MPs investigate how UK can cut reliance on oil and gas

A group of MPs has launched an inquiry into how the UK can phase out fossil fuel use more quickly.

Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 16 September 2019. Photo: Ros Wills

The investigation by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) comes as oil and gas prices surge and the government prepares to publish its energy security strategy.

The committee said the inquiry would also look into securing energy supplies.

In a call for evidence, the committee said it wanted to examine the transitional role of oil and gas exploration and development on the UK continental shelf.

It would also look at how the UK can phase out fossil fuel use and subsidies, following commitments at the COP26 climate talks to limit temperature rise to 1.5C.

The committee said:

“Protecting households from high fossil fuel prices and fuel poverty, while ensuring security of supply and continued progress towards net zero, is critical if any energy security strategy is to be successful.”

Chairman Philip Dunne, the Conservative MP for Ludlow, said:

“The Government’s Energy Security Strategy is sorely needed as many households across the country struggle with an ever-increasing cost of living crisis.

“Security of energy supply is absolutely vital. There will be a continued role for oil and gas in the coming three decades as we make the transition to net zero. But how much of the UK’s oil and gas reserves can be exploited while limiting global temperature rises to 1.5c in line with the Paris Agreement?”

Mr Dunne said the inquiry would look at whether the UK could make better use of resources in the North Sea for domestic energy needs and whether the government should continue to provide financial support to the fossil fuel industry.

Submissions of no more than 3,000 words should reach the committee by Friday 6 May 2022. Terms of reference and Guidance on giving evidence to a Select Committee

4 replies »

  1. Why not more on tidal energy? Drawbacks, yes, not least cost, but one has the impression this has been shelved, perhaps in favour of doubtful nuclear.

  2. I rather like the idea of tidal. However, the costs have never been shown as economic and even when costs have been attempted for Swansea, they have relied upon vast quantities of granite being blasted out of the Lizard, and the locals have voted against that. There is a reason why Government has been reluctant to back Swansea, as there has been a reluctance for private investment to step up.

    There is development in Scotland and that may be worth watching. Again, though, there are issues with that in that interconnectors are required to take the energy to where it is needed, and the experience of interconnector reliability from Scotland is pretty poor-and not that good for interconnectors from elsewhere either. There is also the small issue of independence.

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