It’s time for a frack free Fife and that is why I am backing calls from Scottish Labour for a triple lock system to guard against fracking in Scotland.
Under plans announced by Jim Murphy, Scottish Labour will use the new powers from the Smith Commission to stop fracking in Scotland. This move would stop Fife being a “test bed” for the controversial process.
I have long been campaigning both in Fife and the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish Government to take action against fracking. I have called for robust national guidelines and the introduction of buffer zones.
I’ve always been clear though that this was only the start as the decision on fracking in Scotland rests ultimately with the Scottish Government and should take into account the concerns of locals.
The plans for a triple-lock system to halt onshore fracking taking place includes halting any fracking in Scotland, a comprehensive review on the conditions, and a local referendum for communities to gain their views.
Communities across Fife are rightly concerned and are worried that it would be imposed on them without their consent. Scottish Labour will not let fracking be imposed in Fife against their will. That is why we are planning to introduce a triple-lock system to halt fracking in Scotland and give the power to local communities. If the people of Fife do not want fracking in the Kingdom then under Scottish Labour it won’t take place.
The environmental and safety case for fracking has not been made and companies have yet to prove beyond all doubt that fracking in Fife can be carried out safely. Fracking is an issue that regularly fills my inbox as constituents are concerned about its impact in Fife and beyond.
Plans in Fife include the Algy Cluff development of underground coal gasification in the Firth of Forth. I have previously raised concerns about this process to the Energy Minister in the Scottish Parliament. International pilot testing in India, the USA and Australia has found that in some cases local water has been contaminated and I have raised these concerns with both the Scottish Government and Cluff Natural Resources.