Ruth Cadbury Condemns Ending of Fracking Ban

Jacob Rees-Mogg accuses some opponents of move of being funded by Putin

Jacob Rees-Mogg describes opposition to proposals as 'sheer ludditery'Jacob Rees-Mogg describes opposition to proposals as 'sheer ludditery'

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Brentford & Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury has condemned moves by the government to end the ban on hydraulic shale gas extraction or fracking in England.

Speaking in Parliament this Thursday (22 September) she urged the Government to instead support an expansion in alternative forms of energy such as onshore wind power. In her question Ms Cadbury accused the government of hypocrisy as it is set to allow fracking to take place without explaining how consent would be gained from impacted communities, while wind turbines were blocked by a small number of objections. The decision to allow fracking sites to open comes after the previous government virtually blocked new fracking licences being approved due to the risks of earthquakes and other environmental impacts.

Speaking in full after the Government’s announcement she said,‘‘I strongly oppose the Government’s decision to bring back fracking. We know that fracking will not lower energy bills for people locally, it will take years for new sites to be opened up and it will do nothing to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Fracking is not the right answer to the energy crisis facing the UK. We are facing a climate crisis and we need to end our reliance on expensive and damaging fossil fuels.

“The Government need to be supporting forms of energy such as wind power- which can generate vast amounts of energy and support well paid jobs in the UK, as well as rolling out insulation schemes to reduce our demand on electricity and gas.

“However over the past decade successive Governments have banned onshore wind projects. It is not fair for the Government to force fracking sites on communities up and down the country, while they have refused to support onshore wind.’’

The move, which is being justified as being required to increase national energy security by reducing dependence on Russian supply, was criticised by MPs from all parties including Conservatives who pointed out that there was a pledge in the 2019 manifesto not to allow fracking.

Labour’s shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband said the Tories would have to explain their “charter for earthquakes” to voters in fracking areas.

The change in policy was defended by the business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg who described opposition as ‘sheer ludditery’ and suggested some of it was being funded by Vladimir Putin. Friends of the Earth have dismissed these comments as ‘baseless allegations”.

He said that all sources of energy needed to be explored, insisting that a “higher degree of risk and disturbance appears to us to be in the national interest”.

In response to questions, many of which came from Tory MPs in ‘red-wall’ seats in the north and Midlands, there was no clarification as to how communities would be consulted on fracking in their area but Mr Rees-Mogg said that companies would need to “develop packages that make the extraction of shale gas attractive” which suggests that they would need to financially compensate affected areas. He said he had had preliminary discussions with the Chancellor on how this might work but that it was too early to give details.

There are no sites suitable for fracking in the Brentford & Isleworth constituency.

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September 23, 2022

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