Reshuffle: Leadsom to business; Jenrick to local government

Andrea Leadsom has been appointed the new business and energy secretary with responsibility for the onshore oil and gas industry. The new local government secretary, who will decide on two shale gas planning appeals, is Robert Jenrick.

Fracking advocate

Mrs Leadsom, 56, returns to the department responsible for energy after a year as environment secretary and two years as leader of the House of Commons. She replaces Greg Clark who resigned this afternoon.

As energy minister in 2015, Mrs Leadsom admitted that her first questions to civil servants were “Is climate change real?” and “Is hydraulic fracturing safe?”

In 2016, she said fracking was an opportunity not to be missed

“We need a system fit for the 21st century, replacing coal with gas, nuclear, and renewables, and fracking is a key part of those plans. A shale gas industry will not only boost our economy and create thousands of jobs across the supply chain – it will help to guarantee a secure energy supply which is an absolute must for this government.”

She told the Politics Home website:

“It is way safer than most industrial processes. We’ve been properly regulating offshore and onshore gas for 50 years and have got the toughest regulations in the world.”

Also in 2016, emails showed that Mrs Leadsom and other ministers delayed a report which was critical of fracking until after Cuadrilla’s application to fracking in Lancashire had been decided.

In parliamentary exchanges, she promised there would be “no compromise” on taking account of the views of local communities on fracking.

As business secretary, Mrs Leadsom will be the sole shareholder of the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), the industry regulator. This has come under pressure from shale gas companies to review the regulations on fracking-induced earth tremors, known as the traffic light system.

Cuadrilla and Ineos have both pushed the government to relax the current threshold of 0.5 on the local magnitude (ML) scale at which fracking must pause. So far, the OGA has not agreed to a review.

Mrs Leadsom, who represents South Northamptonshire, made two unsuccessful attempts in 2016 and 2019 to lead the Conservative Party.

Appeals and planning decisions

The new Communities, Housing and Local Government Secretary is Robert Jenrick. He replaces James Brokenshire, who was sacked today.

He will decide whether to overturn the refusals of planning permission for shale gas sites in south Yorkshire and Cheshire. Last month, Mr Brokenshire recovered the appeals for the Ineos site at Woodsetts and the IGas site at Ellesmere Port.

Another job on his to-do list will be to decide what to do about proposals by the Theresa May administration to fast-track fracking through the planning system.

A consultation ended in October 2018 on making shale gas exploration permitted development, avoiding the need for a full planning application.

The government was warned it might not have a parliamentary majority for the proposal and it was opposed by many Conservative-led councils, as well as environmental organisations and anti-fracking campaigners.

A parallel proposal, which is also outstanding, was to bring shale gas production under the regime for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. This would remove decision-making from locally-elected councillors and give it to the Secretary of State.

Powerbase says Mr Jenrick’s Newark constituency has eight licence blocks8 for oil and gas exploration, issued in the most recent 14th round.

He told his local paper, the Newark Advertiser:

“It would be irresponsible not to pursue homegrown sources of energy.

“We have already seen the positives of fracking in the US, with a drop in oil and energy prices.”

Mr Jenrick, 37, has been the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury since January 2018. Before that he was a parliamentary private secretary to Amber Rudd as Home Secretary and Michael Gove as Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary.

He became an MP just over five years ago and was the youngest minister in Theresa May’s government. Before joining parliament, he practiced corporate law and held several senior financial roles at Christies.

Claire Perry to climate talks

The energy minister, Claire Perry, has relinquished her role and has been named President of the UK’s COP26 climate talks.

Ms Perry tweeted:

” Delighted to accept new PM’s offer to become COP26 President working closely with him but in order to do the job properly I suggested that I relinquish the broader Clean Growth and Energy portfolio and he has agreed.”

32 replies »

  1. Well we are looking for the great and the good of decisions, which will stimulate energy security and employment growth post brexit! Are any of the opposition on fracking going to propose needle point, or a cake bake sale workshop to stimulate even bigger employment growth?, I thought not!

      • Why would Egdon assist in climate change, Jack? For them to get a green light and produce in UK would reduce EXISTING imports-unless you would suddenly consume more as if a glut was produced! That would REDUCE emissions globally and have a small but easily achieved benefit upon climate change-even Greta sees that when she talks about creative carbon accounting. Maybe it would help to remove other risks-did you not observe the near disaster recently when a tanker in Norwegian waters collided with a naval vessel? Check where that cargo was going!

        But, of course if you look at the “demands” of ER they are not interested in making such easily achievable improvements. They deliberately set “objectives” that are pie in the sky so they can continue their activities and claim their objectives have not been met. One way of avoiding becoming redundant but not that bright. Wonder what the extra 20k police will be doing?

        But, Jack, good to see you are amongst the GLOBAL ELITE as you type away on your plastic keyboard. Nice Sir Jim would be proud of you.

        12.25am!! Nice of you to make the effort Jack, we appreciate it.LOL

        • Hey, Jack. If you had stocked up on your beauty sleep, been up for the markets opening, you could have made a quick 10% on Egdon, to then invest in Tesla, and likely to see it gone by close of play!

          I did provide a clue, but you missed it. Maybe that is why the GLOBAL ELITE have become the global elite?

          • Oops-44% up now for Egdon, $6 BILLION wiped off Tesla yesterday!!

            I just hope you didn’t get caught up in that Jack. Even the “alternative” GLOBAL ELITE not immune to the old price/supply/demand equation.

            Nice Sir Jim is good at buying distressed assets and turning them around. Hope springs eternal.

            But you will be pleased to know I have been busy designing and building a flea beetle trap, all out of recycled materials, including plastic, hence my time on the Internet. If it works it will dramatically increase output of my veggie patch and surplus will be supplied to my offspring and eliminate the impending Brexit food shortage. But, like making a Tesla profitably, it has to work first. I may be biased, as the evil genius behind my product, but I have a level of confidence my project may come out ahead. (One of my doors just banged shut, so that could be tremors caused by galloping beetles but I will resist the call to go and monitor just yet.)

  2. Solar works subsidy free and still makes huge profits in Africa, Latin America and S Europe? Perhaps the Government were correct to shut down the money train for PV in the UK?


    “Solarcentury, one of the UK’s fastest growing renewable energy companies, will report profits of £14.4m for the year ending in March, compared with £1.5m the year before.

    A 5% share of the record profits will be channelled into SolarAid, a charity that has helped connect 2m homes in Africa to reliable electricity since it was founded by Solarcentury in 2006.

    The rapidly rising profits follow a four-year growth strategy in which the company has invested heavily in building and running subsidy-free solar projects in southern Europe, Latin America and Africa.

    In the year ahead the UK will emerge as a key focus for subsidy-free projects, owing to falling technology costs that have made solar power more economical in more overcast countries.”

    Looks like a good investment for a diversified portfolio. And the antis can stop moaning about the cuts in FITs.

  3. Don’t like the sound of Leadsom, seems to me she’s putting government and corporate monies before Climate Damage, hazard to Public Health, in the Desolate North anyway, contamination of our precious drinking water and poisoning of our shrinking farmland!

    Please refer yourselves to the 2018 report from North America, Country Living, Dirty Air which highlights just 6 of the hundreds of adverse effects of oil and gas production processes in this mature fracking zone.

    These consequences all eventually result in severe financial implications for the bottom line, ie. profit of the companies involved and their backers.

    • Fifi- what has this got to do with the argument as to whether the Uk should produce it’s own gas until we’ve completed the transition to a net zero economy?

    • Fifa. Mrs Leadsom is also the one who ordered the damning DEFRA Report on fracking to be withheld until after the Lancashire County Council planning decision on Cuadrilla’s proposals for the Fylde.

    • Peter – you seem to be constantly going on about reducing carbon emissions to stop “climate destruction”. A zero carbon economy is just a phrase that those of us who work on reducing CO2 use to describe the goal that we hope to reach.

  4. Well, if Robert Jenrick thinks that fracking would result in lower gas prices, he is years behind the conversation. This myth has been debunked so many times over the years, it’s astonishing that someone in a ministerial position still trots it out.
    He’ll be saying we get all our gas from Russia next …

  5. Ahh, but what happens to gas price when you have no storage, Beast from the East and other supplies suddenly increase in price because of global issues, Ellie?

    Oh, you have to suddenly top up with gas from wherever you can get it, and guess what? You pay through the nose!

    So, sorry, you are just wrong.

    However, the real issue is how much tax is paid in UK on UK produced gas, and how much tax paid in UK on US produced gas? Perhaps take a look at the N.Sea. It is still there and the tax revenue has been well documented and is also clearly shown within the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund.

    Why you believe others have no awareness of such issues is astonishing

  6. MARTIN ,

    This is a SIMPLE ONE to understand .

    FIRST remember this ladies and gentleman, The GLOBAL ElITE that are trying to force unhealthy , dirty industries like FRACKING in to your communities ..Will NEVER live with their families in the active zones …… OH NO they won’t take any risks , but expect you to with your families .

    Like I’ve said before , I’ll make you a deal MARTIN …….. When I see the CEOs and directors of these companies, live with their families within the 0 5km activity zones , then I to will fully embrace these industries .

    Moving on ,

    To reduce existing imports , you FIRST have to look at ways to reduce consumption…. It’s a shamfull, disgrace the amount of energy that is wasted in this country . Straight of the top of my head I can think of half a dozen ways to reduce consumption and so reduce imports.

    ( 2 ) We need to be moving quickly away from fossil fuels MARTIN, to clean, green renewable energy, or don’t you care about your granchildrens future ????

    ( 3 ) In reference to your post to ELLIE . Extracting our own gas using the resource intensive, costly methods like Fracking, won’t, yes WON’T bring down our gas prices by ONE SINGLE PENNY …… Didn’t you know that we are interconnected with Europe via a pipeline and that any gas we produce will be sold to the highest bidder on the open market ?????

    I could go on MARTIN , but will give you chance to digest the above first .

    Regarding your reference to my 12:25am post …. Some of us do have busy lives with work and families. Spare time can be very limited …. I’m sorry if my time keeping offends you .

    • Well, hello baby blue jack! Big Green Jack getting some sleep now? Quite a little industry you have going there. Almost as much job creation as Cuadrilla.

      If you wait for Big Green Jack to return jack, he/she will tell you we were chatting about Egdon.

      However, shame to disappoint you but my children and grandchildren still hold their passports and wish to continue to use them (and then there is the other 82% of the worlds population yet to board a ‘plane who will do so, more and more, in coming years) and can not afford either to invest the sort of money I have to reduce energy consumption, so their energy usage is much higher than mine. They also have a £1 trillion tax bill coming down the road, so their future looks pretty bleak anyway, especially as Big Green Jack wants to stop the Global Elite from paying that.

      Reduction in energy consumption? You mean the Green cardigan Ponzi scheme now at risk as the embrace of the vegans will remove the wool? LOL

      The highest bidder on the open market?? Sounds like that could be a country with no gas storage and a continuing high use of imported
      gas even when hydrogen is coming on stream. Did you not read that part of the recent report, baby jack? Can you not see a way of changing that? What about the part for a huge increase in nuclear? How is that going? How long will that take?

      I hope you have no desire to work in sales, baby jack. You have an uncanny ability to take your propositions down the track that your colleagues would stand around and whisper “don’t go there, jack”, knowing it was a cul-de-sac. Big Green Jack does the same, so blame him/her.

      Really have to catch up with the garden now the weather is suitable. Enjoy your weekend-all of you.

      • MARTIN ,

        Blue Jack, Green Jack, Red Jack, be thankful its only one MARTIN as Drill Or Drop will be able to confirm …… I don’t think you would have enough hours in the day to repel an invasion of multiple, clone, Jackthelad keyboard warriors.

        Yes , but as the heading of this report by Drill Or Drop, does refer to Cuadrilla on a number of occasions and as we are in general, talking about the whole of the fossil fuel industry, all is therefore applicable regarding my posts .

        Stuck in a time warp of the last century ??????? Didn’t you know that energy suppliers are now turning to 100% renewable energy sources ……. Now here’s a surprise, even the likes of SHELL are offering 100% clean, green, renewable electricity ……

        Take the advice of your old buddy Jack , move your money out of Oil and Gas, it’s so last century and put it in to renewables, it’s the future .

        Talking about sales MARTIN, IF I was in sales/marketing, I know I would of reached the pinnacle of my career when I’m able to change the firm deep rooted mindset of an old fossil fuel dinosaur like yourself.

        When you finally accept that the shale gas industry is a destructive, harmful , plump ponzi scheme and that the only way forward is clean, green, renewable energy . I’m certain at that moment in time, the highest of accolades would be bestowed upon me by my employers.

        WARNING from Jack ……… MARTIN whilst your in your garden, don’t forget to put on your extra powerful Sun blocker and drink plenty of fluids …… Climate Change is already causing record highs in UK temperatures and to think , this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what we can expect in the future, if we don’t tackle the root causes, right now .

        • Jack – if you’re so worried about climate change why do you waste your time on this site when there are things that you can protest about that will actually make a difference.

          • JUDITH ,

            Drill Or Drop, is a well respected platform that many people, both for, against and somewhere in the middle use to source the latest information on the Oil and Gas industry .

            Drill Or Drop has a large audience of people that read both the articles and the forum posts , those people then may possibly pass on what they’ve read to other people, who then pass it on to others .

            Who knows how many people could eventually be influenced by what I post on here, maybe what I post ” is making a difference .”

            Like yourself, I see the real potential benefits of posting on the internet, especially on the Drill Or Drop website. (That why we are both on here .)

            Like this …………DEEPLY CONCERNING , taken yesterday from the Independent Newspaper.

            Underwater glacial MELTING up to 100 TIMES FASTER than thought, study finds


            Heatwave: Record temperatures will be ‘new normal’ in future, climate experts warn as UK experiences second hottest day ever


            Are we beginning to see the start of runaway climate change ?????

            AND WHAT OF THE NEAR FUTURE ????

            High likelihood of human civilisation coming to end’ by 2050, report finds


            Like it or not, MOST fossil fuels will have to stay in the ground, if we are to stave of what looks like a very bleak future .

            • Think you find Jack that in todays Independent there will be a story about a snowstorm curtailing the Tour de France racing!

              Two stories for the press-change the line from global warming to climate change.

              Yes, Jack, posts from the Jacks will be making a difference and your employer will be pleased with your volume. But, you sound a little like some others, and I watched one this am talking about support for a tidal barrage across the Mersey. Well, good luck with that because I recall the same conversation regarding the Severn and all that happens is one group of antis ends up fighting another group of antis, years and years go by, and nothing comes of it.

              Meanwhile, there are some practical solutions and guess what? They include long term utilisation of gas in the UK. That was in the report Jack, which you seem to embrace, but miss the key bits.

            • Jack – the point is that DoD is just about onshore drilling in the UK. Stopping onshore drilling in the UK won’t decrease CO2 emissions because we will import any extra gas that we need. So posting on drill or drop in the hope of impacting the climate is a total waste of your time

              • Judith. However you dress it up. Any gas produced in England, by fracking, will add to the amount already being produced elsewhere It won’t prevent other countries producing gas and will therefore increase the total amount produced and eventually burnt.

                • Pauline – total rubbish as per usual. I would guess that there is at least 500 years worth of gas remaining in the subsurface and there is no way we can burn all of that. We need to stop using gas asap and the only way to do that is to reduce consumption. Of course you don’t really have any intention of doing something positive to reduce consumption when it’s so much easier and more fun to stand outside PNR gates [edited by moderator] and pretend that you’re doing some good for the climate

  7. Careful Jack. You seem to be a little delayed in your understanding of the UK weather. Add that to “old chap” and “JacktheLad” and your “employers” may bestow something else upon you all. Trust your employer is paying you all what you deserve-no, I shouldn’t be mean-hope it is what you all feel you deserve.

    But you do add to the enjoyment that close scrutiny brings. Just like the report that topless sun bathing on French beaches is declining, reason given due to unwanted attention from others. Yet, I remember in 1980s no one batted an eyelid, so what has changed in French society? Or, the report a couple of days ago with the weather reporter being ribbed for standing by a pond wearing shorts whilst he pontificated about the impact of climate change. All very reasonable, except that in 1976 that pond would have been baked mud.

    So, please excuse me if I am more interested in the facts rather than the spin.

    I would set your sales targets a bit higher as well. Why not aim for the pinnacle of getting reaction off diesel? That should really gain the maximum bonus.

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