Russia: UK fracking plans 'plays into Putin' says McCarthy
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The Foreign Secretary is reportedly supporting a controversial push for the return to fracking in the UK. It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the door to the possibility after vowing to reduce dependency on Russian gas and oil. Mr Johnson is said to see the invasion of Ukraine as a “moment of great clarity” on relying on foreign imports.
He reportedly asked ministers to look again at whether fracking can help elevate that reliance and diversify the country’s supply.
There is currently a moratorium on fracking in England, Scotland and Wales.
On November 2, 2019, the Government announced that it would “take a presumption against issuing any further Hydraulic Fracturing Consents” in England.
Ms Truss is said to be among a group in the Cabinet that wants to overturn this
Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The Government has always been clear that we will take a precautionary approach and support shale gas exploration if it can be done in a safe and sustainable way.
“That remains our position and we will be evidence-led.
“This is what we wrote and said in 2019 and we’re still committed to that.”
Mr Kwarteng has said the Government remains committed to North Sea fossil fuels.
He told Express.co.uk last week: “The North Sea oil and gas industry has been a major British industrial success story.
“For decades, this critical sector has strengthened energy security, generated £375billion in tax revenue to fund our public services, and supported hundreds of thousands of high-paid jobs across the UK.
“In an uncertain world, it would be complete madness to stop domestic production.
“Turning off the North Sea would put energy security, British jobs, and new industries such as hydrogen and carbon capture at risk – and we would only end up more dependent on foreign imports.”
But the Telegraph reports that Ms Truss, who has been tipped as a future leader of the Tory party, wants to go further to open up new sites.
Robert Jenrick, a former communities secretary, called for a “more pragmatic energy policy” that would ease soaring bills while the UK strives to hit net zero.
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He told the BBC: “I personally was always a supporter of fracking.
“I don’t think it’s a quick fix, but I think we should be revisiting that question.
But others are furious over even the suggestion of pushing for the use of more fossil fuels to be extracted.
Rosie Rogers, head of energy for Greenpeace UK, said: “After a decade of hype and bluster, all the fracking industry has given us are two holes in a muddy field and some minor earthquakes.
“Trying to restart fracking now would only mean wasting more time when we have little.
“It will take many years to develop and if it ever gets produced, it will be sold to the highest bidder on the international market, with no impact on our energy bills.”
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