FRACKING is officially banned again after Rishi Sunak reinstated the hated moratorium lifted just a month ago.
It came as the new PM defended ducking out of going to the COP27 climate summit in Egypt as he is preparing for the Autumn Statement instead.
Rishi Sunak reinstated the hated moratorium lifted just a month ago[/caption]
New Business Secretary, Grant Shapps, yesterday confirmed that ministers would u-turn on Liz Truss‘ vow to rip up the ban.
And he warned gas drillers that they would not give the green light to new sites unless they could prove it would be safe enough.
In a statement pointing back to the 2019 Tory manifesto, he said: “We will again take a presumption against issuing any further hydraulic fracturing consents.
“This position, an effective moratorium, will be maintained until compelling new evidence is provided which addresses the concerns around the prediction and management of induced seismicity.”
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A recent report from the British Geological Society showed that more research needed to be done first to see whether it could be done safely.
But Mr Shapps insisted there was “significant uncertainty” as to whether it could cause earthquakes.
Last night fracking firms reacted with fury – and said it would mean Red Wall Brits would miss out on help with their bills as part of a deal to frack in their areas.
Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan raged: “In the middle of an energy and cost of living crisis, when the UK and Europe is increasingly reliant on shale gas shipped across the Atlantic and liquified gas from Qatar to keep the lights on, it beggars belief that our government should reintroduce a moratorium on exploring for and producing our own shale gas.
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“There is no rational scientific justification for this decision.”
It came as Mr Sunak insisted he had to focus on “pressing” economic issues at home rather than dashing to Egypt for the COP27 climate conference next month.
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After critics took a pop at him for shunning the world stage, he hit back: “At the moment it’s right that I’m also focusing on the pressing domestic challenges we have with the economy, and I think that’s what people watching would reasonably expect me to be doing as well.”