UK’s Brexit Minister Backs Fracking For Energy Independence

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, arrives at Downing Street on January 21, 2020 in London, England. In just over one week's time the UK will exit the European Union fulfilling the result of the 2016 Referendum in which 52% of the turnout …
Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images

Britain’s Brexit Minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has called for the Conservative government to reconsider their fracking ban, a development that could improve access to affordable energy for Britons, and even improve Britain’s energy independence.

Russia’s recent intensification of the Ukraine war and Boris Johnson’s Net-Zero green diktats have compounded long-standing problems borne of decades of bad government energy policy, seeing household energy prices, as well as petrol prices, soar.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has, however, suggested that a way to combat this — as well as ensure Britain maintains their “energy security” — is to use the natural resources which Britain “has a lot of” domestically, which includes obtaining gas via fracking, which he argues is safe and in line with the Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto.

Mogg went on to rubbish eco-fearmongering claims about fracking sites — which he described as the size of a “cricket pitch” — and claimed that the seismic activity normally created during fracking is “less than you get from a rockfall in a disused coal mine”, and that people need to develop “a good understanding of what the real risks are” before they make a decision on fracking, The Telegraph reports.

“All life is about balancing risk, isn’t it? That’s just the nature of humanity…there are risks in terms of the effect on areas”, Mogg continued.

When asked by the host of The Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics, Christopher Hope, whether fracking could interfere with the government’s unpopular net-zero plans, Mogg insisted that it wouldn’t, replying “2050 is some time off”.

Mogg was reluctant to tell Hope how many of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet supported his views — which are not in line with current government policy — opting instead to say he was observing the Chatham House rule.

Chatham House — also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs — lends its name to the rule governing closed where guests are free to later reveal what was discussed, but not who said what, and under some interpretations, who was present.

While the Conservative government has enacted a ban on British fracking, they have committed a u-turn on an earlier fracking policy on Tuesday, by allowing two fracking sites that were set to be ‘capped’ with concrete to remain open until June in an effort to allow the sites to operate for “research” purposes.

Another apparent u-turn has come with Britain’s North Sea oil field, which has ramped up production, The Herald reports, despite new licences for drilling being rejected by the government as recently as last year.

Nevertheless, a government spokesman has maintained that their “position on fracking hasn’t changed”, despite the rising energy costs.

Johnson has come under increased pressure to find a solution to Britain’s energy crisis, as household bills are set to rise by an additional £800, with Mogg highlighting in his interview that “what really matters is that people should be able to heat their homes at an affordable level and that this is going to be heavily dependent on gas for years to come”.

Alongside fracking, Mogg also critiqued other radical environmentalist arguments saying: “Part of the green argument was that we shouldn’t tap our own resources of natural gas and oil, which always seemed to me to be eccentric at best, because the idea that importing LNG [Liquefied natural gas] is greener than sucking it out of the North Sea has always been nonsensical”.

“You don’t get to net-zero any faster or any slower if you use your gas or somebody else’s gas, it’s still gas. Actually, it’s marginally more environmentally friendly if you use your own gas as it hasn’t had the extra transportation costs”, Mogg continued.


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