The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has today confirmed that oil and gas exploration may be given the go-ahead in the Moray Firth, which is home to a population of bottlenose dolphins. Scottish Ministers have the power to call in projects of this sort under regulations agreed with the Green MSPs following May’s election.
Robin Harper MSP, Scottish Green Party Co-convener, said:
“As part of our limited post-election negotiations with the SNP, we pressed them to change the law to give Scottish Ministers the power to call in commercial developments in the marine environment under the European Habitats Directive. The same powers will allow them to control this scandalous decision by Westminster to allow oil and gas exploration in the Moray Firth, which is a sensitive habitat not least because of the vulnerable dolphin population. This is a key test of SNP Ministers – will they defend Scotland’s marine environment or side with UK Labour?”