood would see sense and shut the door to fracking before it gets a foothold."
Click below to see the polling in detail.
Scottish Greens' submission to the Smith Commission:
"The devolution of power in all these areas of energy policy [such as unconventional gas] would allow for the more rapid advance toward renewable energy targets, climate change targets, and community control of local economic decisions."