The government has today lifted the moratorium on shale gas production in England and reiterated its support for a new oil and gas licensing round.
A few days ago, leaked documents by the British Geological Survey seen by the Guardian admitted that not much progress had been made in forecasting fracking-induced earthquakes and their magnitude.
The government said there had only been three test wells which had been hydraulically fractured in the UK to date.
It added: “It is clear that we need more sites drilled in order to gather better data and improve the evidence base and we are aware that some developers are keen to assist with this process.”
Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “In light of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and weaponisation of energy, strengthening our energy security is an absolute priority and as the Prime Minister said we are going to ensure the UK is a net energy exporter by 2040.
“To get there we will need to explore all avenues available to us through solar, wind, oil and gas production – so it’s right that we have lifted the pause to realise any potential sources of domestic gas.”
Reacting to the government’s plans to lift the fracking moratorium, Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Danny Gross said: “Ripping up the rules that protect people from fracking would send shockwaves through local communities.
“This announcement suggests that the government is planning to throw communities under the bus by forcing them to accept ‘a higher degree of risk and disturbance’.