Anna Lo MLA said: “We need to see a moratorium on fracking so that robust scientific research can be conducted into the issue.
“Our natural environment is central to our quality of life and to our tourism industry. We need to be able to examine all the information possible on fracking to be able to make a decision on the issue.
“We have heard a lot about the negative impacts of fracking in other regions. Given the lack of research into the impact of fracking on both our local environment and our health, it would be irresponsible to allow this process to start immediately before the issue has been examined as thoroughly as possible.
“A moratorium is crucial to give us time to look at the process and the information regarding it.
“We should be focusing on renewable energy at present. We have massive potential for wind and tidal power and I believe that we must invest in this area to help grow our green economy and deliver greater sustainability.”
That this Assembly believes that a moratorium should be placed on onshore and offshore exploration development and production of shale gas by withdrawing licences for hydraulic fracturing (fracking), at least until the publication of a detailed environmental impact assessment into the practice; notes that hydraulic fracturing can put local water sources at risk of contamination; further notes that amongst a variety of adverse environmental impacts, the process of fracking can cause serious well blowouts, which put both workers and local communities at risk; considers that the production of hard-to-reach fossil fuels is not compatible with efforts to achieve carbon reduction targets; and urges the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to give greater support to the generation of energy from renewable sources instead.
[Mr S Agnew, Ms A Lo, Mr C Lyttle, Mr S Dickson]