Jacob Rees-Mogg rules out local referendums on fracking and says shale gas companies could canvas door-door

The business secretary has rejected local referendums as a measure of public consent for fracking.

Jacob Rees-Mogg at Conservative Party Conference
Photo: Telegraph

Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested that shale gas companies could instead canvass door-to-door for support.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative conference, he said:

“I don’t think local referendums are necessarily the right idea. Turn out in local referendums can be very low so how much real validity would that give you as to the consent.”

He told the Chopper’s Politics Live podcast:

“What I think you need to get community consent is for the companies to go around door-to-door, as politicians do at elections, and ask people if they will consent in the community that would be affected.

He added:

“if they get 50% plus one in favour then they should be able to go ahead.”

People in shale areas who agreed to fracking should be paid compensation for disturbance and a royalty for any gas extracted, Mr Rees-Mogg said.

He asked the audience:

“So who doesn’t like it [fracking]? The socialists and Caroline Lucas. Well, that makes my heart bleed.”

Friends of the Earth’s energy campaigner, Jamie Peters, said this evening:

“It’s astonishing just how out of touch Jacob Rees-Mogg is on fracking.

“Communities across the country overwhelmingly oppose fracking because it causes earthquakes, industrialises the countryside and contributes to the growing climate emergency, while doing almost nothing to reduce soaring energy bills.

“Any attempt to bypass local democracy and force fracking on local people will simply make it even more unpopular, including in Conservative constituencies.

“Fossil fuels are outdated, dirty and costly. Ministers should focus on real solutions to the energy challenges we face by prioritising insulation and home-grown renewables – which are also cheap, clean and supported by the public.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg (right) at Conservative Party Conference Fringe event with Chris Hope Photo: Telegraph

Mr Rees-Mogg also said the earthquake rules on fracking should be relaxed. He described the 0.5ML limit when fracking must be paused as “ridiculously low”.

“.5 was set to stop fracking so we need to get to a more realistic figure but I can’t prejudge.

“I get expert advice, very clever people, boffins.”

Asked if he would agree to fracking in the back garden of his home in Somerset, he said:

“Of course I would, I’d be delighted, particularly if I get these royalties.”

He said:

“If we do what I am suggesting on shale gas, you will be doing a public service by having it in your back garden. But you also get paid for it. So, both the country wins and you win, Oh, even better, the environment wins because it’s lower carbon emissions than LNG. Bingo.”

[There are currently no exploration and production licences in Mr Rees-Mogg’s constituency, North East Somerset.]

Jacob Rees-Mogg at Conservative Party Conference Photo: Telegraph

In his speech to the conference, Mr Rees-Mogg referred to what he called “the challenge of intelligent net zero”. He said:

“It’s about making decisions that reduce carbon but also make us more prosperous.”

Quoting domestic shale gas as a good example, he said:

“It’s about a programme that makes sure we don’t harm our industry so that we go green in ways that create, rather than destroying prosperity.”

Dave Timms, head of political affairs at Friends of the Earth, said:

“If the business secretary is so keen on intelligent net zero, why didn’t he mention insulation and energy efficiency?

“Jacob Rees-Mogg fell flat on one of the most basic lessons of energy policy – the cheapest energy of all is the energy we don’t use.

“A nationwide, street by street insulation programme would reduce energy bills now and in the future, boost the economy with green jobs and cut planet-warming emissions from our homes.”

61 replies »

  1. Sorry Peter , Fracking has caused minor earth tremours not major earthquakes as you seem to suggest. 2,000 , 000 wells have been fracked world wide and no real damage or loss of life has been reported . So please dont mix fiction into your arguements . You are referring to climate change I believe, so please stay on that subject. I am afraid that at the moment it looks like quite a lot of people, especially the elderly, may be frozen to death if it is a cold winter. Will the climate defenders accept the blame for that ?. No body want fossil fuels for ever but at the moment there is no alternative . The major contribution to global warming, however, I believe is due to population explosion , more plans, more cars, more ships , vaster areas ploughed, more cattle in fact year on year more of everything is required . Is it not time that the Global warming warriors started to address the real facts of the matter

    • What of the consequences of a minor earth tremor from fraking under say someones kitchen built on top of an old bell pit, which Coal Authority already visits periodically to ensure that no slippages have occured ? There are areas with hundreds of such former coal operations.

    • At the risk of repeating myself: “Probably the main cause of (global warming) right now is population explosion.” was your opinion, Vernon, in an earlier posting, repeated here, but one not shared by thousands of scientists. (You accused another contributor, Graham, of passing off opinion as fact. You now do so again.)
      Climate change, of course, frequently reports very real damage and loss of life. Fracking, by increasing and encouraging the supply of fossil fuels is a contributor to climate change – one of “the real facts of the matter”.

  2. Oh on the subject of renewables . The atomostphere on earth contains a specific amount of energy . Currently there are millions of new wind turbines extracting that energy from the wind and more being added every day , so if you extract that amount of energy and convert it to electricity you are siphining off billions of kiloWatts of energy from the environment . It is not free energy, and it was serving another purpose/ Thus, if you change the balance of energy it is bound to have and effect on the climate

    • I’m not a physicist, Vernon, but then nor are you. Google helps, however: “energy can neither be created nor destroyed – only converted from one form of energy to another.” Again, I am not a physicist, but I suspect your last sentence is a non sequitur. Happy to be corrected, but preferably by someone who knows.

    • wind energy is air movement from hot tropics to cold poles, (very complicated ) its all down to the sun, so while I am not a green, it is renewable’

  3. Strong voice! Two activists who were ejected as soon as they tried to voice their opinion. If straws are all there is, grasp for them Jack.

    Even the disrupted bit is a tad overstated. Actually, it helped make a point for her.


      Just enlighten the readers , when EVER in the history of Mankind/Womankind was there EVER a person standing up , making a protest at any meeting , for the right to FRACK ????????

      EXCLUDING the annual , PRO-Fracking gathering at a phonebox in Blackpool .


          TWO people in the Westminster have agreed to Fracking…….. The people of the UK have said NO.

          NO SOCIAL LICENSE , there’s a big difference .

          I’d say rather than hiding behind the curtains , any PRO- Fracker will need ALL the PRO-Fracking protests they can muster up to try and get this toxic industry sold to the British public .

          MARTIN , it looks like you’ll need to get your banner ready……. Your going to be EXTREMELY busy as a lone , one man band at these hundreds/thousands of community ANTI- Fracking meetings .

          Just remind the readers again , when is the next PRO-Fracking meeting ????????

          It’s just that up until now , the public have been more likely to see a DODO wandering the streets of Britain , than they have to see a PRO-Fracking protestor 🤣🤣

          • Anti-fracking meetings?

            I could take my pick of dozens of anti meetings, for all sorts of things Jack. I gave that up when I stopped being a student. I could join all those XR lot, but I don’t. I have no need to protest against them, either. I have a vote for that.

            Protestors protest against something Jack, (the clue is in the name) supporters sit back and wait for what has been agreed to see if it happens. At the moment it has been decided it could happen, with certain conditions. I am quite happy to see if that develops. You are not. But then you will not be at the anti-fracking meetings, either.

            • OH dear MARTIN 🤣

              Trying to discredit members of the many communities , that have stood up and said NO to Fracking . Ordinary people , from all walks of life , standing side by side have said a firm NO to this proven toxic industry .

              To try and then imply that ANTI – Fracking meetings are in some way just a young student type of thing , is both childish and without basis . Just the sort of wild Off-The-Cuff comment that we have come to expect from you old chap .

              • In my neck of the woods, a Conservative shoe-in at every election, the core of the citizens against unconventional onshore oil and gas, which includes fracking, are primarily retired people. And many of us are investors in Repower Balcombe, a renewable energy co-operative, which to-date has donated over £68,000 to many local energy saving projects, whilst generating over 1 gigawatt of renewable energy. From the oil exploration site down the road, we’ve seen zilch since they started drilling in 2013.

                • Hi Malcolm,

                  So, you invest in a local business and then there is money generated for locals?

                  Sounds a good idea to me, but a bribe to others.

                  As far as Balcombe is concerned, it has been idle for quite a long while, so what would you expect to be generated and returned? Perhaps if it was not idle it would generate, and you would get some return? Meanwhile, you could have invested in Angus and you would have obtained a return as their share price reflected the gas they have been generating elsewhere-conventionally, and the oil they have been producing elsewhere-conventionally. Seems they have shown what they can do, so as people in Balcombe do use oil and by products, including yourself, then here is another opportunity for you locally. After all, I don’t think there is any suggestion going forward for anything unconventional. Indeed, they are even looking at gas storage elsewhere, which UK desperately needs, so I am sure you will now put your shoulder behind getting them going at Balcombe so locals can gain, and the country can gain.

                  I live within a mile of a solar farm. Zilch for me or the local community. Oh, we did get something. A housing estate next to it once clever legal persons argued that agricultural land had been allowed to change use. Even the new house owners didn’t get an awful lot, apart from planning consent. They all have gas central heating!

              • [Edited by moderator]

                Let me put it another way. XR have conducted many protests. What have they achieved? Educating the wider population? Nope. Annoying them? Yep.

                • Wrong, Jack. Seismic events leading to a moratorium led to no fracking. Protest had no impact whatsoever with regard to the moratorium. Now, I use my memory to show that. In 10 years time, or so, history will show the same.

                  As for the Guardian representing public opinion, Jack, thanks for the laugh.🤣

                  Obviously at the bottom of your barrel, Jack, and just churning up the rubbish now. Mind you, the previous output showed the rest of the barrel was pretty awful stuff too.

                  Meanwhile, as you raised Moggy, I see a further suggestion in the media about the possible package being considered for locals. £1000 during exploration, then a share of the revenue if the well develops. The structuring of that seems logical, although I would be surprised if that remains set in stone. (Whatever happened to the Edstone? Maybe turned into a coffee table somewhere within the Guardian?)

                • OH DEAR MARTIN 🤣😅

                  WRONG AGAIN

                  People protest has has been a crushing blow to these Fracking companies … You see old chap , when you have direct protesting , it makes it very costly for these companies to operate and let’s not forget , the bottom line for Fracking companies is PROFIT .

                  Remember , they don’t care about the health of the local people, the environment , climate change or the huge drop in local residents property values . It’s ALL about the money and only about the MONEY and on that basis you have your answer as to how direct action has played a pivoting roll in stopping this toxic industry.

                  Let JACK once again correct you .

                  😂🤣 MARTIN , DO YOU remember IGAS Fracking site , Barton Moss in Manchester ??????

                  It became so costly for them to try and continue their Fracking operations because of determined local protestors , they abandoned the site .

                  As far as that £1000 goes , peanuts, absolute PEANUTS when you consider the PROVEN toxic health implications and the steep drop in property values in Fracking areas .

                  I’ll tell you what I’ll do MARTIN , now that you mention Jacob Rees Mogg………He has said that he’d be quite happy to have Fracking done in his garden , because he’d very much look forward to the financial incentives on offer ( £1000 )

                  LIKE HE REALLY NEEDS £1000 🤣

                  WHEN FRACKING is done in the back of Jacob Rees Mogg , Grade 1 , multi million pound country home , then I’ll accept it in mine .

                  How does that sound MARTIN ??????

  4. YYLee’s post @ 11.45 on 7th.
    Brilliant series of posts from YYLee.
    YY Lee 10 – Martyn Collyer 0

    Furthermore, the usual absence of an answer from the losing side. He’s completely lost but I’m too much of a realist to think/ hope that this will silence him permanently. There’s always football and his vegetable garden.

    • Thanks also for your own post – * Iaith1720 – October 7, 2022 at 6:58 pm. Which indicates that the renewable tide is turning again on the spurious arguments attempted to lift of the fracking moratorium. Just as ‘The Lady Is For U Turning’ over the attempted lifting of the 45p rate on the wealthy. ‘The Lady’ will have no choice but to ‘U turn’ on the attempted lifting of the fracking moratorium, in spite of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s leaked documents saying that he will maximise the approach to deregulation’ and is pushing for parliamentary debate to act as a proxy for public consent. Rees-Mogg is quoted as saying the focus should be on speed, not scrutiny.

      I also appreciate * TMB – October 7, 2022 at 7:35 pm – Indeed, MFC et al, employs Gish Gallop, look it up if you don’t already know ; ) * – https://effectiviology.com/gish-gallop/ – * The Gish gallop is also known as argument by verbosity, proof by verbosity, and shotgun argumentation. *
      The term ‘Gish Gallop’ has to be the most revealing dissection of the regular practices of Martin Frederick Collyer and fellow slogan symptomatic frack pushers to date. Which only goes to show that such a practice is not evidence of a contrary attitude, but merely a verbal strategy in an attempt to overwhelm any opposition, rather than address the facts.

      [Text added at poster’s request]

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