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Rees-Mogg should make his constituency the first to suffer from fracking, Tory MP says | fracking

Jacob Rees-Mogg should “walk the talk” and make him the first constituency to be fractured, a Conservative MP has said.

Mark Menzies, the Fylde MP, challenged the business secretary to start drilling in north east Somerset before imposing fracking in other districts.

The Menzies constituency is one of those that has faced the worst effects of shale gas drilling, with seismic events in the Fylde, home to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, twice forcing national moratoriums.

“I think the secretary of state has shale gas in his constituency,” he said. “It would be great for him to lead by example on this, so why not make sure the first shale wells are fractionated in his constituency and why not? There is no nobler cause than leading by example.

“There is nothing stopping you from demanding that North East Somerset be the flagship project. I am sure that after hearing it in parliament, he is very sure that the people will welcome this with open arms, that the communities will celebrate it. Let’s start with northeast Somerset. I think we would applaud him.”

Rees-Mogg did not respond when asked by The Guardian if he would accept Menzies’ challenge. While British Geographical Survey maps show there could be shale gas in your constituency, no licenses have yet been issued in northeast Somerset. However, there are shale gas licenses in the neighboring constituency of Wells, so his constituents would still be affected if those areas were fractured.

Menzies, elected in 2010, has been seeking assurances that Prime Minister Liz Truss will make good on her promise to frack areas only after obtaining local consent. This week, The Guardian revealed that the government is considering turning fracking sites into nationally significant infrastructure projects, thereby avoiding local planning requirements.

In parliament on Thursday, Rees-Mogg refused to assure Menzies that his constituents could block drilling, saying instead they would be compensated. “Obviously we want to work with local communities, and it’s really important that companies looking to extract shale gas come up with packages that make what they’re proposing welcome in local communities,” he said.

Menzies doesn’t think this is good enough. He said: “One question that was put to the Secretary of State was how local consent is defined – it was put to him eight times – and there was no answer. The government came to the dispatch box without an answer: it has work to do to reassure members of parliament.

“This is something critical for me, the people of this country can understand the problems related to energy prices, but above all they expect the prime minister to ensure that her government complies with clear commitments and there are no regressions or reformulations. “.

He hinted that Truss could face a revolt from MPs if she goes back on her word: “Every Tory colleague who has fracking in their constituency is taking the PM’s word that she will only go ahead with local consent and the strength of sentiment. it will be throughout the parliamentary party, for all of us who will be affected by this.”

Menzies has been dealing with fracking and its effects on her constitution for 12 years and hasn’t always been against it. However, after experiencing unrest, local anger and earthquakes, to no avail for the electorate, he has become a vocal opponent of shale gas extraction at the local level.

“I have been doing this for 12 years. For a long time I did not object. I considered that it was necessary to consider if it could be done safely, if the local people could accompany it, if it had benefits at the local or national level. And now we have seen the result,” she said.

“So anyone who says it hasn’t been tested doesn’t know what they’re talking about. If the industry wants to continue fracking on the same piece of rock, I would highlight the article in The Guardian highlighting the fact that the Cuadrilla founder says it wouldn’t work.

“For those Conservative MPs who don’t have shale gas and think everything is great, I would tell them to think if it was their constituency and the people they represent. You would have to consider their concerns, you would not brush them aside.”

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