With four Scottish parties out of five in favour, MSP’s overwhelmingly voted to endorse the ban by 91 to 28 after a two hour debate.
Opened by Scottish minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, he and other SNP members made reference to a recent KPMG report which claimed a negligible benefit to Scotland’s economy from the practice while also pointing to the public consultation in which 99% of the over 60,000 respondents opposed fracking.
Liberal Democrat MSP for Orkney, Liam McArthur, said in support of the ban: “If fracking is the fag end of the economy then it’s time to quit.”
Yet, Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for Lothian, accused SNP backbenchers of opportunism and historic silence over the issue of fracking in the past, saying: “How many times have we debated this issue in here and how often have we had radio silence from SNP backbenchers.”
Conservative energy spokesman, Alexander Burnett, claimed that the SDNP Government’s longstanding moratorium had been a missed “gold rush, stating: “The SNP’s position on fracking has been nothing short of impractical and badly principled and sadly nothing in this debate has shown it to be otherwise.”
“For years now, the SNP have dithered on fracking, and now swathes of the Central Belt will miss out on what should have been the gold rush of this century.
“Whether for energy or product, denying Scotland the security of its own supply is also denying the savings to our consumers. From fuel poverty to rising household expenses, the consequences of this decision will be costly.
“Yet, the SNP know this and continue to import 40,000 barrels of fracked shale gas every day.”