Government dismisses calls to make fracking moratorium U-turn proof

A government minister has dismissed calls to put the moratorium on fracking in England into law.

Helen Morgan opening the Westminster Hall debate on fracking, 15 November 2022.
Photo: Parliament TV

George Freeman, the science minister, also failed to commit to a formal public consent process for local communities in case the moratorium were lifted in future.

The Lib Dem MP, Helen Morgan, who called a debate in Westminster Hall this morning, said:

“We must prevent the government from making another U-turn.”

She called for legislation on the moratorium and measures to “safeguard those communities potentially impacted by fracking in the event of a further government U-turn”.

Ms Morgan, who took the Conservative safe seat of North Shropshire in 2021, said:

“Given that the Conservative moratorium has been demonstrated to be fragile and temporary in nature and that the prime minister pledged to overturn it in the summer leadership campaign and that Conservative MPs voted in favour of lifting it only a month ago it is essential that a process of water-tight process of public consent is put in place.

“If Conservative MPs won’t pledge to honour their manifesto commitment and keep the ban on fracking we must safeguard our communities from this unnecessary, disruptive and dangerous practice.”

No Conservative backbenchers attended the debate. The shadow climate change spokesperson, Kerry McCarthy, said this was because the party wanted the issue to “just go away”.

But she said there was “a little scintilla of doubt” that it might not. She said Rishi Sunak’s reinstatement of the moratorium when he became prime minister was an “issue of party management”, not because of his “green credentials”.

She said:

“There is nothing actually stopping the government and secretary of state from taking unilateral action to lift the moratorium without any oversight or scrutiny from the House or input from local communities.

“We’ve been very clear we want a full permanent ban on fracking and we want it now”.

But Mr Freeman, standing in for the climate change minister, Graham Stuart, who is at COP27, said:

“I am slightly averse to the idea that we put into legislation every single thing that we’re not going to do. We’d be here an awful long time reassuring everyone. I’m not sure that is a sustainable way for parliament to proceed.”

Mr Freeman said:

“We’ve left open a possibility if an area …found itself sitting on a very easily and geological stable opportunity to exploit shale gas and came to the government with very strong local consent, and very strong environmental data and a strong business case and environmental case then the government would consider it.”

But he said:

“That is very different from us setting forward an ambition and encouraging this industry around the country”, he said.

Mr Freeman said he was personally pleased that the Liz Truss administration’s “flirting” with lifting the moratorium had been reversed and the issue had been “well and truly put to bed”.

Ministers were not looking to “open up this area to support the crisis in our energy sector”, he said.

Ms Morgan had proposed local referendums that would be open to all people living in affected areas. Full facts about the impact of fracking should be actively published, she said. The full costs of the referendum and publicity should be met by shale gas companies, not local councils.

The DUP’s Jim Shannon (Strangford) said there was “a consensus from across the UK and Northern Ireland to oppose fracking principle”.

He said families at risk of potential housing damage must be offered compensation equivalent to the value of their homes, to give them the option to move.

The Lib Dem’s Wera Hobhouse (Bath) said fracking “flies in the face” of the UK’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. She said pressure should be put on the government to ban the process.

21 replies »

  1. and why should we not use r own fossil fuel resources – The green fantics want us to euther good big bang approach (that worked for Germany … NOT) or ‘greenwashing’ by temporarily getting SNG from around the world including USA and QATAR

    we have Milions of GAS boilers in homes and many oil off grid right here right now

    We need r own resources here right now and how much fossil energy is used to maintain and create wind farms (alot of which is from abroad hardly british jobs

    SORRY I WONT BE SUPPORTING SACRIFISING ENGLAND on the altar of green fanaticsm to help africa or asia thank you very much or satisfy the WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

    Here in dorset i want to see MINI NUCLEAR to replace the old NUCLEAR at WINFRITH , FRACKING nr Dorcherset near where i live – Windfarms and solar are unreliable in uk

  2. The UK needs the option to explore and proceed with the development of a UK natural gas industry. We are having to import liquified natural gas (LNG) from the USA and the Middle East at a very high cost and with a significant release of CO2 caused by the freezing, shipping and heating of the product. Much more CO2 produced than if we developed it locally. There is also the serious energy security sitiuation to be considered.

  3. The fracking moratorium will not be reversed until the “Energy Emergency” cuts through to the public as much as the “Climate Emergency”.

    The weather forecast for December (with allowances for error this much in advance) is for a high pressure blocking systems leading to cold spells. Mid-December is anyway the first of the energy high demand periods of the year. The French authorities are already predicting electricity shortages so it looks like cabled power from France which the U.K. depends at time of shortage, will either be hideously expensive or unavailable. So the next 6 weeks or so will be a test of our preparedness.

    On the oil front the IEA today said that international storage of oil is at a decade low and will be worsened by bans on Russian piped oil and a ban on the provision of maritime facilities (eg insurance) to transport such oil by sea. The IEA is especially concerned about the “exceptionally tight” international diesel market. A rise in diesel prices well above £2 would certainly cut through. As it is the oil market at the moment is caught on a knife edge between supply shortages lifting price pressures and economic recession lowering price pressures. Personally I’ve got a wind-up lantern and a few emergencies supplies. Google “Operation Yarrow” if you think that’s a bit extreme.


    The government is listening to what the people want .


    Let’s celebrate this great news , party at my place this weekend . Yes of course MARTIN, your certainly invited , come and join the happy people .

    • What should of been added to the above is that although they won’t commit to signing this in to law ……. The BAN on Fracking still stands

      Therefore the PARTY is still on MARTIN .

      • Jackie it’s a Moratorium on Fracking, it’s not a Ban! Peddling more misinformation, Your Credibility is dwindling considerably. No requirement for a party, by candlelight, with no heating, no cold beer and no fossil fuel derived resources, (as the woke individual does not understand how the energy industry works)

    • Sorry Jack, have to ignore your invite. I gave up my UK passport some years ago. Shame on you for encouraging the unnecessary consumption of fossil fuels!

      In terms of what people want, you may be surprised after tomorrow. They may want their tax reduced, not increased, and may start to note how much of their tax is being shipped abroad. Maybe to Mozambique now, depending on where British Sponsor docks? Nice for the poor people of Mozambique that the useful idiots have been ignored and the Wagner Brigade has not yet taken control, but hardly secure supply to Europe.

      They may start to look with some envy across the N.Sea to Norway and note what a sensible and secure energy policy can achieve. Especially after the increase in UK inflation announced today, with the bulk of the increase coming from energy costs. Cuts to UK public services to come tomorrow. That is the outcome from what you ignore, Jack-the difference between $7 and $47. Inflation in USA? Starting to ease, Jack. See weekly USA drill rig count for the reason. All that money being generated for the US economy in addition to certain shareholders-goodness, property prices may rocket! Health care for the elderly may be affordable. Being funded by Europeans, Jack: (Rystad) “US and European price differences are so wide producing and shipping US gas across the Atlantic, even allowing for the pricey liquefaction process, is still economically advantageous.” That can’t be right, can it Jack, as there is just one international gas market?! LOL.

      Meanwhile I note Mr. Musk is being sued again by shareholders. This time to have some of his multi $billion salary returned to the shareholders. Hmm, achieve that and a whole economy could be boosted, rather than Twits supported.

      I also noted that yesterday there was a debate in the HoC about UK industry strategy! Now there is irony. Perhaps after that waffle, there might be consideration as to how UK industry survives with high energy costs compared to other countries? Nope, I doubt it, more taxation for subsidy will be the sticking plaster. The £160B for new nuclear is just the start.

      One of the best ways to beat inflation?


      • MARTIN

        When I see the words ” FRACKING MORATORIUM ” I just come over with an uncontrollable , overwhelming sense of euphoria .

        You’ll have to forgive JACK , jumping the gun , my excitement ” momentarily ” got the better of me .

        Nethertheles , don’t worry , the parties still ON and you’ll still be guest or maid of honor depending on whatever sex you really are . Because let’s face it , when the general British public get wind of the REAL dangers of Fracking , you’ll have more chance of finding a real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow , than you’ll have of getting the public to embrace Fracking .

        I mean , who’s going to want this ????????


        When opening this page , just scroll to the bottom and put in the box marked ” keyword search ” the word ” Fracking ”

        You’ll be blown away with some of the serious dangers , that are associated with Fracking.

        OR maybe , you’ll want to view this ,


        OR this ,


        MARTIN and ELI-GOTH , are you not concerned about the health and wellbeing of the British public ??????????

        • MARTIN and ELI-GOTH ,

          Maybe first , you’d like to pull up a chair and check out this opening video from ” Nobel Peace Prize ” winners , Physicians for Social Responsibility ( PSR )

          • MARTIN

            YOU SAID , quote , ” Sorry JACK , have to ignore your invite. I gave up my UK passport some years ago. Shame on you for encouraging the unnecessary consumption of fossil fuels! ”

            I thought you had my address ???????

            I live in one of those UK areas that stand to be blighted if Fracking ever does go ahead……

            So no need to for a passport 😂 . You must be getting JACK mixed up with one of your NON-DOM fracking executive friends , living the ” life of Riley ” on an exotic Tax Haven Island , far FAR away from the people they want to inflict the misery of Fracking on to .

            PS ……. If your not sure where I am , I’ll pick you up on Saturday night at 7pm . At that BT public phonebox on the front of Blackpools Golden Mile , from where you and ELI-GOTH held your 2022 , annual , UK PRO-Fracking general meeting.

            • Living the life of Riley? Like Mr. Musk?

              Jack, if you live in the UK, rather than party, you would do better to discover something about the UK. Maybe you have partied too much and slipped too far into a fantasy UK? Where a mythical beast termed Jack the Lad is anything to do with modern UK?

              Let us see how your reality stacks up.
              Sir Jim. Head office in London, property in UK, plans to build a new house on the south coast of UK. Owns an international company, so has properties elsewhere in the world as he has businesses elsewhere in the world. Pays what tax is due in the UK as he has his head office in UK but makes little profit in UK due to spending a lot to get a future return so does not have a great need to pay tax here. If examining his investment into restaurants, very successful but most return has been ploughed back into expansion, so tax will come but probably deferred until investment is covered and exceeded by return. (Try one, Jack, they will be able to provide full details about their local meat sourcing and the benefits of sourcing locally! You need to save your pennies though first.) Elsewhere, where he makes more profit, he pays taxes there. To grab that from those countries to plonk in the UK, Jack, is known as piracy. UK used to be quite good at it, certain politicians try and fool the public that UK should return to it, international rules mean that UK can’t. The idea is that the gullible remain fooled.

              Sorry, Jack, Blackpool in November?! I have been there, done that. Everything is shut! Have been there a bit earlier when a little bit was open. Spoke to a young lady dancer in a club. Turned out she was a primary school teacher having to boost her income! Perhaps she would quite like help with her energy bills? Or, just put on a cardigan!

              • MARTIN ,

                HONESTLY , I REALLY DO ENJOY you posts .. There’s nothing better than a good old ” rib tickler ” laugh to wipe away the Monday morning blues 🤣 ….. Thank You

                Your above reason for questioning if JACK is in the UK , quote , ” Where a mythical beast termed Jack the Lad is anything to do with modern UK? ” ……… Is the stuff of children’s playground and a real CORKER 🤣

                On the other hand JACKS evidence for questions YOUR location is very simple and plausible…… MARTIN , when shown the clear and indisputable evidence on how Fracking is dangerous to UK citizens health , you choose to PRETEND you’ve not seen my ” LINKS ” and so then don’t pass comment.

                Why don’t you care about UK citizens MARTIN ???????

                Is the reason, because you are only pretending to be in the UK ???????

                Do these things not bother you ??????


                or this ,


                or this ,


                or this ,


                For the readers, what are your thoughts ??????

              • MARTIN

                Of course you were talking to a Primary School Teacher, that said , quote , “Spoke to a young lady dancer in a club. Turned out she was a primary school teacher having to boost her income! Perhaps she would quite like help with her energy bills? ”

                When trying to bolster your extremely WEAK hand , we’ve all learnt that you are willing to say all sorts of wild , Off-The-Cuff things to back up your comments 🤣

                Should I now be saying, erm , I was speaking to 100 nursery school teachers who said the opposite of what you have said above ???????

                See how easy it is to say things that you don’t need to back up ???????

                Didn’t you know MARTIN Fracking companies are NOT charities ??????

                It’s been quoted by experts that expensive to produce , resource intensive Fracking will not bring down the price of GAS for UK consumers… Gas produced will be sold on the open , international market to the highest bidder

                • Yes, Jack, post what you like. You do. Then it turns out you don’t have a clue what you are posting about. Then you rinse and repeat the exercise, fueled by an algorithm now dedicated to supplying you with nonsense. I have a close relative who does the same. Shows me something on his ‘phone, I tell him it is factual nonsense. He comes back the following week with something more nonsensical and claims that proves he was correct. I tell him, no, it means you read the previous weeks nonsense and read it several times, and probably shared it, so this week you have been sent something selected to be even more nonsensical!

                  Whilst DoD is enjoying that demonstration of the poster who takes advantage of the opportunity, fill your boots Jack. I suspect not wellies though, as your recent blind wanderings into the world of UK livestock production would indicate a UK farm is as remote as a pigeon fanciers’ loft.

                  There is no international market for gas, Jack. Fact. $7v$47 worth of fact. Previously, source of fact provided, but Jack has decided it is opinion, because otherwise his posts are seen to be nonsense! Well, Jack, I will stick with the facts, you can try and propose they don’t exist to make your nonsense argument. Then, you can whinge that you are ignored.

                  I’m sure you could find 100 nursery schoolteachers who supplement their income in a different way, Jack. I doubt if you would be able to converse directly with one in UK to start the ball rolling, but you may find some dubious Internet site that will claim to do so for you. Might still be more of a party than Blackpool in November! (To save offending Blackpool residents, Scarborough is not any better. Both, cheap off- peak conference centers. Goodness Jack, the time I take to provide you with an education in UK real life, yet you then revert to your algorithm! No gratitude left in this world.)

                  Wonder if those Blackpool hotels would like cheap gas to maintain cheap off-peak conference business over winter?

                • READER WARNING

                  When taking note of MARTINS above comments , please be aware that this is his/her ” OPINION ” only .

                  An ” OPINION ” that is never backed up with evidence .

                  Whatever JACK says , will ALWAYS be backed up with evidence , in the form of ” LINKS ” from reputable sources/organizations

                  Forum members/ readers , please click on the LINKS and make your own minds up .

                  Thank You

                  MARTIN , I take note when reading your above , feeble post . You have once again opted for your standard default setting of diversionary tactics , bluster , waffle and completely ignoring the facts/evidence I put forward.

                  You are SOOOOOOOO predictable

                • In other words, Jack, waffle from you as you have lost the plot, and shown any reader who is actually interested in just about any subject that you haven’t a clue what you are on about.

                  Thanks E-G for setting the trap. After blundering into the latest one there will be more attempts by Jack to get out of it, but all to no avail.

                  Extrapolation from other situations because everything is equal except then to find out by continuing that failed ploy, that everything is very unequal if more extrapolation is attempted! Good one Jack. How to destroy any vestige of your credibility, but it was pretty small anyway.

                  Readers have clicked to your links, Jack. They were so rubbish readers are now told not to remind other readers that they were!

                  However, the good news. Looks as if continuing lock downs in China are eroding oil prices a bit more. Any short- term respite is welcome but won’t do an awful lot to support windfall taxes!

                • Ladies and Gentlemen,

                  Take a look at MARTINS response to my ” direct ” questions regarding the direct LINK between CANCER / other serious health issues and Fracking..

                  Just read MARTINS above response, it’s out-of this world….. Truly laughable.

                  MARTIN , fails , yes fails to show any concerns for UK citizens….

                  Why do you ignore these serious health warnings ??????

                  I have shown you the evidence.

                  Will you be PRETENDING you’ve not seen these links .. Or will the readers on here get a serious response, not the legendary ” Collywaffle ” that you are famous for


                  or this


                  or this


  5. Sometimes the government has to lead rather than just follow public opinion. One of the first duties of any government is to keep the lights on.

    Enjoy your party, watch out for icebergs.

  6. There is actually no way to make a U turn “proof”.

    Legislation does not do that. Legislation is continually being changed. That is one of the major functions of Government.

    This is just an exercise in PR, and a waste of time. Ironic this nonsense “debate” was called by a Lib Dem. My memory recalls student fees! U turn proofed? Having a laugh, whilst the taxpayer pays.

    • The hypocrisy of UK Gov to continue ban FRACKING In uk but to Import LNG from USA (which as a result is 10 time the emission value because of transport etc let alone cost) – NIMBYISM at its worst

      Globalist Sunak a lackey of the world economic forum
      oh an labour would pay reparations and flood even more immigrants legal/illegal into UK

      Time for new right wing party or merger of REFORM & UKIP to actually take back control of UK from Globalists . The conservative party is let by non conservatives

      The industrial revolution was the spark to bring the working classes out of utter poverty and towards future technology .

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