Politics

Energy minister hasn’t visited a shale gas site

181016 Claire perry

The energy minister who promotes economic benefits of shale gas has not visited a site, she said this week.

She also appears to have back-tracked on hints that she might relax rules on earthquakes induced by fracking.

Claire Perry had been asked by a fellow Conservative how many shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing sites she had visited.

Replying to the written question by Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, Ms Perry said:

“I have had a number of meetings with stakeholders interested in shale gas exploration, but have not yet had opportunity to visit a site.”

The reply came a day after Ms Perry criticised the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, for not going into Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site during a meeting with protesters (DrillOrDrop report)

180912 WestHall Planning debate LeeRowley

Lee Rowley MP. Westminster Hall Shale Planning debate, 12/9/18. Source: Parliament TV

In a series of questions, Mr Rowley, who has opposed Ineos plans for shale gas exploration in his constituency, also asked the minister how many shale gas companies she had met.

She replied she had “met with a range of stakeholders, including representatives from shale gas companies”.

Earthquake regulations

Labour’s Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley) questioned the minister on reports that she was considering a rise in the threshold for earthquakes induced by fracking.

The regulations, known as the traffic light system, require fracking to stop, at least temporarily, if it induces seismicity at a level of 0.5ML or more.

In a letter to the Conservative MP, Kevin Hollinrake, released earlier this month, Ms Perry said:

“The TLS [traffic light system] is set at an explicitly cautious level but, as we gain experience in applying these measures, the trigger levels can be adjusted upwards without compromising the effectiveness of the controls.”

Ms Haigh asked:

“Will the minister confirm that she is now genuinely considering weakening the controls on earthquakes in relation to fracking companies.”

Ms Perry replied:

“I can absolutely confirm that I am not considering weakening the monitoring controls on seismicity”.

Cuadrilla has published a website which allows people to see seismic monitoring at its fracking site at Preston New Road. According to the charts, which are updated every 24-hours, there has been no induced seismicity since fracking started on 15 October 2018.


 

Transcripts

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing sites the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth has visited since June 2017.

Reply by Ms Perry

I have had a number of meetings with stakeholders interested in shale gas exploration, but have not yet had opportunity to visit a site.

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which shale gas companies the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth has met since June 2017.

Reply by Ms Perry

Since June 2017, in my capacity as Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, I have met with a range of stakeholders, including representatives from shale gas companies.

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many times the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth has met shale gas (a) companies and (b) industry representatives since June 2017.

Reply by Ms Perry

I have met periodically with both shale gas companies and industry representatives.

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of onshore wells needed to be hydraulically fractured in the UK between 2018-2038 to replace 50 per cent of the UK’s natural gas demand.

Reply by Ms Perry

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has not made any estimates on the proportion of UK gas demand that could be met from UK-sourced shale gas.

Questions by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many onshore wells the Government aims to be hydraulically fractured for shale gas between 2018-2038.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many onshore wells the Government estimates will be hydraulically fractured for shale gas in the UK from 2018-2038.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has been made of the potential effect of the operation of the shale gas industry in the UK on the level of gas prices from 2018 to 2038.

Reply by Ms Perry

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Southampton, Test on 6th April 2018 response to Question 134603. The Government will continue to monitor progress of the shale gas industry and will revise its estimates, as appropriate, as the industry develops.

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has been made of UK demand for natural gas from 2018 to 2038.

Reply by Ms Perry

This is publicly available information and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digest-of-uk-energy-statistics-dukes.

Question by Louise Haigh

Rather than listening to communities where shale gas applications have been made, the Government have continued to dismantle the hurdles over which fracking companies should be forced to jump. Will the Minister confirm that she is now genuinely considering weakening the controls on earthquakes in relation to fracking companies?

Reply by Ms Perry

I can absolutely confirm that I am not considering weakening the monitoring controls on seismicity.

37 replies »

  1. What she hasn’t even been for what she calls a little “chit chat”?

    Mind you neither as Mark Menzies and he’s the local MP!

    Meanwhile Rebecca Long Bailey about whom Ms Perry was so scathing in parliament recently has visited PNR twice.

    • Surely even you understand RLB is exceptionally out of her depth being an MP let alone a front bencher?
      Also it’s no wonder Claire hasn’t visited a site, she’d get lynched by the mob.

      • Oh Peeny – haven’t you seen the shillarious “myth buster” that Ms Perry sends to anyone who writes to her about fracking. It’s embarrassing. Even you wouldn’t send such rubbish. If anyone is out of her out of her depth it’s Perry – not waving but drowning.

      • On what basis is RLB out of her depth GBK? It would be nice for once to be treated to some real factual evidence to support your comments rather than just the usual mud slinging. Having just had a quick look on the internet she has a NW constituency, is shadow minister for BEIS and is supporting her Party’s policy on fracking. She is also a qualified lawyer. On that basis it would seem to me she is no more out of her depth than the pro fracking politicians that have taken it upon themselves to undermine local democracy and push fracking on communities against their wishes.

  2. “I have met with a range of stakeholders including representatives from shale gas companies.”
    “I have met periodically with both shale gas and industry representatives since June 2017.”
    Very cosy. Claire Perry can hardly claim to have formed an unbiased and balanced view of all aspects of this subject from the point of view of both sides of the argument with such restricted experience, particularly since she has not even taken the trouble to visit a live fracking site.
    She’s just another industry puppet, towing the party line.

    • Pauline Jones

      I think Ms Perry would be hard pressed to have visited a live fracking site, as we have only had one for three days in the last 7 years.

      Maybe a trip to the USA is in order.

      Meanwhile ministers and shadow ministers will toe their respective party lines, as that is what they are there for I suspect.

      • I think you’re being a bit nit picking there. They may only have been fracking since Monday, if they have, but Cuadrilla have been drilling since June last year so there would have been plenty for her to see. I’m sure they would have welcomed a government Minister to fawn all over them.

        • To be honest I really don’t think a visit to one shale gas site is the issue. The issue is, as reported in DoD, that Ms Perry criticised Ms Long-Bailey for not visiting Cuadrilla’s site whilst talking to those protesting at the site. It was a petty and irrelevant comment as the discussion was primarily about climate change and somewhat hypocritical given Ms Perry has not visited Cuadrilla’s or any site herself. The idea that a visit to one fracking site will sweep away all the negative issues such as climate change, worsening of local air pollution, HGVs etc is simply wishful thinking. And one fracking site is not going to have the same impacts as a fracking industry, which just makes Ms Perry’s comments even more petty.

        • Pauline
          Yes, probably a bit picky.

          Better Ms Perry had visited a potential frack Site to see what the various risk reduction measures are, be it safety or Environmdntal, and in particular seismic monitoring ground water and air monitoring.

          A chat to members of the liaison committee would have been good and a chat to the Resiliamce forum and a quick peruse of the ER plans in place would work.

          Plus an invite to listen to Lancashire against fracking over a cup of tea could work.

          But busy busy I guess.

    • I think she’s on auto-pilot. Not a bad move – it saves on thought and will ally her ever more closely to the so-called PM.

  3. Has Ms Long-Bailey actually been on the site at PNR or has just stood at the gates and spouted on how she will close Fraccing down in this country?

    • To be accurate she spouted about how her party will close fracking down – something that Mr Corbyn made clear again in his tweet responding to the release of the Frack Free Three.

      So that’s RLB, Corbyn, McDonnell and Gardiner who are all on record as saying the same thing. Is the message clear enough for you yet?

  4. So, Rebecca travelled all the way to PNR to stand in the road! Seems it is common practice. Didn’t she read the UN report on how we can all do our bit by cutting down on use of energy? Hasn’t she heard of video links?

    Reference the traffic lights-some will be quite used to them with their burning up the tarmac-I think some need to read what she stated. Claire said she was not considering weakening the controls. So, would moving the threshold if it is researched to be excessively low be “weakening the controls”? Erm, no.

    My party is going to close down unicorn farms. Think all unicorns are pretty safe. But talking of unicorns, as there hasn’t been a live “fracking” site in UK until this week, perhaps Claire was waiting until there was one, so she could maximise the value of her journey rather than maximise the ‘photo opportunity? We used to call it “time management.” Common in the commercial world. Replaced by “wasting limited resources” in parts of the public sector.

    • or maybe Claire doesn’t know or care where the wastelands of the desolate North are?

      And just why would anybody responsible for formulating national policy in a particular field want to visit the country’s highly controversial first site to be granted permission since the moratorium was lifted ( ps it been there over 18 months at various stages of development)
      That would almost imply that the Government gave sh!t about local opinion.

      Regarding the unicorn farm, you cannot farm them as you should well know. They only survive on the sunny uplands of Brexitannia where they feed on gold standard regulation or as the Members of the ERG like to call it “unnecessary red tape”

  5. At 1pm today Corbyn addressed a meeting at Marsh Lane in the North East Derbyshire Constituency in the vicinity of the site where INEOS are undertaking vertical operations to aid their search for Shale Gas. He adopted a solid anti-facking stance and was strongly supported by Labour’s local parliamentary candidate Chris Peace . Hopefully, “Drill or Drop’ will gain access to the filming of their solid commitments against fracking operations at Marsh Lane and anywhere in the UK. The current MP for the constituency is the Conservative Lee Rowley whose worthwhile written questions to Claire Perry are given above. It would now be helpful if he followed this up via seeking to take on Claire Perry and the Prime Minister during oral questions. There are a range of other avenues on the floor of the Commons which he could also seek to use. The more politician who take-up anti-fracking positions the better. It would be particuarly useful to seek to arrange for a parliamentary vote on the issue – by whoever.

  6. Another addition to climate change! Someone outside of being able to change what is happening making a journey that could have been avoided.

    Trust it wasn’t by Virgin Rail-two attempts at gesture politics would be more than he could cope with, even when told exactly what to do.

  7. Well crembrule, I normally find that if I want to watch a Premiership match I wait until the Premiership season has started.

    Turning up to a stadium with the grass being made ready for the off, seems a bit strange, unless you like to watch the grass grow. But there are those who do, I’m sure, even if not allowed in to see it, and have their picture taken outside the stadium and then claim they are in tandem with the season ticket holders before they clear off, without even sampling the pies.

    • It’s not football and it’s not cricket either.

      It is interesting that you think that the well-being of a community in which you do not live is like a game though.

  8. Martin, as you are often quite pedantic, I would like to point out that in England there are no Premiership matches or indeed league to support. If you were a supporter, you would probably be aware of this. Therefore you would have to wait a very long time. Much longer than waiting for grass to grow. I know that this comment is pointless. however, so are many of your silly jibes about transport etc. Please keep it real man.

    For information we have a Premier League and a Championship League. Its a bit like confusing shale gas with oil. Byeee.

  9. Sometimes referred to as playing in the Premier League, sometimes referred to as the Premiership, when describing it as a competition.

    But, no one else will be familiar with deflection techniques when the substance is difficult?

    Relegation form.

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