Fracking rules changed by European Parliament

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has welcomed new rules on fracking passed in the European Parliament today.

Speaking after the vote, Alyn said


“These new rules should help protect the environment in new projects, including fracking.  The rules now insist that an Environmental Impact Assessment is carried out for both the exploration and extraction phases of a fracking project.


“Protecting the environment has to be a priority for all of Europe and I’m pleased that the European Parliament has today taken this step; working for Europe’s citizens and delivering a good deal for all of us.  We now have to negotiate with the European Council – the national governments of the EU countries – and make sure that they don’t water down the new protection.


“Scotland has won the natural resources lottery twice, the first time with oil and the second time with renewable energy technology.  We have a range of energy sources available to us now and shouldn’t be shutting off any of them completely but protecting our environment must come first.


“We already have very high standards in Scotland and we are not against any technology but safeguarding our world famous environment and landscape must be at the heart of any consideration of such projects.  Nothing in this vote limits the right of communities to decide their own priorities.


“There are serious concerns over the potential impact of fracking on water quality and seismic activity, particularly near densely populated areas, and taking the time to get it right will be important.”