In this guest post, the organisation representing farmers and both small and large landowners in Yorkshire put key questions on fracking to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.
Yorkshire Landowners wrote to Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the 20th April 2022 following BEIS’s request to the British Geological Society to review the scientific basis for fracking.
We finally received a reply on 1st July, which was less than satisfactory. Copies of both letters are at the bottom of this post.
Both candidates for the leadership, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, are now indicating they would lift the moratorium on fracking contained in the party’s last election manifesto, subject to local support!
This begs several straightforward questions to the candidates:
- Why are they prepared to break an election manifesto commitment?
- How are they going to assess local support (or otherwise)?
- And are they going to encourage that support by offering financial inducement? If so, how are they going to fund it – given the questionable finances of fracking in the US, by way of prime example?
- Would that financial inducement not be better spent on developing climate-friendlier alternatives, given that both candidates have both confirmed their commitment to net zero?
- Do they not think it disingenuous – as Liz Truss managed at the first hustings, in Leeds – to convey the impression that fracking is the answer to the elderly questioner’s concern about this winter’s energy price crisis, when UK fracked gas is 10 years or so away, at best?
- And how can they explain that this fracked gas is the answer to the UK’s energy security – when, at best, companies such as Ineos are likely simply to use it to underwrite their plastics business? And do they not realise the rest, if any, will be sold at global market prices?
- All landowners of every type and size should, by now, know about the crucial issue of residual liability – a classic sting in the tail – but have the two candidates got detailed answers to the myriad questions this raises yet, given this fundamental problem has been pointed out for at least eight years now?
- And given the debt mountain in the US fracked business community, as well as orphaned wells in the Canadian equivalent – meaning a sting in the tail for host communities, too – do the two candidates really want to inflict such horrors on England’s green and pleasant land, and its voting inhabitants?
We look forward to receiving their answers.
On behalf of The Yorkshire Landowners, Nick Howard and Kenelm Storey.
DrillOrDrop welcomes guest posts about the UK onshore oil and gas industry. We asked the shale gas lobbying organisation, UKOOG, for a copy of the letter it sent to the Conservative leadership candidates but it did not reply.