SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, has urged as many constituents as possible to take part in the Scottish Government’s recently launched consultation on ‘fracking’, or unconventional oil and gas.

The Scottish Government is committed to a cautious, consultative, and evidence led approach as it prepares to make its decision on whether to allow the controversial practice to take place in Scotland.

In January 2015, the Scottish Government put in place a moratorium on unconventional oil and gas development in Scotland, which prevents hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas, and coal bed methane extraction taking place while the Scottish Government investigates evidence on potential impacts and consults with both stakeholders and the people of Scotland.

The public consultation opened on 31st January and closes on 31st May 2017. A dedicated website, www.talkingfracking.scot will run for the duration of the website, providing user-friendly information on unconventional oil and gas together with the findings of the research commissioned by the Scottish Government. The consultation itself can also be accessed through the website.

Commenting, Ruth said:

‘Fracking is a complex and controversial topic and provokes strong opinions on all sides of the debate.

I commend the Scottish Government’s cautious and consultative approach, putting in place a moratorium on the practice to allow for a intensive period of evidence gathering and consultation – in stark contrast to the gung-ho approach of the Tories in Westminster.

It is my personal opinion that fracking poses serious risks to health,  communities, and our environment, and the overwhelming majority of the feedback that I have heard from my own constituents is that they would not want to see it take place here.

Unless it can be proven beyond any doubt that there is no risk to health, communities or the environment, there should be no fracking in Scotland.

Whatever their position, this consultation is people’s opportunity to make their views known and their voices heard, and I would encourage as many of my constituents as possible to take part over the next four months.’