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Rees-Mogg ought to make his constituency first to be fracked, says Tory MP | Fracking

Jacob Rees-Mogg ought to “lead by instance” and make his the primary constituency to be fracked, a Conservative MP has mentioned.

Mark Menzies, the MP for Fylde, challenged the enterprise secretary to start out drilling in North East Somerset earlier than imposing fracking on different constituencies.

Menzies’ constituency is a kind of that has confronted the worst results of shale gasoline drilling, with seismic occasions in Fylde, dwelling to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Street web site, twice forcing nationwide moratoriums.

“I consider the secretary of state has shale gasoline in his constituency,” he mentioned. “It might be nice for him to guide by instance on this, so why doesn’t he guarantee the primary shale wells are fracked in his constituency and why not? There is no such thing as a extra noble trigger than main by instance.

“There’s nothing to cease him from demanding that North East Somerset is the flagship challenge. I’m certain after listening to him in parliament, he’s very assured folks will welcome this with open arms, that communities will rejoice. Allow us to start with North East Somerset. I believe we’d applaud him.”

Rees-Mogg didn’t reply when requested by the Guardian whether or not he would take up Menzies’ problem. Whereas British Geographical Survey maps present there may very well be shale gasoline underneath his constituency, there have been no licences granted but in North East Somerset. Nonetheless, there are shale gasoline licences within the neighbouring constituency of Wells, so his constituents would nonetheless be affected if these areas have been fracked.

Menzies, elected in 2010, has been searching for assurances that the prime minister, Liz Truss, will persist with her pledge to frack areas solely after acquiring native consent. This week, the Guardian revealed the federal government is contemplating making fracking websites nationally vital infrastructure tasks, thus bypassing native planning necessities.

In parliament on Thursday, Rees-Mogg refused to reassure Menzies that his constituents would be capable to block drilling, saying as an alternative that they’d be compensated. “We clearly need to work with native communities, and it’s actually necessary that corporations that search to extract shale gasoline provide you with packages that make what they’re proposing to do welcome to native communities,” he mentioned.

Tory MPs confront Jacob Rees-Mogg over determination to carry ban on fracking – video

Menzies doesn’t consider this to be ok. He mentioned: “A query put to the secretary of state was how do you outline native consent – it was put to him eight instances – and reply there was none. The federal government got here to the dispatch field with out a solution: it’s received some work to do to reassure members of parliament.

“It is a vital factor for me, the folks of this nation can perceive the problems round vitality costs, however above all they count on the prime minister to ensure her authorities follows via on crystal clear commitments and there’s no backsliding or rephrasing.”

He hinted that Truss may face a revolt from backbenchers ought to she return on her phrase: “Each Conservative colleague who has fracking of their constituency is taking the prime minister at her phrase that it’s going to solely go forward with native consent, and the power of feeling shall be throughout the parliamentary social gathering, for all of us who shall be affected by this.”

Menzies has been coping with fracking and its results on his constituency for 12 years, and didn’t all the time oppose it. Nonetheless, after experiencing disruption, native anger and earthquakes, with no advantages to the constituency, he has grow to be a vocal opponent of shale gasoline extraction domestically.

“I’ve been doing this for 12 years. For lots of the time I didn’t oppose it. I took the view that you just needed to contemplate whether or not it may very well be carried out safely, if native folks may include you, if it has advantages domestically or nationally. And now we’ve seen the consequence,” he mentioned.

“So anybody who says it hasn’t been tried doesn’t know what they’re speaking about it. If the business needs to maintain fracking the identical piece of rock – I’d spotlight the article within the Guardian that highlights the actual fact the founding father of Cuadrilla says it might not work.

“For these Conservative MPs who don’t have shale gasoline and assume it’s all fabulous, I’d say assume if it was your constituency and the folks you signify. You would want to take their considerations onboard, you wouldn’t brush them apart.”

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