Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson and Falkirk MP John McNally have welcomed the announcement that fracking will be banned in Scotland.
The Scottish Government said on Tuesday that it won’t support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland. The decision followed an extensive period of evidence gathering and a major public consultation that received 60,535 responses, of which 99% were opposed to fracking.
A parliamentary vote will take place at Holyrood to confirm the ban, which takes immediate effect thanks to the indefinite extension of the moratorium that is already in place.
Mr Matheson said: “Falkirk district was one of the areas in Scotland identified for potential fracking activity and I know that this was a major concern for many of my constituents.
“The SNP Government has always said that there would be no fracking in Scotland unless it could be proven beyond any doubt that there would be no risk to public health, communities or the environment, and that’s why we put a moratorium in place while we carefully considered the full range of evidence.
“Now, after one of the most far-reaching investigations into unconventional oil and gas undertaken by any government in the world, we’ve come to the conclusion that the potential negative impacts outweigh any economic argument, which is why I will vote in favour of the ban.
“It’s long been clear that the public consent for fracking simply isn’t there. By introducing this ban, the Scottish Government is putting the interests of communities first, which is in stark contrast to the Tory Government’s gung-ho approach to fracking in England.”
Mr McNally added: “I have long questioned the consequences and the need for fracking. Scotland is blazing the way with innovation in renewable energy and vast reserves of offshore gas have now been made accessible. Why on earth, therefore, would we need fracking or coal bed methane extraction?
“I’m certain that the Scottish Government has carried out the full consultation necessary to ensure that this decision is based on the impact fracking would have on our communities, so I whole-heartedly welcome this announcement.”