An alliance of nearly 30 community groups sent every Scottish MP a letter urging them to vote for a moratorium on unconventional gas via an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill on Monday 26th January.
On Monday you will have the opportunity to debate and vote on what is fast becoming a critical election issue. The Infrastructure Bill is being used by the Coalition Government to push new rules through Parliament that make it easier for companies to frack and exploit unconventional gas right across the UK.
Fracking and drilling for unconventional gas are linked by ever increasing evidence of serious public health risks, impacts on water resources and the local environment. New York State banned fracking before Christmas because of serious health concerns, joining a growing list of bans and moratoria around the world.
The Scottish Government has acknowledged health concerns with the industry and that the current regulatory regime is not fit for purpose. Yet communities face an imminent threat from an industry poised to take root in some of the most populous and beautiful parts of the country.
The UK Government recently offered over 20,000 square km of central and southern Scotland for license to companies who want to exploit gas using controversial unconventional techniques. Communities the breadth of the country will find out sometime this year whether they too will be faced with this unwanted industry as a neighbour.
Opposition to this industry at community level is growing rapidly. We are writing as a broad alliance of groups from communities across Scotland, currently or potentially affected by unconventional gas extraction, organising nationally and locally to fight this industry. We are calling on you to do the right thing on Monday and vote to halt this industry while work to assess its impact on climate change, public health, the environment and the economy is carried out.
Unless you take this opportunity to stop unconventional gas in its tracks, or the Scottish Government moves to implement a moratorium, communities will be left to fight this industry application by application. People across Scotland will be watching how you vote on this vital issue and for many it will influence how they vote in May.
Broad Alliance against Unconventional Gas
The alliance consists of, among others:
Concerned Communities of Falkirk
Canonbie and District Residents Association
Halt Unconventional Gas Extraction, Cumbernauld
Friends of the Earth Stirling
Clacks Against Unconventional Gas
Friends of the Earth Falkirk
No Fracking North Berwick
Highlands and Islands Against Fracking
Our Forth – Portobello (Against Unconventional Gas Extraction)
Dunbar Anti Fracking Team
Friends of the Earth Scotland
Don’t Frack the Briggs (Bishopriggs)
Coastal Regeneration Alliance
PEDAL (Transition Portobello)
East Lothian Against Fracking, Pencaitland
Women’s Environmental Network Scotland
Scottish Hazards Campaign
Professor Andrew Watterson, Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group, Stirling University
Professor Rory O’Neill, Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group, Stirling University
Markinch Environmental Action Group
Transition Town Linlithgow
Transition Black Isle
Iona Community Mull and Iona Family Group
Hands Off Our Scotland
A Greener Melrose