I welcome the Conservative Government’s decision to immediately halt all hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, activity across England, in light of the latest scientific evidence released on Saturday 2nd November.

A new report from the Oil & Gas Authority – the independent regulator – has found it is not currently possible to accurately predict the probability or magnitude of earthquakes linked to fracking, so the Government has immediately announced a moratorium and no more fracking will take place in England.

Ministers have always been clear that fracking should only proceed if the science shows that it is safe, sustainable and minimises disturbances to local communities – and I welcomed the Government’s decision to halt fracking in light of the latest evidence.

The Government will continue working to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, having recently passed a new law that made the UK the first major economy in the world to target Net Zero emission by 2050 - meaning the UK’s contribution to global warming will end. As the independent Committee on Climate Change has said, natural gas will play an important part in achieving this target by moving the UK away from far dirtier energy sources like coal, along with other energy sources such as solar, wind and nuclear.

The deployment of 99 per cent of all solar capacity in the country has taken place under the Conservatives since 2010 and the Government is working to ensure offshore wind provides more than a third of Britain’s electricity by 2030. As a result, 2018 was the cleanest and greenest year on record – and 2019 looks to break yet more green records.

As a member of the Conservative Environment Network I called for the ban of fracking in their manifesto -

"A ban on fracking is overwhelmingly sensible for four main reasons: One, gas from fracking offers little in the way of economic opportunity, and much more in the way of stranded assets. For a host of reasons including population densities, political dynamics and water distributions, it is extremely unlikely that the UK will be able to exploit our shale reserves in the way the US has. Two, even if UK shale gas resources could be exploited at scale successfully we would not benefit from the significantly lower gas prices. The amount we pay for gas is largely determined by two things: the international liquefied natural gas spot market price and the European gas price. Consuming UK gas at the cost of production would require significant subsidies. Three, fracked gas would only help to reduce our emissions if it replaced coal, which has already been almost entirely removed from the national grid. And, in addition, it could lead to unpredictable, ‘fugitive emissions’ that leak out of pressurised equipment. Four, we know that security for the energy transition can be found elsewhere from cheap renewables, hydrogen, and nuclear, for example. In short, we know that in roughly ten years’ time we should be turning away from gas."

You can read the CEN manifesto here: