Wednesday, January 29, 2020

News: New MP uses debut to focus on fracking


Alexander Stafford, the new Rother Valley MP, has used his debut appearance in the House of Commons to call for the current fracking ban to be made permanent.

The government ended support for fracking in November on the basis of a report by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), which found that it is not currently possible to accurately predict the probability or magnitude of earthquakes linked to fracking operations.

Exploratory work to determine whether shale could be a new domestic energy source, delivering benefits for our economy and energy security, has now been paused - unless and until further evidence is provided that it can be carried out safely here.

Rotherham has seen two planning applications from oil and gas exploration and production business, INEOS, for similar test drilling wells. It was successful at a public inquiry over its Harthill application and appealed against a refusal for a site at Woodsetts.

A decision on the Woodsetts application is expected in April.


During a debate on climate change, Stafford asked the Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng: "Will my right hon. Friend agree with the residents of Woodsetts and Harthill in Rother Valley that the best way his Department can tackle climate change is to make the moratorium on fracking permanent?"

In reply, the minister said: "On fracking, the moratorium is what it says: we are stopping it. The only way it can be resumed is by compelling evidence, which so far is not forthcoming. So the moratorium stays and fracking, for the time being, is over."

Images: Alexander Stafford / Twitter


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