Last night’s leadership debate revealed the UK’s next Prime Minister will be pro-fracking – with both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak giving a resounding ‘Yes’ to a focused question centred on fracking.
Campaigners for fracking have today expressed their delight at this promise by Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, as it is a huge U-turn following the suspension on fracking put in place by Boris Johnson’s government in 2019.
An editorial in The Sun today (27th July), a paper which has long backed fracking, said, ‘Shale gas could provide us with crucial cheap energy for years. It cannot be up to locals to have a veto.’
The Global Warming Policy Forum, which runs the Net Zero Watch campaign celebrated Ms Truss and Mr Sunak’s announcement. On Twitter the organisation today said, ‘The next PM will finally abandon Boris Johnson’s crazy fracking ban. Both candidates for PM pledge to give the green light to fracking if local communities don’t object. We have been campaigning for years for this to happen.’
However, the caveat added by the two contenders for Prime Minister that local communities must support fracking in order for it to go ahead is significant as polls show support for new fossil fuel drilling is tiny
And the opposition to fracking continues. Today, the Green Party’s co-leader Carla Denyer told The Independent, ‘It is very worrying that the two people vying to become our next Prime Minister want to reverse the fracking ban and further deepen our country’s dependence on fossil fuels. The Conservatives are increasingly out of step with the majority of British people’s views and with evidence-based policy on climate and energy.’
She added, ‘Fracking will not bring down fuel bills for people who are struggling and will cause yet more damage to local communities and to the climate. The most effective and sustainable way of bringing down the cost of living and tackling the climate crisis is to invest in insulating houses and massively ramping up renewable energy, while providing people with the immediate financial support they need now. Fracking is an expensive and dangerous distraction from that urgent goal.’