Fracking week in Westminster w/e Jan 9/1/2015

Transcripts of parliamentary questions and answers on fracking and onshore oil and gas for the week ending 19th December 21014

  • Vince Cable’s views on fracking in Ryedale
  • Devolution of drilling powers to Wales
  • Licensing regulation

With thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com

Oral questions
8th January
Q Anne McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton, Conservative)
Although I welcome the Government’s commitment to green energy and a low-carbon economy, surely there must be a better way of achieving that than hydraulically fracturing for fossil fuel such as shale gas, which causes huge environmental dis-benefits.

A Vince Cable (Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Twickenham, Liberal Democrat)
I am aware of the hon. Lady’s concern about the areas of outstanding natural beauty in Yorkshire, which she represents. There is indeed an expression of interest*, but there are very strong environmental and safety protections around shale gas drilling, and I am sure she will look forward to the extra development that this will produce in her constituency in due course.

*The Secretary of State was referring to plans by Third Energy to frack at Kirby Misperton in Miss McIntosh’s constituency. We asked the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills how Dr Cable knew there would be “extra development” resulting from shale gas drilling “in due course”.

The Department made this statement:

“The Secretary of State was referring to the expression of interest in Anne McIntosh’s constituency, a matter of public knowledge, and by “extra development” was referring to the economic benefits that this is expected to bring to the area should any future work take place.  The Secretary of State has no role in the planning or licensing processes for shale oil and gas developments.”

7th January
Q Jonathan Edwards, (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, whether he has had discussions with the Welsh Government on the possibility of extending powers over access to shale gas mineral rights.

A Matthew Hancock
I have had no discussions with the Welsh Government on devolving these powers to Wales. On the wider subject of devolution, my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales intends to announce, by St David’s Day, a set of commitments, agreed by the four main political parties in Wales, on the way forward for Welsh devolution. These commitments can then form a basis, a “baseline”, for taking forward Welsh devolution after the General Election in May. As part of this process, the Secretary of State for Wales has said he will look carefully at the proposals made by the Smith Commission to identify which, if any, may warrant further consideration and analysis in respect of Wales.

Written answers
7th January 2015
Q Anne McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what new representations he has received on licensing regulations for fracking; and if he will make a statement.

A Matthew Hancock (The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Minister of State; West Suffolk, Conservative)
We have reviewed no new representations on licensing regulations for onshore oil and gas.

Update on the Infrastructure Bill coming soon

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