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With the Foreign Secretary batting for UK shale gas, Boris is warned not to bottle it

Press Release

London, 10 March – Net Zero Watch has welcomed the decision by Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, to support the revival of UK shale gas development as part of the UK’s essential revival of domestic gas production both onshore and offshore.

As British households face the devastating prospect of an astronomical cost rise of energy bills to almost £4,000 per year (four times higher than 12 months ago), the Foreign Secretary is reported to be supporting shale gas extraction which could significantly increase UK energy supplies and assist European partners to reduce dependence on Russian energy.

Liz Truss’s support is likely to shape the internal debate within a split Cabinet on whether or not the current ban on shale gas development should be lifted.

The Cabinet is now evidently split on the shale gas ban and the Prime Minister will have to decide in the next couple of weeks which side he is on.

Net Zero Watch director Dr Benny Peiser said:

With a growing number of senior ministers joining the call for a revival of UK shale gas, we are beginning to see a significant realignment within the Cabinet on the urgent need for radical reforms of UK energy policy.

The UK needs to explore shale gas as part of the essential restarting of domestic hydrocarbon production both offshore and onshore.

If Boris decides to oppose shale gas development the public will conclude that he is not taking the energy crisis seriously, and blame him for the consequences.”

Dr John Constable, NZW’s Director of Energy, said:

The UK has become critically exposed to natural gas because the naive renewables-only policies of the last twenty years have suppressed all other high quality fuels in the market.

Renewables give the illusion of fuel diversity, but the reality is that they made the UK completely gas-dependent. More renewables will only make this problem worse, so in the short term we have to look for more natural gas wherever it can be found domestically and, except Russia, internationally.”

Craig Mackinlay MP, chairman of the parliamentary Net Zero Scrutiny Group, said:

We are now reaping the result of two decades of failed energy policy and finally, as reality strikes, recognising that energy security has to become a new national endeavour.

We need to ask ourselves a simple question: do we wish to continue financing the foul Russian war machine or use the resources that mother nature blessed us with? Our shale gas reserves could be our salvation, injecting much needed supply into the global gas market to the benefit of Europe’s self-inflicted predicament.

The tax revenues, jobs and balance of payments boost should not be brushed off as an irrelevance. Gas will remain a fundamental part of our energy mix for a generation ahead. Time to dig for victory.”

Steve Baker MP said:

It is an obscenity that Europe is buying billions of Euros of gas from Russia while wishing to stop Putin’s war machine. It’s time to go for gas with the vigour of a war effort.

The sooner we supply UK shale gas to our European partners, the sooner they can be free of this monstrous dependency on a criminal Russian regime.”