Thank you for contacting me about shale gas.
The safe development of shale gas will be good for jobs, good for our energy security, and help the UK to decarbonise its economy. We need a diverse energy mix, and shale gas can play a part in that.
I believe that the right protections are in place to ensure that fracking can go ahead safely without risk to our most beautiful and important natural sites. People should have confidence that the UK’s world-leading environmental regulations will deliver clean, safe shale gas extraction. With these protections in place, I think it is right that we explore and make use of shale gas and oil.
Regulations now protect some of the country’s most beautiful areas, including National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, meaning shale gas exploration cannot take place at depths of less than 1,200 metres in these areas. The Government is also committed to banning wells drilled at the surface of these areas or within Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
I am pleased that the Government understands that it is critical for the industry to have the confidence of the public if it is to flourish in the long term.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP