Bernie Sanders congratulates Scotland for banning fracking
The US senator described the Scottish Government’s decision as a “significant step” and warned that fracking represented a danger to air quality and water supplies.
Bernie Sanders has congratulated Scotland for banning fracking and called on the US government to follow suit.
The US senator, who lost out to Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, described the Scottish Government’s decision as a “significant step” and warned that fracking – a form of unconventional gas extraction – represented a danger to air quality and water supplies.
Earlier this month the Scottish Government announced it was opposed to fracking, with energy minister Paul Wheelhouse confirming that the Scottish Parliament will vote on the issue in October.
Ministers introduced a moratorium on unconventional oil and gas extraction in January 2015, with the Scottish Government’s decision meaning the ban will continue indefinitely.
More than 60,000 people responded to the Scottish Government’s four month consultation on fracking, with 99 per cent expressing opposition to the technique.
In June the Scottish Parliament passed a motion – tabled by Claudia Beamish – to ban fracking, after Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPS voted in favour, the Tories voted against and the SNP chose to abstain.
The decision came under fire from Scottish Conservative MSPs, with Dean Lockhart warning that “yet again Scotland’s economy is left behind”.
But Sanders backed the move.
He said: “Congratulations to Scotland for taking the very significant step to ban fracking following enormous public opposition to the practice. Fracking a danger to the air we breathe and to our water supply. It has resulted in more earthquakes, is highly explosive, and is contributing to climate change.
“If we are serious about safe and clean drinking water and clean air, if we are serious about protecting the health of our children and families, and if we are serious about combating climate change, we need to follow the leadership of people around the world and phase out fracking nationwide.”
Greener UK chair Shaun Spiers said: “There is now a real danger that the UK will leave the EU without a deal or consciously pivot towards countries with lower environmental standards.”
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