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Hydraulic Fracturing (Moratorium) Act 2016  

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AL2016
(@al2016)
Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 57
12/07/2019 9:19 pm  

Bill: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UeKDJql6bwBSAxqk2sHHviuVutzsF92Fhp8i_wOxxsY/edit?usp=sharing

Mr Speaker,

 There is no doubt that fracking is incredibly controversial and many people have serious concerns about the impact it has on the community and the environment. This government shares those concerns.

 Fracking is a particularly risky form of fossil fuel extraction for local communities to participate in or be subjected to. We know the impact that repeated earthquakes or tremors caused by fracking in Lancashire have had on the local community. Noise pollution, light pollution, heavy traffic, and bad odours can impose significant distress and health impacts on nearby communities, especially those which are quiet and rural. The imposition of temporary and intensive extractive industries into some of our greenest landscapes will disrupt the environment for ultimately little benefit. Tearing apart – literally fracturing – our environment will alter the character and aesthetic of the local area, affecting wildlife and biodiversity as well. I do not believe that is a cost our rural landscapes should bare.

 As an ‘unconventional’ form of gas, the output of fracking requires a number of activities that create sources of pollution. Whether that is a leak of gas throughout the process of extraction, treatment, storage and transportation or the surface and ground water polluted through gas, fracking fluid or materials from underground, fracking is potentially very dangerous, subjecting people to unjustified risk. I share the belief that we must prioritise people’s health and their drinking water, protecting them from risks that have not been fully ruled out.

 I do not believe that this government’s belief in clean air being a human right can coexist with anything other than a moratorium on fracking. We know the evidence: fracking and natural gas development activities have significant health and air quality risks. Some hazards stemming from fracking are carcinogenic, some increase the risk of birth defects, and some cause chronic respiratory disease. If we are serious about tackling the consequences of air pollution – premature death, shortened life expectancies, and poor health – we cannot support the development of industries that encourage it.    

 But it is also becoming increasingly clear that if we are to avert the worst impacts of climate change most fossil fuels currently in the ground will have to stay there. Yes, there is a role to play for cleaner fossil fuels to bridge the gap to a renewable energy, zero emissions future. But we cannot develop sources of fuel that are so polluting to push us backwards away from that goal. This is what allowing fracking on any scale will do. We cannot be certain that shale gas extraction will do anything other than hinder the development of renewable and zero-carbon energy, including nuclear power.

 This government is clear: we are serious about tackling pollution and climate change. This can only be done through measures to wean our country off fossil fuels, not participate in a dash for gas, especially one that is so dangerous to local communities.

 Therefore, this legislation will impose a moratorium on fracking from its passage onwards. We will join other countries around the world such as France and Germany who have banned fracking or ruled out pursuing it. By protecting our rural areas from risky extractive industries and prevent more fossil fuel extraction, we can make some progress to tackling climate change and air pollution. This, I believe, is of critical importance for all members of the House.

 

 

 

Emma Hollens
MP for Hull North (2010 - )

Parliamentary - 7
Media - 6
Policy - 13


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William (Will) Conway
(@will-conway)
MP for Milton Keynes North
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 99
13/07/2019 3:25 pm  

Mr. Speaker,

I am sympathetic to the overall case the Right Honorable Lady sets out against fracking.  I would ask, however, if the Government has considered whether individual councils might be the best fora to make such decisions for their communities?  

Will Conway
Conservative
MP for Milton Keynes North (2014- )
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
Environment and Climate Change (2016)

Parliamentary 16
Media 14
Policy 8


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AL2016
(@al2016)
Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 57
13/07/2019 7:48 pm  

Mr Speaker,

The impact of of one council allowing fracking - in the sense of carbon emissions, air pollution, and a slower move to renewables - would flow from that local area to others, which do not engage in fracking or have banned it. 

The reality is that the decisions made on climate change policy, clean air policy, and energy policy impacts us all, and not just the location where it was made. This means that the government continues to prioritise all three as policies for the national government - and where possible international organisations. 

Emma Hollens
MP for Hull North (2010 - )

Parliamentary - 7
Media - 6
Policy - 13


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Meredith Hansen-Charles
(@mhc)
Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 106
13/07/2019 11:48 pm  

Mr Speaker,

I beg this bill be read a second time.

Meredith Hansen-Charles
Cambridge
Secretary of State for Education
Minister for Women and Equalities

"Meredith Hansen-Charles...is a deity" - Kandler/The Times


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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 260
16/07/2019 8:42 pm  

Madam Speaker, 

Well, "Madam Speaker," truly does have a nice ring to it. 

I would like to begin by thanking the Hon Member for Hull North for introducing this legislation. It is critical that as a country Britain is taking the necessary steps to limit CO2 production and reign in the impact we are having on global temperatures. We only have one Earth, and it is our responsibility to be good stewards of it and protect it from harm. 

It is my estimation, Madam Speaker, that the harms to the environment created as a result of fracking outweigh any potential economic benefit that could be reaped. I am very conscious of the impact on business any piece of legislation will have, but I do not believe the potential economic benefit realized as a result of fracking is great enough to outweigh the enormous environmental harm and public health hazard caused as a result of fracking. If the extraction of natural gas via fracking was able to be done safely, and with minimal impact to the environment, my position would likely be different. Unfortunately I do not believe it can be done in such a manner. 

With that in mind, I do believe I will be supporting this legislation. I would like to ask the Member for Hull North, however, if the Government performed any economic impact assessment to determine how many people would be put out of work as a result of this legislation? As I said, I am very conscious of the economic implications when it comes to legislation like this, and am somewhat worried about the impact this will have on Britons employed in the fracking industry. 

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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AL2016
(@al2016)
Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 57
16/07/2019 9:32 pm  

Madam Speaker,

Predictions on the number of jobs created by the fracking industry are inevitable uncertain but what we do know is that the numbers predicted are higher than what is actually delivered. It is highly unlikely that fracking will deliver any long-term, sustainable form of employment, despite the long-term, deeply damaging devastation it will cause on local communities. Take the figures from Cuadrilla themselves: they claim that 1,700 jobs will be created in Lancashire in the first year, but that will fall to just 200 within three years. Very few of these jobs are predicted to go to people in local communities, and they are largely the lower-skilled and lower-paid jobs. Let's not pretend these are good, safe jobs either: as the US experience shows us, fracking leads to increased chemical related deaths, a growing fatality rate and widespread over-exposure to dangerous dust.

What is also important to stress is that the predictions of the jobs created fail to take into account any job losses from the desolation of our natural environment. In many of the places where fracking will take place, there is a strong heritage, tourism and farming industry that will suffer if we do not stop these activities. The Honourable Gentleman, I recognise for the right reasons, is concerned about the economic impact if we stop fracking, this Government is equally concerned about the economic impact if we let it continue. I fear for all the lost jobs if we continue to destroy and pollute our environment and communities. 

It is also important to look at the alternative: the renewable energy industry. It is obvious that if the fracking industry grows and takes up an ever-larger proportion of our energy needs, the renewable industry will suffer. More people are employed in this industry now than would be employed in the fracking industry at its height, if the industry predictions are correct - which they very rarely are. It is more important to ensure that anyone working in the fracking industry can quickly and successfully employ their talents in renewables. 

Now some may respond that my gloom about the impact of fracking on the renewable energy industry is over-hyped. They may argue that we can have both a flourishing fracking industry and a successful renewable industry. Except the evidence and expert opinion indicates otherwise. The International Energy Agency has warned us that “increased use of gas could muscle out low carbon fuels such as renewables … from the energy mix". The Committee on Climate Change, in 2012, warned that “the apparently ambivalent position of the Government about whether it is trying to build a low-carbon or a gas based power system weakens the signal provided by carbon budgets to investors” which risks that “as a result, the cases for low-carbon business development, capital allocation, innovation and supply chain investment are undermined, damaging prospects for required low-carbon investments”.

Therefore, Madam Speaker, I am confident about the long-term impacts on the economy from this decision. Our economy will be better off: greener, less polluted, better jobs. 

Emma Hollens
MP for Hull North (2010 - )

Parliamentary - 7
Media - 6
Policy - 13


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Sir Geoffrey Birch
(@sir-geoffrey)
MP for Bexhill & Battle
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 98
16/07/2019 10:45 pm  

Madam Speaker,

 

We have just heard the Minister regale us with Hallowe'en tales of the terror of fracking. The dangers, the environmental damage, the effect on Britain. The problem is, Madam Speaker, that these horror stories are just that: stories. The facts, evidence and expert judgement is simply not on her side.

 

No less an organisation than the Royal Society, perhaps the world's foremost scientific body, concluded that any health, safety and environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing could be managed through appropriate regulations. They recommended regulatory changes, and the then Conservative government implemented those regulations. The European Academies Science Advisory Council said: "Overall, in Europe more than 1000 horizontal wells and several thousand hydraulic fracturing jobs have been executed in recent decades. None of these operations are known to have resulted in safety or environmental problems". I think that is worth reiterating, Madam Speaker. “None”.

 

A report by the Royal Academy of Engineering stated: "Many claims of contaminated water wells due to shale gas extraction have been made. None has shown evidence of chemicals found in hydraulic fracturing fluids". Again, Madam Speaker, “None”. Indeed, the Royal Society report noted that the very nature of hydraulic fracturing, going very deep into the ground, made the likelihood of an impact on water to be “very low”. Furthermore, even in the very low chance of contamination to water, any such pollution would be removed by the level of treatment that water companies are required by law to apply before it even approaches a water main. For the Minister to claim otherwise is a disgusting piece of unsubstantiated scaremongering.

 

On the claims of tremors, the mythology again fails to stack up against the evidence. The Royal Society reports explains that any seismicity, at its biggest, would be felt by few people and would have negligible, if any, impact on the surface. Indeed, any effect would be of far smaller magnitude than of that which had been generated by the coal mining industry, which in turn was smaller than the natural seismic activity that occurs without our even noticing it. As for the question of clean air, the use of trucks and lorries is hardly something unique to fracking. If the Minister wishes to eliminate the pollutants of heavy good traffic, there are rather more sensible places to start than barking up this tree.

 

Madam Speaker, the oil and gas generated from hydraulic fracturing is a vital part of Britain's energy mix, provides jobs and supports Britain's energy independence, making us less reliant on less reliable sources of energy from overseas. To abandon these benefits because of scare stories around the supposed environmental problems is both scientifically illiterate and bad policy. The experts acknowledge that fracking is safe. The Government must too.

Sir Geoffrey Birch | Conservative Party
MP for Bexhill & Battle (2001-present)
Former MP for Northampton South (1983-1997)
Parliamentary experience: Novice (28)
Media experience: Novice (22)
Policy experience: Unknown (12)

Formerly: Deborah Carpenter, Conservative, MP for Hertford & Stortford, Former Chancellor of the Exchequer


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Roger Brigham
(@roger-brigham)
Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 76
18/07/2019 2:00 am  

Madam Speaker,

I thank the Honourable Minister and the Government for their worry about environment, I share the concern, but I'm also worried about the number of jobs that are created in this country, about energy price and about the energy deficit of our country that at the same times rises prices and reduces welfare of our families.

I'm a great supporter of renewable energies and I truly believe that our nation should invest more on them until the national energy supply cover the demand, and then we could reduce our dependence on foreign and fossil energy. Unfortunately that's not the situation right now.

We need more energy to be produced, with all the regulations and guarantees that these type of activities need but at the same time we must invest in renewable energies, it's our commitment and duty, the ecological transition should be made gradually, not directly because a lot of people and lives depend on it.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Roger Brigham

Roger Brigham
MP for Richmond Park

Parliamentary: Unknown (8)
Media: Novice (22)
Policy: Unknown (6)


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William (Will) Conway
(@will-conway)
MP for Milton Keynes North
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 99
18/07/2019 4:04 pm  

Madam Speaker,

I entirely agree with my Right Honorable Friend that the transition to renewable energy use can only be gradual and not absolute.  It is, however, my conviction that a ban on fracking represents an important step in this transition.   Therefore, after careful consideration of the arguments I have heard in this debate, I will vote in support of this bill, and I respectfully encourage my colleagues on this side of the House to do likewise.

Will Conway
Conservative
MP for Milton Keynes North (2014- )
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
Environment and Climate Change (2016)

Parliamentary 16
Media 14
Policy 8


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AL2016
(@al2016)
Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 57
20/07/2019 9:14 pm  

Madam Speaker,

I thank the Shadow Secretary of State for Energy, Environment and Climate Change for his support for this Bill. I just wish that he was able to bring with him the support of the rest of the Shadow Cabinet, including the Shadow Home and Health Secretary. I wonder what the Leader of the Opposition thinks, if he has time to spare from his other activities at the moment outside of the House.

The Shadow Home and Health Secretary states that he wants “the ecological transition … [to] be made gradually”. Except, Madam Speaker, the scale of the threat that faces us from climate change is so great that a gradual response won’t cut it. We can be as gradual as we like in response to an overwhelming threat but let us be clear about the consequences of anything less than dramatic and radical action: a less hospitable and more dangerous world, rising sea levels, extinction on a unprecedented scale, communities devastated, our children’s lives worsened – and all because we didn’t have the bravery, yes, but also the imagination to go full speed towards the steps we need to take.

But also, Madam Speaker, if we continue to allow fracking in this country and – as I believe the Shadow Home and Health Secretary wants – actually increase our dependence on home extracted fossil fuels, there will be no ecological transition. Renewable energy will be replaced by more fossil fuels, more pollution and more climate change. And the few jobs created that the Honourable Member is so desirous to create in the fracking industry will be outweighed by the reduced job creation – potentially, even job losses – in the renewable industries.

If we are truly concerned about the welfare of our families, as the Honourable Member mentions, he would support this legislation and ban fracking. Increasing our dependence on fossil fuels, even if they are home extracted, will not help our families be more prosperous, our communities cleaner, and our nation to be stronger. Climate change and air pollution doesn’t care that this nation is independent from foreign energy – it’ll harm our country just as much as others. The only response to the twin challenges of dependence on fossil fuels and dependence on foreign fossil fuels is to promote renewable energy and nuclear.         

Madam Speaker, the Honourable Gentleman, the Member for Bexhill and Battle, talks about the benefits of regulation. I believe the only set of regulations that will properly protect our environment from the harmful impacts of the fracking industry, the extraction that literally fractures our environment apart, is to completely ban it.

The reason why the government introduced this legislation is because fracking clearly poses a threat to the communities in which it is extracted from and the nation as a whole in which it is burnt. It is something that must be stopped if we are serious in tackling climate change and air pollution. The government is serious; the question is: are other parties in this House serious?

Emma Hollens
MP for Hull North (2010 - )

Parliamentary - 7
Media - 6
Policy - 13


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Steven Andrews
(@steven-andrews)
Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 120
22/07/2019 8:42 am  

Madam Speaker,
I am tentatively in favor of this Act.  My only question for the Government would be whether the intention is for this to be an actual moratorium...that is, that we are holding off until some understanding or practice is developed for safer practices of frakking?  Or is this intended as a permanent ban in the guise of a moratorium?  There's plenty of precedent for the latter.

If this is intended as a ban, I would be inclined to offer an amendment to adjust the legislation to make it a ban.  If it is intended as a moratorium, I would ask for the Government to give some sort of indication as to what it would consider to be the conditions it would move to end the moratorium.

Steven Andrews, MP for Croydon South

34 Policy/18 Media/23 Parliamentary


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Steven Andrews
(@steven-andrews)
Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 120
23/07/2019 6:46 am  

Madam Speaker,
With the lack of a response from the Government benches, I move to amend this bill by replacing all instances of the word "moratorium" with the word "ban".  The effect of the bill will arguably be the same, but I feel we should call a spade a spade in this instance.  I believe that repealing either version will require the introduction of separate legislation to achieve such an end, but at least in this case we will all be honest with ourselves and the public.

Steven Andrews, MP for Croydon South

34 Policy/18 Media/23 Parliamentary


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Sir Geoffrey Birch
(@sir-geoffrey)
MP for Bexhill & Battle
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 98
23/07/2019 8:04 pm  

Madam Speaker,

As a counterpoint to the proposal of my Hon Friend, I beg to move the amendment in my name on the Order Paper.

 

After Section 1(1), insert "(2) Such moratorium shall cease to have effect as of 1st January 2019."

Sir Geoffrey Birch | Conservative Party
MP for Bexhill & Battle (2001-present)
Former MP for Northampton South (1983-1997)
Parliamentary experience: Novice (28)
Media experience: Novice (22)
Policy experience: Unknown (12)

Formerly: Deborah Carpenter, Conservative, MP for Hertford & Stortford, Former Chancellor of the Exchequer


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Steven Andrews
(@steven-andrews)
Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 120
25/07/2019 7:29 am  

Madam Speaker,
I would urge that both amendments that have been proposed be moved.  I must confess that I do not have a strong feeling as to which ought to be adopted, but I do think that the Government at least owes it to our people and our industries to actually indicate the long-term nature of this move: Is this supposed to be a temporary measure, to permit various regulations to be brought forward?  Or is it ultimately intended as permanent, only to perhaps be reversed in the deepest of crises?

Steven Andrews, MP for Croydon South

34 Policy/18 Media/23 Parliamentary


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Caroline Blakesley
(@caroline-blakesley)
Prime Minister & MP for Hammersmith
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 158
06/08/2019 5:56 pm  

Madam Speaker,

I beg leave to introduce a programming motion for this legislation such that, following carry-over, 72 hours shall be allocated for debate.

Caroline Blakesley
Prime Minister
MP for Hammersmith

Parliamentary: Unknown (13)
Media: Unknown (17)
Policy: Unknown (18)


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