Politics

Shale developers need to make the case for fracking – Amber Rudd

AmberRuddThe Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, told MPs yesterday that shale gas developers needed to make the case for fracking to local communities.

During a session of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, Mrs Rudd was asked how she would “bridge the gap” between the government’s views on shale gas and those of local people concerned about its impact.

Mrs Rudd said:

“Well I think it is for the developer to try to make that case. We do have a strong safety record in the UK of exploring for oil and gas and I would hope that the developer can continue to make that case, to reassure the local community.”

“The local community will benefit financially from it but I don’t think that is what this is about, their concerns. I think their concerns are about, genuine concerns, about safety and I would urge the local developers to try and make that case to reassure them.”

Cuadrilla refusal “disappointing”

Mrs Rudd said the refusal of Cuadrilla’s planning applications to frack up to eight wells in Lancashire had been “disappointing”. But she said:

“We have to continue to try to win the battle on it by reassuring people that the experts in the field, you know, the Royal Society, the Royal Geographical society, have all looked at it and they’ve all given their sort of stamp of approval, that we have a secure and safe regulatory system in this country and it can be extracted secure and safely.”

“I appreciate that we need to continue to say that and demonstrate it and get people who perhaps aren’t government ministers to do, to show people their views about this.”

Julian SturdyThe Conservative, Julian Sturdy (York Outer), asked Mrs Rudd about the contribution of shale gas to the UK energy mix.

“Low-carbon source”

Mrs Rudd described shale gas as a low-carbon source and said she remained committed to ensuring the UK could explore for it. She added:

“I think that shale gas will be an important part of the energy mix for the UK and I also note that it is an important part of our decarbonisation targets because it is, effectively, a low-carbon source, and given that gas is going to remain an important part of our security of supply going forward how much better to have our own gas than be importing it.”

Recording of Energy and Climate Change Committee meeting Section on shale gas begins at 12.37

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