UCG concerns must be heard by Scottish Government

I have called for the Scottish Government to bring forward their proposed consultation on unconventional gas and fracking. The current delay is leaving the people of Fife and Mid Scotland voiceless as plans for underground coal gasification (UCG) continue in the area.  

In January, following pressure from campaigners, the Scottish Government announced that it was bringing forward a moratorium on granting future consents on unconventional oil and gas developments in Scotland. At the same time they announced plans to hold a public consultation.

However we are 5 months on and a consultation has still to be published. Meanwhile proposals for UCG are continuing and people across Mid Scotland and Fife are not being given the opportunity they need to voice their concerns.

I have been campaigning on fracking and UCG for some time now and while I pleased when the moratorium on fracking was announced I was the only member in the chamber to highlight that it did not extend to cover the controversial practice of UCG.

Since January I have campaigned to have this loophole closed with RSPB, WWF, Friends of the Earth and local campaign groups also supporting these calls.

Despite this, the Scottish Government still refuse to close the loophole by including UCG in its moratorium. That is why we now need the consultation brought forward to give people the opportunity to have their say and force the Scottish Government to listen to their concerns.

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