What Liz Truss said about fracking in Lancashire this morning

The prime minister repeatedly said fracking must be with local consent when she was interviewed about fracking this morning by BBC Radio Lancashire. But she refused to rule it out in the county.

In five minutes of the interview with Graham Liver, Liz Truss:

  • Referred 10 times to the need for local consent for fracking operations
  • Said the government was exploring where there was and wasn’t local consent for fracking
  • Admitted she had not been to Preston New Road, where fracking by Cuadrilla caused earthquakes, including one measuring 2.9ML
  • Said she would not have described opposition to fracking as “Luddites” with an “air of hysteria”, as the business secretary had in parliament

Here’s a transcript of the part of the interview about fracking. You can also hear it on YouTube.

Liz Truss. Image: from No 10 video

Graham Liver, presenter, BBC Radio Lancashire

“Lots to talk about and I want to keep it local and I want to talk about fracking. Let’s talk about fracking. We’re the only area of the country that’s actually done it. And it caused earthquakes. People’s houses shook. Why do you think it is safe to continue because none of the science has changed.”

Liz Truss, prime minister

“Well what I want to be clear about is we will only press ahead with fracking in areas where there is local community support for that. The business secretary has been very clear about that. Now fracking is carried out perfectly safely in various parts of the world and the business secretary will make sure that any fracking that takes places is safe. But it is very important for me as prime minister that any fracking has local community consent.

“I think we have to be clear about why we’re doing this. One thing that has happened is that the UK has become dependent on global energy prices and we’ve seen through Vladimir Putin’s appalling war in Ukraine how energy prices have shot up and Russia has used the fact that it produces gas as a way of exerting pressure on other countries and we simply don’t want to be in that position.

“So what I want to see is more home-grown energy in the UK. And that means using resources in the North Sea. It means more renewables, it means more nuclear and it also means fracking in areas where there is local support.”

Graham Liver

“You mentioned Jacob Rees-Mogg. In the House of Commons, he called people who didn’t support fracking Luddites and said there was an air of hysteria about them. Do you agree with his comments?”

Liz Truss

“I wouldn’t have expressed it like that, I can assure you. I am, I am of the view that we need to have local consent to proceed with projects like fracking. I also support that for housing. What I want is – and this is why we are setting up new investment zones across the country with local support to get the economy going, to get investment into our country and the same is true for energy projects as well.”

Graham Liver

“Let’s talk about local consent right now. What does that look like? Scott Benton, the Conservative MP for Blackpool South in a tweet says he believes that people in Blackpool South do not support fracking.

“This is the Tory MP for Fylde, Mark Menzies in the House of Commons:

‘If the Prime Minister is to remain a woman of her word, and a woman in whom we can believe—and I believe she is—can the Secretary of State outline how that local consent will be given and demonstrated in my constituency of Fylde?’

“What does local consent look like prime minister?”

Liz Truss

“Well, the, the, the energy secretary will be laying out in more detail exactly what that looks like. But it does mean making sure there is local support for, for going ahead and I …”

Graham Liver

“It sounds like you don’t know.”

Liz Truss

“And I can assure Mark Menzies. Well, there are various detailed issues that need to be worked through but I can assure Mark Menzies that I will make sure there is local consent if we are to go ahead in any particular area with fracking.”

Graham Liver

“But your local MPs don’t want it, all Conservative. In the past the county council have said they didn’t want it, yet your government overturned it. The science hasn’t changed. Why can’t you tell us this morning there won’t be a return to fracking in Lancashire?”

Liz Truss

“Well I don’t, I don’t accept the premise of your question.”

Graham Liver


Liz Truss

“It’s certainly the case at present. Because. What I said is if there is local consent we will go ahead. We need to explore where there is local consent and where there isn’t and we’re still doing that work. I don’t think we should rule out the whole of Lancashire.”

Graham Liver

“You talked about how it is a success in other countries but in America they do it in the middle of nowhere. Do you actually know where Preston New Road is, where they have been fracking?”

Liz Truss

“Well, I don’t, I don’t think I have been to that site in the past.”

Graham Liver

“Shouldn’t you?”

Liz Truss

“Well, as I’ve said we will only go ahead with projects where there is local consent. I am very, very clear about that. Now, we will make sure that that local consent is in place. And if there is a concern about a particular site, those concerns will, of course, be looked at and taken into account.”

33 replies »

  1. Oh Graham it is ok to have opinions but you must not present your ideas and thoughts as if they were fact . The tremors from fracking have been liked to akin to a heavy lorry passing a house situated nearby. Many people suffer several hundred such events per day . Last count I have read is that world wide 2,000,000,000 wells have been fracked .

    The climate change mob, for their own reasons, have latched onto tremors and expanded them to be full blown earthquakes . The UK suffers about 300 natural earth tremors per year , I am over 70 years of age or put it another way I have survived 21000 earth tremours but strangely I have never noticed any of them.

    I would like to make a yet undicussed point re global warming, yes we need to do something but in balance . In the first instance there is no ‘optimum’ climate for Earth, it has ossilated throughout Earth’s entire history . Probably the main cause of it right now is population explosion , more people means more of everything, warm homes, cars, flights, cooking, hot showers etc. etc. etc.. Also, if there is insufficient gas ( at this moment in time) and it is a hard winter, the I assert that more people will die from the cold than are ever killed by global warming !

    As for rants about rich Tories etc elsewhere, the people who have handled the economy most incompetently are the Labour party. Wilson’s devaluation of the Pound in the the 1970s and before that when they tried make the £ interchaneable with the $ back in the 50s. Some people pay more than in a week than I earn in a year. Envey is fine but the rich pay enormous taxes , they also purchase more, they fly more, they employ gardeners builders and maids and because they can afford to spend more they pay far greater amounts in VAT too. A lot of people depend upon them for their livelyhood. The most telling question you can ask of the envious left wing adherent is, do you yu play the lotto ? Most will say yes, then ask if you won a lot of money would you give it to your poorer brethrin, and receive a blank stare by return . Of course they will not they play the lotto because they want to be rich !

    • An interesting assumption, Vernon – “ Of course they will not they play the lotto because they want to be rich !” (sic). Or perhaps, Vernon, because they seek to make living a little more possible, life a little less wearisome. The poor are just as generous, arguably more generous with what little they have than are the rich.
      Inequality, sanctioned by an economic system, Vernon, is to blame. Your ‘rich’ do not give back to society a sufficiently large proportion of what they have at their disposal, to make it possible for all to live comfortably. It seems unlikely that they will voluntarily do so. The state’s duty to the disadvantaged must address this disparity and should do so through realistic levels of taxation.
      Referring to your other points:
      1. We cannot rely upon fracking-induced seismic events to be limited to those akin to tremors induced by a passing lorry. Read the BGS 2022 Report.
      2. “Probably the main cause of (global warming) right now is population explosion.” Your opinion, Vernon, but one not shared by thousands of scientists. (You accuse Graham of passing off opinion as fact.) Your assertion concerning the likely number of casualties of the cold compared with the actual and predicted numbers of casualties of global warming are similarly what you choose to believe, not susceptible to proof and unlikely in the extreme, given actual casualties of global warming. Certainly not facts!
      3. Finally, given what is happening at the moment, your suggestion that the economy is safer under the current semi-elected Tory autocracy than under a Labour movement whose raison d’être is the overthrow of huge inequality, rings a trifle hollow.

      • Pretty unequal if one is unemployed!

        Every Labour Government leaves office with higher unemployment than when they enter office. Fact. Answer is simple. Screw the private sector and their first reaction is to cut one of their major costs-numbers of employees. Fact. Then the tax money is spent on unemployment benefits for people that could have continued to be employed and also paying tax. Fact.

        Unrealistic levels of taxation upon the rich raise less tax to do anything with. Fact. The rich are mobile, their money is mobile. They are not a charity, they just put their money somewhere else where taxes are lower. Most rich people who give large donations to good causes do so because they feel they are better at allocating it than Governments, and they are correct. Push them away with unrealistic levels of taxation and less tax and less donation to good causes is the result. Fact.
        The Treasury has checked this out continuously for years. The facts are known to politicians. The fact that some ignore to try and create excitement and false expectations is unfortunate.

        I don’t see Vernon trying to inaccurately define what a fact is, so apart from anything else I would go with a factual comment based upon what a fact is! A semi-elected autocracy? Isn’t that what was cobbled together between one Tony Blair and one Gordon Brown? Strange things these facts. Good job there are memories to help.

  2. So, less than 10 against, Jono!

    Looks as if consent will not have too hard a task.

    Being serious, it would be up to the individual companies to come up with a support plan to attract consent. I can’t see such a package will be standard but more likely to be individual to the location and the company. So, if that does happen, I would quite expect some areas may proceed on the basis of an offer, but others may not. Could be the offer is just as important a factor as anything else, and that part is still to be unveiled.

  3. Martin, not sure where you get “less than 10” from, but if you’re a betting man, I’d say the smart people know that a few wells up and down the country won’t provide “cheap and secure” energy. I remember before COP26, there was was most definitely a majority of people who apposed fracking even if it was nimbyism since COP26 and the constant warnings both physically and from the scientific community I’d say put your money on anti-fracking lobby and invest invest invest in renewables and new technologies. There is enough oil in the North Sea for a good number of years yet so that we can transition within that period.

  4. Yes, ONE, before COP26.

    Now call me old fashioned but I just happen to believe that the British public are pretty quick to pick up on a sudden drop in their disposable income (due to energy bills) and start to review what they might be able to do about it. Now call me experienced but I just happen to know from conducting Market Research that if you ask a question with no defined payback, you will see one answer, usually emotion. If you ask same question with an attractive defined payback, then the answer changes dramatically, as the head is engaged. Now, I recognize that the emotion bit is what the antis rely upon, but emotion is something that is soon controlled when needs must. Not by all, but by most. If you find that strange I would suggest you are not being very smart. Every UK recent political event such as General Elections, and major referendums, from the Scottish one forward, has shown polling completely out of line with the final exit poll and the result!

    Back to the “smart people”! Hmmm. Still waiting to identify them, One, but there is no constraint upon developing renewables from adding security of supply for gas and oil. (Little old thick me has a heat pump but I also use gas! I am using both as I type on plastic.) But developing more renewables until new nuclear is added is not developing more security, but less. I would suggest even the less smart people will now understand they were sold a pup when they were told UK energy supplies were secure not very long ago and will scrutinize renewed claims about energy security a bit more. Undersea pipelines may not look too secure whilst they can see gas bubbling to the surface from Nord Stream 2!

    • MARTIN ,

      OF COURSE you have a Heat Pump . As a fantastical PRO Fossil Fuel , PRO Fracker supporter…….

      The chances of you supporting the green industry by having a Heat Pump , is like that of DRACULA supporting the CHURCH and the federation of Garlic growers 🤣

      When it comes to trying to bolster your position , it would appear that the only thing you haven’t said you’ve had , is Dutch Elm Disease, Trench Foot and the Plague.

      • Martin is both fantastical and fanatical about spouting off arguments for pro fracking, I’d like to see him growing garlic wearing a pair of fake fangs whilst embodied with a cross and wearing a string of garlic around his neck …what a site that would be 🤣🙏🏽

      • So, it the absence of substance posters who think it is sensible to claim someone else is a liar. However, Jack, you are wrong, incorrect and being silly-again. Goodness, I even have insulation and double glazing. Shock/horror.

        My heat pump is nothing to do with green. It was a sensible investment to supply supplementary heat. I have discussed previously with other posters on DoD on the subject. I can think of one anti who has also indicated having a heat pump, but not a sole source of heating. Where does it state either/or in terms of heat pumps and gas? By the way Jack, still waiting for you to present your own experience of EVs, having asked you the question a number of times. Still a deafening silence.

        Perhaps keeping to the point would not show the Achilles heel so often. Can’t deal with the substance so start throwing silly, false accusations about. These are supposed to be the smart people? Don’t play poker, the twitch would cost you dearly.

  5. “ Vladimir Putin’s appalling war in Ukraine ” is responsible for the mess we are in in the Trussian interpretation of reality. Putin’s war on Ukraine is indeed appalling, but let no one believe that the responsibility for all our ills can be shifted from this despicable bunch of Tories to the Russian despot. He provides, amidst universal horror at his actions, a convenient scapegoat for the decisions already taken and the decisions to be announced, no doubt, next week at the gathering of that party whose tribal leaders will no doubt confirm us in our position as the sick man of Europe, careless of the fate of any man, nation, plant or animal, careless of the fate of humanity in the quest to save themselves, the very pinnacle of egocentricity, of arrogance, skilful only in their ability to misrepresent reality. Putin is indeed an example of the depths to which humanity can sink, but he is not alone.
    Just take a look at the preparations for fracking – regulations, precautions and planning likely to be ditched, communities likely to be bribed into providing Truss’s demonstrable “support” for fracking, so-called Investment Zones to be set up to facilitate all this – and ask yourself: Is this honest government? Is this the integrity I seek in my leaders? Is this the face, the example I am content for my country to present to the world? Is now the time for me to be silent, or is now the time to exercise that democratic right I assert I dispose of?
    Trussian efforts would be much better employed easing the plight of the disadvantaged whose plight she exacerbates rather than in ploughing her own ideological furrow.

    • Totally agree. And with the latest act of blatant corruption Truss demonstrates her disdain of democracy by getting the fracking companies themselves to ascertain public consent!!!

    • So, a loser who is unhappy with losing.
      Democracy is full of them.

      Not a lot of confidence there in the strength of the case against when it comes down to the decision. Always revealing when a platform is under construction for losing even before the event has played out. “We will be robbed. The ref. will be to blame.”
      Perhaps the side is just poor?

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