Politics

Government sidesteps call for “urgent” debate on fracking and climate change

Fracking Week in Parliament 13-17 November 2017.

171115 KM Eddie Thornton

Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site ready for fracking, 15 November 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

The Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, has called for an urgent debate on the compatibility of fracking with UK climate objectives.

carolinelucasIn a parliamentary question, Dr Lucas said the government was believed to be about to approve the first high volume hydraulic fracture onshore in the UK onshore for six years. A decision on fracking at Third Energy’s site at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire is expected any day.

She asked the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadson:

“Can we have an urgent debate on how that is compatible with our climate change objectives, given that the Committee on Climate Change has said that three key tests have to be met? The Government have not met them, yet we believe the decision in Ryedale is imminent.”

Andrea LeadsomMrs Leadsom said shale gas was needed for UK energy security.

“We will need continued access to gas for many years to come as we move to a renewable, zero-carbon-electricity future, but that it is not possible to do that overnight.”

Also this week, Labour’s Justin Madders (left) asked how the government planned to change planning law so that fracking decisions were taken out of local authority control. Mr Madders is MP for Ellesmere Port, where IGas is proposing to test an existing shale gas well.

The Communities Minister, Alok Sharma, (above right) said the government would announce its “preferred way forward in due course”.

In the House of Lords, Lord Hunt of Chesterton (above left) asked what steps was the government taking to inform people about the risks of fracking. The Energy Minister, Lord Henley, (above right) said “early engagement” with communities was vital and public confidence was important to the shale industry’s success.


Transcripts

Question by Lord Hunt of Chesterton, Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 8 November 2016 stating that the re-injection of waste and produced waters will not be permitted from shale gas wells in the UK, what steps they are taking to inform the public about the possible risks associated with fracking, including those related to water injection.

Reply by Lord Henley, Energy Minister

The Government has been clear that shale development must be safe and environmentally sound.

The Government believes that early engagement is vital with communities who may host shale gas developments and we acknowledge that public confidence in the process is important to the success of the industry. We are continuously working with the regulators to ensure that the public understand how our regulatory regime works, and with the industry to encourage effective engagement which addresses local communities’ concerns. Link to transcript 13 November 2017


Question by Justin Madders Shadow Health Minister (Health), Labour, Ellesmere Port

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2017 to Question 109056, on Fracking: planning permission, whether he intends to make those changes to planning law through the use of primary or secondary legislation; and when he intends to bring forward that legislation.

Reply by Alok Sharma, Communities and Local Government Minister, Conservative, Reading West

The Government is considering how it will bring major shale planning decisions under the National Planning Regime and will announce our preferred way forward in due course. Link to transcript 15 November 2017


Question by Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

We believe that the Government are about to give the green light to the first UK fracking in six years, in North Yorkshire. Can we have an urgent debate on how that is compatible with our climate change objectives, given that the Committee on Climate Change has said that three key tests have to be met? The Government have not met them, yet we believe the decision in Ryedale is imminent.

Reply by Andrea Leadsom Leader of the House, Conservative, South Northamptonshire

The hon. Lady and I have discussed this very issue on a number of occasions, and she is well aware that for the UK’s energy security we will need continued access to gas for many years to come as we move to a renewable, zero-carbon-electricity future, but that it is not possible to do that overnight. Fracking is one industry that represents a huge opportunity for the UK, and our regulatory environment for it is the safest in the world. Link to transcript 16 November 2017


Question by Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make a comparative assessment of the tax treatment of (a) Good Quality gas CHP, (b) shale gas, (c) North Sea Oil, (d) coal, (e) gas for heating and power production and (f) renewable energy; and if he will make a statement.

Reply awaited Link to transcript 17 November 2017


Thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com for the transcripts

20 replies »

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