Developing fracking 'an urgent national priority'

Building up the UK's fracking industry should be "an urgent national priority" in order to create jobs, make Britain less reliant on foreign energy supply and cut emission, Lords have said.

Greenpeace: Fracking 'non-solution' to energy crisis

Fracking is a "non-solution" to global warming, dwindling natural resources and dependency on foreign gas, a leading environmental charity has said.

Greenpeace UK chief scientist Dr Doug Parr criticised the Lords Economic Affairs Committee for "cherry-picking" evidence to support Government plans to go "all out for shale".

The real urgent national priority is to push ahead with the renewable technology and efficiency measures which would much more rapidly address the security issues flagged up by the Ukraine crisis.

The Lords spent seven months cherry-picking the wafer thin evidence that fits a foregone conclusion about the benefits of shale gas.

This is just more taxpayer-funded cheerleading from unelected politicians who seem all too happy to ignore the country's legitimate concerns about fracking.

– Dr Doug Parr

Fracking 'potentially a remarkable opportunity' for UK

Fracking could "potentially" be a "remarkable opportunity" for the UK to develop a new industry which would create jobs and deliver greater independence from the global energy market, a leading member of the House of Lords said.

Lord MacGregor, the chairman of the Lords Economic Affairs Committee said:

The Committee strongly supports the Government's decision to go 'all out for shale'.

But here in the UK we have not yet left the starting gate.

Developing a successful shale gas and oil industry in the UK must be an urgent national priority.

Potentially it's a remarkable opportunity for this country.

We're calling for streamlining not weakening the regulation and we believe the Government needs to get its act together faster and more comprehensively.

– Lord MacGregor

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UK fracking industry an 'urgent national priority'

Developing the UK's fracking industry is "an urgent national priority", according to a committee of peers.

Read: Green MP Caroline Lucas cleared over fracking protests

Fracking
The Cuadrilla exploratory drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex, was the centre of environmental protests last summer. Credit: PA

The Lords Economic Affairs Committee pointed to the shale gas industry as a way of creating jobs, cutting emissions and making the UK less dependent on foreign gas and oil.

Ministers also needed to do more to drive forward exploratory drilling and appraisal of shale resources to see how much could be developed economically, a report by the Lords said.

They also backed moves by the Government to change trespass laws so that shale companies could drill under people's property without their permission to ensure development could go ahead "without undue delay or cost".

Read: Hague: Fracking can 'weaken Russia's grip over Europe'