In this Fracking Week in Westminster:
Questions, statements and replies about
- Shale gas wealth fund
- Role of shale gas in UK future energy
- Fracking regulations
- Onshore exploration licences
With thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com and Hansard for the transcripts
25th November 2015
Spending review and autumn statement (House of Commons)
Question by Mark Menzies, Conservative, Fylde
Once again I thank the Chancellor for all that he is doing to support the economy of the north of England. My constituency is the powerhouse of the northern economy because we manufacture the nuclear fuel that fuels almost every reactor in the UK. Will the Chancellor do everything he can to ensure that fuel for the new nuclear reactors that he spoke about today is made in Fylde?
Reply by George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer
I certainly give my hon. Friend a commitment that we will continue investing in his constituency, which he champions so effectively. We have spoken previously about the enterprise zone at Blackpool airport, and although shale gas development is controversial in his area, it is now supported by a shale wealth fund that will mean money for local communities. He is right to say that north-west England is an area with real expertise in nuclear power, and we have made a big commitment not just on the development of this generation of nuclear power stations, but on the small modular reactors about which there is real expertise not just in south Yorkshire but in the north-west.
Spending review and autumn statement (House of Lords)
Extract of statement by Lord O’Neill of Gatley, commercial secretary to the Treasury
Investing in the long-term economic infrastructure of our country is a goal of this spending review, and there is no more important infrastructure than energy. So we are doubling our spending on energy research with a major commitment to small modular nuclear reactors. We are also supporting the creation of the shale gas industry by ensuring that communities benefit from a shale wealth fund that could be worth up to £l billion. Support for low-carbon electricity and renewables will more than double. The development and sale of ultra-low emission vehicles will continue to be supported, but in light of the slower than expected introduction of more rigorous EU emissions testing, we will delay the removal of the diesel supplement from company cars until 2021.
Debate on clean energy investment, Westminster Hall
Extract of speech by Jonathan Reynolds, shadow transport minister
The Secretary of State said she wanted an energy policy that was affordable, but the Government have banned the cheapest forms of renewables, such as onshore wind, and they have an abysmal record on energy efficiency. She said that she wanted a system that was competition-led, but—I say this as a supporter of nuclear power—Hinkley Point C is at the heart of the Government’s energy policy, and it was certainly not a competitive system that delivered that. She also said that she wanted a system that was “consumer-led”, but the most popular forms of renewables are frequently undermined by the Government while shale gas, which may have a role to play but is frankly unpopular with the British public at the moment, is always lauded as the solution to everything. So the Government’s record is not good.
24th November 2015
House of Lords Grand Committee debate on Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing (Protected Areas) Regulations 2015
23rd November 2015
Question by Jim Cunningham, Labour, Coventry South
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2015 to Question 15604, what information her Department holds on the (a) number of petroleum exploration and development licences which have been (i) applied for and (ii) issued in the last 12 months and (b) the location to which such applications and licences apply.
Reply by Andrea Leadsom, energy and climate change minister
No landward Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences have been applied for, nor issued, during the last 12 months. However, in the latest (14th) Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round, which closed for bids on 28 October 2014, 95 applications were received from 47 companies covering 295 Ordinance Survey Blocks. The Oil and Gas Authority announced on 18 August 2015 that a first tranche of 27 onshore blocks will be formally offered to companies, and that a second group of 132 further blocks has been subjected to detailed assessment under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. Subject to the outcome of this consultation, the OGA intends to announce offers for the second group of licence blocks later this year. A map showing the location of the first tranche blocks and those being considered further can be found here: