Canonbie protected as Scotland bans fracking

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Joan McAlpine MSP today welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government that fracking – and other forms of unconventional oil and gas extraction – will be banned in Scotland.

The MSP said the ban was good news for South West Scotland where communities she has supported, such as Canonbie, have previously been threatened with the controversial technology.

Ms McAlpine condemned the Scottish Conservative Party who backed fracking and spoke against the SNP ban in parliament.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse quoted ‘insufficient evidence over health impacts’ as one of many reasons the Scottish Government has opted not to support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland.

Ms McAlpine, who has campaigned alongside villagers in Eskdale to prevent coalbed methane extraction around their homes, said today’s decision showed that the Scottish Government had listened to the concerns of local communities.

Commenting, the SNP MSP said:

“This decision vindicates the campaign of the community in Canonbie, who simply refused to accept previous local planning decisions, which would have allowed coalbed methane extraction to take place.”

“I am absolutely delighted with today’s announcement that unconventional gas extraction cannot and will not take place in Scotland.

“It is clear that the Scottish Government really has listened to communities when making this decision.”

The Scottish Government will use its planning powers to ensure unconventional gas extraction does not take place in Scotland – as it has done for many years to make sure no nuclear power stations are given the go ahead.

Today’s announcement is good news for locals who have campaigned against unconventional gas, but also for Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets.

Ms McAlpine added:

“I’d like to take the opportunity to once again congratulate Bill and Loraine Frew and the Canonbie Residents Against Coal Developments who have campaigned tirelessly on this issue.

“Their efforts were rewarded today.”

The full text of the announcement will be available here: