Friday, 25 September 2015

Fracking and water: what`s the connection ?

Fracking is the process of breaking up underground rock using millions of gallons of water under extremely high pressure. Mel Kelly and Ian Crane discuss the issue in Scotland, beginning about 22 minutes into the video.


The `back door` privatisation of Scotland`s water has been slyly pushed through a bit at a time and all mainstream parties are implicated.

"Aside from the Conservatives no political party has openly declared itself in favour of the full privatisation of Scotland’s water industry. In fact the major parties said little in relation to water in their manifestos for the last Scottish election in 2003. Yet the two coalition parties in the Scottish Executive, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, introduced the Water Services (Scotland) Act in 2004 without signalling their intention to do so during the election. When one considers that this legislation effectively transferred power over the budgetary process to the WIC it is perhaps surprising that this was not put to the electorate during the previous years Scottish Election."

"Despite the volume of recent water legislation in Scotland the pressure for more changes to the governance structures of Scottish Water continues. "

Mel Kelly accuses Nicola Sturgeon of doing a deal with David Cameron to open up Scottish Water to UK wide marketisation during the last weeks in the run up to the Scottish referendum. Some devolved powers had to be handed back to Westminster to allow a change in the law. What does this say about the First Minister`s true stance on the Scottish independence issue?

As for fracking:

"Since the moratorium was called, the Scottish Government has refused to address a series of concerns from MSPs over what the moratorium means in practice. It remains unclear whether test drilling for fracking is covered, with chemical giant Ineos keen to push ahead with plans to explore shale gas reserves in the Grangemouth area. John Wilson, the independent MSP who has seen his own questions ignored for months, said this week that ministers' refusal to answer questions was simply unacceptable`."

"The SNP has also been criticised from within its own ranks for omitting underground coal gasification, a separate process that sees coal seams set alight underground and gas extracted, from its moratorium. A grassroots SNP members' group was set up this week and is aiming to persuade the leadership to take a tougher stance."

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