The Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom, is the speaker at a new parliamentary group on shale gas regulation, which meets next week.
The group is chaired by Kevin Hollinrake, the Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton. He resigned in January as vice-chair of a group on unconventional hydrocarbons after constituents pointed out that it was sponsored by the oil and gas industry (Details).
Mr Hollinrake said the aim of the new group was “not to discuss the pros and cons of shale gas extraction but to recommend appropriate regulation and planning regimes should fracking take place”. He said there would be no sponsorship fom any outside bodies.
The MP said membership of the new group was open to politicians, academics and representatives of organisations with an interest in the environment and countryside.
Mr Hollinrake’s constituency includes the village of Kirby Misperton, where Third Energy wants to frack its existing KM8 well. North Yorkshire County Council is expected to announce soon the date of the planning meeting that will decide Third Energy’s application.
Next week’s meeting is the group’s session first with speakers. It will also hear from representatives of the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, the ReFine project (Research into Fracking in Europe academic consortium), and Greenpeace. It is expected to discuss what regulations are currently in place, how appropriate they are and how regulations would be implemented and sustained if shale gas extraction were to take place.
Mr Hollinrake said future meetings were likely to discuss issues such as possible water contamination, potential earthquakes, economic viability, function and remit of the industry body UKOOG, role of the Planning Inspectorate, density of sites, community benefits and how they would be paid, medical concerns and provision of independent research to the public.
The meeting is at 9.45am on Wednesday 20 April 2016 at the Westminster. To attend or join the group and for more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- The All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas meets on 17 May 2016 to discuss “the unknowns of fracking” with Richard Davies, of ReFine, and Emma Pinchbeck, of WWF.
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