The Scottish Parliament voted to ban fracking countrywide on Wednesday, making a moratorium on the controversial technique a permanent affair.
The narrow vote can after the legislative body temporary outlawed fracking in January 2015 while it conducted a public health impact assessment and consulted environmental experts.
The Scottish Greens, the Liberal Democrats, and the Labour Party joined together to hand a 32-29 defeat to the Conservatives, who vehemently opposed the permanent measure, The Guardian reported. Related: Clinton Campaign Pledges to Raise Fed Royalties for Oil Companies
Legislators affiliated with the Scottish National Party chose to abstain from the vote, which prompted its fellow liberal parties to call on the group's leaders to clarify its position on fracking and its energy platform.
The Scottish National Party’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said he and his government remained “deeply skeptical” on the merits of fracking and confirmed that the practice would not be allowed in Scotland until there is clear evidence that it does not cause health-related or environmental harm.
Maurice Golden, a newly elected member of parliament for the Conservative party, argued in favor of fracking, and said the “leftwing cabal” of the three united liberal parties had been “ignoring” scientific evidence regarding the practice, which, if allowed, would add jobs and boost the economy.
The Scottish vote comes right after local leaders in the North Yorkshire region of the United Kingdom approved industrial tests that would allow fracking in the country for the first time in more than five years. Related: Cash Deprived Venezuela Can’t Pay For Oil Imports, Leaving Tankers Stranded
The Guardian reported that the go-ahead “swept aside” vocal protests from residents and environmentalists who feared “catastrophic seismic activity, health problems, and pollution” if hydraulic fracturing was introduced.
Two other high-profile applications to frack in the Lancashire area have been rejected by councilors since late-2011, but the companies have lodged appeals to reverse the decisions.
The UK remains one of the few European countries that has not banned fracking on a national level. Hydraulic fracturing has been seen by many as a means of decreasing the dependence on Russian natural gas deliveries. The contrary seemed to have taken place however as Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller said on June 1 that natural gas exports to the U.K. have increased by 91,5 percent to 3.85 billion cubic meters in the first five months of the year.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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If the ruling SNP government wanted to overturn this "ban" at the end of their temporary moratorium, they know they could get a massive majority vote to do so by not abstaining to vote.
This "ban" changes nothing in Scotland. The public and the SNP Government are largely against fracking. But even those in Scotland who are for fracking are in no hurry to do it while oil and gas prices are so low.
Jack this is not the first fracking ban in Europe. Besides the "sane" thing to do would be continue what the Scottish Government was doing before which was a temporary moritorium on fracking with no set time scale: effectively a ban.
The problem with this outright ban is it could be open to challenge in the UK Supreme Court. Where as the moritorium could not.
PS. England is not an island. Ireland is an island, Great Britain is an island, England is a country that shares an island.
SNP are pro-fracking - and continually hire pro fracking "experts" to claim fracking is safe for them - "experts" with vested interests -
I am shocked to see oilprice.com printing such a misleading article without checking the facts first - I live in Scotland and know this report is completely false -
Reports like this are being deliberately used to mislead not just the Scottish public but the entire world it seems - as this vote was a DISTRACTION as that day the SNP government commissioned report to recommend changing planning laws to say the government - not local councils should take all the planning decisions for minerals water and renewables - SNP are waiting until Tories and SNP win the 3rd elections in a row together - so they control all councils and planning decisions left at that level - then they will lift the moratorium and frack us over.
SNP totally re-wrote the moratorium in October to force Scottish Taxpayer to pay for Ineos Test Drilling - while they pretend there is a moratorium - yet in England that is called test drilling to find gas - and in England frackers must pay for their own test drilling
The deception and holding a mock vote on banning fracking purely to keep a vital report recommending Scottish government should control planning applications regarding water and fracking out of the news - shows what a deceptive Tory governmetn is in control of Scotland
If the SNP were pro fracking, there would be fracking in Scotland already.