The Scottish Parliament voted to support an outright ban on fracking on Wednesday
Scottish National party MSPs abstained following a debate that gave a strong indication of the changed nature of the new Holyrood chamber.
While the vote is not a binding policy it represents a defeat for the SNP which supports a moratorium on fracking but has stopped short of backing a full ban.
Legislators affiliated with the Scottish National Party chose to abstain from the vote, which prompted its fellow liberal parties to call on the group’s leaders to clarify its position on fracking and its energy platform.
The Scottish National Party’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said he and his government remained “deeply skeptical” on the merits of fracking and confirmed that the practice would not be allowed in Scotland until there is clear evidence that it does not cause health-related or environmental harm.
Maurice Golden, a newly elected member of parliament for the Conservative party, argued in favor of fracking, and said the “leftwing cabal” of the three united liberal parties had been “ignoring” scientific evidence regarding the practice, which, if allowed, would add jobs and boost the economy.
The Scottish vote comes right after local leaders in the North Yorkshire region of the United Kingdom approved industrial tests that would allow fracking in the country for the first time in more than five years.