Angus MP Mike Weir has confirmed that he will support an amendment (New Clause 9) to the Infrastructure Bill to impose a moratorium on fracking.
Commenting on the move Mr Weir said
“The Smith commission recommended that powers to grant licences should be transferred to the Scottish Parliament, which already holds planning powers in respect of fracking. This is welcome and I have supported this.”
“All powers in relation to fracking should reside with the Scottish Parliament , who have taken a cautious, considered and evidence based approach to this issue.”
“Unfortunately the transfer of powers is likely to take some time and, as I have noted before the law in this area remains complex including what happens to existing licences and the power of the UK government to continue to grant licences in the interim. I do not believe that any action should be taken on fracking until such time as the Scottish Parliament is able to take all decisions on the matter”
“The motion on Monday would impose a moratorium for between 18 and 30 months to allow a full assessment of the issue looking at its impact on climate change, the environment, health and safety and the economy which is sensible.”
He has also called on Labour to clarify their position on the issue after a member of their shadow cabinet in Scotland refused to say how Labour MPs will vote.
On BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland Sarah Boyack MSP repeatedly refused to clarify how Labour MPs will vote on the Infrastructure Bill Amendment at the House of Commons on Monday.
Good Morning Scotland – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04ykbzg
The motion Mr Weir is supporting reads
Moratorium on onshore unconventional oil and gas
Clause 38, page 45, line 25, at end insert –
“(5A) All use of land for development consisting of the exploitation of unconventional petroleum in Great Britain shall be discontinued during the relevant period.
(5B) The Secretary of State must ensure that an independent assessment is undertaken in relation to the exploitation of unconventional petroleum [in Great Britain] including the use of high volume hydraulic fracturing.
(5C) The assessment must take account of the impacts of the exploitation of unconventional petroleum on –
health and safety;
(5D) The Secretary of State must –
consult such persons as the Secretary of State thinks fit; and
publish the assessment
within the relevant period.
(5E) For the purposes of subsections (5A) to (5D) –
“relevant period” means a period of not less than 18 months and not more than 30 months commencing on the date two months after Royal Assent;
“unconventional petroleum” means petroleum which does not flow readily to the wellbore.
(5F) In section 3 of the Petroleum Act 1998, after subsection (4) insert –
“and subsection (4A).
(4A) Nothing in this section permits the grant of a licence to search and bore for and get unconventional petroleum in Great Britain during the relevant period.
(4B) For the purposes of subsection (4A) “relevant period” and “unconventional petroleum” have the meaning specified in section 38(5B) of the Infrastructure Act 2015.”