Opposition

Key points from fracking section of Infrastructure Bill debate 5pm-5.30pm

  • Caroline Lucas accuses the government of ignoring public opinion and says Labour’s proposed extra regulations do not give the protection they claim
  • Joan Walley says the public won’t forgive MPs for not scrutinising the bill properly
  • John Whitehead says Labour’s proposed safeguards are essential

Tim Yeo, Con, chair energy and climate change committeeHis committee investigated shale gas and concluded that fracking is a safe technique from which Britain could benefit substantially. A moratorium would not serve Britain’s interest. Our concerns was that fracking is going rather slowly. Fracking poses no danger to water supply, public or the environment generally. Mistakes made in the US mistakes could easily avoided here. MPs should ignore calls for delay.

Joan Walley, Lab, Stoke-on-Trent
There are 60 different amendments to the Infrastructure Bill. We have 20 minutes to debate them. It is impossible for the House to do justice to concerns of public. No one knows who will have overall responsibility for this industry. Someone has to because we will be dealing issues from fracking in the future. “People in the country will not forgive us for not scrutinising this properly”.

Anne McIntosh, Con, Thirsk and Malton
At a public meeting attended by residents of the three villages affected, Third Energy admitted that there is a minuscule risk of contamination of groundwater.”

Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton Pavilion
Amendment 51 would oppose changes suggested by the government to give companies the right to underground access. 360,000 signed petition against this. 99% in the government’s consultation opposed it. “This raises the question what consultation is about. I am not reassured”. Labour’s New Clause 19 [which proposed additional regulation] does not offer the protection that it says it does. People are asking for a moratorium because fracking is not compatible with our climate change commitments.

Anne Main, Cons, St Albans
I have chalk streams in my constituency. They are a rare resource and need protection

John Whitehead, Lab, Southampton Test
Supports Labour’s New Clause 19. If no baseline in place, no fracking takes place. This offers substantial protection. We may well find 18,000-20,000 wells and more than half of them could be in two parts of the country with no safeguards on the cumulative impact. It is essential these safeguards are in place.

At 5.30pm MPs voted on three new clauses for the bill.

Click here for the results of votes

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