An amendment to the Infrastructure Bill introduced today would effectively ban fracking on environmental grounds. If this amendment is passed it would reduce energy security and would be a disgraceful failure duty by MPs who are supposed to defend Britain’s economic well-being.
The UK’s domestic production of primary fuels fell by 31% between 2009 and 2013 and the trend appears to have continued in 2014. In the third quarter of last year, the UK’s total energy production fell by 4.6% compared to the year before; this was mainly due to a fall in oil production. According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the UK’s net energy import dependency has now climbed to 48.7%. This is of particular concern because this rise in energy import dependency reflects almost entirely a fall in primary energy supply rather than an increase in imports. The free trade of energy is of course desirable but it is also clear that the health of the British economy is increasingly vulnerable to disruptions in energy supplies abroad. The UK must embrace new domestic energy production, including through fracking, if it is to boost security of energy supplies.