Earlier this week, a host of Tory MPs, including former Brexit minister David Frost, wrote an open letter to Mr Johnson, urging a return to fracking in the UK amid a global shortage of wholesale gas. Lord Frost argued that fracking would bring “a competitive and reliable source of energy” and reduce the UK’s reliance on imports, as the rest of the EU faces the threat of Russia bumping up prices.
Fracking is a process of oil extraction that involves drilling down into the ground and using high pressure to release the natural gas trapped in the earth.
Climate activists have opposed this method of fuel extraction as it can poison groundwater, pollute surface water, impair wild landscapes, and threaten wildlife.
However, Howard Cox of FairFuel UK, argues that fracking would help “ensures the UK is self-sufficient, profitable and able to invest in low emission solutions long term”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “For secure energy at low cost to us all, the Government must wake up to fully tapping our massive £1trillion oil and gas reserves.
“The stranglehold the green special advisors have over No 10 will push the UK into third world oblivion.
“They are clueless to the damage they are doing to families, small businesses and UK’s drivers.”
Mr Cox called on the Government to hold off implementing the ambitious 2030 ban on the sales of new fossil fuel-based vehicles.
He argued that incentivising the economy to shift to cleaner fuels would help the UK transition to a greener economy without adversely affecting businesses or drivers.
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Zac Goldsmith, the minister for the Pacific, international environment, climate and forests slammed this proposal.
In a series of tweets, he said: “The argument that fracking will reduce our reliance on Russian gas is wrong.
“Between just one and three percent of UK gas comes from Russia.
“We import mostly from Norway – a friend and ally.
Mr Goldsmith warned that to replace half the gas the UK imports, it would likely need to build “around 6,000 new wells, with all the associated industrial equipment & endless movements of trucks ferrying toxic chemicals & wastewater to & from sites.”
He said: “It’s hard to imagine communities across the UK being ok with that.
“And given the gas would be produced by private firms and sold at the highest price (internationally), there would likely be no measurable impact on UK gas prices anyway.
Mr Goldsmith stressed that the UK still needs gas in order to shift to renewable energy.
However, he warned that in order to be able to reduce the price of gas, the “Government would need to rig the market & go to war with furious communities. On every level, the cost would be enormous”.