Politics

Fracking Week in Parliament: 10-14 July 2017

WestminsterIn this week’s Fracking Week in Parliament: Labour MPs question the Energy Minister on fracking policy, regulation and staffing. Plus parliamentary questions and speeches on fracking impacts, the Conservative manifesto and opposition to shale gas.

This post will be updated throughout the week. Here you can find transcripts of parliamentary speeches, questions and answers about fracking and the UK onshore oil and gas industry. Thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com for the transcripts.


13 July 2017

Lord  Smith

Extract of speech by Lord Smith of Finsbury in debate on deregulation
Non-affiliated

I happen to believe that fracking has a role to play as an interim energy source in order to help the transition to a low-carbon future, but it can be allowed to be so only if the regulation of it is clear, firm, transparent and rigorously implemented in order to protect the aquifers underground, to ensure well integrity, to control what happens to waste materials and to ensure that no methane escapes to the atmosphere.

Link to debate

Lord BirdQuestion by Lord Bird
Crossbench

Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to authorise a moratorium on fracking in England until all available evidence relating to its environmental, economic and social impacts has been independently reviewed and assessed.

lord-priorReply by Lord Prior of Brampton
Conservative, Energy Minister

A moratorium on hydraulic fracturing was previously imposed in the UK after the detection of two small tremors related to shale gas development in Lancashire in 2011. The Government asked the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering to conduct an independent review of the scientific and engineering evidence on the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, which concluded that “The health, safety and environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract shale gas can be managed effectively in the UK as long as operational best practices are implemented and enforced through regulation”. The Government lifted the moratorium in December 2012 and supports the safe and environmentally sound exploration of shale gas to determine the potential of the UK’s resources.

Link to question

Lord Truscott

Question by Lord Truscott
Non-affiliated

Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to bring forward legislation to (1) treat non-fracking drilling as permitted development, (2) make major shale planning decisions the responsibility of the National Planning Regime, and (3) make changes to the proposed Shale Wealth Fund, as outlined in the 2017 Conservative Party manifesto.

Reply by Lord Prior

The Government has been recently elected and its approach to implementing the manifesto proposals has yet to be finalised.

Link to question


12 July 2017

Simon HartExtract of speech by Simon Hart in debate on UK election abuse by
Conservative, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire

I wanted to mention the example of our former colleague Charlotte Leslie in Bristol, whose parents became victims of abuse. Their entire oil heating supply was drained into their garden by somebody who had an objection to Charlotte’s position on fracking—a slightly ironic way of dealing with an environmental consideration, but none the less one that caused enormous distress, as did the scratching of “Tory scum” into her elderly parents’ car.

Link to debate


11 July 2017

Jim CunninghamQuestion by Jim Cunningham
Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many civil servants work full-time in the shale gas team in his Department; and if he will make a statement.

Richard Harrington MPReply by Richard Harrington
Conservative, Watford, Energy Minister

The staff allocation to the shale gas team is 12.4 full time equivalents for this financial year (2017/2018).

Link to question

justin madders mpQuestion by Justin Madders
Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston, Shadow Health Minister

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his policy is on hydraulic fracturing.

Reply by Richard Harrington

The UK Government supports shale gas exploration to determine the potential of the industry. Shale gas is natural gas found deep underground in impermeable shale rock and requires hydraulic fracturing (or ‘fracking’) to flow.

Shale gas could create a new British industry, provide more jobs and make us less reliant on imports from abroad. However, we are clear, shale gas operations will only take place in a manner which is safe for the environment and local communities.

Any company looking to develop shale will need to obtain all the necessary permissions, including planning and environmental permits, before hydraulic fracturing can be carried out.

Link to question

Question by Justin Madders

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals on the regulation of hydraulic fracturing.

Reply by Richard Harrington

The Government has been clear that shale development must be safe and environmentally sound. The UK has a strong regulatory system which provides a comprehensive regime for all shale gas activities.

The Government has been recently elected and its approach to implementing the manifesto proposals, including any involving legislation, has yet to be finalised.

Link to question

Catherine WestQuestion by Catherine West
Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department’s policy is on fracking.

Reply by Richard Harrington

The UK Government supports shale gas exploration to determine the potential of the industry. Shale gas is natural gas found deep underground in impermeable shale rock and requires hydraulic fracturing (or ‘fracking’) to flow.

Shale gas could create a new British industry, provide more jobs and make us less reliant on imports from abroad. However, we are clear: shale gas operations will only take place in a manner which is safe for the environment and local communities.

Any company looking to develop shale will need to obtain all the necessary permissions, including planning and environmental permits, before hydraulic fracturing can be carried out.

Link to question


10 July 2017

Question by Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his policy is on establishing a Shale Environmental Regulator; and if he will make a statement.

Reply by Richard Harrington

The Government has been recently elected and its approach to implementing the manifesto proposals, including the establishment of a Shale Environmental Regulator, has yet to be finalised.

Link to question and reply

Alex CunninghamQuestion by Alex Cunningham
Labour, Stockton North and Shadow Pensions Minister

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide an update on the Government’s Carbon Capture and Storage roll-out strategy for oil, natural gas and coal burning processes.

Reply by Richard Harrington

The Government’s view is that carbon capture and storage (CCS) has a potential role in the long-term decarbonisation of the UK’s economy, but its costs must come down.

We will set our plans for CCS in due course, taking into account the findings and recommendations made in the report ‘Lowest Cost Decarbonisation for the UK: the critical role of carbon capture and storage’, published by the Lord Oxburgh-led Parliamentary Advisory Group on CCS.

Link to question and reply

5 replies »

  1. Nice to see the Conservatives realising they actually won the election. Corbyn is fading away as fast as he rose to power – a fad.

  2. The Tories parroting identical whip-speak from their perches. They’ve been repeating the same ridiculous blather now for years — “shale gas operations will only take place in a manner which is safe for the environment and local communities” …. so on that basis alone, it’s a non starter. Good bye. RIP.

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