Labour’s bid to ban fracking in England was defeated in parliament this afternoon. The party’s amendment to the Environment Bill was rejected by 357 votes to 216.
The potential cost to the public of decommissioning fracking sites is to be investigated by the government’s spending watchdog.
A parliamentary bill to limit earthquakes caused by fracking has passed its first stage unopposed today.
A Conservative MP from a constituency with an Ineos shale gas site is seeking to introduce legislation to stop fracking companies causing earthquakes.
A Conservative MP said this evening he was disappointed with the response of senior civil servants to his questions on the decommissioning of shale gas wells.
The government’s new shale regulator, announced last spring, has three members of staff, at a cost of £75,000, operates “virtually” and has no powers, the energy minister has said.
Government proposals designed to speed-up fracking decisions are unclear, inappropriate and unjustified, a group of planning experts have said.
The energy minister who promotes economic benefits of shale gas has not visited a site, she said this week. She also appears to have back-tracked on hints that she might relax rules on earthquakes induced by fracking.
The pro-fracking former Labour MP, Natascha Engel, is the new commissioner for shale gas, the government announced this afternoon.