Energy and Environment

On fracking the ‘climate blob’ remain in control, says IEA energy analyst

Commenting on today’s lifting of the fracking ban, Andy Mayer, Chief Operating Officer and Energy Analyst at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: 

“Reversing one harmful policy is not enough, the government needs to get out of the way of domestic oil and gas production.

“The UK urgently needs more gas. Every molecule drilled domestically is one not imported, and one that can be taxed to fund long-term solutions to climate change.

“Lifting the fracking moratorium and issuing more licences is a welcome start, but radical regulatory reform of planning, permitting and safety rules are required for there to be serious progress. Equalisation of seismology rules with other industries is the highest profile example.

“Instead, the government has confirmed a new regulation, the Climate Compatibility Checkpoint. This is pointless bureaucracy that will be used by activists to add legal cost and delay to development. Import substitution meanwhile is climate-neutral activity.

“They remain wedded to a strategy of centrally planning the future of the North Sea from Whitehall, rather than letting markets work.

“For now, it seems the ‘climate blob’ remain firmly in charge of policy. The new administration has more work to do.”


Notes to editors

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The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.