Updated: No F-word in PM’s speech – but heckled by anti-fracking campaigners

Liz Truss did not mention fracking in her speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham. But leading campaigners from Greenpeace heckled over the party’s U-turn on the moratorium on fracking.

Greenpeace protest during Liz Truss’s speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham,
5 October 2022. Photo: From conference feed

Rebecca Newsom, the Greenpeace head of public affairs, and Ami McCarthy, its policy officer, unrolled a banner reading “who voted for this”.

The activists were quickly ejected from the hall after the prime minister said: “let’s get them removed”.

Outside the meeting, Ms Newsom said:

“Who voted for what Liz Truss and her cabinet are trying to roll out across the country. Nobody voted for fracking, nobody voted to trash nature, nobody voted to slash workers rights. There’s a whole host of things that the Conservatives were elected to do in 2019, they are simply not doing. Liz Truss doesn’t have the public mandate to do this”.

Liz Truss’s 35-minute speech did mention the offshore oil and gas industry. But there was no reference to fracking or onshore shale gas.

The prime minister announced a lifting on the moratorium on fracking in England last month. A fortnight later, her business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, confirmed the move in a statement.

The issue has prompted anger among Conservative MPs in some shale gas areas, as well as fracking opponents.

Just before the conference, Liz Truss told local radio that fracking must be with local consent.

At a conference fringe meeting, Mr Rees-Mogg appeared to rule out local referendums as a way of gauging consent. He suggested that shale gas companies could canvass door-to-door for support.

This evening, the Politics Home website reported that some Tory MPs suspected that fracking plans could be “quietly shelved”. It said there was

“a  growing belief that the government’s plans to boost fracking could be quietly shelved has emerged at Conservative party conference in Birmingham after Tory MPs and activists expressed opposition to the plans”.

Updated to include reporting by Politics Home

31 replies »

  1. How much shale gas is there in the UK and what is the status of fracking?
    22 September, 2022 Grantham Research Institute LSE

    ….” Energy bills
    Some have also suggested that UK shale gas production would reduce the cost of energy for UK consumers. However, this is based on the false assumption that UK shale gas would be sold significantly below the international market price for natural gas. A study published in March 2020 by Warwick Business School pointed out: “It is widely recognised that the open and liberal nature of the UK’s gas market means that the market price – the National Balancing Point (NBP) – is unlikely to be influenced by shale gas development.”

    “ Emissions and climate action
    It is not clear how shale gas production in the UK would affect greenhouse gas emissions. A study for the UK Government in 2013 indicated that the impact would be small if production was well-regulated, but also warned that global emissions could increase if imports of natural gas were only diverted to other consumers.
    It has also been argued that the creation of a new shale gas industry in the UK could undermine international efforts to avoid dangerous climate change.,,,,,,,”

    An annual survey commissioned by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found that just 17 per cent of the UK public in autumn 2021 supported fracking……”

    Good to see that the Grantham and LSE have not been affected by the attacks on arithmetic evident in some postings on DorD.

    The report also details the alleged benefits of fracking subject to thorough regulation etc.

  2. Interesting letter from the heroic Caroline Lucas in yesterday’s Guardian.
    Good to see that, amidst telling arguments, she remains numerate after being exposed for so long to the anti-arithmetic pervading, repeatedly, some D’or D posts.

  3. The one and only Caroline Lucas!

    Now, there is a demonstration of arithmetic having consequences.

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