Today sees Parliament consider an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill that would introduce a moratorium on unconventional gas wells in the UK. To coincide with the vote, the Environmental Audit Committee has produced one of its normal sham reports saying that industrial activity will all end in disaster, based as always on a series of interviews with environmentalists and pretty much nobody else. In fact, as Emily Gosden in the Telegraph amusingly notes, they have outdone themselves today:
The EAC also cites evidence from Paul Mobbs, a self-described “freelance campaigner, activist, environmental consultant, author, lecturer and engineer” and former “electrohippie”, who runs a “dysorganisation” called the ‘Free Range Activism Website’.
It's good to know that the views of the electrohippies are not being overlooked.
I gather that the commmittee's chairman Joan Whalley has been all over the BBC this morning, no doubt given the usual free pass by the eco-nutters who present programmes for the corporation.
I'll update this page throughout the day as news comes in.
James Verdon notes how Whalley and her colleagues have weighed up the evidence.
The EAC report cites the "Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association":
"The Frack Free Balcombe Resident’s Association raised concerns that 'wells or fractures intersecting with natural faults could easily become conduits for leaking gases and liquids'
but completely ignores the evidence provided by myself and Professor Kendall, which provides extensive documentation from peer-reviewed scientific literature that this is extremely unlikely to happen.
INEOS seem a bit annoyed with the EAC:
The UK needs Shale gas and we know that INEOS has the skills to safely extract it from the ground without damaging the environment. We have committed to public consultation and to share 6% of the entire revenue from any of our Shale gas wells with the local community. Without Shale gas, UK manufacturing is starting to collapse so we need to kick start the Shale gas industry, not put it on hold”.
The debate in the House of Commons is now under way here. Julian Huppert vocal in favour of banning fracking, Tim Yeo speaking against.
16:30 My impression is that Labour are going to get some regulations to console their supporters. I'm guessing that means that the banning amendments will fail.