So, just as we suspected, the SNP have been caught out lying about fracking. It turns out that all their concern and the temporary ban on fracking, is political. The already got their report that they commissioned, that says fracking CAN be done safely.
But as soon as Scottish Labour say they’ll ban it, so do the SNP. Why you might ask? Votes, thats why. They know full well that they’ll haemorrhage voters if they show the same open support in public as they do in private. Read on . . . .
SNP fabricated reasons for fracking ban, says expert
Professor Paul Younger, who sat on a Scottish Government panel examining fracking, said ministers “completely feigned” the health and environmental reasons they used to justify the ban.
SNP ministers are deliberately misleading the Scottish public by pretending their fracking ban is about health and environmental concerns instead of political posturing, an expert they asked to research the controversial practice has said.
In a damning intervention, Professor Paul Younger, Ranking Chair of Engineering at the University of Glasgow, said the Scottish Government’s justifications for unveiling an indefinite moratorium on fracking were “all made up” and “completely feigned”.
He said Scottish ministers had lavished praise on a report they ordered last year by his “expert scientific panel”, which concluded there were no significant technological barriers to developing fracking and that it could be conducted safely.
But he said he felt “completely violated as a professional” following the announcement of the ban and accused the SNP of treating the issue as a “political football” ahead of the general election.
The Scottish Government announced the ban only days after Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, said he would use new powers coming to Holyrood to ban fracking. Labour also forced the UK Government to agree 12 new restrictions on the practice in a Commons vote.
But SNP minsters already have control over the planning system and they contacted all 32 Scottish councils making clear they should not consider an application for an unconventional oil or gas development.
This prompted accusations that the two parties were engaged in a dangerous game of political one-upmanship over which could be seen to be the most hostile to fracking ahead of the general election, regardless of the consequences for the economy.
Ineos, the owners of the loss-making Grangemouth petrochemical plant, have unveiled £640 million plans to use fracking to propel it “back into the premier league of energy” after it nearly closed down in 2013.
Stewart Maxwell, a senior Nationalist MSP, told the BBC’s Sunday Politics show the ban did not jeopardise the plant’s future and more research into fracking was required, but struggled to say what was not in the panel’s report.
Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Tory energy spokesman, said Mr Maxwell’s vague responses and Prof Younger’s comments showed the SNP’s decision was “all about politics and nothing about science”.
Fracking involves pumping water and chemicals underground at high pressure to shatter rock formations and release shale gas. The expert panel’s 98-page report, published last July, concluded it could deliver major economic benefits but the best reserves were in the most populated areas.
Prof Younger, who is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the author of more than 350 publications, said the Scottish Government had welcomed the report as “very thorough, very well done, this is the sort of evidence base we’re looking for.”
“All of a sudden, out of the blue, we start hearing about gaps and further things they need to look into on environment and health. I tell you what – it’s all made up. It’s pretendy (sic),” he told the Sunday Politics.
“This is completely feigned. It’s completely false and I just feel violated as a professional, having worked on that committee to suddenly be treated like a political football like this. It’s very, very degrading.”
Fergus Ewing, the SNP’s Energy Minister, said the fracking ban would last as long as it took to conduct a public consultation and research into the impact on the environment and public health.
Mr Maxwell insisted the panel’s report did not provide all the evidence required but could not specify what was missing.
He claimed it did not address the public health impact but the interviewer pointed out this was tackled in the document. Pressed on his error, he then claimed that many experts disagreed with its findings.
Although residents are consulted on any planning application, Mr Maxwell said: “I don’t believe that the people of Scotland want us to just go ahead without listening to what they have to say.”
Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Tory energy spokesman, said: “It’s absolutely clear that it’s all about politics and nothing about science.
“If we’re having an evidence-based approach, as we should be, and a science-led approach, as we should be, we should listen to the evidence and listen to the scientists. So this is all about politics. It’s because the Labour Party were pushing the SNP on this issue.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said its “moratorium and planned public consultation on unconventional oil and gas has received support from both industry and environmental NGOs – on either side of the debate.
“We have taken a cautious, considered and evidence-based approach to unconventional oil and gas and fracking.”
So, there you have it. Caught lying again.
Some things just don’t change.