Britons set for huge £1,000 boost with fracking companies offer reward

Truss scrambles to defend fracking in Lancashire

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Millions of Britons could be set for a massive boost as under new plans, companies looking to harness shale gas in the UK through fracking, could offer households £1,000 to allow for the practice to take place in their neighbourhood. Under plans backed by the Government, drilling companies could soon go door to door in local communities to offer financial benefits to allow fracking in the region. Upon becoming Prime Minister in September, Liz Truss announced an end to the ban on shale gas extraction, or fracking, and vowed to only allow it in communities that supported the controversial practice. Currently, for fracking companies to conduct exploratory drilling activity, they would need at least 50 percent community support.

Thus under current proposals, fracking companies are looking to convince residents to back the energy extraction process by going door-to-door and offering cash incentives.

If they acquire enough votes in their favour, the companies will begin exploration, following which if they find that shale gas can be extracted, the companies would then offer those who own the land under which fracking takes place royalties to share in the proceeds, according to the Telegraph. 

The two-step idea is currently being explored in Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which is scrambling to boost the UK’s energy security and is looking to increase its domestic gas supply through increased North Sea drilling and bringing back fracking. 

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “In light of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and weaponisation of energy, strengthening our energy security is an absolute priority, and – as the prime minister said – we are going to ensure the UK is a net energy exporter by 2040.

Fracking has faced intense criticism, with many arguing that the practice would not lower energy bills as the gas extracted would be sold at international prices, which has reached astronomical levels since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Mr Rees-Mogg defended the Government’s decision to bring back fracking, saying: “It is safe. It is shown to be safe. The scare stories have been disproved time and again.

“The hysteria about seismic activity, I think, fails to understand that the Richter scale is a logarithmic scale. People seem to think it is a straight arithmetic scale, which of course it is not.”

Ed Miliband, the Labour shadow secretary for climate change, countered in the House of Commons: “I look forward to him and his colleagues explaining his charter for earthquakes to the people of Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Midlands, Sussex, Dorset and indeed Somerset, who will be part of his dangerous experiment. 

“Let me tell the party opposite: we will hang this broken promise round their necks in every part of the country between now and the next general election.”

This comes after recent polls showed that voters largely prefer Ms Truss’ predecessor Boris Johnson’s vision of energy security, as he was a major advocate of renewable energy sources including wind, solar and nuclear power.

Recent research has revealed that most Britons are against having a site near their home, with just 17 percent of UK adults and 29 percent of Conservative voters supporting the development of a fracking site within one mile of their property.

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The new report, commissioned by global communications agency Diffusion, revealed Conservative party voters favoured Mr Johnson’s plans for the UK’s energy security, which involved an accelerated investment in renewable energy like solar, wind and nuclear, which would lower household bills in the years ahead.

When it comes to fracking, they found that the controversial energy extraction process was hugely unpopular among Labour and Lib Dem voters, with just eight percent and 10 percent respectively showing support for a project within one mile of their property.

Among Tory voters, the support rose to 29 percent, which is still significantly low, especially when the polls even offered to slash their bills in half in the hypothetical scenario.

When it came to onshore wind and solar projects however, a majority of voters from all three parties were in favour of renewable energy farms near their property, especially when offered huge discounts on their bills.

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