Thank you for writing to me about fracking.
After the November 2019 manifesto the Government confirmed a moratorium on shale gas exploration in England with immediate effect. Having listened to local communities and assessed the state of the science, Ministers ruled out changes to the planning system. As set out in the manifesto, the Government will not support shale gas extraction unless the science shows that it can be done safely.
Fracking would only be supported in the future if it can be carried out in a way that is safe and sustainable and protects local communities. This would be led by independent and authoritative scientific evidence as to whether this form of exploration can be done in a way which acceptably manages the risk to local communities.
You may be interested to read the extensive quote that I gave, on request, to the Woking News and Mail on this matter on the 25th October, outlining my own opposition to fracking just prior, as it happens, to an announcement by the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that he was indeed fully re-committing the Government to the 2019 manifesto policy of a moratorium on fracking (after Liz Truss, as Prime Minister, had briefly called that moratorium into question). The other pertinent background to my quote were false assertions, circulated to the local media and to local residents, by the local LibDems about my position on fracking, and ludicrously false assertions and scaremongering from them that there would now be massive fracking across Surrey.
My quote was as follows:
"The Government has made clear that there will be no fracking without full local consent and there is no chance whatsoever of local consent here in Surrey. And with a new Prime Minister now in Downing Street, I fully expect the Government line on fracking to get even tougher still. So it's a big "no" from me to any fracking in Surrey and I also think it is incredibly unlikely that we will see any new fracking sites in the rest of the country either. The future has to be more renewables and more nuclear energy and I will continue to support the Government's important efforts to secure energy security for the U.K. through a big expansion in both."
"The Labour Opposition motion on fracking in the Commons included a large section about taking over the House of Commons order paper, and thereby effectively taking over as the Government for a few days, and no Government, including Labour Governments, has ever, or can ever, agree to that if they wish to continue in office with any authority at all. The motion was deliberately designed by the Opposition to force all Conservative MPs to support the Government so that they could then peddle the entirely false headline that all Conservative MPs support fracking, which is very far from the truth. I think it is a matter for regret that the local LibDems have been desperately trying to peddle this less than truthful version of events."
Thank you again for writing to me about this important matter.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking