Kevin Hollinrake MP is upholding his promise to push for reassurances that the regulations and safety monitoring for any potential Shale Gas Extraction will be robust and transparent. He demonstrated his commitment to ensure the Government take into account the concerns of local residents who want to protect their environment when he questioned the Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom in the House of Commons recently.
Kevin Hollinrake asked “The Task Force on Shale Gas has called for a single regulator and increased levels of independent monitoring. Does the Minister agree that this would improve public confidence and provide further protection, particularly for our most sensitive areas?”
Andrea Leadsom replied “The task force’s 2015 report says that the regulatory regime is currently fit for purpose, but my hon. Friend rightly points out its proposal that if the shale gas industry does develop the Government should consider creating a bespoke regulator. I can absolutely assure him that we will keep the regulatory regime under review to make sure that it remains fit for purpose. On his second point about independent monitoring, I entirely agree, and that is why we are already grant-funding baseline monitoring in North Yorkshire and Lancashire.”
Mr. Hollinrake will continue to press hard for more information for the public and to get a clearer visual picture of what exactly any possible drilling would really look like in the region.
“I have been open and honest about my opinion and my objectives in this matter which is not to support the ambitions of any particular gas companies or campaign groups but to get to the facts and make sure the public can access the correct and relevant information easily. I continue to speak to and meet with those involved in applications for Shale Gas production to make sure they are held to account if any work goes ahead and to seek promises that rigorous monitoring would be enforced.
Residents in the constituency want guaranteed promises on safety regulations and to be shown realistic and honest visual plans before any decision on Shale Gas production is taken. We need the industry to know they have to be transparent and open with the public and that is what I will be pushing for when I meet with the various companies’ representatives in February.”