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UK Climate Minister says fracking and drilling for oil plan is good for the environment

UK Climate Minister says fracking and drilling for oil plan is good for the environment

Graham Stuart told MPs that drilling in the North Sea is actually a green policy.

The UK's new climate minister has revealed his new 'green' policy: drilling in the North Sea and fracking for gas across the British countryside.

Fracking and drilling for new oil and gas has been given the green light by the Truss government, with Climate Minister Graham Stuart telling MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee that drilling for new fossil fuels would help the UK reach net zero by 2050.

"It’s good for jobs and good for the economy and it is good for the environment," Stuart said, as per The Guardian.

Stuart described the fossil fuel extraction in the North Sea, powered by British multinational oil and gas companies Shell and BP, as 'world-leading'.

Graham Stuart.
PA Images / Alamy

The MP added that British oil and gas production was on the decline, which may lead to the importation of fossil fuels from another country.

Stuart revealed that the UK imports around 55 per cent of its gas and is reliant on shipments of liquified natural gas.

However, by opening up new gas and oil fields, the Climate Minister said the United Kingdom's carbon impact would be lower than importing oil and gas which was extracted in a less sustainable way.

That, therefore, means the award of new mining and fracking licences is the greener option.

"Producing [oil and gas] domestically creates only half the emissions around production and transportation than importing it from around the world,” he told the Environmental Audit Committee hearing, as per the Yorkshire Post.

"In terms of the economy and the environment, domestic production is a good thing and we should all get behind is good for the economy, good for jobs and stops us giving money to dubious regimes."

Pumpjacks at an oil field and hydraulic fracking site.
Citizen of the Planet / Alamy

The Climate Minister said all mining and fracking operations must comply with some of 'the most rigorous environmental regulations in the world'.

The ban on fracking in England was imposed in 2019 amid concerns over earth tremors.

The ban was lifted last month by the UK's new Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Fracking is a highly controversial practice that sees companies drill down into the earth to inject a mixture of water, chemicals, and sand into a shale rock formation.

The process causes the shale rock to fracture and therefore releases the gas inside.

Anti-fracking campaigners have consistently raised concerns about the environmental impact of the practice, highlighting studies that indicate that fracking can trigger earthquakes and even contaminate local groundwater supplies.

Truss said in September that fracking will only go ahead with 'local consent', as per Reuters.

How that consent will be obtained remains unclear.

Featured Image Credit: Ian Davidson / Alamy Stock Photo. Mint Images Limited / Alamy

Topics: Politics, Environment, UK News