OVER 5,000 BACK GREEN FRACKING PETITION; PARTY LEADERS INVITED
The Scottish Green petition calling on the UK Government to halt its plans to award licenses to frack for gas across Scotland has achieved over 5,300 signatures since being launched on Monday morning.
Earlier this week Scottish Greens Co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP wrote to the leaders of Scotland's four other parties, including Labour's Jim Murphy and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, inviting them to support the call but none have done so.
Mr Harvie said:
"The huge public support we've had for our petition to DECC piles pressure on all the other parties. When Greens proposed a ban last year Labour and the SNP voted with the Conservatives and Libdems to oppose such a move. It's equally disappointing to see them fail to support our effort to call a halt to the ongoing licensing round.
"The UK Government is wrong to press ahead with decisions that Scotland should take. Whatever the other parties' positions on fracking and other forms of unconventional gas, they must agree that it's unacceptable that Scottish communities will have no say in licensing that looks set to affect them."
Opinion polling shows most Scots oppose fracking, and most want decisions over licensing devolved. Yet the current round of licensing, affecting the entire Scottish Central Belt, is still being pursued by the UK Government's Department for Energy and Climate Change.
Scottish Green MSPs Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone have been campaigning against unconventional gas extraction since the 2011 election. As well as proposing a ban, they have urged ministers to provide funding for local authorities to develop robust policies to handle any fracking applications.