Scottish Greens ‘hope end is in sight’ in fight to ban fracking

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The Scottish Greens have said they hope the “end is in sight” in their long-running campaign to ban fracking in the country.

The Scottish Government introduced a moratorium barring the controversial method of extracting gas in January 2015 but ministers have still to decide if this should be made permanent.

In their legislative programme for the coming year, announced last week, the government said they would set out their view on fracking and seek parliamentary approval “in the coming weeks”, and a decision is expected before the end of the year.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone first proposed a ban on unconventional oil and gas extraction in 2014, bringing it to a vote in the Holyrood chamber where all other parties voted against it.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have since changed to oppose fracking.

Ms Johnstone said: “Greens have opposed fracking from the start and over the years I’ve been encouraged by the strength of feeling at community events I’ve taken part in right across Scotland.

“It’s been a long struggle but we’ve stood together against the threat of this dangerous and unnecessary drilling process, and we hope the end is in sight.

Scottish Greens
The Scottish Greens first proposed a ban on unconventional oil and gas extraction in 2014 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“Given the risks to public health, the safety of workers, and the damage to our reputation as a climate change leader, it’s high time the Scottish Government made the right decision and ruled out fracking for good.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We have put in place a moratorium on fracking which means no such activity can take place in Scotland.

“We have also published research reports on the potential impacts of unconventional oil and gas, and carried out an extensive public consultation which attracted more than 60,000 responses.

“Ministers will consider the evidence, including the results of the consultation, and will recommend a way forward before the end of this year.”

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