Onshore gas

The government has said it is considering allowing extraction of onshore gas in the UK subject to community consent and full  safety and planning controls.  Critics of this approach call it fracking, which is a description of some reservoir management techniques that have been commonly used in oil and gas wells for many years and have been accepted as safe. In order to sustain or increase pressure in some oil and gas deposits so the gas and oil flow to the surface it is necessary to inject agents, most often water, to increase pressure in the strata to move the gas on. There could  be low level seismic shocks from this process which produce little or no disturbance at the surface above the reservoir. These shocks are monitored and controlled, and are usually below the level of shock created by a bus going by on a nearby road, or felt near to a building site.

Producing more of our own gas would  be good for the environment and good for our economy. It would more than halve the CO2 output compared to relying as we do today on too much imported LNG gas. These imports need energy to compress, liquefy, transport and convert  back to gas which we do not need for home produced gas. Imported gas attracts large tax revenues which are paid away to a foreign country, whereas home produced gas would be taxed to help pay for local services. Home production brings well paid jobs . Home produced gas would likely to be sold as contract gas, avoiding the price spikes of buying gas on a volatile world market. It would ease our indirect dependence on Russian gas into Europe.

I also think it fundamental that work on such a gas well should only go ahead where the local community affected by it has given consent and participates in the revenue or uses some of the gas produced. I would not want a gas well close to a town or village in my constituency where the public did not wish one. The idea behind requiring community consent would be to encourage wells and drilling well away from homes. People should have the choice, and some may well wish to allow drilling a mile or two away from their home in return for payments from the producers. This policy is currently being consulted on and is not firm, so your ideas would be especially welcome.



  1. Peter Wood
    October 13, 2022

    Good Morning,
    how many wells can be in production by Christmas?

    Thought so. Lots of good ideas being kicked around but not much action is there? PCP still appear to be a bunch of hand-wringing whiners, only scared of losing their seats, forcing the new PM into U-turns until she’s dizzy, and your Civil Service seems to want to crash the economy in the hope that we’ll run back into the cadaverous embrace of the EU.

    Somebody needs to start leading and laying down the law – Ms Truss?

    PS, £ interest rates have to be AT LEAST equal to US$ rates, or £ falls and inflation rises. It’s not too hard to work out. Economic structural reset is underway, long delayed by incompetent government so it’s more painful.

    1. Nigl
      October 13, 2022

      Perfectly put and as Truss is too weak to push back, what is the purpose of her?

      And I read that Starmer is going to put down an opposition motion and many Tory MPs more interested in looking after their own backsides will support it.

      Sir JR getting his ‘retaliation’ in first maybe?

    2. Cuibono
      October 13, 2022

      Honestly…if they ever had the slightest intention we’d already be in full production.
      Indeed they would never have allowed us to lose self sufficiency ( or our country).
      We have self NOTHING now.
      They’ve given it all away.

    3. PeteB
      October 13, 2022

      Peter, heard one company claim (in August) that if onshore extraction permision were given then they could be extracting gas by January. Suspect we won’t see a single onshore permission granted.

      As for your p.s. you are spot on. Anyone looked at the Euro or Yen exchange rate v USD this year? Anyone ask why the markets didn’t panic when UK carried out £900bn of QE between 2008-20? Or why markets didn’t panic when we blew £400bn on Covid spending? Or even a few weeks ago why they didn’t panic when Truss committed to energy caps costing Government £60bn for households and the same again for business (was 2nd element ever sized?). No the ‘reason’ markets paniced is that the Government went on to propose tax cuts costing less than any of these measures. Feels suspicious…

    4. Excalibur
      October 13, 2022

      Quite so, Peter Wood. The problems, whether related to the economy or adequate fuel supplies, are the refusal to face up to unpalatable truths. James Cleverly on Sky this morning was notable in his refusal to spell it it out bluntly. The fact is we should lower corporation tax to match Ireland at 12.5%. There would be a rush of inward investment.

      Similarly, ‘fracking’ (or whatever one wishes to label it) should go ahead regardless of local opposition. It is time for vigorous action. I believe that Suelia Braverman’s outspoken and forthright language is needed. Too much time and verbiage is expended in trying to be all things to all people. We have too many of our own population happy to rely on benefits.

      India has shown repeatedly it is no friend of ours, yet we persist in trying to woo Narendra Modi who is conspicuously pro-Russian. Why do we do this ? We are supporting Ukraine at vast cost to ourselves on the one hand, while India undermines our position by purchasing Russian aircraft, and buying Russian oil and gas.

      1. Mitchel
        October 14, 2022

        And Russian sunflower oil-Russia has just emerged as India’s largest supplier,followed by Argentina(which is currently applying for membership of BRICS);it was Ukraine that used to be India’s largest supplier.

        SCO in action,yet again!

    5. IanT
      October 13, 2022

      Very true Peter, parts of the Tory Party seem to have a death wish currently I’m afraid. All those large egos banging around inside Westminster thinking they are the solution – or (in some cases) knowing that they are not but making mischief anyway.
      Sometimes hard questions are best answered by asking a slightly different one. So instead of speculating whether someone else can do better as PM, it’s more useful to speculate on the reaction if you actually tried to bring in someone (anyone) at this late stage.
      Instead of worrying about any potential problems of fracking, ponder on the damage being done to this country by not trying. It’s a variant of the “I’m unfit but cannot exercise because I might pull a muscle” thought train.

      1. Mickey Taking
        October 13, 2022

        ‘parts of the Tory Party seem to have a death wish currently ‘
        Well if it wasn’t for the large note verdict signed by Miliband, then crossed out by Corbyn, and now Starmer inked in, the DO NOT RESUSCITATE form would be welcomed by many.

      2. dixie
        October 14, 2022

        Quite so – better to ask for forgiveness for trying for good reasons and failing than be condemned for not trying anything at all.

    6. Nottingham Lad Himself
      October 13, 2022

      The founder of Cuadrilla himself has said that onshore gas is NOT the answer to the UK’s energy needs.

      Why don’t you read his proposals, instead of these silly culture war repetitions?

      He has rather more idea than some as to what is required, plainly.

      1. a-tracy
        October 13, 2022

        NLH isn’t that because he is now investing his time and money fracking in the Irish Sea.

      2. Peter2
        October 13, 2022

        Why not allow those, apart from this one person, to invest in a resource we have NHL?
        Do you really believe imports are more green?

      3. miami.mode
        October 13, 2022

        You parrot his opinion but he currently works for a different type of energy supplier that is a rival to onshore gas.

    7. Ed M
      October 13, 2022


      – Looking more and more as if her days are numbered. She comes across as confused / out of her depth (Theresa May and Boris struggled at times but never came across as if they were out of their depth even though neither were great prime ministers to say the least ..). I think Darwinism is going to kick into the Tory party, sooner rather than later, with a new PM / Chancellor (at least to restore some stability – we need to focus on stability right now before over-focusing on medium to long-term policy and about how soft or hard that policy should be. For now we need some stability – quick).

      1. a-tracy
        October 14, 2022

        EdM, I was surprised today to read a tweet about a positive conservative by-election result. The Tory vote up 32.7% the Labour vote down 49.8% in Leicester.

    8. Merrie qubus
      October 13, 2022

      Why are we always provided with a running commentary about Sterling versus the dollar? How about more information about the variation of its strength against the euro.
      Of course, the pound isn’t always falling with respect to the dollar, although you would hardly believe that. It is often that the dollar is rising against all currencies.

      1. Old Salt
        October 13, 2022

        M q
        So the dollar was around 1.42 recent high at end May 2021

      2. Peter Wood
        October 13, 2022

        Most worldwide traded commodities are priced and traded in US$, particularly oil and gas. We import such commodities and therefore cost goes up when £ falls against $.

    9. Guy Liardet
      October 15, 2022

      John, we must get rid of the futile, lunatic Net Zero which Lord Lawson has predicted will be ‘an unparalleled economic calamity’. Have you heard ANYTHING about how it is to be applied outside ELECTRICITY GENERATION? Aviation, shipping, construction, road delivery: motor transport, agriculture, forestry? Get hold of the stupefyingly ignorant Lord Gummer and ask for his decarbonisation plans for those. ( there aren’t any)

    10. Glynn Wright
      October 17, 2022

      There is virtually zero hard evidence of commercially viable quantities of onshore natural gas that can be extracted in the UK. The number of test boreholes that have been made can be counted on the fingers of one hand. In the USA they drill one hundred or more before assessing the size of the reserves within a gas field.
      I am certainly not opposed to extraction, but I can’t imagine why the large oil companies would be keen to invest without more data. BP just announced that it is forming a consortium to design, install and operate deep water electrical wind turbines which must seem a far safer investment for them.

  2. Wanderer
    October 13, 2022

    Offering “communities” some revenue share is a no-brainer. But it should be aimed directly at individuals, not thrown at wasteful local authorities. That way it would be far more attractive to the average punter.

    1. PeteB
      October 13, 2022

      Wanderer, agree any money needs to go direct to the people in the area, not the LA. Difficulty comes in saying how a community agrees to local development? Do you have a ballot with a simple majority? Who manages this? How is ‘campaigning’ handled? How close to site do people need to live to quality for a vote?

      A few bigger questions:
      – How much cash does the community get? Talk has quoted modest figures that I doubt would sway anyone.
      – Why adopt this model for oil & gas extraction but not for new roads, houses, industry, reservoirs…. ?

      1. anon
        October 15, 2022

        Well we are desperately short of hydro storage? and reservoir capacity? managed recreation areas and also housing as long as we have mass immigration “needs”.
        Long term community benefits.

    2. Donna
      October 13, 2022

      Agreed. The money should go directly to householders: not to Councils to waste on their hair-brained schemes; not to Quangos or other local non-Governmental organisations; not to “Charities” and most definitely not to Regional Mayors.

      None of them can be trusted to use it wisely.

    3. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2022

      +1. We have far too many layers of generally very incompetent government and huge levels of taxation combined with dire levels of public services already. Get on with it. “Decision on Cumbrian coal mine delayed for a second time” I see 12 AUGUST 2022.

      The net zero idiots still prefer to import the coal and send the jobs and CO2 overseas. Meanwhile Truss seem to be quietly collaborating in an EU defence arrangement so what is this exactly?

    4. Ian Wragg
      October 13, 2022

      Correct, the individual must benefit.
      I see the usual charities are ganging up to object. Funny the RSPB and Co who support bird mincers.

    5. agricola
      October 13, 2022

      And then those next to railways, motorways, and under airfield aporoach paths will arrive with their begging bowls.

    6. Merrie qubus
      October 13, 2022


    7. KB
      October 13, 2022

      Also, central government would cut the local authority grant, so that they are no better off.

    8. l
      October 13, 2022

      Dear Wanderer–And we should remind the average punter that Mrs Marple, no less, once opined that we are not put on this Earth to avoid all possibility of risk of danger and certainly not risks of the order the eco fanatics seem to be worried about such as cups and saucers rattling at tea time and at very infrequent intervals if at all at that. I saw this on the TV once!

  3. DOM
    October 13, 2022

    We need Susan Michie back from the UN to formulate a psyops agenda for the Tories demonise anti-frackers. She worked closely with John’s party to whip up plenty of fear and paranoia, shall we say. Get our cuddly Marxist back to do her best against those who want to see people freeze to death due to high gas prices

    1. DOM
      October 13, 2022

      But on a more serious note. Fracking is totally safe and those who oppose are political in nature ie climate change Marxists. The Beetaloo in the NT (Aus) is currently being fracked and to great success. Estimates of between 10tcf-100tcf recoverable over the next 100 years is huge if it comes off. Britain doesn’t have the equivalent geo stratum but the UK does have potential

      1. Michelle
        October 13, 2022

        I thought your first comment was serious, not least because of the truth within it.
        Indeed, how about the government actually goes on the offensive for once and takes on those who would see us freeze and at astronomical costs, just because they see only windmills as the answer to a current problem, much of which is of their making.

        It was easy enough to go on the offensive against those who wanted to consider whether to just roll their sleeves up for a hastily hatched vaccine of a sorts that does very little. Never any mention about big pharma and the big profits they are making either.

      2. Merrie qubus
        October 13, 2022

        All very well, but isn’t it going to take about seven years for any fracking to come online?

      3. Hope
        October 13, 2022

        How can anyone believe a word Truss says!! U-Turn on tax cut for 45p now another U-turn for corporation tax. FFS! Why not keep both?

        No spending cuts! Why not? Just because Labour want a big wasteful state run by unions? Where is the conservatism inner ? Where is she not for turning?

        We expect independent energy security not EU interdependency. If RoI is dependent t on UK for gas supply they should think vaccines and protocol change before any offer of help is given- note to Rees-Mogg you supported Brexit, deliver it.

        JR, Has treacherous remaining Truss signed the EU PESCO military mobility pact? Signing UK back under more EU control for foreign and defence policy while acceding to be compliant with their systems? Has she signed up the country to European Political Community? Could you remind her we voted leave and that meant not leaving N.Ireland u dear EU control, no courts ie ECJ and ECHR to fetter our govt’s decision making and regain our fishing grounds. What part did your party and govt not understand?

        1. a-tracy
          October 13, 2022

          Hope aren’t the Irish fracking in the Irish Sea?

          1. Hope
            October 14, 2022

            Reported Irish met Rees-Mogg last week to seek assurance about gas supply if things get tight this winter. I would let them wait until after protocol talks! Weak govt always gives never bargains for something in return. Like protecting their skies.

        2. Fedupsoutherner
          October 14, 2022

          Hope. They understood it all but were intent from the start not to deliver it.

    2. Cuibono
      October 13, 2022

      Sit screaming on the motorway with a police provided cuppa.
      Call for Truss’s new “Snowflake” support service!
      It’s FOSSIL FUEL.
      You know, that wonderful store of energy laid down yonks ago.
      Especially for our use.
      Like coal and oil.
      “Freeze not Frack” sez I….and will say until my dying breath!🥶

    3. No Longer Anonymous
      October 13, 2022

      Dom – Remember Lives Must be Saved from Covid at Any Cost ?

      That Any Cost meant literally the whole economy and the lives of those whom we saved from Covid. They can be killed by hypothermia OK but NOT COVID !!!!

  4. Javelin
    October 13, 2022

    We have full employment and there are more jobs than job seekers. Interest rates are still at historic lows. Taxes are at there highest ever and the Government is at its largest ever.

    Despite this the Government’s critics are saying it can’t balance the books, it can’t make any cuts and the current economic orthodoxy works.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Mark B
      October 13, 2022

      Yes. Vested interests.

    2. Shirley M
      October 13, 2022

      We are being pushed into a low wage economy, and low wage jobs only appeal to those immigrants from poorer countries. The taxpayer makes up the wages needed to support a family with top up benefits, thereby subsidising company profits. The employer of a low paid immigrant pays NOTHING towards the vast amounts of money needed to set them up with housing, NHS services, education for their children, etc. The low paid immigrants will seek a better paid job, and if successful, they will leave the low paid job vacant again for ever more immigration. The way to stop this is to let the employer pay enough make the job worthwhile instead of relying on the taxpayer to provide them with sufficient low paid immigrants that are a drain on the country and do NOTHING to help the UK or its economy. If they were taking UK citizens for low pay, at least the taxpayer wouldn’t be paying an additional person to be unemployed.

      The benefit system needs a rewrite to cater for the huge amount of immigration (legal and illegal) that we are supporting.

    3. Dave Andrews
      October 13, 2022

      They are terrified of saying they will introduce cuts.
      Why don’t they say then they won’t reduce services, but just cut the waste? Start with the NHS, which is a bloated bureaucracy that’s too big to run efficiently. Then deal with benefits.

      On another matter Sir John, can you shed any light on this European Political Community initiative? At one level it sounds like more EU.

    4. Mark J
      October 13, 2022

      How can we have full employment when there are over 5 million economically inactive people already in the UK? Not to mention the increasing numbers being signed on to long term benefits.

      The Government should be looking at getting a large chunk of these people back into work before relying on yet more immigration. There should also be more rigorous processes before someone is deemed ‘not fit for work’ – and a lifetime of benefits paid for by us.

      If we are still hearing of 60,000+ illegal arrivals a year come 2024, then this Conservative Government will rightly deserve to be chucked out.

      I really don’t want a Labour Government, however that is where we are heading. Unless the Conservatives buck up their ideas, stop the infighting and start to seriously deal with the important issues that people want resolved.

    5. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2022

      Indeed and yet despite these absurdly high tax levels (and complexity) of taxation we have generally appalling and still declining public services. The NHS for example taking over 24 hours for “emergency” ambulances. August deaths (non Covid) the highest for 15 years due to both NHS negligence and side effects from the Covid vaccines given to people who did not need them one assumes? The only solution is to at least halve the size of the parasitic sector, half tax levels, cut red tape, scrap net zero and grow the productive sector tax base. Destroy parasitic jobs. There are millions of them in the state sector and the private sector in compliance with daft red tape.

      Allister Heath today is spot on.
      “Our zombie economy is crumbling and the real culprits are getting off scot-free
      Truss is being blamed for the collapse of the debt-fuelled Jenga society that she was trying to replace.”

      1. Lifelogic
        October 13, 2022

        Allister Heath concludes:- “If Truss is destroyed, the alternative won’t even be social democracy: it will be Labour, the hard Left, the full gamut of punitive taxation, including of wealth and housing, and even more spending, culminating rapidly in economic oblivion. Those Tories plotting to depose Truss need to work out on whose side they really are.”

        Worse still Allister it will prob. be Labour/SNP/LibDim – a total disaster. The green crap, tax borrow, currency debase and endless waste socialism we have had to suffer under Cameron/May/Boris Cameron has been quite appalling enough. Plus, we may never get remotely competent government every again.

    6. No Longer Anonymous
      October 13, 2022

      Very clever.

      For those who don’t understand irony.

      The true unemployed are hidden in universities and on sick benefits. Also people who have never paid NI are classed as ‘pensioners’ when they are over 65 still on state benefits.

      As for cuts. The State has never been so huge. There is also New Speak and never ending war in Urasia – and we live in bleak, cold conditions …. only the boiler suits to come.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 14, 2022


    7. IanT
      October 13, 2022

      The current economic ‘orthodoxy’ has been slowly killing our economy for many years. It has always been unstustainable but the damage happens so slowly that nobody (our politicians hope) notices. As all the financial manipulation (QE) starts to finally unwind (as was alway going to do) those caught out in this game of Musical Chairs are going to get hurt. For example people who have over extended themselves to buy a home and who cannot afford rising interest rates. But with house price to wage ratios hitting 8 times (higher in London) did anyone really think this was sustainable? We even had proposals of “generational” mortgages from the Johnson goverment. A sensible (caring) government would have prevented excessive mortgage loans being granted, which would have cooled markets and safeguarded buyers.

      1. Mitchel
        October 14, 2022

        “You can’t taper a ponzi scheme.”

    8. Mickey Taking
      October 13, 2022

      ‘full employment’ actually means more people do small hours paid at minimum levels. If their only income, they qualify for additional income via benefits. So this is good?

    9. Merrie qubus
      October 13, 2022

      Slightly off-topic:
      I am not a financial pundit but in IMHO we haven’t had a good governor of the BoE since Mervyn King.

    10. a-tracy
      October 13, 2022

      The economically inactive, perhaps?
      More people than ever stay in education until 21-22 years of age. Compulsory education to 18. [8.857.000 people aged 16-64:21.4% of the public]
      It includes:
      Early retirees
      Long term sick
      I’m not sure if it includes asylum seekers/refugees/awaiting decision unable to work.

    11. Berkshire Alan
      October 13, 2022

      How about, Intelligent and competent people in government

    12. Iain gill
      October 13, 2022

      Employment is still geographic.

      There are social housing estates built to support old heavy industry which is long since gone, where currently there is no realistic jobs market for the residents within traveling distance.

      In a normal world rent prices in such places would have collapsed, people would have moved away, new employers would move there for a workforce which needs less money to pay its rent. Some places would have been abandoned as people moved away.

      But the country subsidises social housing in these areas, and a lot of people simply cannot move, so they are stuck there.

    13. Hope
      October 13, 2022

      Yep, Truss does not want to make cuts!! She wants to keep giving away borrowed money to other countries and keep giving to corrupt Ukraine thinking it is acceptable instead of seeking peace!

      How did Cummings describe her! He was spot on.

  5. acorn
    October 13, 2022

    The review will not look at fracking, Skidmore confirmed to The Times, as he did not consider fracking to be a“significant energy source” that helps the UK maintain security of supply.

    He has warned investors that fracking will be a “non-starter” and that the practice was “not an opportunity for Britain” compared to emerging renewable technologies.

    1. Cuibono
      October 13, 2022

      Not surprised.
      Oh well…that’s that then.
      How many deaths? I wonder.
      A government that closes down bought and paid for health insurance for 3 years would scarcely care about keeping its population warm!
      The politics of devastation.

    2. Julian Flood
      October 13, 2022

      Acorn, the man should be sacked to prove that Ms Truss is serious.


    3. Mike Stallard
      October 13, 2022

      I happen to know a Vice President of a major player in the Middle East oil industry.
      When I asked him whether or not fracking was dangerous, he looked at me sadly. As if talking to a child, he said these words: “We do it every day.”
      His government runs the country on its oil production and very efficiently too.

      1. Mickey Taking
        October 13, 2022

        When did a barely noticible shudder miles away in the ‘bleedin’ desert become relevant to those in congested cities directly above the fracking?

    4. Bloke
      October 13, 2022

      The person you refer to as ‘Skidmore’ is a person with an opinion. He is someone else, and his words are someone else’s opinion.

    5. Bill B.
      October 13, 2022

      So Chris Skidmore runs the country. I thought as much.

      Or rather, the people he’s working for do.

    6. Original Richard
      October 13, 2022

      acorn :

      If Mr Skidmore, MP, has made these statements ahead of completing his Net Zero review, it shows that this “review” is a sham and that he has already made up his mind.

      It also demonstrates Kate Bingham’s point that non-stem subject graduates should not be in charge of science and engineering projects, such as Net Zero. Amply demonstrated by his ignorance that there is no “emerging renewable technology” for affordable and reliable power. Renewables need fossil fuels for grid stability and backup and that using either batteries or hydrogen to perform these functions is completely uneconomic. Renewables alone mean expensive and intermittent energy.

      Lastly Mr. Skidmore is evidence of Robert Conquest’s second and third laws of politics and should really be honest with his constituency and move over to a Party with whom he would be more comfortable.

    7. IanT
      October 13, 2022

      Chris Skidmore is a Historian by trade, so I wonder who is providing him with this technical advice.
      Still waiting to hear how “emerging renewable technologies” are going to heat my home – which has gas fired central heating. I doubt a heat pump will be suitable (or affordable quite frankly)

    8. forthurst
      October 13, 2022

      As an historian Skidmore, obviously, is eminently qualified to undertake an investigation into how ‘the science’, that grey area which the Tories treat with a mixture of veneration and dread owing to their joyous ignorance of the topic, will support their eco-lunatic desire to destroy the economy by 2050. The further problem is the extraordinary housing density in England as a result of their policy of imposing multiculturalism against the express wishes of the people which means the Tories would have to bribe the people to accept that their houses might disappear into a void at any time in order to make us independent of the menace from the East and far greater menace from the West.

    9. Mickey Taking
      October 13, 2022

      and the ‘renewable technologies ‘ were what?

    10. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2022

      Just Stop Oil: Road-blocking protesters ‘not disruptive enough’ to be shut down, says Met. police chief.

      Great plan Sir Mark Rowley should encourage ever more such ECO protests that will certainly kill people. Rather like announcing the police will not prosecute any shoplifter for less than £100 per incident. So circa £4,000 a day if you are a full time shop lifter! Surely you cannot be even worse than Cresida Dick can you? What part of the word “deterrent” do you not understand?

    11. a-tracy
      October 13, 2022

      Who is ‘Skidmore’? Did Lis Truss appoint him as spokesperson?
      If we are looking at Chris Skidmore and other ex-people. David Cameron when PM said: “I think we would be making a big mistake as a nation if we did not think hard about how to encourage fracking and cheaper prices right here in the UK.
      “If you look at what’s happening in America with the advent of shale gas and fracking, their energy costs in business and their gas prices are half the level of ours.
      “Nothing is going to happen in this country unless it’s environmentally safe. There is no question of having earthquakes and fire coming out of taps and all the rest of it. There will be very clear environmental procedures and certificates you will have to get before you can frack.”

    12. Mark
      October 13, 2022

      I presume that Skidmore was given the job to tie him up in his own self importance. Any government that pays it any heed deserves to lose a vote if confidence.

    13. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2022

      Clearly he is deluded. What emerging new technologies wind, solar heat pumps, EVs Skidmore needs to study some energy engineering and get real. As does that other deluded history graduate & pusher and green lunacy Lord Debden.

      So the deluded Tory MPs really are going to try to ditch Truss and force Sunak onto the party members against their will. Sunak who is the cause of most of the current problems with his serial manifesto ratting, the lockdowns, his large currency debasing, his green crap pushing and his vast tax increases combined with endless government waste.

    14. acorn
      October 13, 2022

      I take it from your first paragraph JR, you know little about hydraulic “fracking” of horizontally drilled, shale rock seams with explosives, then jamming the cracks created open, with sand and a lot of high pressure water. The water becoming contaminated to the point that it can’t be be put down a local land drain. A year later, your fracked well’s output will have dropped about 50% and you will have to keep drilling more and more wells or re-fracking existing wells, to pay back the investors.

      1. Peter2
        October 13, 2022

        Works in America acorn
        Check out the relative prices of gas.

        1. acorn
          October 14, 2022

          Check out the difference in geological conditions. The US doesn’t frack in areas that have UK type geology. Price differences have made LNG shipments US to UK and Europe, a nice little earner.

          1. Peter2
            October 14, 2022

            Your dislike of fracking isn’t for geological reasons acorn.
            You just want us to abandon all fossil fuels.

            Just come out and say it.
            You will feel better.

          2. hefner
            October 19, 2022

            I am sorry Peter, a certain level of obduracy can be positive, but being obtuse is not. The geology of the areas in the USA where fracking takes place is very different from that in the areas of the UK where it was originally thought to be possible. Look at (or listen to) for example thenakedscientists.com, 11/10/2022 ‘Can fracking calm the energy crisis?’
            There are three (small) talks with a geologist from the University of Cambridge.

            But I will not try to go further with a scientific argument as it would be … casting pearls before …

  6. Duyfken
    October 13, 2022

    How should the earthquake risk be borne? Insurers may baulk at providing cover or may increase the price of cover. Possibly the government (taxpayers) may introduce some scheme of payment. If there is a real risk of significant damage, households and businesses must be assured of indemnity.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2022

      There is a very low risk indeed.

    2. agricola
      October 13, 2022

      You are being mislead, the North West of England is a natural earthquake area. I experienced one years ago in Rossthwaite, Borrowdale.

      1. Mickey Taking
        October 13, 2022

        and how many houses fell down, people were killed, flocks of cattle stampeded, hillsides/fells had landslides?

        I thought so.

      2. Mickey Taking
        October 13, 2022

        and how far is that from Honister where they do blasting deep underground — – -its a slate mine !!

    3. Mark
      October 13, 2022

      BGS do not consider an earthquake to be “significat” unless it is at least ML 4. While their recent academic study refuses to stick its neck out, there is a body of evidence that suggests that the risk of anything above ML 3 (an order of magnitude less ) is only significant for very large volumes of water injected below ground. A handful of events like that have occurred in the US where it has been permissible to inject waste water from hundreds of wells into the same reservoir. Injection of waste water below ground is prohibited in the UK. It must be treated, and then when purified it can safely return to normal water supply. An ML 3 event from a fracked well is extremely rare. The Lleyn peninsula in North Wales gets natural seismic events of that sort of magnitude or more. It perhaps provides a useful benchmark for insurance cost, which should of course be a cost of production.

    4. rose
      October 13, 2022

      How should the risk of your driving past someone’s house be borne? Because that is the magnitude of disturbance we are talking about. The difference is the traffic keeps going past.

      1. Mickey Taking
        October 13, 2022

        If you were forced to have traffic calming humps put on the road outside your house, you may become obsessed with cracks in the plaster.

  7. Nigl
    October 13, 2022

    In theory it makes sense but it has for many years and you have done nothing. Once again too late and snells of panic. However I am not in a potential fracking area so I and others likewise should have no say.

    Had I been I would have voted against unless you had a demonstration well I that I could see posed no risk.

    And in other news I see your new energy windfall tax is being spun by JRM as a cost plus revenue limit, err no it’s a tax, specifically contra to Truss’ promises and he denied the recent market implosion was linked to Kartengs mini budget which it patently was.

    As a senior backbencher can I advise you suggest you tell him and others to say nothing. Theresa Coffeys announcement of a two week wait for a doctors appointment when some people can’t get one at all, was another, because they are just making you appear stupid. You have stuffed up big tine, u turns everywhere, I read corporation tax is under threat.

    Obvious spin to try and deny it is just amplifying the fact that you appear not to have a clue.

    1. a-tracy
      October 13, 2022

      I think the public deserves to be told which Conservative MPs have insisted Truss U Turns over corporation tax being held. Let’s have their names please. The members that elected these MPs deserve to know.

  8. Nigl
    October 13, 2022

    And in other news I read Truss is not going to impose budget cuts she is going to make certain it us spent wisely. Strewth. Apart from the fact one would hope that was the norm, obviously not, it is meaningless.

    The fact is that she and Karteng have been desperately looking for savings and her ministers refuse to find any.

  9. Mark B
    October 13, 2022

    Good morning.

    More prevaricating while Rome freezes. Typical of a weak government and PM.

    Rumours are abound that the Tories are at last preparing for opposition.

    I could have told them this over a year ago. Still, nice of them to finally, like so much else, to get on board.

  10. Clough
    October 13, 2022

    Community consent and community benefit look like very good ideas, Sir John. I would therefore be surprised to see your party in government adopt them, alas.

  11. Donna
    October 13, 2022

    There appears to be a modicum of sanity left in the Government. Unfortunately, it’s far too little and far too late.
    The Conservatives have been in power for 12 years and the only non-Uni-Party policy they’ve delivered is a flawed, weak form of Brexit and they had to be forced into doing that under threat of electoral Armageddon.

    Fracking should never have been banned in the first place. The Government should never have pushed the Net Zero lunacy and the scam of “renewable” energy which is costing us a fortune and isn’t capable of providing a secure source energy the country needs’

    Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to overturn two decades of climate change propaganda and 12 years of deliberate scaremongering by the Not-a-Conservative-Party. To get buy-in, I suggest you will have to pay a very substantial bribe directly to local individuals in the first 5 areas who apply to have a fracking site …… and then operate a sliding scale to encourage initial uptake.

    However, you will then be letting the bribes-for-development genii out of the bottle. Why, for instance, shouldn’t the people who will be permanently affected by the Vanity White Elephant HS2 receive compensation for the blight on their doorsteps?

    Best get on with it. You’ve only got 2 years. As Nigel said yesterday, the mass immigration the Not-a-Conservative-Party has inflicted on the country, particularly 50,000 criminal migrants accommodated in luxury hotels and given “free” everything will see you kicked out of Office in 2024.

  12. Roy Grainger
    October 13, 2022

    “I also think it fundamental that work on such a gas well should only go ahead where the local community affected by it has given consent ”

    What a bizarre idea. How are you going to measure this “consent”. Did you get local public consent to build HS2 ? Did you ever make building a nuclear power station contingent on local consent ? How about local consent when motorways were built ? You’re saying compulsory purchase orders should never have been used ? The fact is that requiring consent from local people for national infrastructure projects will absolutely guarantee they will NEVER happen because the locals WON’T consent. You see that in the blizzard of complaints when even small local housing developments are proposed.

    “The idea behind requiring community consent would be to encourage wells and drilling well away from homes”. Well, let’s pretend the gas is actually located away from homes, why would you need any consent at all to drill there ? The local council would stop it in that case anyway.

  13. Shirley M
    October 13, 2022

    Double standards abound. Communities were not required to give approval for open casting. They got opencasting whether they wanted it or not, and it was a darn site closer to housing than any fracking. The blasting caused the whole house to shake. Why are fracking shocks restricted to that of a bus or wagon going past, but different rules for coal?

    If it benefits the whole country then force it through. Opencasting was forced through. HS2 was forced through, destroying swathes of countryside and housing and very few people will benefit (in comparison). I think too many UK politicians WANT the UK to fail.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      October 14, 2022

      Shirely. In Scotland neatly all wind farms were erected with no local community consent nor consent from the local councils. The Scots reporter on behalf of the government overuled and gave consent.

  14. Stephen Reay
    October 13, 2022

    Fracking will not take off in this country. The CEO of quadrilla has said so . He said the geology in this country is wrong and not like America. Investors will not pile into this country ,and the announcement from the government about fracking was just politics.

    1. Peter2
      October 14, 2022

      But they are not being allowed to start Stephen.
      The licences are currently not being given out and they contain (deliberately in my opinion) such restrictions that it frightens away investors.

  15. Michae Roberts
    October 13, 2022

    If it relies on communities to agree to have a fracking site near them it will never happen. It’s not just the earthquake potential but all the unpleasant infrastructure that will go with it.

    Why not put the effort into renewables rather than continue down this path?

    Sadly solutions are needed now but won’t happen overnight. This hasn’t been given high enough priority in the past to fix the roof while the sun was still shining.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      October 14, 2022

      Michae. You think a wind farm is pleasant?
      Try living near one.

  16. BOF
    October 13, 2022

    It !ay be useful to know how many earthquakes caused by fracking have caused actual damage in the US.

    It looks like the appointment of Skidmore was a major error of judgement. An obstacle to energy security.

  17. Stred
    October 13, 2022

    Full planning and safety controls involving local authorities. Forget fracking. Bright Blue greezis win.

  18. Old Albion
    October 13, 2022

    There will need to be a cost addition toward extracting the gas, to pay for policing the ecoloons who will be gluing themselves on and around the sites……………….

  19. Berkshire Alan
    October 13, 2022

    The most simple way to get more gas into the UK quickly is surely to stop exporting it from the North sea onto World wide supply.
    No point in growing beans in your back garden if you are giving them away to neighbours, and leaving yourself short, give away or sell the excess by all means, but only after you have enough for yourself.

    1. Mark
      October 13, 2022

      We have no means to export gas to world markets. We supply limited quantities to Ireland by pipeline. All UK gas production (except for one tiny field that is close to a Dutch gas platform and has been exporting to the Netherlands) is landed by pipeline in the UK before it can get to Ireland or Bacton. At Bacton there are pipelines to the Netherlands and Belgium which were originally put in to export small quantities when we actually were more than sel sufficient. As our production declined they got used to import extra volumes of gas in winter when our demand is high, and Norway was able to export gas to the Continent via the UK in the summer when we didn’t need the extra supply they provided over the winter. That has also been supplemented by LNG imports in summer, piped to the Continent, because they have insufficient capacity to land the LNG they need, especially since the rapid wind down of production at the Groningen field.

  20. Sea_Warrior
    October 13, 2022

    It’s bad enough that you propose giving NIMBYs and eco-loons the power to stop fracking – but then you go on to suggest that they should get, in effect, royalties too! Just get on with it. The benefits from fracking would be huge and lower prices would be enjoyed by ALL consumers. One thing I would suggest: that a price-cap be imposed on the output of the field. The developers should not be able to jump on the ‘world prices’ bandwagon. They wanted to frack even before last year’s price spike.

    1. Mark
      October 13, 2022

      The fastest way to get gas prices down is to raise production to the point where we are self sufficient. Until then we will continue to pay for imports at world market prices. Since our consumption is highly seasonal, we could soon reach the point of being self sufficient in the summer, and move on from there to the shoulder months, leaving only a winter peak requiring imports. We should not worry too much about providing the incentives for a competitive self sufficiency and improved global supply picture because we need less imports. If we need to worry it about not getting on with the job.

      It should be remembered that gas was consistently fairly cheap until the combination of lack of investment in new production (due to ESG and covid lockdown effects) and post covid rebound in demand exposed a shortage. Forward gas markets indicate an expected return to pre covid conditions in 3-4 years.

      1. anon
        October 15, 2022

        Maybe just maybe we try self sufficiency with local storage(Rough * 9 ) for winter peaks 8-12 weeks storage refilled during summer? This would reduce imports support our funny money & reduce CO2 produced overseas.
        It could also store hydrogen or synthetic gas from renewables to prevent curtailments.

  21. Julian Flood
    October 13, 2022

    This is the greatest failure of the new government. Two years of approbrium will be forgotten as the gas flows, the bills fall and the hysteria dies.

    I am no longer a supporter of your party, Sir John, but were you able to demonstrate results in the provision of shale gas you would attract a lot of support and even your most vehement opponents would be unable to deny that political and economic victory.

    There is talk of £1,000 grants for those approving a well. This is far too miserly. Provide an incentive for speedy adoption, ten years’ free gas for the first community, nine for the second etc.

    When I was a parish councillor there was a need for an 80 ft mast at the edge of the village. At the behest of our residents we resisted it for years. It was built – important for communications – and, surveying it, a very long-standing resident admitted that he was embarrassed to have made so much fuss over nothing. Frack pads will be the same – once the drilling rig is taken down they have less landscape impact than a modern farm.


  22. David Cooper
    October 13, 2022

    Arguably we are in such a severe national energy emergency that onshore gas extraction should not be endangered by the risk of an unrepresentative minority holding it up, especially if that unrepresentative minority had fallen into the hands of a well organised but malevolent eco-zealotry campaign. We would after all be starting off, in practice, on the basis of shale gas wells being erected on land some distance away from homes. The question then would be how wide a radius from the site is necessary or desirable for consultation, and how best to target the potentially affected individuals – NOT local authorities or ad hoc fake residents’ associations that have been infiltrated by outsiders.

  23. Michelle
    October 13, 2022

    There would be lots of issues around gaining consent from the public. I can’t imagine the public being given a fair appraisal of the pro’s and cons.
    Mainstream media is in the hands of those who are seemingly at liberty to promote their views as the only right views, and of course most are fully against anything not windmill or solar panel farm based.
    They and their followers can afford to hold such views and in any case most are of the type who do not want the proles to have an opinion not of their instruction and see them incapable of making an informed choice.

    Many from the net zero cult are the one’s who move out to the beautiful English towns and villages of places such as Sussex where there is thought to be oil and gas as was found back in time.
    They will commandeer all local meetings on this issue, given past form when they move into such areas.

    One of the ways we could alleviate all of our shortages and burdens on natural resources is of course to put an end to population growth through immigration. That is tantamount to heresy I know, so the public may have a choice of the status quo regards imported energy at high expense or a little bit of fracking on their doorstep and hope they’ve made the right choice. They are never given the choice of whether they want another housing estate in their back garden, so that’s a given.

  24. Nigl
    October 13, 2022

    We mustn’t forget that only few months ago Karteng or a cabinet colleague stated unequivocally in defence of a ban on fracking that its production would have no impact on prices because it would have to be sold at market rates.
    Obviously not true because any license could be dependent on selling it at cost plus but a good example of a minister saying anything to justify a policy and now turning 180 degrees within a few months.

    So Sir JR. Truth then or truth now. can’t be both surely?

    1. Mark
      October 13, 2022

      For someone who was supposedly the cabinet minister for energy, Kwarteng seems blissfully unaware of the real world. Over the summer our wholesale prices were a fraction over half those on the Continent and even now in autumn they are only two thirds the price. In winter we can expect price parity, and we would have to pay a (potentially substantial) premium if we need to top up by pipeline from the Continent. If we produced more of our own gas we could avoid any need for the most expensive imports. Drive down the cost of gas, and you drive down the cost of electricity, where costs mostly depend on what the marginal generator paid for its gas.

  25. MPC
    October 13, 2022

    Fracking sites require planning permission with public consultation within the planning process. You seem to want a double dose of consultation, meaning fracking on any adequate scale to help in our current appalling energy crisis, won’t happen .

  26. […] Producing more of our own gas would  be good for the environment and good for our economy – John Redwood […]

  27. Bloke
    October 13, 2022

    Every action causes a reaction. A minute tremble underground may have both good and bad effects wherever its effects emerge; often beyond being realised.

    The benefits SJR presents are well-founded and worthy of widespread support. Rewarding the local community may be suitable for their tolerating perceived risk. In contrast, the notion of paying citizens for tolerating a risk of bad health by having electrical pylons radiating above their heads is negative.

    A sensible balance would be appropriate.

  28. Richard1
    October 13, 2022

    It is of course sensible to develop onshore gas, it both economically and environmentally preferable to imports. It is at last entering the public consciousness that renewables on their own provide neither the consistency nor the volumes of energy required. But expect a massive and co-ordinated campaign by the left and the green blob against it. Probably Tory MPs in large numbers once they have seen a few protests and heard a few righteous BBC interviews will also cave in. so I’d suggest the govt decide up front whether they are prepared to stick with the policy if they announce it. otherwise don’t bother.

  29. agricola
    October 13, 2022

    A more woolly approach could not have been suggested other than knitting yourself a jumper.

    The drilling operation if directional can be up to 10 km from any nimby village.

    Why should local nimbies be compensated for proximity to the operation. Many people have to live near airports, railways, and motorways; far more intrusive on their lives than a drilling operation.

    Government considering the extraction of onshore gas is a euphamism for kicking it into the long grass. Time for consideration has long past, get off your collective backsides and do it.

    The good burghers of Wokingham or any other safe tory seat should not have the choice. The millions who use and pay rapine bills for gas have no choice other than freeze or starve so forget choice and compensation for those sitting near the solution.

    We need positive Churchillian government at a time of national crisis akin to war, not your bend over backwards, think of England, hope it goes away solution. The seeds for this crisis were sown twenty years ago. Now like poppies have germinated as far too many of the mindless Westminster bubble intended under their mantra Nett Zero.

    1. anon
      October 15, 2022

      Who is objecting and who will actually get the “facilitation” fees. This is more likely a spat between connected larger land owning vested interests.

      Why pay compensation? Do we do it for building works in cities etc roads , rail etc

      Compulsory purchase of land required at value before change of use – no ongoing subsidies to land owners wind farms.

  30. No Longer Anonymous
    October 13, 2022

    They rode roughshod over communities for Useless HS2 they can ride roughshod over communities on Essential UK Energy.

    We can now point to the pinnacle of British invented industrialisation and say “Because of science and industry we can spot and stop and extinction event asteroid” and shut up the Greenists.

    “The Tories are treating the British people like shit.” is the abiding message out here.

    It is shocking to see what Tory mates are making out of crisis capitalism in the UK. William Rees-Mogg wrote books and books on the skill of making money during economic crises.

    The Tories will be obliterated in 2024 and there is clearly nothing can be done about it now – certainly not be C Team, U Turn Truss.

    That’s what happens when a party is more scared of lobbies, campaign groups, civil service empires and lawyers than of its own voters.

    1. Donna
      October 14, 2022

      Partly true, but you forgot to mention their fealty to the various Globalists organisations who are responsible for creating and driving the campaigns which are destroying the UK: UN, WHO, WEF etc.

  31. The Prangwizard
    October 13, 2022

    Getting gas and oil out of the ground below our feet is of national importance and urgency and of course we read how well it can be done.

    But then of course we read how the difficulties are dodged. Give ‘local’ people the power to stop it. Typical weakness arguments we face all the time, but party and individual MPs interests are put first.

    All dressed up as ‘we must be reasonable’ and democracy is the best. One MP I can think of is an expert of thinking things but never putting the boxing gloves on.

  32. Ian B
    October 13, 2022

    Good morning Sir John

    As always sound reasoning and thoughts. But, how do you get a parliament so ‘UP’ itself to recognise they are their to create the frameworks that help the people of the UK move forward and prosper. To much ‘look at me’ I am getting noticed – disruption that’s what it is all about.

    The Government itself needs to understand, that no Government has been able to actual ‘do’ things. But they have been able to create the structures to allow those at the on front line make things happen.

    In a similar vein you can see this Government locked in the glare of the headlights on so many things. Criminals entering the UK daily aided and abetted by the Border Force and the RNLI. They are part of the funding circle of people traffickers – therefore should be called also be called terrorists. Then there is the terrorist disruption caused by the same group with many names blocking people going about their daily life and causing criminal damage – then above all getting away with it. Surely this is terrorism as the are directly financed by a foreign $1.3 million fund from the CEF. It is nothing to do with the UK it is a foreign entity causing disruption, therefore terrorism on our streets.

    The Government cant keep using taxpayers money to fund terrorism on our own streets.

    1. Ian B
      October 13, 2022

      The funding(taxpayer money) of charitable organisations for the benefit of the personal views of its hierarchy/management, political, sexual preferences and so on. All off message diatribes away from the intended purpose of the Charity.

      What is the Charities Commission doing – nothing. They get well paid so why should they As always no oversight, no accountability.

  33. Original Richard
    October 13, 2022

    It is completely true that producing our own gas would be economically beneficial and give us energy security.

    But there is no environmental reason to inhibit CO2 emissions. In fact we need to increase the CO2 in the atmosphere to promote plant and hence food growth.

    Atmospheric CO2 levels have been many times higher than today over the last 500 million years since the start of the Cambrian explosion. Over the last 150 million years CO2 in the atmosphere has been on a fast decline down to even as low as 180 ppm, 30 ppm above the level below which plants cannot survive. This decline has been caused by multiple species of marine-shelled organisms consuming millions of billions of tons of CO2 out of the ocean in the production of carbonaceous rocks faster than volcanoes have been emitting CO2. Today there are 850 billion tons of carbon in the atmosphere and 100 million, billion tons of carbon in carbonaceous rocks.

    Burning fossil fuels is restoring the carbon balance and helping to ensure plants and hence all life on the planet survives

    1. hefner
      October 17, 2022

      About the balance between 850×10^9 ton(ne)s of atmospheric ‘carbon’ (carbonaceous compounds in atmospheric aerosols that could be called ‘carbon’ are present in a much smaller quantity) and 1×10^8 or is it 1×10^17 ton(ne)s of carbon in carbonaceous rocks.
      Does this last quantity include carbonaceous rocks on land only, at the bottom of the oceans, or all together?

      Also ‘marine-shelled organisms consuming gazillions ton(ne)s of CO2 faster than volcanoes have been emitting CO2’: not surprising as volcanoes mainly produce sulphur components and only some volcano types produce sizeable amounts of CO2 (eg, climate.gov, 15/06/2016).

      As written I must admit I cannot make much sense of it. Could you please cite your references so that interested people here can check themselves what this ‘balance’ is all about. Thanks a lot in advance for your time.

  34. Ian B
    October 13, 2022

    From the MsM

    “The US Treasury Secretary, Ms Yellen did not aim her criticism directly at the Chancellor, she warned that unfunded tax cuts posed a threat to financial stability. “

    This follows on from Andrew Bailey stating to his bosses at the IMF that the UK’s mini budget makes the UK a ‘basket case’

    In real speak if the UK sets out to create wealth and prosperity for its own people we will be exposed to competition.

    There is no World Democratic Government other than in the minds of the disrupters whom are trying to create their own personal ‘World Order’

    The real enemy to the World is the WEF Group think that they know what’s best and they have infiltrated most of the Worlds structures to ensure the get their way

    1. turboterrier
      October 14, 2022

      Ian B
      Your last paragraph is telling it exactly as it is. Those who could or can do nothing.

  35. Iain Gill
    October 13, 2022

    Payments to individual citizens would be far better than what happens with house building, where house builders have to build “social” housing free, or roads free, etc, for the council to own, in order to get planning permission.

    I would have thought some sort of insurance scheme for any areas which get a land slip or whatever down the road would make sense too?

    1. Shirley M
      October 13, 2022

      Houses close to opencasting got compensation/cost of repairs IF their property was damaged by the blasting. Why does anyone need paying if there is no damage?

  36. Peter Miller
    October 13, 2022

    Back in 2014, NATO leaders commented anti-fracking hysteria was being orchestrated by Russia. The only and obvious beneficiary of not fracking in Europe was Russia. The most litigious country on the planet, the USA has fracked over 1.7 million holes, which demonstrates the ‘dangers’ of fracking! Over 50% of the USA’s oil and gas production now comes from fracked holes.

    1. Shirley M
      October 13, 2022

      Very interesting, and very true about anyone being sued at the drop of a hat in the US. 1.7 million? That is some industry and self sufficiency that the UK should have! Why don;t we have self sufficient in energy? We could have, so why not? Is the UK nobodies priority? Nobody at all?

  37. Denis Cooper
    October 13, 2022

    Off topic.

    Firstly, here is the Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney hoping that he and the EU will be able to connive with James Cleverly and Chris Heaton-Harris to give the DUP enough to get them back into Stormont:


    “… Coveney suggested that a framework agreement on simplifying EU-required checks at local ports could be announced on or shortly before October 28 … ”

    Note that however simplified the checks would still be “EU-required”.

    And secondly here is a letter I sent to the Belfast News Letter this morning, before reading that article:

    “The government is persisting with its ill-conceived scheme for “red” and “green” lanes for goods imported into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

    Why ill-conceived? Because even if the EU allowed this flow of goods to be divided between two lanes, with differing intensities of EU checks, the scheme would still be applying EU checks to the wrong flow of goods, and it would still be under the supervision of the EU and its court, with that foreign power exercising “neo-colonial” control within our UK territory, and therefore it would still be an unacceptable affront to our national sovereignty.

    To put it plainly, now that we have left the EU there should no longer be any EU mandated checks at all on any goods coming into any part of the UK including Northern Ireland, and the UK government should stop wasting time and energy and political capital by fiddling around to try to mitigate the adverse consequences of still having such checks in the (probably vain) hope of placating unionists.

    Instead to help our neighbours we should voluntarily arrange for EU checks on the flow of goods leaving the province across the land border into the Irish Republic and the EU Single Market, to ensure their sufficient compliance with EU requirements; and that could be set in train immediately, and unilaterally, by trade secretary Kemi Badenoch laying an order under Section 12 of the Export Control Act 2002 to extend the scope of the existing export control system.

    The export control joint unit already operates within her department, and it could simply be given the task of controlling a new class of exports, “All goods carried across the land border into the Irish Republic”.”

    1. rose
      October 13, 2022

      A complete horror show in the House of Lords on the NI Bill. Those evil old men in there put the remainiac Conservative backbenchers from the other place in the shade. Mostly lawyers and civil servants. They had just taken an oath of allegiance to the King but theirs is clearly to the EU Commission.

  38. glen cullen
    October 13, 2022

    Extracting shale onshore gas has been consulted & deliberated to death ….just get on with it

  39. glen cullen
    October 13, 2022

    This government might have lifted the ban on ‘fracking’ but over 10 councils have banned fracking, the Scottish government has banned fracking, with the latest being the Wirral council just this week
    This government needs to send a communiqué to all councils and devolved governments that fracking is accepted & authorised throughout the UK

  40. formula57
    October 13, 2022

    The mechanism for obtaining public consent will surely have to be robust to overcome the professional objectors, well-funded and articulate as they are, eager to proceed to judicial review, the Court of Human Rights, and otherwise throw obstacles at any progress.

  41. KB
    October 13, 2022

    Very well let’s try fracking.
    I believe there are large reserves in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, so let us try it out there first. I don’t see why Lancashire has to be the guinea pig for this.

    1. Mark
      October 13, 2022

      There have been surprisingly large numbers of wells drilled in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire over the years (let alone Dorset, home to the Wytch Farm field next to the exclusive Sandbanks residential area). Almost entirely without incident or anyone much being aware it was happening. Aside from professional protestors from out of region, I doubt if there would be much real disturbance if Oxford and Buckingham joined the list, but it seems they are less prospective than you assume.

  42. a-tracy
    October 13, 2022

    The papers are all having a field day with King Charles demonstrating he has none of his mother’s diplomacy skills at all:
    “As Truss curtseyed, and said: “Your Majesty”, Charles replied: “So you’ve come back again?”
    While Truss replied: “It’s a great pleasure,” he could only mutter: “Dear, oh dear. Anyway …”

    What did he mean by Dear, oh dear is he worried about his new role? and “so you’ve come back again” how rude. I’m shocked and frankly, I had hoped that all KC’s detractors about him would be wrong. To me this doesn’t show Truss up, it shows our King up. I say this as someone who didn’t have a vote in the leadership election and would have preferred Boris was kept on as he was elected to. For the MPs that deposed Boris to be playing up now is unedifying.

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 14, 2022

      When Charles replied: “So you’ve come back again?”She should have replied – Not by choice!
      Start as you mean to continue…..
      She had better things to do than meet him.

      1. anon
        October 15, 2022

        Well lets replace the HOL with a Senate with powers to facilitate & improve legislation of the HOC whilst being true to its objectives. Make the Royals pay inheritance tax and problem will go away.

  43. Mike Wilson
    October 13, 2022

    Where I live in West Dorset, the landscape is hilly and there are a number of natural bowls. These could be used as reservoirs. Bung the wind turbines up in the sea, there is no shipping here but plenty of wind, and use the power to pump sea water up into the reservoirs. Put in some big culverts back down to the sea and generate power on demand. When there is no requirement for the stored power, the wind turbines can be connected to the grid. Makes a lot more sense than HS2

    1. anon
      October 15, 2022

      Only need 50m-100m head for closed loop hydro.

  44. Mike Wilson
    October 13, 2022

    The Bowland Shale has, so I read recently, enough gas to power us for 200 years. Get fracking, I say – as long as it is at least 100 miles from West Dorset (and Wokingham, where my kids live).

  45. Ian B
    October 13, 2022

    ‘Smorgasboard of names’ to replace Truss

    Nadine Dorries has suggested Tory MPs are “circulating a smorgasboard of names” for who could replace Liz Truss as Prime Minister.

    ???? – Ive grabbed the headlines again – to hell with the Country!

  46. Mark
    October 13, 2022

    You can find oil wells behind the Berverly Center shopping mall in Beverly Hills, a rather plush part of LA. There are wells (for geothermal) adjacent to a car park just 200 yards from Southampton Central Station. City locations are by no means to be excluded, and indeed might prove highly educational. However out of town land tends to be cheaper and obviously subject to less uninformed opinion, and the ability to drill accurately and horizontally through the rock for several miles means that it is easier to select unobtrusive locations with limited impact and to exploit a wide area from a small drilled.

  47. glen cullen
    October 13, 2022

    If we can send them to Rwanda, I can’t see why we can’t send them back to France

  48. Lindsay McDougall
    October 13, 2022

    If affordable, paying the local community where fracking takes place is clearly a good idea. Do we do the same with open cast mining?

    1. Shirley M
      October 13, 2022

      No. Not even when the opencast is directly adjacent to your garden!

  49. outsider
    October 13, 2022

    Dear Sir John,
    You are right to argue the case for energy from “fracking”. You would first need a broad coalition of opinion , beyond vested interests, to build a body of sympathetic support in the country (starting perhaps with a catchy new name). Unless and until that is achieved, your government should not waste its time and scarce political capital on the matter. Labour is expected to be in office in two years time and is firmly opposed to this development. So the private sector will not provide pre-production capital before then.
    Much better to focus efforts on restoring Rough Field gas storage, promoting new North Sea developments, encouraging higher (UK- landed) output from existing fields and accelerating new atomic power. All these have substantial public support and Labour is in consequence more ambivalent.
    Starting more new atomic power projects is challenging. EDF ( the French government) already has enough on its hands, so the UK Government would have to finance and probably undertake such projects.
    In one area, however, your government has a strong political advantage. Labour’s plan for a big new on-shore wind programme is unpopular almost everywhere outside the big cities. You should stress the case against it, even if that seems “anti-growth”.

  50. glen cullen
    October 13, 2022

    The data below is for the 24-hour period 00:00 to 23:59 12 October 2022.
    Number of migrants detected in small boats: 856
    Number of boats detected: 19
    You can dress it up away you want but this government is complicit in aiding illegal immigrant children entering the illegal drug & sex trade …by accepting and making the trafficking of illegal immigrants crossing the channel ‘easy’, this government has in effect aided the illegal crossing

    1. turboterrier
      October 14, 2022

      Glen Cullen
      Well said Glen and their cohorts in the RNLI. All guilty as charged.

    2. Donna
      October 14, 2022

      I suspect that during the Brexit negotiations, a “nod and a wink” agreement was reached that the UK would “take its fair share” of the criminal migrants Merkel invited to invade Europe. Both the French and British Governments are carrying out a carefully orchestrated pretence of trying to stop them ….. for electoral purposes.

      If the Government WANTED to stop it, they would.

  51. Pauline Baxter
    October 13, 2022

    O.k. Sir John call it ‘Onshore Gas’ then. I assume what you are saying is that the same technique is used under water for offshore gas. Saying it should not be called ‘fracking’, seems to me to be splitting hairs.
    Right, so why are you insisting there should be local consent?
    Why do you not want it in your constituency without local consent?
    Who is going to assess whether there is local consent? Local councils? Don’t you realise they are just as corrupt as central government often is. Not to mention the civil service, the main stream media, and umpteen pressure groups and quangos, political parties, etc. etc..
    Personally, if there was any chance of getting gas or oil out of the ground near the village where I live I would welcome it whole heartedly because this country needs to be energy sufficient.
    There should also be sheep grazing the hills I can see from my window because that is the only food that can be produced from that upland pasture.

  52. acorn
    October 13, 2022

    BTW JR. Has the Treasury said why the 2021/22 Accounts for the National Loans Fund and the Consolidated Fund, have not been produced yet? Some of us can’t wait to know how much the Magic Money Tree (National Loans Fund) contributed to the Consolidated Fund, to cover the government’s spending deficit.

    Can I remind you that the DMO issuing Gilts (tradable savings certificates that act as collateral for pension funds and insurance funds), to match the government’s budget deficit, has nothing to do with funding government spending. Ignore the likes of the IFS and similar think tanks that perpetuate the myth that the government has to “borrow” its own previously created and issued monopoly currency, before it can have any of its own currency to spend.

  53. Geoffrey Berg
    October 13, 2022

    I live in an area where there was an extensive coal mine, now closed, (Agecroft Colliery) not far away. An occasional side effect of coal mining was subsidence and structural damage to some houses. This was compensated where it occurred but this side effect of coal mining seems to be more serious than the likely side effects of fracking. Fortunately nobody was able to stop coal mines from operating because of their side effects because coal mines were generally beneficial in powering The Industrial Revolution and later for Britain’s survival in The Second World War. So as ‘interested parties’ could not veto coal mines then, why are ‘interested parties’ rather than ‘the public interest’ going to be able to decide the future or non-future of fracking in our country?

  54. Concerned Citizen
    October 13, 2022

    Sir John,
    This is off-topic, you are not my local MP, however, I trust that this an effective way to make my voice heard.
    If the article in The Times is correct, a joint ticket Rishi & Mordaunt replacing the current government, I can only express my sincere desire for the Conservatives to wither and rot in hell. I am not a party member, I do not agree on every current policy item and believe while the focus on growth is good, not enough attention was paid on balancing the books in the medium term. The root of the problem is 1) fiat system 2) 2008 financial crises did not result in a proper reform of the financial sector that dominates and sucks dry the real economy and 3) the careless and monstruous spending during the so-called pandemic, where Rishi excelled in handouts and write-offs.
    This joint-ticket exercise makes a mockery of the party base and grassroots. Truss would not have been my first choice and doubling down in pouring money down an Ukrainian black hole (stay sane and keep cool by comparing the reaction in the West to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan 1979/80 and this year’s) and keeping borders open with Border Farce (sic!) are but two telling points. My heart goes out to MPs who like you took a stand against forced injections and health papers (both policies are still pursued, albeit toned down or in the background) last year, but I can only hope an alternative will gain momentum like it did during PM May which resulted in her voluntarily stepping down.

    Yours respectfully

  55. turboterrier
    October 14, 2022

    It is rather ironic aĺ this fuss over fracking, but cannot remember too many people getting upset over the tens of thousands of acres affected by windfarms and their infrastructure and the thousand who had their homes blighted and the real environmental impact on wildlife.. Funny old world.

  56. Original Richard
    October 14, 2022

    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is a religion that wants to bring us back to pre-industrial times and CO2 levels are simply a convenient tool.

    Hence they are not interested in any low carbon technology, such as nuclear, and neither will they be swayed by arguments that producing our own gas will reduce CO2 emissions.

    The only way to defeat this religion, which ultimately will bring poverty and misery and death to millions, is to counter their totally false claim that CO2 controls the temperature and that rising temperature will bring the world to a catastrophic end.

  57. Ian B
    October 14, 2022

    Pulling democracy and society down one brick at a time until there is nothing left but the promised ‘New World Order’

    All the while the Government just does the bidding from those outside.

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