The Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change) and a representative from Greenpeace and are both among several guests who are due to give evidence and answer questions from members of the APPG Shale Gas Regulation & Planning next week.
The purpose of this All Party Parliamentary Group is to recommend an effective regulation and planning regime should shale gas extraction take place. On the 23rd March the Inaugural Election of Officers took place and Kevin Hollinrake MP for Thirsk and Malton was elected Chair. The membership of the APPG includes MPs and Peers from across the political parties, academics and representatives from organisations with an interest in the environment and countryside.
In an initial meeting Kevin Hollinrake MP clarified that the aim of the group was not to discuss the pros and cons of shale gas extraction but to recommend appropriate regulation and planning regimes should fracking take place. No sponsorship would be received from any outside bodies.
The following areas to be investigated by the group were suggested and agreed:-
Possible water contamination
The function and remit of UKOOG
The role of the Planning Inspectorate
Density of sites
Community benefits and how they would be paid
The provision of independent research to the public
Next Wednesday’s meeting will be held in the Palace of Westminster. The focus that morning will be on the issue of regulation. The group is due to talk to Andrea Leadsom MP, and representatives from the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, ReFINE, and Greenpeace. They are expected to discuss what regulations are currently in place, how appropriate they are and how regulations would be implemented and sustained if shale gas extraction was to take place.
The subsequent two meetings of the APPG will focus on planning and community benefit respectively.
A website giving information about the APPG Shale Gas Regulation & Planning and minutes of their meetings will soon be available.
If anyone would like to join the group or attend sessions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org