Question by Valerie Vaz, Shadow Leader of the House…

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A question asked yesterday in the Commons by Valerie Vaz, Shadow Leader of the House:

We know that the Government are committed to the environment, because they said so in their 151-page document “A Green Future”, but amazingly, that document made no mention of fracking. I draw the attention of the Leader of the House to a new study, “Sustainability of UK shale gas in comparison with other electricity options”, which examines the environmental, economic and social sustainability of fracking. May we have a statement on why exploratory drilling is going ahead in Lancashire when the study ranked shale gas seventh out of nine different energy sources?

and NOt answered by Andrea Leadsom:

…On the subject of fracking, it is clear that natural gas provided by fracking, with some of the world’s strongest and most careful regulation, is a way forward for the United Kingdom as we move towards zero-carbon targets for our electricity generation. From where we are today, we cannot simply get rid of coal from the system—we hope to do that by 2025—and move straight to lower carbon forms of energy generation. Gas will continue to be an important part of our transition towards a low-carbon future, and natural gas from fracking is one option that is open to the United Kingdom.

So where did coal come into the question? Ms Vaz pointed out that there was NO mention of fracking in ‘A Green Future’ although the Govt seem convinced that shale gas will ‘bridge the gap’ in a transition to a low carbon future. So fracking at least deserves a mention. The main question was, ‘ why exploratory drilling is going ahead in Lancashire when the study ranked shale gas seventh out of nine different energy sources? ‘  … and this was not answered.

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