In this Fracking Week in Westminster:
- Waste water re-injection and earthquakes
- The Green Investment Bank and funding for shale gas
- Government energy policy and fracking
With thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com for the transcripts
House of Lords energy questions
23rd February 2016
Question by Lord Truscott, Non-affiliated
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the experience in Oklahoma in the US, they plan to commission a detailed study into the potential correlation between fracking in the UK and more frequent earthquakes.
Reply by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Energy and Climate Change Minister
Waste water re-injection in the US has been linked to seismic activity, but this technique has not been proposed in the UK and the Environment Agency will not permit re-injection of waste water into any formation at this stage.
In the UK, we have over 50 years’ experience regulating the onshore oil and gas industry. Our regulator regime is robust and we have strong controls in place to mitigate the risk of any seismic activity in the UK.
Debate on the UK Green Investment Bank, Enterprise Bill
23rd February 2016
Extract of speech by Mary Creagh, Labour, Wakefield, chair, Environmental Audit Committee
Our Committee expressed concern that a privatised bank could invest in questionably green projects, such as fracking and coal-fired power stations, although I understand that the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has said that she wants the coal-fired power stations to close by 2025. That concern was exacerbated by the Minister’s comments in oral evidence, where she appeared relaxed about that possibility and implied that it could be possible within the bank’s existing green purposes. The Government’s response to our report claims that it is not possible to place controls on the Green Investment Bank limiting such investments while achieving their aim of reclassifying the bank to the private sector. Will the Minister say whether, through this workaround—the special company and the special share—questionably green projects can be ruled out?
Debate on biomass energy, Westminster Hall
24th February 2016
Extract of a speech by Philip Boswell, SNP, Coatbridge, Chryson and Bellshill
The House will doubtless note that the only constant with UK Government energy legislation is change—moving the legislative goalposts and destroying investor confidence via uncertainty.
I suppose they are at least consistent about moving the goalposts, with more than 18 changes in oil and gas legislation in 15 years, the removal of the renewables obligation removal one year early for onshore wind, withdrawal of the £l billion fund for carbon capture, solar energy subsidy cuts and the scrapping of large-scale solar energy projects, and plans to privatise the green investment bank just as it is flourishing.
Those renewables cuts are made because of the UK Government’s focus on the “rash dash for gas”, or fracking, and their prioritisation of nuclear energy, which shows the true direction of their energy policy.