Anti-fracking campaigners are dismayed at the re-election of the Conservative Government – and the reappointment of George Osborne to his old job as Chancellor of the Exchequer (with the additional role of First Secretary of State).
The Conservative’s election manifesto said, “We will continue to support the safe development of shale gas, and ensure that local communities share the proceeds through generous community benefit packages.”
And a letter George Osborne sent to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs last September shows how keen he is to fast-track shale gas drilling. The letter urged ministers to make dozens of interventions to speed the process up. Read Osborne’s letter and recommendations on the Guardian website.
New Energy and Climate Minister
Campaigners have expressed qualified relief that the post of Energy and Climate Minister went to Amber Rudd. She is at least convinced of the threat of human-made climate change, unlike some of the senior Tories.
But the Global Warming Policy Forum website says that Ms Rudd is in favour of fracking and quotes here as saying, “I think fracking is a positive thing to have in the UK, as long as we can do it extremely safely and reassure communities that that’s the case, and I think we can.”
Campaigners have a job on our hands persuading Ms Rudd that shale gas is a red herring – we need to focus all our efforts on reducing energy demand and providing people with locally-owned, sustainable energy harnessed from the sun, sea and wind.
Not all MPs share Osborne’s and Rudd’s acceptance of fracking and many voted for a fracking moratorium earlier this year. Read this summary by Ruth Hayhurst of which of these MPs kept and which lost their seats