Rishi Sunak urged to frack now, compensate later as PM back tracks

Energy: Lance Forman calls for more fracking in UK

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Britain’s shale gas potential looks to remain untapped for the foreseeable future as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ditched the fracking ban lift he inherited from Liz Truss’ short-lived administration. The Conservative’s 2019 manifesto pledged a moratorium on fracking which Mr Sunak has used to justify the move despite having backed the technique during this summer’s Tory leadership contest. The decision to reintroduce the ban on fracking has angered proponents who argue the use of hydraulic fracking will clear Britain’s path to becoming energy independent. 

Former Brexit Party MEP and prominent Liz Truss supporter, Lance Forman has criticised Mr Sunak’s decision arguing that the ongoing energy crisis warranted the widespread adoption of fracking.

Ms Truss lifted the fracking ban during her brief spell in Number 10 but left the ultimate decision in the hands of local people, something Mr Foreman regards as an unnecessary hindrance in the face of a “national emergency.”

Mr Forman told Express.co.uk: “This is a national emergency, we don’t need local consent we just need to get on and do it like there is no tomorrow.

“Just compensate people for any disturbance, or if there is any damage compensate them accordingly.”

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“We have held ourselves ransom to Russia because of our net-zero policy, not just in the UK but right across Europe,” continued Mr Foreman who switched from the Brexit Party to the Conservatives in 2019.

“America doesn’t have that and that is one of the reasons why I feel a little bit positive is at least America didn’t go down that road. They frack, it has made them energy-independent.”

“That is exactly what we should be doing right now, we should have been doing it for the last ten years,” he said. 

“We wouldn’t be in this crisis if we had been fracking for the last 10 years.

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“We should be doing it right now, we shouldn’t be debating it.”

On Wednesday, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas quizzed Mr Sunak in the Commons on whether he would reverse the green light to fracking given by Liz Truss, pointing to his pledge to fix her mistakes and uphold the 2019 manifesto.

“So, if he is a man of his word, will he start by reversing the green light she gave to fracking since it’s categorically not been shown to be safe, and instead maintain the moratorium that was pledged in that very manifesto that he promised to uphold?”

The Prime Minister replied: “I have already said I stand by the manifesto on that.”

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The announcement has been welcomed by some Conservatives, many of whom are opposed to new drilling sites being built in their constituencies citing strong local opposition.

Sam Hall, director of the Conservative Environment Network said: “It is unpopular, and few communities would approve fracking projects locally, meaning little or no gas would be extracted, despite the high political cost.

“Instead, the Government should focus on building more cheap and popular renewables, including onshore wind and solar where there is local support.

“These technologies will bring down bills, improve energy sovereignty and reduce emissions.”

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