Cuadrilla Issues Challenge to UK Labour Party
Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan called on the main opposition to the government, the Labour Party, to eliminate gas imports into the UK by 2050. He invited its leader Jeremy Corbyn to see the UK's sole onshore gas production site that uses hydraulic fracturing (fracking) so that he could better understand what the company hoped to do, and how.
Corbyn has called for fracking to be banned, while Cuadrilla is hoping that the new government under Boris Johnson will revisit the traffic light system that forces fracking to stop when hyper-sensitive equipment captures evidence of tremors. Fracking is routine in the US, with no side-effects, despite the regulations setting much higher thresholds for seismic activity. Cuadrilla has mobilised drilling equipment for a campaign this summer.
Egan said in a statement on July 30: “I am very disappointed that Labour appear to favour continued and increasing levels of gas imports by ship from the Middle East, Africa or the US or by pipeline from Russia rather than developing a well-regulated job creating UK shale gas industry. The UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in its May 2019 report clearly forecast a very significant UK gas demand out to 2050 and beyond – approximately 70% of 2019 gas demand still existing in the year 2050. Under the CCC’s recommended pathway to net zero CO2 this gas would be used as both a feedstock for making hydrogen and a backup supply for generating electricity. Carbon capture and storage would accompany gas usage to ensure net zero CO2 emissions.
"The Labour Party has made it very clear that it opposes UK shale as a supply source for our required natural gas, but appears to have no policy or plan for where the UK’s gas supply should instead come from. We can only assume that it favours continued and increasing long distance gas imports.
"Unless it has a better pathway to reach net zero CO2 than the CCC we call on the Labour Party to support Cuadrilla in setting a target for net zero imports of natural gas by 2050. By this date UK gas demand should be entirely met by well run, well regulated, job creating UK supply sources including shale gas. Exporting UK emissions and UK jobs should not be a Labour Party policy.”