The current Scottish Government may be preparing to give the green light to coal bed methane extraction in Canonbie if they win the election in May.

At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday 3rd March, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale challenged the First Minister to back her pledge to ban fracking in Scotland.

Despite campaigning on an anti-fracking platform last May, Nicola Sturgeon refused to back Scottish Labour’s pledge.

The Scottish Government are only committed to a temporary freeze on fracking, not an outright ban, and have commissioned major research on how to clean up after fracking.

The Scottish Government have also refused to release minutes of meetings with business who stand to gain millions from fracking in Scotland.

Minutes before First Minister’s Questions, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the Scottish Government’s current approach is to pursue fracking based on evidence and no conclusions had been reached.

Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:

“Despite imposing a temporary freeze on fracking in our local area and across Scotland, the Scottish Government still cannot commit to an outright ban. If fracking is permitted after the elections in May, I fear that the suspension of licences necessary for coal bed methane extraction in Canonbie will be lifted. That will allow the proposals to progress once more, despite the opposition from the local community in Canonbie. My worry is that the Scottish Government’s shifty attitude on this issue means only one thing – they’re preparing to give the green light to unconventional gas extraction in our local area if they win the election in May. That would be an utter betrayal of local people in our region.”

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