Politics

Fracking Week in Parliament:20-24 February 2017

Westminster

Fracking Week in Parliament returns after a two-week break in references to fracking or shale gas in the UK’s parliaments.

In this week’s post:

  • Consultation on the shale gas wealth fund
  • Incentives to fracking communities
  • Labour amendment to prevent imposition of fracking on unwilling areas
  • Scottish Conservative call for lifting fracking moratorium

Thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com for the transcripts


UK PARLIAMENT

21 February 2017

Written question on shale gas wealth fund

lord-hodgson-of-astley-abbottsQuestion by Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect to publish the outcome of the consultation on the delivery methods and priorities for the Shale Wealth Fund.

baroness-neville-rolfeReply by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Conservative

The Shale Wealth Fund consultation resulted in 170 responses and closed on 26 October. Following this the government set out at Autumn Statement 2016 that local communities will benefit first and determine how the money is spent in their area. A government response to the consultation will be published shortly.

Link to question

 22 February 2017

Debate on local government finance, House of Commons

james-heappeyExtract of speech by James Heappey, Wells, Conservative

As the Government offer the community infrastructure levy to communities that might find fracking appealing, and offer the new homes bonus as an incentive for communities who might want to host more housing, will the Chancellor let us have back the 10% of the aggregates levy that was supposed to have been the incentive for hosting quarrying?

Link to debate

 23 February 2017

Neighbourhood planning bill, report stage, House of Lords

Lord BeechamExtract of speech by Lord Beecham, Shadow housing spokesperson, Labour

My Lords, Amendments 16 and 17 in this group are connected to issues of major concern. They seek to protect communities from extremely controversial decisions in areas with which we are becoming increasingly familiar, for example, fracking and other processes which impact on the environment. Fracking, I guess, is currently the most controversial of these. Similar concerns around minerals, waste development and the like are covered in Amendment 17. The intention here is to make it clear that the regulations which are otherwise authorised by this part of the Bill would not extend to these very controversial areas. In other words, there would have to be primary legislation to embark on changing the position on these particularly controversial areas. Some danger, I think, is sensed at the moment about the Government’s enthusiasm for fracking; their overriding of local authority concerns, for example, in Lancashire, is very controversial. These amendments are designed to constrain the exercise of those powers, which we may see more of under the Bill, in such decisions taken by government over the wishes of local communities, and effectively outside the normal planning process. I hope the Government will rethink their position on these matters. I beg to move.

Link to debate

 SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT

23 February 2017

Debate on oil and gas sector co-investment

Ross Thomson - Conservative - North EastExtract of speech by Ross Thomson, Conservative, North East Scotland

Stewart Stevenson [MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, SNP] mentioned ensuring our energy security. Again, I say to him very gently that one way to do that would be if the Scottish Government got on and allowed fracking to happen here in Scotland.

The Scottish Conservatives are committed to championing the UK oil and gas industry nationally and internationally. We are motivated to collaborate with all stakeholders, regulators and investors to guarantee that the UK continental shelf is—and shall remain for a long time to come—open for business.

Link to debate


Coming up

7 March 2017

Short debate on the economic and environmental benefits of shale gas development in the UK, House of Lords, called by  Lord Truscott

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