Kwasi Kwarteng’s big fracking hypocrisy

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Kwarteng wrote that “no amount of shale gas from hundreds of wells dotted across rural England would be enough to lower the European price any time soon”.

Kwasi Kwarteng speaking at COP26

Liz Truss today announced that the government plans to lift the ban on fracking. The decision has been met with dismay and outrage from climate campaigners. Questions have also been raised about how well supported the policy is in Truss’ new cabinet.

It turns out that the new chancellor of the exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng has been less than enthusiastic about fracking in recent months.

Just six months ago Kwarteng was critical of ending the ban on fracking in the UK. He wrote in the Mail on Sunday, “First, the UK has no gas supply issues. And even if we lifted the fracking moratorium tomorrow, it would take up to a decade to extract sufficient volumes – and it would come at a high cost for communities and our precious countryside.

“Second, no amount of shale gas from hundreds of wells dotted across rural England would be enough to lower the European price any time soon. 

“And with the best will in the world, private companies are not going to sell the shale gas they produce to UK consumers below the market price.”

Given he argued that the “high cost for communities and our precious countryside” meant fracking was unjustified why is he now a major figure in a government that plans to allow fracking to go ahead? And given he’s admitted that “no amount of shale gas from hundreds of wells dotted across rural England would be enough to lower the European price any time soon”, why is he supporting it is as a government policy to supposedly address the cost of living crisis?

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

Image credit: Simon Dawson / Number 10 – Creative Commons

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