In this Fracking Week in Westminster:
- Staff costs of regulating fracking
- Jobs and energy from shale gas
- Progress of a Private Member’s Bill on fracking regulation
- Questions on Scottish meetings with fracking companies
With thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com and the Scottish Parliament for the transcripts
Written questions on fracking regulation
7th March 2016
Question by Baroness Featherstone Liberal Democrat
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much they have forecast they will spend on staff costs related to regulating fracking in each year to 2020.
Reply by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Energy Minister
Staff costs related to shale gas will be determined as part of the Department’s current business planning process.
Energy intensive industries debate, Westminster Hall
10th March 2016
Extract of question by Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative, Thirsk and Malton
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers 1 million jobs will be created in manufacturing by 2025 as a direct result of shale gas energy and associated chemical feedstocks.
Extract of speech by David Mowat, Conservative, Warrington South
This is not a debate about fracking other than to say that we sometimes talk about it as though it is a new industry and we are deciding whether it, and all that goes with it, will happen. The truth, of course, is that fracking has already happened—it has been going certainly for more than a decade—and it has transformed the United States’ eastern seaboard. Something like a million jobs have been created and the gas industry—gas is not just a raw material for energy but a feedstock for chemicals—in the United States has been transformed by it.
It is now more cost-effective to put that plant in the United States than in Teesside, where it may have gone 10 years ago, because they are paying one third of the price for that gas there. Those of us who are taking opportunistic positions regarding fracking—whether it is INEOS in Grangemouth or elsewhere—need to reflect on what that means for the 900,000 workers in this industry.
Anna Soubry, Conservative, Broxtowe, Business Minister (extract of speech)
Two licences have been issued for shale gas exploration in my constituency, and even if that exploration is successful, the next stage will not come until at least 2020, which is still a long time. The Labour party in my constituency is absolutely opposed to fracking, rather bizarrely because the Labour party has quite a good policy on fracking, which is that there is nothing inherently wrong with it. So long as fracking is done properly, going through the right processes and procedures, and is safe, it seems eminently sensible. We have to realise and understand what is going on in the real world, because I have no doubt that shale gas is an important source of energy that must not only be explored but exploited for all the undoubted benefits that it would bring.
Extract of speech by Graham Evans, Conservative, Weaver Vale
I believe that fracking is safe, so long as it is done safely. As my hon. Friends mentioned, the industry is being transformed on the east coast of America, with good-quality, well paid jobs being created. I want that for the north of England, Weaver Vale, Wales, the north-east and Scotland. I want a slice of the action. It must be done properly and safely, but I am sure that we can all agree that we need competitive energy prices.
It is also about rebalancing the economy. When this Government came to power with the coalition in 2010, they mentioned rebalancing the economy away from London and the south-east, and away from the financial industries. My hon. Friend the Member for Warrington South asked whether the strategy and policy was to benefit the banking industry. We are in the business of ensuring that industry keeps providing good-quality jobs in the north of England.
Private Members Bill
Fracking (Measurement and Regulation of Impacts) (Air, Water and Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Bill
The bill is to be read a second time on Friday 22nd April 2016
Questions to the Scottish Government
9-10th March 2016
Questions by Neil Findlay, Scottish Labour, Lothian
To ask the Scottish Government what research (a) it and (b) other public bodies have carried out and are carrying out in relation to fracking.
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has received any correspondence from, and held any dialogue or meetings with, Charlotte Street Partners on behalf of any fracking companies in relation to fracking.
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will publish the minutes of all meetings that it has had with (a) fracking companies and their representatives and (b) fracking trade associations since May 2011.
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a list of meetings that (a) ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) civil servants have had with (i) fracking companies or representatives acting on their behalf and (ii) fracking trade associations since May 2011.
To ask the Scottish Government how much (a) it and (b) other public bodies has/have spent on research on fracking.
Question by Sarah Boyack, Scottish Labour, Lothian
To ask the Scottish Government how much it will pay (a) KPMG, (b) AECOM and (c) Ramboll Environ UK for research into fracking and when each piece of research will be completed.
Question by Margaret McCulloch, Scottish Labour, Central Scotland
To ask the Scottish Government what impact fracking would have on Central Scotland.
Answers expected later in March