Politics

Key points from Infrastructure Bill debate 3.30pm-4pm

  • Energy minister says shale gas is an exciting opportunity for the UK
  • Caroline Lucas urges government to publish unredacted report on shale gas impacts on rural economies
  • MPs criticise shortage of time for debate

Transport Minister, John Hayes
The Infrastructure Bill has developed during its progress through parliament. “There has been a process of careful scrutiny. It is in everyone’s interests to send a signal about this bill that we can deliver it on time. Do not spoil it now. Let’s do right by the house and by the country”.

Julian Huppert, Lib Dem, Cambridge
Raises concerns about the number of amendments. He urges MPs to consider amendment 51 removing the Government’s clause giving companies the right to drill underneath properties without the owners consent. He says 360,000 people have signed a petition opposing underground access rights.

Andrew Miller, Lab, Ellesmere Port and Neston
“We have not got adequate time to debate many of the important details of this bill. In principle I want to see it [fracking] go ahead in the right regulatory environment”. He says MPs are in a difficult position to decide on complicated issues in a couple of hours.

Barry Sheerman, Lab, Huddersfield
“Our constituents would expect us to consider this in great detail”. He says the Environmental Audit Committee is right to request a moratorium. People in the country deserve a voice on HS2, costing £80bn, but they will not get one in this debate.

Energy minister, Amber Rudd
Shale gas and geothermal energy are exciting opportunities for the UK which will help in a transition to a low carbon economy. She announces a new clause requiring the government to take advice from the Committee on Climate Change on the impact of shale gas on UK greenhouse gas emissions and carbon budgets.

Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton Pavilion
How is public confidence enhanced by the government refusing to publish the unredacted Defra report on the economic impacts of shale gas on rural communities. She calls for the report to be published unredacted and put in the public domain

Amber Rudd
Says she cannot make this commitment but will speak more fully on it later

Greg Barker, Cons, Bexhill and Battle
Gas is our ally to a lower carbon future.

Amber Rudd
The UK will continue to use considerable but declining amounts of gas into the 2030s. Demand will be met from imports or shale gas. Using well-regulated shale gas to fill this need will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the UK’s energy sovereignty. Shale development will remain compatible with UK reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

Julian Huppert
If shale leads to higher emissions, will the minister stop fracking?

Amber Rudd
The Committee on Climate Change will take a view on the UK’s climate change obligations when we consult with them.

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